In honor of International Women’s Day, I wanted to share some of the books written by women that have stuck with me, taught me something, or are just generally awesome books written by awesome ladies.
Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene. Basically all of the Nancy Drew books, really, but why not start at number one. They were some of the first books I really loved growing up, and I remember always wanting to be a detective because of them. Nancy was a pretty good role model, looking back.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Francie Nolan is one of my favorite female characters of all time. She is wise beyond her years, loves books as much as I do, and can appreciate the little things in life, like a cup of coffee when you’re sad.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Skeeter, Abileen, and Minnie are some of the strongest and funniest women I’ve read. They’re all dealing with tensions and hardships of not only being women but for Abileen and Minnie, being black women in the south in the 60’s, and they all have such amazing voices. (They are absolutely perfect in the movie too).
Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson. The narrator of the novel is un-gendered, but I’m including it because I think it just goes to show how little gender matters in relationships, and how fluid things like that can be. A lesson we can still apply today, from a book written in 1994.
Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. Junie deals with some heavy situations throughout the book, but it is a powerful coming of age story of love and family that I think a lot of girls can relate to in some way or another.
There’s also of course the Harry Potter series for giving us Hermione, and The Hunger Games for Katniss and probably a thousand others that I love too. I also wanted to include Leisel Merminger from The Book Thief even though it’s not written by a woman because she is one strong little lady. Finally there is Maureen Johnson as an awesome person because she calls out the hypocrisy and sexism that goes on every day via Twitter and it’s awesome if you ask me.
Finally, some IWD reading that I enjoyed, and you might too:
Powerful women on magazine covers – Huffington Post UK
Why We Need International Women’s Day – The Nation
More Than Just a Cover Story – The Guardian
10 Female Explorers – Huffington Post UK
Formula 1’s First Female Driver in 22 Years – Huffington Post UK
How to Make a Difference – Huffington Post UK
Five Things Women Need to be Talking About in 2014 – Huffington Post UK
Who are some of your favorite female characters that I might have missed?