Top 10: The books that every woman should read
The Buro book club
With new novels coming out every week, it is hard to keep track of what's worth a read. Buro 24/7 Middle East lists our favourite books with themes and characters in fiction and non-fiction written about the female gender:
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
One of the most famous books ever written, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was first published in 1813. The beautiful story follows the life of main character, Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with issues of love, upbringing, education, and marriage in class-conscious England in the early 19th century.
A Room Of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
A Room Of One's Own is an extended essay by English writer Virginia Woolf, first published in 1929. The essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at two colleges at Cambridge University. The extended essay explores women both as writers and characters of fiction, with series of lectures titled, "Women and Fiction" – with the underlying basis of the words generally seen as feminist text.
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
The Second Sex (Le Deuxieme Sexe) was written by French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir in 1949. The informative book deals with the treatment of women throughout history and is regarded as one of the major works of feminist philosophy. The book was researched and written in a time span of 14 months and was published in two volumes. With chapters on biological data and the evolution of women, the Vatican placed the book on its 'List of Prohibited Books'.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The first in a seven-volume series, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the 1969 autobiography about the early years of the legendary African-American writer and poet Maya Angelou. Powerful and poetic Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic known worldwide, capturing the hearts of millions as Angelou describes her upbringing and overcoming racism and trauma.
The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women by Elizabeth Badinter
French feminist philosopher Elisabeth Badinter asks the controversial question does modern motherhood undermined women? In the explosively stealthy book Badinter argues that the taboos that now surrounding motherhood from epidurals and formulas to cribs and anything that distracts a mother's attention from her offspring, are undermining the status of women.
Paula by Isabel Allende
Intended to be a narrative about the darkest experience of her life, Paula is a 1994 memoir written by Isabel Allende, who ended up writing the book as a tribute to her deceased daughter Paula Frias Allende. Paula fell into a coma in 1991 and never recovered, with the book first intended as a letter to Paula, explaining what she was missing so she would not be confused when she recovered. The novel includes both an account of Paula's treatment and Allende's bittersweet childhood memories.
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
Written in 1963 by Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique was a book that was widely credited with sparking the beginning of the second-wave feminism in the United States. After conducting a survey of her former Smith College classmates for their 15th anniversary reunion, Friedan saw that many of her friends were unhappy, prompting her to begin research and interviewing suburban housewives for The Feminine Mystique.
The intriguing book discusses the lives of several housewives from around the US who were unhappy despite being married and having most material things.
Just Kids by Patti Smith
In Just Kids, the legendary American artist Patti Smith offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her unique relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the late sixties and seventies whilst living in New York City and the Chelsea Hotel. Smith's memoir is an honest and touching story of youth, friendship, and how she made a name for herself in the city that never sleeps. The well-written book features the same lyrical quality as her other bohemian bodies of work, from her 1975 album Horses to her deep poetry.
I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron
Growing old is not easy, and thats why Nora Ephron – best known for her screenplays When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle – shares with us her ups and downs of getting older and dealing with the trials and tribulations of maintenance, being alone, and life itself, in the warm-hearted I Feel Bad About My Neck. The book is full of truths and comical moments that will appeal to readers of all ages and ethnicities, with Ephron describing her life as a parent, obsessed cook and city dweller.
How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
Caitlin Moran lays bare the reasons why female rights and empowerment are essential issues not only for women today but also for society itself in her fresh and witty book How To Be a Woman. The British broadcaster, TV critic and columnist at The Times and author of this new book combines unique observations on women's lives with laugh-out-loud funny moments from her own life as a writer, wife and mother – intriguing us with her modern conversation about feminism in today's world.