A Selection of the Best Women Empowerment Books
A careful selection of insightful, encouraging and inspiring books on women's empowerment.
Each one of these books on empowering women will reinforce your belief in your own power, and why we need to recognise and celebrate women'stireless contribution to society in all its forms.
This carefully crafted list has women empowerment books for adults, male and female. Let’s take a look.
Own It: The Power of Women At Work by Sallie Krawcheck
This book will leave you feeling empowered and energised.
Krawcheck articulately encourages her female readers to adopt a mindset where they no longer ‘compete at the men’s version of the game’ but define their own rules and reset the game for both genders. She advocates, that women should unapologetically, bring to the forefront, the skills that we are so naturally good at (collaboration, relationship-building, leadership) to create opportunity, sustain powerful presence and make persuasive impact.
Women significantly boost the economy and society. The quicker we start recognising our worth, demanding equal respect and esteem from others around us, the quicker we accelerate gender parity that has been a long time coming. She reminds us that this is not only for our benefit but also for the benefit of the men in our lives and our children.
Extremely entertaining, filled with personal stories, Sallie shines as a fabulous storyteller. This book is authentic and comes from the horse’s mouth who is walking the walk and not just talking the talk!
Grab your copy here.
We Should All Be Feminists (Non-fiction) by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie
Yes, this is another essay (60 pages this time), but it is one of the most powerful philosophies on gender equality and empowerment I have come across in a long, long time. I would make it required reading for everyone. This discussion on feminism and sexual politics shows a unique look into why all women (and men), everywhere, should be feminists. This female empowerment book makes a great read for anyone.
Grab your copy here:
A Room of One's Own (Non-fiction) by Virginia Woolf
A favourite of mine, this work is an essay as opposed to a fictional novel (which the majority of Woolf’s books are categorised as). As one of my top women’s empowerment books, this one was based on a lecture given at Girton College, Cambridge and it was a revolutionary piece of work, given the time (1928), calling for women’s rights to intellectual freedom and financial independence.
For me, personally, I love Woolf’s ideas in the essay that point out that a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. Money, time and space are crucial to the creative process if women are to create anything of value.
Due to child-bearing and child-rearing responsibilities, women have consistently been denied this throughout history. Casual interruptions by children or responsibilities such as finish the cleaning, cooking, laundry lead to many women sacrificing their own ambition to raise their family.
Men benefit from money, space, and education. Many fall off the career ladder either settling for work as part-time mothers or deciding to stay-at-home full-time. In Woolf’s times, only wealthy women had access to nannies and could treat writing as a luxury.
This is still true today. Whilst childcare is available, it’s still costly and some women choose to minimise this cost by either working part-time or staying at home.
Lastly, life can be difficult and often is a combination of struggles, suffering, hope and good times. We all need self-confidence, courage and conviction to believe in, pursue and fulfill our dreams and I quote Woolf,
“Life for both sexes is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. It calls for gigantic courage and strength. More than anything, perhaps, it calls for confidence in oneself. Without self-confidence we are as babes in the cradle”.
Regardless of your gender, work hard on building inner confidence and assertion. It will serve you for a life and is a prerequisite to attain that ‘room of your own’.
A Room of One’s Own still remains relevant today and should be mandatory reading for both women and men. Refreshing, revitalising and empowering with vibrant prose, this self-empowerment book for women will make you smile.
Grab your copy here.
Circe by Madeline Miller
Poetic fiction based on the fascinating story of the peculiar daughter of the sun god, Helios. Choosing to build relationships with mortals on earth, she discovers her power of witchcraft, transforming enemies into monsters.
Zeus banishes her to an island where she perfects her talent for witchcraft. However, she is cast as someone who must be tamed and choose between her God family and the mortals she loves.
The book itself relays many analogies of being true to one’s self and discovering our own magic and abilities. It also explores what it means to be a powerful woman amongst powerful men and acknowledges that woman often cannot enjoy a similar status to successful men. Instead she is viewed as a scary sorceress. It’s a fascinating story dedicated to girl power.
A unique story created by Madeline Miller — if you love Greek mythology, you’ll love this.
Grab your copy here.
Becoming (Non-fiction Memoir) by Michelle Obama
If you're looking for something to inspire you, to believe in life again and to kickstart your motivation to pursue something bigger than yourself, Michelle Obama's memoir truly fits the bill. A strong black women empowerment book, Obama has a way with words that can make you feel stronger, motivated, and ready to take on future challenges in life.
Obama's memoir has an underlying theme: creating an identity beyond motherhood and being a wife and placing the importance of a partner's character over and above anything else, whether that is wealth, connections or even interests. This has largely been the secret of her success.
She carefully anchored herself in her own identity, her own capabilities, her own ambitions and motivations. This was tremendously important to her for her own self-esteem but also for the self-esteem of her daughters. Here’s an example of one of the strongest women empowerment quotes from the book
“I felt like, I need to anchor myself in who I was so I wouldn’t be this woman following this man. I really felt that I could get caught up in his swerving, that I would just become part of his swerve rather than figuring out my own self. So, yes, it was destabilizing but it was a motivator… so that I didn’t just become his woman, which I knew I didn’t want to be.”
She uses her personal experiences to inspire women to truly contribute to their families and society over and above simply being a mother. She's had her fair share of struggles – inability to conceive children naturally, the struggles of IVF, learning to release “mum-guilt” and even marriage counselling.
The striking lessons the book teaches are:
- Never give up your identity in a relationship for the sake of your partner’s. This is a lose-lose outcome for both of you.
- Don’t expect your partner to make you happy. Happiness is a skill and you need to work at building it for yourself.
- Ask for help – and never feel guilty about it.
- We are all unfinished products and are constantly “becoming”.
- Consider every single possible outcome when making a decision.
- Make time for your relationship – even if you’re deeply in love.
Listen to it on Audio and instantly connect with Obama. It truly is an intimate portrait of a lady who has inspired millions around the world and it will inspire you too.
Grab your copy here.
City of Girls (Fiction) by Elizabeth Gilbert
From the Eat, Pray, Love lady, comes this enticing book aptly titled City of Girls. A nostalgic tale of an older woman reminiscing her past, specifically her youthful time at the Lily Playhouse, a revue theatre owned by her eccentric Aunt Peg.
Dial back to the summer of 1940. A barely-adult Vivian Morris springs up in the Big Apple with nothing but a sewing machine and suitcase. She becomes a essentially a seamstress for the showgirls. When the talented English actress Edna Watson arrives to take centre stage in the theatre’s most aspiring show ever, Vivian is mesmerised with the excitement, glamour and heady moments of theatre life and a unique love story of her own. However with the highs come the crashing lows — regrets and failures. A story about what it means to be a woman— about transforming your life and living it many times over before coming to terms with shame and living your true authentic self.
A sex-in-the-city tale about theatre life in 1940s New York.
Out on June 4, you can pre-order your copy here.
Get Your Favorite Women’s Empowerment Book Recommendations from Book Therapy
More book prescriptions can be found at Book Therapy.
Book Therapy offers reading therapy as an alternative to conventional therapy using the power of literature. I create reading lists/book prescriptions based on your individual needs, interests and reading habits prescribing both fiction/non-fiction literature. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.booktherapy.io.
Book Therapy is a participant in the Amazon EU, US and Canada Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Amazon.ca