[Carolin Simon | Contributing Writer]
The image of women has significantly changed in the course of this millennium. The word ‘feminist’ has lost most of its negative connotation with many people publicly declaring to support feminism, including celebrities. Emma Watson’s speech at the UN headquarters last year went viral overnight and sparked the gender equality debate, encouraging millions of women around the world to be a stronger version of themselves. The following reading list comes in exactly there: to explore feminism in the 21st century; inspiring and celebrating womanhood.
Letter to my Daughter – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou wrote several inspiring texts and it seems hard to pick out just one. In her memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings she recounts her life as a black woman in Arkansas and her work with Malcolm X and Dr Martin Luther King as a civil rights activist. Many saw her strength and wisdom as an inspirational source and she understood, in return, the importance of passing on her knowledge and experience in her books. Letter to my Daughter is a collection of essays, written for the daughter she never had. With these texts, she addresses all young women to teach them a life lesson: ‘Your won’t be able to control everything that happens to you, but you can decide not to let it break you. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Don’t whine. Whining sends a signal to any brute in the neighbourhood that you’re a victim.’
How to Speak Money – John Lanchester
‘What the money people say … and what they really mean.’
The world of finance is largely male-dominated, but that does not mean that today’s women should not understand what’s happening. John Lanchaster tries to open up the world of money to everyone. With a lot of humour and accessible tales, he introduces his reader to the jungle of alien words and phrases. The Metro writes: ‘In witty and approachable entries that namecheck the Wu-Tang Clan and Game of Thrones, he ranges from pub quiz trivia on the Czech origins of the dollar to crystal-clear explanations of derivatives and credit default swaps.’
The Best Women’s Travel Writing: True Stories from Around the World – Lavinia Spalding
This annual edition collects women’s travel writing from around the world. These uplifting adventures celebrate independent women and inspire you to see the world. It is an invitation to step out of the common well-known to find yourself on a challenge around the globe. The books are a collection of compelling storytelling that captures the reader from beginning to end.
We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explores what it means to be a woman today in this very personal essay. She condemns the gender script, in which we are all put into by society and pleads to put an end to these stereotypes that limit women – as well as men – to be free and equal. She writes in a clever and funny way that brings across her kind personality. Her message is inspirational as well as hopeful: ‘In addition to being angry, I am also hopeful, because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to remake themselves for the better.’
Have you read a book that you think should be part of this list? Tweet us your suggestions @TridentMediaUK.