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  • Olivia Swindler

Books for International Women's Day


Happy International Women’s Day! In my office I have a picture hanging that says Here’s to the strong women, may we know them, may we raise them. I love the challenge that provides. I think about that every day. How can we cultivate a culture that values and raises up the voices of women? I honestly think one of the best ways to do this is through books, both fiction and nonfiction. Here are some of my favorite books that celebrate women’s stories. (Also, not so fun fact, did you know that while Women’s Fiction is a genre (aka any story that has a woman at the center), there is no such thing as Men’s Fiction? Instead, that is labeled General Fiction…)





Little Women

Not only does this book celebrate the life of the March family, but the backstory of Louisa May Alcott’s publishing journey is really important to remember and honor.


What Kind of Woman

I loved the way this collection of poetry portrays many of the aspects of womanhood. I absolutely adore Kate Baer, and if you don’t already, I highly recommend following her on Instagram.


The Handmaid's Tale

This work of dystopian fiction is so powerful. Although the world created in it will (hopefully) never come to fruition, I think books like this help us to see how our own culture had slipped into some dangerous tendencies. What I love about fiction is how it helps us to see our real world differently. The “normal” characters in such a heightened world will stay with you for years.


We Are Displaced

This book tells the powerful stories of displayed women all over the world. Malala has used her voice to bring light and power to places of such hopelessness. I think about this book, and the women in it, often. I loved the audio version!


Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?

Yinka’s life has been plagued by a question that follows maybe women around, “Where is your husband?” This book is empowering and a beautiful reminder that a woman is so much more than her marital status. I love the way Yinka navigates the tension of wanting to be married, her faith, and being a feminist.


The Education of an Idealist

Before listening to this audiobook, I did not know much about Samantha Power. Her story of moving to America at a young age and her journey into politics is beautifully written and empowering.


Half the Sky

I had to read this book for a women’s studies class at University and I still think about it. This book chronicles the lives of women around the world. It is heartbreaking and hopeful. I highly recommend reading this book. (There is also a PBS documentary series based on the book!)


The Mercies

This is another dystopia novel based (loosely) on real events. I loved learning about the women of 17th century Norway and how they adapted after all of the men on their island were killed in a boating accident. This book is thought-provoking and the characters are beautifully constructed.


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

If you have not already read this book, now is the time. I love the way Evelyn’s story is woven together and her courage as a woman navigating through old Hollywood. I loved this book and I think about the characters from it often.


The Alice Network

This book is so powerful. I loved the way it wove together the modern-day story and the WWI storyline. It is also a beautiful reminder that women had played a major role throughout history, even if it has gone unnoticed by history textbooks. (Another great historical fiction in the same vein in The Paris Secret)


A Woman Is No Man

Read this book. It tells such a powerful story of a family and their immigration to America. It will make you think about culture, individual expression, and women who often go unseen. This makes for a great book club read!


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