Top 35 Books: International Women’s Day 2024

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the fierce females who have paved the way for gender equality. And what better way to honor their legacy than by diving into some empowering literature? From memoirs of trailblazing women to fiction featuring strong, independent characters, countless books will ignite your inner feminist and leave you feeling inspired.

Whether you’re seeking tales of bravery, resilience, or sisterhood, these books are sure to leave you feeling uplifted and motivated to make a difference in the world. So why wait? Start your literary journey today and join the ranks of the fearless females who are shaping the future.

General Non-fiction To Read on International Women’s Day

All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister

Looking for an informative and thought-provoking read to celebrate International Women’s Day?  “All The Single Ladies” is a great book for anyone— not just single ladies.

This New York Times bestseller explores the sexual, economic, and emotional lives of women in America, examining how the declining marriage rate and increasing independence of women are transforming society.

Through research and interviews, Traister shows that the single-woman phenomenon isn’t new, but has driven social change historically. As women delay marriage and pursue other paths, they are creating new opportunities for themselves and challenging traditional gender roles. A perfect choice for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of the complex and evolving role of women in modern society.

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall

A book that challenges the status quo and pushes the boundaries of modern feminism? Check out “Hood Feminism” by Mikki Kendall, a searing collection of essays that critiques the current state of the feminist movement and its failure to address the needs of all women.

In “Hood Feminism,” Kendall argues that mainstream feminism has ignored issues like food insecurity, education, and healthcare, focusing instead on privilege for a select few. This powerful debut calls on all would-be feminists to live out the true mandate of the movement and work towards a more inclusive and equitable future for all women. Perfect for International Women’s Day, “Hood Feminism” is a must-read for anyone looking to challenge their assumptions and spark meaningful change.

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Pérez

This award-winning, internationally bestselling book exposes how gender bias in data perpetuates inequality and disadvantages women in various aspects of life, including product design, urban planning, and medical research.

With humor, intelligence, and thorough research, Perez highlights the insidious ways in which women are overlooked and underserved and makes a compelling case for why data must be disaggregated by sex to create a fairer world. A must-read for anyone interested in gender equality and the power of data to shape our lives.

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud by Anne Helen Petersen

Looking for a book that celebrates and analyzes the rise of unruly women in popular culture? Check out “Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud” by Anne Helen Petersen. This conversational and incisive book explores how female celebrities push societal boundaries and challenge traditional notions of femininity.

From Serena Williams to Kim Kardashian to Hillary Clinton, Petersen examines why the public loves to love (and hate) these controversial figures, and how they are redefining what it means to be a powerful woman in today’s society. A must-read for anyone interested in gender, pop culture, and the changing face of feminism.

Women Money Power by Josie Cox

“Women Money Power” could be an interesting read for International Women’s Day. This book empowers women and sheds light on their struggles to achieve financial freedom.

This inspiring account tells the story of women’s fight for financial independence, from the “Rosies” who worked in industrial jobs during WWII to the women who broke into the male-dominated world of finance.

The book also explores the challenges women still face today, such as unequal pay and limited access to credit. As a book for Women’s Day, “Women Money Power” is a must-read for anyone interested in promoting gender equality and empowering women to achieve their full potential.

All in Her Head by Elizabeth Comen

“All in her head” is a surprisingly stunning history of women’s healthcare. This groundbreaking medical history book tells the story of women’s bodies and the societal stigmas that have shaped their health and relationships with their own bodies. Drawing on medical texts, journals, and interviews with expert physicians, Dr. Comen provides a comprehensive and eye-opening look at the collective medical history of women.

With humor, wisdom, and deep scientific and cultural insight, this book is a must-read for anyone looking to better understand the complexities of women’s health and advocate for care that prioritizes healthy and joyful lives. As a book for Women’s Day, “All in Her Head” is an essential contribution to a holistic understanding and much-needed reclaiming of women’s history and bodies.

Fictional Stories Of Women’s Empowerment

A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua

The story follows Scarlett Chen, a pregnant Chinese woman who travels to California to give birth and secure a better future for her child. Along the way, she encounters a cast of strong and diverse female characters, each with their own struggles and motivations. The novel is a poignant and eye-opening portrayal of the immigrant experience and the challenges faced by women in a foreign land.

It is a book that celebrates the resilience and determination of women, making it a perfect read for International Women’s Day. If you’re looking for a book that will inspire and empower you, A River of Stars is a great choice. It is a testament to the strength and resourcefulness of women, and a reminder that we all have the power to shape our own futures. So why not treat yourself to a copy this International Women’s Day and indulge in a story that will leave you feeling uplifted and inspired?

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

In honor of International Women’s Day, we recommend a book that celebrates the spirit of female independence and the power of self-discovery. “The Mermaid and Mrs. Barnum” is a historical fairy tale that follows the journey of a mermaid named Amelia who leaves the sea to explore the world and becomes the star attraction of P.T. Barnum’s famous circus.

This book is a delightful and empowering read that highlights the importance of women’s rights and the struggle for freedom and equality. Through Amelia’s journey, we see the challenges that women face in a patriarchal society and how they can overcome them.

As Amelia navigates her new life on land, she learns to embrace her uniqueness and find her voice. She discovers that she doesn’t need to conform to societal expectations and can create her own path. This message is particularly relevant today, as women continue to fight for equal opportunities and representation.

So if you’re looking for a book that will inspire and empower you this International Women’s Day, pick up “The Mermaid and Mrs. Barnum”. It’s a charming and thought-provoking read that will leave you feeling proud to be a woman.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

On International Women’s Day, we recommend a book that embodies the spirit of female empowerment and solidarity. “The Color Purple” is a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning novel that has left a profound impact on contemporary literature. Producers Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg have adapted the novel into a boldly reimagined film, featuring Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, and Fantasia Barrino.

This book is a powerful tribute to the resilience and strength of Black women, following the lives of sisters Celie and Nettie as they navigate the challenges of early-twentieth-century rural Georgia. Through a series of letters, the novel captures the depth of their bond and their unwavering commitment to each other despite the distances and hardships that separate them.

“The Color Purple” is a book for Women’s Day because it celebrates the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. It addresses issues of domestic and sexual abuse and offers a message of healing, forgiveness, self-discovery, and sisterhood that continues to resonate with readers today. The novel has inspired a new generation of authors, including Tayari Jones, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Jesmyn Ward, and more, who continue to give voice to the multidimensionality of Black women’s stories.

It is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the experiences of Black women and to celebrate their strength and resilience.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott


Celebrate International Women’s Day with this timeless classic that embodies the spirit of femininity and sisterhood. ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott is a heartwarming tale of four siblings – Jo, Beth, Meg, and Amy March – as they navigate the trials and tribulations of growing up, pursuing their passions, and supporting one another through thick and thin.

Set against the backdrop of the Civil War, this novel explores themes of family, friendship, love, and personal growth, offering a powerful tribute to the strength and resilience of women. With its relatable characters, engaging plot, and enduring messages, ‘Little Women’ continues to captivate readers of all ages, inspiring them to embrace their individuality and forge their own paths in life.

On International Women’s Day, let us honor the legacy of Louisa May Alcott and the iconic women she created while celebrating the progress made toward gender equality and the boundless possibilities that lie ahead for women everywhere. The book is a must-read for young Ladies.

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

In honor of International Women’s Day, we celebrate Virginia Woolf’s seminal work, A Room of One’s Own. This influential essay, now a classic of feminist literature, examines the constraints placed on women in the early 20th century and argues that financial independence and a space of one’s own are crucial for women to realize their full potential. With lyrical prose and piercing insight, Woolf makes a passionate plea for women’s rights and creative freedom.

Remaining as relevant today as it was upon its initial delivery, A Room of One’s Own continues to inspire and ignite conversations about gender inequality. This Macmillan Collectors Library edition features an afterword by renowned art historian Frances Spalding, offering additional context and perspective on Woolf’s groundbreaking work.

Fire on the Mountain by Anita Desai

This exquisite novel tells the story of Nanda Kaul, a former Vice-Chancellor’s wife who has retreated to a secluded bungalow in the mountains of Kasauli to spend her final years alone. That is, until her great-granddaughter Raka arrives for the summer, disrupting Nanda’s carefully crafted solitude.

Despite their initially frosty relationship, Nanda and Raka share a deep connection that is slowly revealed throughout the novel. Both fiercely independent and untamed, they grapple with the weight of their past and the secrets that bind them together.

As the summer wears on, Nanda’s long-hidden dependencies and wounds begin to surface, leading to a tragic conclusion that will leave readers moved and reflective.

With its focus on the complexities of family relationships, the power of the past, and the strength of women, “Fire on the Mountain” is a book that perfectly captures the spirit of International Women’s Day. It is a marvelous yet restrained tale that will stay with readers long after they finish the last page.

So why not treat yourself to a copy of “Fire on the Mountain” this International Women’s Day? It is a book that will resonate deeply with anyone who has ever felt the pull of family ties, the burden of secrets, or the desire for independence. And as you read, remember the power of women’s voices and the importance of sharing our stories with the world.

Breasts And Eggs by Mieko Kawakami

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we recommend a book that embodies the spirit of female empowerment and the complexity of women’s experiences. “Breasts and Eggs” by Mieko Kawakami is a poignant and thought-provoking novel that explores the lives of three women in contemporary Japan.

The story revolves around Makiko, Natsu, and Midoriko, three women who are struggling to find their place in a society that often places immense pressure on women to conform to traditional roles. Makiko, a single mother, is raising her teenage daughter Midoriko, who is grappling with the challenges of adolescence. Natsu, Makiko’s sister, is an aspiring writer who is haunted by her difficult past and struggling to find her place in the world.

Over a few sweltering summer days, the three women come together in Tokyo, and their interactions serve as a catalyst for each of them to confront their fears, insecurities, and family secrets. Through their intimate journeys, Kawakami explores themes of identity, loneliness, and the search for meaning in a rapidly changing world.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we recognize the importance of books like “Breasts and Eggs” that shed light on the experiences of women and provide a platform for their voices to be heard. This book is a gift to readers, offering a nuanced understanding of the complexities of women’s lives and the power of their stories. It is a book that will resonate deeply with anyone who has ever experienced the joys and challenges of being a woman.

Women’s Histories That Shaped our World

Normal Women by Philippa Gregory

Looking for a book that celebrates the diversity and complexity of women’s experiences throughout history? Pick “Normal Women” by Philippa Gregory without any hesitation. This comprehensive and engaging book delves into the archives to reveal the stories of women who have been overlooked or marginalized in traditional histories.

From highway women and beggars to shepherdesses and pirates, this book shows how women have contributed to every aspect of society, from warfare and agriculture to literature and religion. By highlighting the diverse range of women’s experiences, “Normal Women” provides a fresh and nuanced perspective on English history. It’s the perfect read for International Women’s Day and a reminder that women have always played a vital role in shaping our world.

Mother Tongue by Jenni Nuttall

Celebrate Women’s Day with “Mother Tongue,” a fascinating book that dives into the evolution of language and its impact on women’s lives. Author Dr. Jenni Nuttall takes readers on a journey through the history of feminist language, from Old English to the present day, highlighting how words have been used to describe and shape women’s experiences.

With humor and insight, Nuttall challenges modern language’s ability to articulate women’s shared experiences and uncovers surprisingly progressive thinking from the past. This book is a must-read for anyone who loves language and is interested in feminist issues. So why not treat yourself to a copy of “Mother Tongue” this International Women’s Day? It’s the perfect way to celebrate the power of language and the resilience of women.

Black Women Taught Us by Jenn M. Jackson

“Black Women Taught Us,” a powerful collection of essays that reclaims the history of Black women’s freedom fighting and positions their intellectual and political work at the center of today’s liberation movements. Author Jenn M. Jackson, a professor of political science and columnist for Teen Vogue, brings historical acuity and personal insight to explore the legacy of Black women writers and leaders, from Harriet Jacobs and Ida B. Wells to the Combahee River Collective and Audre Lorde.

This book is a love letter to those who have been minimized and forgotten and a call to action for a new generation of movement organizers and co-strugglers. It’s the perfect read for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the struggles and triumphs of Black women and to find inspiration for the ongoing fight for racial, gender, and sexual justice. Get your copy of “Black Women Taught Us” today and celebrate the power and resilience of Black women on International Women’s Day and beyond.

The Visionaries by Wolfram Eilenberger

“The Visionaries,” is a groundbreaking book that explores the intersectional lives and ideas of four iconic female philosophers – Simone de Beauvoir, Ayn Rand, Hannah Arendt, and Simone Weil. Through their unique perspectives and contributions, these women shaped the course of twentieth-century thought, tackling issues of feminism, liberty, totalitarianism, and resistance.

Author Wolfram Eilenberger masterfully weaves together their stories, showcasing how each philosopher’s vision of a free and open society continues to resonate today. Get your copy of “The Visionaries” and be inspired by the intellect, courage, and conviction of these extraordinary women.

Shakespeare’s Sisters by Ramie Targoff

“Shakespeare’s Sisters” is a captivating work that sheds light on the lives and achievements of four remarkable women who defied societal norms to pursue their passion for writing. Author Ramie Targoff takes readers on a journey through the private lives of these women, including Mary Sidney, Aemilia Lanyer, Elizabeth Cary, and Anne Clifford, who overcome obstacles and challenges to define themselves as writers in a time when women were marginalized and excluded from many areas of public life.

This book offers a fresh perspective on the Renaissance era and provides a much-needed female perspective on history. Get your copy of “Shakespeare’s Sisters” and be inspired by the strength, creativity, and determination of these trailblazing females

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

“The Radium Girls,” is a riveting book that spotlights the courageous tales of women who fought for workers’ rights in the early 20th century. Author Kate Moore chronicles the stories of girls exposed to radium in factories across the US, who bravely spoke out against corporate greed and deadly working conditions. Their determination led to groundbreaking changes in labor laws and inspired future generations.

Read “The Radium Girls” on Women’s Day and be inspired by the strength and resilience of these extraordinary women.

Memoirs Of Inspiring and Determined Women

Everyone But Myself by Julie Chavez

“Everyone But Myself,” is a heartwarming and relatable book that shares the story of a mother’s journey towards self-discovery and embracing chaos. Author Julie Berry writes with humor and honesty about her experiences as an elementary school librarian and mother of two boys, detailing her struggles with anxiety and her quest to find joy in a well-lived life. This book is sure to resonate with mothers who feel spread thin by the demands of modern family life, offering a hopeful and inspiring portrayal of one woman’s journey back to herself. 

My Side of the River by Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez

Celebrate International Women’s Day with “My Side of the River,” a powerful and moving memoir that shares the story of Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez, a young woman who faced the challenges of growing up as the daughter of immigrants in the United States. When her parents were forced to return to Mexico, Elizabeth was left to navigate the complexities of the American Dream alone, determined to succeed and create a better life for herself and her younger brother. This book is a testament to the strength and resilience of women and a reminder of the importance of family and community.

Educated by Tara Westover

“Educated,” by Tara Westover is a memoir that chronicles the extraordinary journey of Tara Westover, a young woman who escaped her survivalist family’s isolation and earned a PhD from Cambridge University. This inspiring tale of self-invention and empowerment is a testament to the transformative power of education and the human spirit. Named one of the best books of the year by numerous publications, “Educated” is a must-read for anyone looking to be inspired by the stories of strong, determined women.

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Looking for an inspiring memoir to read this International Women’s Day? Look no further than “I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jennette McCurdy. This heartbreaking and hilarious book tells the story of Jennette’s struggles as a former child actor, including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother. But it’s also a story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair. With refreshing candor and dark humor, Jennette recounts her journey from child stardom to finding her own path in life.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

“Becoming,” by Michelle Obama is a powerful and inspiring memoir by former First Lady Michelle Obama. This Number One New York Times bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club pick tells the story of Michelle’s journey from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her time at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, Michelle shares her triumphs and disappointments, both public and private, and shows how she has defied expectations to become a woman of soul and substance.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

“Crying in H Mart,” is a heartwarming and inspiring memoir by Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner. This New York Times bestseller tells the story of Michelle’s journey to embrace her Korean American identity, navigating family expectations, grief, love, and self-discovery. Through her experiences, Michelle finds solace in food and music and learns to cherish the gifts of her cultural heritage.

In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

“In the Dream House,” is a groundbreaking memoir by Carmen Maria Machado that shatters traditional notions of domestic abuse and offers a raw, innovative account of a relationship gone wrong. Through a unique blend of narrative tropes and essayistic explorations, Machado delves into the complexities of psychological abuse and its impact on her life. With wit, playfulness, and a critical eye, she challenges our assumptions about gender, sexuality, and power dynamics. 

Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener

“Uncanny Valley,” is a critically acclaimed memoir by Anna Wiener that offers a rare and unvarnished look inside the male-dominated tech industry. With wit, candor, and heart, Wiener charts her journey from an entry-level job in book publishing to a big-data startup in Silicon Valley, where she witnessed firsthand the industry’s shift from idealism to greed and exploitation. This New York Times bestseller is a cautionary tale and a powerful interrogation of a world reckoning with consequences its unwitting designers are only beginning to understand.

Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life by Alice Wong

“Year of the Tiger,” by Alice Wong offers a powerful and inspirational account of her journey as an Asian American disabled activist, community organizer, and media maker. With a unique blend of essays, conversations, graphics, and art, Alice shares her unwavering commitment to dismantling systemic ableism and creating a space for disabled people to be heard. Filled with wit, joy, and rage, this National Bestseller is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand and celebrate the diversity and strength of women’s voices.

The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper

“The Beauty in Breaking,” by Dr. Michele Harper, a female African American emergency room physician. This New York Times Bestseller and Notable Book tells the story of Harper’s journey toward self-healing and recovery, shedding light on the systemic disenfranchisement of patients and the importance of allowing ourselves to make peace with the past. With lessons learned as a daughter, woman, and physician, this book is a testament to the strength and resilience of women in medicine.

Influential Biographies To Read On International Women’s Day

Chasing Bright Medusas by Benjamin Taylor

“Chasing Bright Medusas” offers an elegant exploration of artistic endurance and a nuanced understanding of Cather’s life and work. With a focus on her determination and gradual emergence as a writer, Benjamin Taylor provides a thoughtful and empathetic examination of Cather’s journey to literary immortality. Unlike many of her male contemporaries, Cather’s idealism was unironic, and she stood alone among the great modern authors, at odds with the fashionable attitudes of her time. This book is simultaneously an homage to her character, a warm consideration of her work, and a case being made to read Cather with renewed vigor.

Carson McCullers: A Life by Mary V. Dearborn

“Carson McCullers: A Life” – is the first major biography in over two decades of one of America’s greatest writers. Based on newly available letters and journals, this book offers a comprehensive and insightful look into the life of Carson McCullers, a trailblazing Southern writer who defied conventions and captured the hearts of readers with her debut novel, “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.”

With testimonies from renowned authors like V. S. Pritchett and Gore Vidal, this biography delves into McCullers’s tumultuous marriage, her struggles with sexuality, and her relentless pursuit of literary excellence. From her childhood in Columbus, Georgia to her rise to fame, this book chronicles the life of a woman who was decades ahead of her time.

Shirley Chisholm by Anastasia C. Curwood

“Shirley Chisholm: A Life” is a powerful biography that tells the story of the first African American congresswoman and first Black major-party presidential candidate. This book describes how Chisholm shook up New York and national politics with her unbought and unbossed firebrand leadership, and how she developed her political orientation through her own unique path.

It also highlights her signature contributions to U.S. politics as an inventor and practitioner of Black feminist power, which centered on Black girls and women in the movement for transformative political change. This book is a must-read for anyone looking to learn more about the history of social justice movements and the advancement of women in politics, and it is a perfect choice for International Women’s Day.

A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell

Looking for an inspiring read for International Women’s Day? Check out “A Woman of No Importance,” the incredible true story of Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite-turned-spy who played a pivotal role in the French Resistance during WWII.

Despite facing numerous obstacles, including a prosthetic leg and being hunted by the Gestapo, Virginia refused to give up and continued to fight for freedom and justice. This book is a testament to the power of female resilience and determination and is sure to leave you feeling empowered and inspired.

Madame Fourcade’s Secret War by Lynne Olson

“Madame Fourcade’s Secret War” is a powerful and inspiring pick for International Women’s Day. This fast-paced and meticulously researched book tells the story of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, a young Frenchwoman who became the leader of a vast intelligence organization during WWII, supplying crucial information to the Allies and standing up against the Nazi occupation.

Despite facing immense danger and adversity, Fourcade remained steadfast and determined, earning her the nickname “Hedgehog” from her colleagues. This gripping tale is a testament to the strength and bravery of women in the face of oppression and is a must-read for anyone looking to be inspired by real-life heroines

All That She Carried by Tiya Miles

We recommend picking “All That She Carried” by Tiya Miles for this International Women’s Day. This powerful book tells the story of Rose, an enslaved woman in 1850s South Carolina, who faces the devastating prospect of her daughter Ashley being sold away. With courage and ingenuity, Rose prepares a cotton bag for Ashley, containing a few precious items that will become a symbol of their enduring bond. Decades later, Ashley’s granddaughter Ruth embroiders their family history onto the sack, preserving a legacy of love and resilience in the face of unimaginable adversity.

Through meticulous historical research and a focus on the stories of women often overlooked in traditional accounts, Miles crafts a poignant narrative that celebrates the strength and resourcefulness of those who fought to preserve their families amidst the brutality of slavery. 

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