Top reads to celebrate International Women’s Day

Posted on: 8 March 2023 by Mollie Hynes in 2023 posts

A display of books for international womans day 2023

One way to celebrate this International Women’s Day is reading! Third Year History student, Mollie Hynes, tells us her top reads to really embrace the day and highlight important issues.

Forever, Interrupted - Taylor Jenkins Reid 

A fiction author who comes to mind when I think of stories about strong women is Taylor Jenkins Reid. Her diverse range of female characters makes every novel different, and as a reader you find yourself rooting for each protagonist. Forever, Interrupted is one of her most recent novels, which follows the story of a newly-wed wife and a mother-in-law who have to navigate the sudden loss of their husband and son respectively, whilst having never met before. Following Elsie’s journey was moving to see an unlikely friendship form between two women who are trying to learn to live without their loved one, whilst also learning about each other. In other novels by Reid, she captures well the importance of friendships and offering support to all women, without needing a focus on romantic relationships. If you’re looking for a fictional read about women supporting women, I highly recommend this story for International Women’s Day.

I'm Glad My Mom Died - Jennette McCurdy 

A recent non-fiction read of mine was the autobiography by Jennette McCurdy titled I’m Glad My Mom Died. Telling the story of her upbringing and navigating the pressures of growing up as a child actor alongside a toxic home environment, McCurdy’s candid style of writing makes this book an easy although emotional read. As a reader I was familiar with Jennette McCurdy as a public figure, although I don’t think this is necessary to be impacted by the challenges she faced as a young woman in the film industry. This book delves into some difficult topics but reveals a story of a powerful woman in an anecdotal way, which meant it was one that I couldn’t put down!

Women, Race and Class - Angela Davis

As it’s also Women’s History Month, someone I wanted to learn more about was Angela Davis, after researching her as a history student. Davis was an activist for Women’s Rights within the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and her book Women, Race and Class provides an interesting insight into where she felt the movement fell short in its aims. What is most impactful is the way Davis demonstrates the intersectionality of prejudice faced by women in the form of race and gender, and how both movements developed alongside each other. The book leaves you to reflect on what more needed to be done and holds relevancy today despite being published in 1981.

Other recommendations

Other recommendations I have for this International Women's Day are Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies) by Scarlett Curtis, a collection of stories and essays from a range of well-known women, and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, a fiction story which follows the journey of twelve different women. Some other books I’m hoping to read next are Taking up Space by Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi and The Colour Purple by Alice Walker.

Happy International Women’s Day, and happy reading!