Even when you're a few years into the whole adulthood gig, it's smart to keep learning new things about the people and world around you. After all, part of growing up involves taking charge of your own education. For many people, books are the best way to cover a wide range of topics in an immersive, spellbinding way. If this sounds good, then these incredible books every woman should read as an adult will appeal to you.
The new perspectives and insights you'll get from these books are mind-blowing. For instance, reading about how women in the early 20th century suffered for their employment will give you a different view of your own job. (Chances are, it does not involve playing with radium.) In addition, modern people from different backgrounds and cultures look at the world in ways that you might have imagined. How does a successful businesswoman think about personal finance, and what can you learn from her insight? What's it like to grow up in Harlem with Dominican parents... and what does home mean for you? These women will inspire you to take charge of life, be brave, and even embrace the power of negative thinking. With their insight, adulthood doesn't have to suck so bad after all.
1. 'Bird Of Paradise' by Raquel Cepeda
2. 'Wild' by Cheryl Strayed
Faced with her mother's death and the demise of a marriage, one young woman decided to cope with her grief in an unusual way: by going on a serious solo hike. Wild by Cheryl Strayed chronicles the author's thousand-mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail. Her triumphs and challenges along the way will inspire you.
3. 'The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks' by Rebecca Skloot
Even if you've seen the movie, this spellbinding book deserves a read. The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot tells the story of a black tobacco farmer, her body's cells, and how they helped make the polio vaccine. This story raises serious questions about race, science, and healthcare in the modern world.
4. 'Fun Home' by Alison Bechdel
5. 'Smart Women Love Money' by Alice Finn
6. 'the princess saves herself in this one' by Amanda Lovelace
7. 'Lean In' by Sheryl Sandberg
So much has been said on the topic of women in the workplace, but this book provides simple, commonsense advice for getting ahead in your own career. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg uses anecdotes and research alike to explain the steps women can take to achieve success on the job. It's a helpful take on the topic from a woman who served as COO of Facebook.
8. 'Get Your Sh*t Together' by Sarah Knight
9. 'The Misadventures Of Awkward Black Girl' by Issa Rae
What's it like to live outside the realm of coolness? Brilliant and self-deprecating, Issa Rae's The Misadventures Of Awkward Black Girl is a hilarious memoir about life as an introvert in today's self-promoting world. Brilliant and self-deprecating, this read covers topics such as PDA, food, and cybersex.
10. Women In Sports by Rachel Ignotofsky
11. 'The God Of Small Things' by Arundhati Roy
Brilliant and complex, this novel examines personal and political drama in equal turns. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy follows an Indian family and the twist of fate that changed their lives forever. The lush language draws you in to the story, and you'll want to revisit this novel time and again.
12. 'Adulting' by Kelly Williams Brown
13. 'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood
Even if you're already into the TV series, give the book a read. Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale predicts a future in which America retreats into a bizarre version of Puritanism, where women are tightly controlled and managed. It's dystopian fiction with a wry, feminist slant.
14. 'The Joy Luck Club' by Amy Tan
This book examines the connection between mothers and daughters with sensitivity and tenderness. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan follows the stories of four Chinese women who are immigrants in San Francisco. Moving and heartfelt, this modern classic will make you think about family ties in a new way.
15. 'Milk and Honey' by Rupi Kaur
16. 'Broke Millennial' by Erin Lowry
17. 'White Teeth' by Zadie Smith
18. 'Beautiful Bodies' by Kimberly Rae Miller
Trying to get the perfect body is an impossible task, but so many people spend their lives attempting to do just that. Part memoir, part social commentary, Beautiful Bodies by Kimberly Rae Miller examines the ways perfect bodies have been defined through history, as well as the lengths to which modern people will go to attain that ideal form. Spoiler: perfect bodies don't exist in reality.
19. 'The Radium Girls' by Kate Moore
In early 20th century America, radium was treated like a wonder drug, and many women found themselves employed in radium factories. The devastating effects of this element, and its outcomes for the "shining girls," are chronicled in The Radium Girls by Kate Moore. It's a fascinating and heartbreaking study of the intersection between worker's rights and corporate gains.
20. 'soft thorns' by Bridgett Devoue
21. 'In The Company Of Women' by Grace Bonney
22. 'Hidden Figures' by Margot Lee Shetterly
Imagine all of the calculations needed to send the first person into space. Who did all that work? As Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures demonstrates, some of the brightest "human computers" at NASA during this time were a group of black female mathematicians. This book chronicles their long careers in the space race era.