Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

“A well-read woman is a dangerous creature.”

Lisa Kleypas

While some may argue that reading is an exercise for the mind; nothing quite touches the soul like a good book. 

For women in particular, books are an invaluable tool on the journey to self-realization. Furthermore, to know a woman’s favorite books is to be one step closer to knowing the greatest depths of her being. 

The following list of books is composed of some of the most influential reads recommended to all women interested in growing through the power of literature. 

The Color Purple by Alice Walker 

Courtesy: Book Depositary 

The Color Purple, written by Alice Walker, is a touching narrative that is rich with themes of abuse, racism, sexism, womanhood, religion and growth. 

Set in rural Georgia during the early 1900s, this book centers around fourteen-year-old Celie, an uneducated, poverty-stricken African American girl. Told through Celie’s personal letters to God, readers are able to gain intimate insight into the various struggles the main character faces, including: the loss of her mother, separation from her sister, various sexual assaults, an abusive marriage, qualms about religion, rampant racism and sexism, struggles with sexuality and deep-rooted internal issues with developing her individuality. 

Overall, this read is essential for aiding young females in the process of understanding and overcoming the innumerable personal and collective obstacles encountered throughout society as a woman.  

The Help by Kathryn Stockett 

 Courtesy: Amazon

Similar to Walker’s The Color Purple, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, details the story of multiple women of color living in the deep south during the peak era of racism. 

Skeeter is an upper-middle-class white woman living in Jackson, Mississippi. Consumed by the desire to find out the fate of her childhood caregiver, Constantine, she befriends black housekeeper Aibileen. Together, Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny (another poverty-stricken black woman) embark on a project to expose the untold stories of the working class, African American women in their town. During this time, complex relationships develop between the three women as they embark on their own individual journey of growth while collectively becoming increasingly invested in their exposé. 

Throughout the course of this book, topics including racism, sexism, poverty, classism, resentment, friendship, societal expectations and resilience in the face of absolute opposition are explored. 

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen   

Courtesy: Goodreads

Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants is a love story set during the Great Depression in the United States.

Jacob is a young Cornell-dropout recently orphaned by a tragic accident claiming both of his parent’s lives. Left penniless and without purpose, Jacob accidentally finds his way into the midst of a failing traveling circus act. There, he is thrust into the secret world of friendship, hatred, murder, endurance, violence and jealousy.

Through one of the main characters, Marlena, this book teaches a valuable story of love, loss and survival. 

If you haven’t yet read these, we highly encourage all collegiettes to pick up these outstanding works of literature, all authored by three equally exceptional females. 

In addition, Her Campus FSU would love to see what books you’d recommend to the women in your life by tagging us in a tweet or Facebook post!

Her Campus at Florida State University.