Four Must-Read Books About Real, Powerful Women

Over the years, I have read several books about real women who write about their extraordinary experiences of crisis and pain. The following four books are my personal favorites; they are so unbelievably inspiring. Because I had never had to go through the things they have, it was difficult for me to walk in their shoes. Now, I feel more educated on these common issues and I know how to avoid them or help someone out who is currently facing them. The women explain the thoughts and feelings that run through their minds while having to endure hardships that most of us will never experience. Still, reading these non-fiction books are a great way to connect to those suffering.

  1. Written by Cat Marnell, this book talks about her struggles with drug addiction from her teen years to her early thirties. It follows her on her crazy adventures, bouncing between cities and partying every night until the sun comes up. This book definitely shows how someone can succeed after living a life of sadness, addiction and emptiness.

  2. Jeannette Walls, a young girl that bounces between towns in her childhood, writes about growing up in an impoverished family that can’t afford to live in a home, let alone eat. Her father takes her and her siblings on dangerous and out-of-the-ordinary adventures to make up for their poor living situation, all the while promising a future filled with money and a beautiful glass castle to live in. This memoir definitely opened my eyes to the fact that many people have to learn to make the best of whatever they have, even if they have nothing.

  3. This book is about a woman, Kelly Sundberg, who looks back on her marriage to an abusive husband. She tells about her past lovers and experiences that left her feeling unworthy of ever being loved and why this may be the reason she felt as if she needed to stay in the marriage. It truly demonstrates how difficult it can be to make the decision to leave in a violent relationship.

  4. Susanna Kaysen writes about her borderline personality disorder and her time spent in a psychiatric hospital. She talks about her encounters with other women struggling with a variety of mental illnesses. It brings to light the personal battles of mental illness and educates those who are not familiar with it.

Reading these books have helped me to better understand how hard it is to make a much needed change in life, even if it seems so simple to outsiders. I would definitely re-read these books if I had the time to do so. These are great reads if you are looking to expand your knowledge on issues that affect many women daily.