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5 Women to Add to Your Reading List

If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for more books to add to your reading list. Here are five totally phenomenal ladies that you should be reading, if you aren’t already!

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adichie’s name has been swirling around a lot recently, especially pertaining to her essay “We Should All Be Feminists”, based on her TEDx Talk of the same name. As a storyteller, she is a tour de force, combining elegant prose with intriguing storylines. She was born and raised in Nigeria, which serves as the setting for most of her novels. Exploring topics such as identity, femininity, and familial relationships, Adichie writes stories with eloquence and grace that are honestly still topical and relevant almost half a decade later. “We Should All Be Feminists” should not be missed – it’s the kind of essay you’ll find yourself slipping into your backpack just to have it nearby. If you’re still skeptical about Adichie, however, Americanah is a weighty, wonderful place to start. I cannot recommend it highly enough: I read the book in 2015 and I still find myself thinking about it today.

 

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Agatha Christie

Christie is a bit old school – but that doesn’t mean she isn’t impressive. Rightly dubbed the Queen of Mystery, there was a time where her novels were only outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare (also, fun fact: she holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s thickest book). Her novel The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is, by many accounts, the best mystery novel of all time. She weaves her stories with deft fingers, intertwining shady characters, red herrings, and almost impossible resolutions (but the clues are there all along!). Her mysteries range from being just kinda perplexing to bordering on psychological thrillers (And Then There Were None being a prime example of the psychological thriller variety). With most of her novels being under 200 pages, they aren’t a huge time commitment: perfect for picking up on the weekend or in between study sessions.

 

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Margaret Atwood

It would be totally remiss of me to not include Margaret Atwood: Canadian author and winner of over one hundred awards and recognitions for her novels, essays, and poems. She writes, among other things, awesome, chilling speculative fiction novels (most notably, her MaddAddam trilogy, starting with the novel Oryx and Crake). In those novels, all of the science and technology that she mentions is currently possible or would be possible in the foreseeable future, adding a harsh edge of reality to everything she writes. Another very pervasive trope in her novels is strong female characters: one novel that especially comes to mind is The Penelopiad, a telling of Homer’s The Odyssey from the perspective of the wife he left behind, Penelope. The beauty with Atwood is that she’s written a little bit of everything, so there’s a little something for everyone.

 

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Toni Morrison

Morrison writes the kind of novels that consume you as you consume them. You end up engrossed in her beautiful, heart-wrenching prose such that it feels as if time stands still while reading. Her books often take a look at where race and femininity intersect in America and how those themes play off of each other. Her books weave together compassion and empathy with compelling characters and beautifully done symbolism. Her books, in parts, almost read like poetry, thanks to her skilled use of prose. Definitely check out The Bluest Eye and Jazz as places to start, but be forewarned: though compelling and incredibly important, they don’t exactly make for light reading.

 

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Rupi Kaur

You might actually already know Kaur: a lot of her poems end up on Tumblr because they’re relatively short but still very powerful. Currently, she only has one book of poems published, but she just announced that she will be coming out with a new book in the near future. Her current book, Milk and Honey, tackles heavy themes such as love, loss, abuse, and healing – all with grace and honesty. Kaur’s poetry has been able to put into words previously indescribable feelings in such a way that it feels almost like you’re catching up with an old friend.  

Do you think someone’s missing from this list? Have any recommendations? Let me know!

A first year student studying Global Business and Digital Arts and trying to avoid the geese. I'm on Twitter and Instagram! @kiera_elyce
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