March 8th is International Women's Day, and it's a day the world celebrates women's achievements throughout history and across the nations. In honor of that, I went out and looked for some exceptional pieces by women who have decided to write about other historical women and discuss the concept of feminism. Here are five essay collections and short stories written by women for both women and men to read and become inspired by.
All pictures of book covers were taken from Goodreads.com. Click on the pages to go directly to the Goodreads page of each book where you can find out more info on the book, read up on the author, check out reviews of the books, read a short preview, and perhaps even enter into a giveaway for it if the site is currently holding one for that particular book!
1. Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World by Mackenzi Lee and Illustrated by Petra Eriksson
Based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular weekly Twitter series with the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world. Starting in the fifth century BC and continuing to the present, the book takes a closer look at bold and inspiring women who dared to step outside the traditional gender roles of their time. This book is an outright celebration of the badass women who paved the way for the rest of us.
Promising Review: "The women featured in this book truly did change society and impact feminism. Many of the women in this book are homosexual, one is a transgender woman, many are women of colour, indigenous women, educated women, women from poor economic backgrounds. There is a role model for everyone, whether you aspire to be a dancer, a chef, a teacher, a scientist, or a writer. These women are empowering. I had not even heard of 49/52 of the women I learned about reading this. Props to the author for that. The artwork was what drew me in and the courageous women featured in the book held me." — Jai.
2. Make More Noise!: New Stories in Honour of the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage by Emma Carroll
Each story in this collection is written by a star-studded list of contributors and include both well-known, award-winning voices and brand-new, just starting out writers. The best thing about this collection is that a donation of £1 from the sale of each copy will be given to Camfed (Campaign for Female Education), an international charity which tackles poverty and inequality by supporting women’s education in the developing world.
Promising Review: "Make More Noise! has been published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage – when some women were finally able to vote in Britain. The stories have been written by established and new voices within children’s literature, and they all celebrate strong, inspiring female characters throughout the ages, both fictional and real." — Sigourney
3. Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World by Kelly Jensen
In this collection, you'll 44 writers, dancers, actors, and artists contribute essays, lists, poems, comics, and illustrations about everything from body positivity to romance to gender identity to intersectionality to the greatest girl friendships in fiction. Together, these individual voices share diverse perspectives on and insights into what feminism means to them and what it looks like.
Promising Review: "Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World" covers a wide range of intersectional feminist topics, featuring authors of all colours, races and religions, gay and trans authors, authors of all shapes and sizes, those with physical and mental disabilities, as well as the able-bodied. It is a truly fantastic work that deserves to be read and celebrated by all." — Emily May
4. Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs and illustrated by Sophia Foster-Dimino
We all know the famous females who dared to stand up against the men in their lives, against the government, against the traditions and beliefs of the people around them, and the women who were able to make changes in their society and nation. Women who had their challenges and difficulties, whether it be physically, emotionally, mentally, or personally, and were still able to make a change that the world never forget. Women like Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Oprah Winfrey, Anne Frank, Amelia Earhart, and many more. But what about Alice Ball, an African-American chemist who had developed an effective treatment for leprosy — only to have all the credit taken by a man? Or Mary Sherman Morgan, the rocket scientist whose liquid fuel compounds blasted the first U.S. satellite into orbit? Or even Huang Daopo, the inventor whose weaving technology revolutionized textile production in China — centuries before the cotton gin? Why don't we learn about them in our history classes or commemorate them? Regardless of whether you've heard of these inspirational and sensational women before or not, you will love reading about them in this book. The book also contains interviews with real-life women in STEM careers, an extensive bibliography, and a guide to women-centric science and technology organizations.
Promising Review: "This book took me a long time to read. Not because I didn't want to pick it up, but because each time I read about another of the extraordinary women I ended up lost in research, because I wanted to know more. I would say that this is quite a quirky book. I loved the care and attention that went in to the design, the illustrations, the quotations. I loved the almost dry, sarcastic tone." — Cora
5. You Don't Have to Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism by Alida Nugent
Alida Nugent is taking on one of today's hottest cultural topics: feminism. Yes, the F-word. Nugent is a proud feminist—and she’s not afraid to say it. From the “scarlet F” thrust upon you if you declare yourself a feminist at a party to how to handle judgmental store clerks when you're buying Plan B, "You Don’t Have to Like Me" skewers a range of cultural issues with well-written essays that discuss topics on growing up, speaking out, and finding feminism.
Promising Review: "This book is important. It is important because it talks about so many issues and situations that women are scared to talk about. Even though there were essays that didn't directly speak to me I know they speak to someone out there. Someone who needs to hear these things. Someone who needs to know they are not alone. If feminism is something you are interested in, pick this book up. You just might learn something." — Brittany