Women-Authored Books to Read on International Women’s Day

Written by:

In honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we’ve compiled a list of must-read women-authored books. From fiction to adventure to romance, there is something for every book worm on this list. These eight books will take you on an adventure from the comfort of your home. Read on for the list of women-authored books to read ASAP.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Historical Fiction

The Vanishing Half

A poignant, multi-generational story about the lives of the two Vignes sisters, Desiree and Stella. The twins have always been somewhat of local legends in their little hometown of Mallard. Mallard, a small,  black community, does not even exist on a map. The twins knew they would never have the lives they dreamed of if they stayed, so during their sixteenth year they ran away to New Orleans without a backward glance. For Desiree, New Orleans represented independence and endless possibilities. For Stella, New Orleans was a place she could finally break free of the chains that bound her to her old life. However, when Stella abruptly disappears in the middle of the night, Desiree is at a loss. She can’t believe her twin soul abandoned her without saying a word, after all, they had risked together to leave their life behind in Mallard. 

For the first time, the twins begin to lead different lives. Stella hides in the body of the white woman everyone thinks that she is. She marries a white man, lives in a white community, and gives birth to a baby girl. Desiree moves to D.C., establishes a career in the government, marries a black man, and gives birth to a baby girl. Desiree’s abusive marriage forces her to take her daughter and flee to the only place she knows her husband won’t find them: Mallard. But what will happen when the twins’ daughters miraculously find each other, many years later? Will Stella’s carefully constructed world fall apart? Will Desiree finally see her beloved sister again? 

The Vanishing Half explores the strength of familial ties, the impact the past has on the shape a person’s life takes, and the struggle to hold onto yourself when you’re living someone else’s life. Brit Bennett’s emotionally charged prose detailing racial injustice, discrimination, and domestic abuse will open the reader’s eyes to a different perspective, highlighting the importance of these issues still prevalent in today’s society. 

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Romance

In Five Years

Dannie Kohan is an ambitious, determined attorney in New York City. For as long as she can remember, she’s always had a five-year plan for her future and everything was going according to her plan. She had her dream job, a great apartment, and the man of her dreams had just proposed. 

However, one night she goes to sleep and wakes up next to a strange man she has never seen before. Dannie doesn’t realize it yet, but this is a glimpse into life exactly five years from now. Haunted by what she saw and how she felt, this vision lives rent-free in her head and she can’t shake this unsettling feeling. She can’t tell anyone about this, not even her best friend Bella. But what would you do if you found out your future was literally the exact opposite of what you had always imagined? 

In Five Years is a heartbreakingly beautiful love story, but not the one you expect. Rebecca Serle does it again with this clever novel that has righteously claimed a place as one of my all-time favorite books. Definitely a must-read! 

Read More: Black-Authored Books That Can Be Purchased in Local Bookstores

Where to Begin by Cleo Wade

Anthology

Where to Begin is a collection of ideas and poems focused on changing the world into a more loving, accepting, and hopeful place. Cleo Wade reminds us that we all have the power and ability to implement change and influence others around us to do better and be better. Wade also shows the reader how to connect with others in small ways that have big impacts. This is the perfect collection to inspire deep and mindful introspection about where to begin in making the world a better place for all. 

Outlawed by Anna North

Adventure/Western Fiction

Outlawed

In 1894, Ada Magnusson was seventeen when she was run out of town, condemned as a witch by people she had known and cared for her entire life. The eldest daughter of a respected midwife, Ada was quite bright, spending most of her days learning her mother’s trade and ensuring the safe deliveries of many Fairchild babies.

When she became of age, she married and her main focus was conceiving a child. After a fruitless year of marriage passed, suspicion began to disturb Ada’s previously simple existence. To make matters worse, some of the other women in town experienced mysterious illnesses and miscarriages. With no one to blame for these tragedies, the town immediately looked to Ada, the barren wife, for answers. Ada was smart enough to realize what her fate would be if she stayed in Fairchild, especially if convicted of witchcraft.

She fled to a convent, leaving her beloved family and promising a future as a midwife behind. At the convent, she did her best to fit in and make the best of this new, cursed life. But as a woman of medicine, she cannot accept her infertility without explanation. Through her research, she learned of a midwife with her own surgery, helping women just like her. With a restored will to live, Ada knows she must find this woman and finally get some answers. 

She leaves the convent under the protection of the bookseller who brings her to find the Kid, a notorious gang leader known for harboring fugitives. With the help of the Kid and the Hole in the Wall Gang, Ada will have a fighting chance at finding what she’s looking for. 

Infinite Country by Patricia Engel

Domestic Fiction

Infinite Country

Patricia Engel tells the story of a Colombian family through the five unique experiences of each family member. From Talia’s experience in a Colombian jail for adolescents to her parents’ innocent love story, Engel gives a voice to one of the most underserved populations in the United States. As undocumented citizens, they know their time on American soil can end at any point. When their father Mario is deported to Colombia, half the family remains in America while Talia also finds herself in South America with her dad. 

As a dual citizen and daughter of Colombian immigrants herself, Engel provides a valuable perspective that sheds light on the sacrifices, dreams, and struggles of undocumented citizens. A profound story about love and forgiveness that will pull on all your heartstrings.

See. More: 9 Latinx-Authored Books to Read ASAP

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

Psychological Thriller

The Good Sister

The bond between two sisters is unlike any other, especially the bond between twins like Fern and Rose Castle. Fern has certain limitations that prevent her from living a “normal” life. Her sensory sensitivities to light, touch, smell, and noise make trips to stores and meals in restaurants impossible. She does not do well when her routine is disturbed and no one knows that better than her sister Rose.

Rose always looked after Fern, protecting her from their unstable mother, whose moods change like the weather. Fern knows how much her sister cares about her and she has always felt guilty that she has never been able to repay her for all that she’s sacrificed. Until now. 

When Fern discovers her sister is unable to conceive a child with her husband, Fern devises a plan to do the unthinkable. In an act of true selflessness, Fern plans to get pregnant and give Rose the baby. The only problem is that Fern doesn’t socialize very much outside of her job as a librarian so where is she going to find someone to father this hypothetical baby? Fern must overcome some of her greatest fears and put herself in situations she has spent a lifetime avoiding in order to do this for Rose. 

The Good Sister is the perfect mix of suspense and {surprise!} romance, keeping you on your toes until the very last page. 

Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat

Short Stories/Fiction

Everything Inside

Through eight short stories, Edwidge Danticat masterfully explores the human condition and complexity of human nature. I found myself quickly captivated by Danticat’s unique and beautiful writing style, dreaming of far-off places like Port-au-Prince and the Caribbean. This collection tells the intimate stories of what it means to leave your homeland in hopes of a better, brighter future, what it means to die and watch your entire life replay right before your eyes, and what it means to overcome tragedy in the arms of a long lost lover. Everything Inside is nothing short of magnificent, truly a work of art. 

The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After by Julie Yip-Williams

Memoir

The Unwinding of the Miracle

Julie Yip-Williams is a walking miracle. Being born female and blind in Vietnam, she was destined for euthanasia as an infant. Her parents took her and fled to the United States, desperate to escape the war and inevitable turmoil that would ensue if they stayed. In America, she was able to receive medical attention that would restore some of her vision, allowing her to live a more normal life. Julie went on to receive an education at Harvard and pursue a successful career as a lawyer.

Fast forward and Julie is married with children, living the life she almost had taken away from her at birth. When Julie is diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer at thirty-seven years old, her life takes yet another unexpected turn. Her way of coping through the devastating prognosis was to write. Julie takes the reader along for a wild, emotional rollercoaster ride as she learns how to still be a wife, mother, friend, and daughter while soaking up the life she has left. A beautiful story that will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you appreciate the little things. 

EMAIL BUTTONS


Written by:

Alex is a total Jersey girl from Hunterdon County who now resides in downtown Hoboken. When she’s not practicing yoga at Asana Soul Practice or working as a Registered Nurse in New York City, you can most likely find her curled up on the couch with a good book and glass {or three} of wine. Books have always been her passion and loves nothing more than spending her days off at Little City Books searching for some hidden gems.