As we spend our days staring at screens, sometimes it’s hard to remember the wonderful feeling of sitting down with a good book. We forget that we don’t need surround sound or an HD screen to get sucked into a story or another world.
The trick to remembering that reading is sometimes much more enjoyable than flipping through TV channels or scrolling through a Facebook News Feed is to choose a book that you can’t put down. Here are a few books that I’ve read in the last year that had the “can’t stop, won’t stop” effect on me. They’re the kind of books that you read through breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the kind that make you want to leave your social engagement so you can get in bed and keep reading.
And here’s the best part: these books all have inspirational and courageous women in them, and some of these women actually exist. All of the authors are also fabulous females. Get ready to be inspired and in awe of some of your female counterparts!
1. Behind The Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
This book is a non-fiction account of an Indian slum village in Mumbai, as seen and retold by award-winning journalist Katherine Boo. Although the book is non-fiction, Boo brilliantly wrote it to read like a novel, making it a page-turner. You will have to constantly remind yourself that these characters are real people living in India today. One of the slum dwellers that Boo focuses on is Manju. She works incredibly hard to earn an education despite her living conditions. Her intelligence is captivating as well as her struggle between becoming a woman of the modern world and keeping in touch with the traditional roles of Indian culture. Manju reminds any reader about the value of an education and importance of claiming a place as a woman in society.
2. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
This graphic memoir both tells and illustrates Alison Bechdel’s young life and her solidification of her sexual identity. The book orbits around her relationship with her father, which is full of tension and misunderstanding. She learns after his death that he was also gay, and takes the opportunity to look back on their relationship with this new knowledge. This brave account includes many intimate details of her life, and teaches us that the struggles in realizing one’s identity eventually leads to a better understanding of self, no matter how difficult the journey may be.
3. Room by Emma Donoghue
Room is a fascinating story from the point of view of Jack, a five-year-old boy who has never experienced life outside of an 11×11 room. He is the product of his mother and her captor, who has imprisoned Jack and his mother in this small jail. His mother is not only extraordinarily courageous for withstanding her captivity for so many years, but she also goes above and beyond for her son. She creates a stimulating world for Jack within their confines, showing the strength of motherhood and female determination. Her bravery and innovative parenting techniques will make you consider what you would do to protect the ones you love.