Spring is just around the corner in the northern hemisphere. Along with a warmer breeze and some much-needed vernal rejuvenation, March has ushered in the start of Women’s History Month in the United States. The observance marks a national celebration of the cultural, historical, and societal contributions of women around the world. And what better way to celebrate than a round-up of must-reads from our favorite women writers?
From essay collections and evocative memoirs to urbanist handbooks and anti-capitalist manifestos, these women-authored books cover a wide range of topics ranging from Indigenous perspectives on ecological reparation to the global implications of women’s unpaid physical and emotional labor. You’ll find cemented best-sellers and acclaimed new releases, and whatever your interest, this collection is sure to offer up something you’ll love.
Dig in and let us know if we missed any of your favorite women-authored books. (If you see a title missing, you can leave us a note at email@example.com.) Your rec’ might just end up in our next round up. ‘Til then, we’re wishing you a Happy Spring and happy reading!
How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community by Mia Birdsong
In How We Show Up, community visionary Mia Birdsong delivers a compelling, timely understanding of what true, authentic family and community can look like — outside of the 2-parent, 2.5 kids norm we all have in our heads.
Tackling topics like creating safe spaces, creativity in community, raising children in community, and more, How We Show Up is the antidote to the social fractures we face in our nation today. By sharing stories and actionable advice, and taking cues from marginalized communities — people of color, women, the LGBTQ movement — Mia Birdsong offers us the blueprint we need to build true community wherever we are.
Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy by Barbara Ehrenreich
As timely now as it was when it was released twenty years ago, Barbara Ehrenreich’s Global Woman is a groundbreaking anthology that reveals a new era in which the main resource extracted from developing nations is no longer gold or silver, but love.
Women are moving around the globe as never before. But for every female executive racking up frequent flier miles, there are multitudes of women whose journeys go unnoticed. Each year, millions leave third-world countries to work in the homes, nurseries, and brothels of the first world. This broad-scale transfer of labor results in an odd displacement, in which the female energy that flows to wealthy countries is subtracted from poor ones — easing a “care deficit” in rich countries while creating one back home.
Confronting a range of topics from the fate of Vietnamese mail-order brides to the importation of Mexican nannies in Los Angeles, Global Woman offers an original look at a world increasingly shaped by mass migration and economic exchange.
Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel by Bernadine Evaristo
Girl, Woman, Other is a magnificent portrayal of the intersections of identity and a moving and hopeful story of an interconnected group of Black British women that paints a vivid portrait of the state of contemporary Britain and looks back to the legacy of Britain’s colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean.
Sparklingly witty and filled with emotion, centering voices we often see othered, and written in an innovative fast-moving form that borrows technique from poetry, Girl, Woman, Other is a polyphonic and richly textured social novel that shows a side of Britain we rarely see, one that reminds us of all that connects us to our neighbors, even in times when we are encouraged to be split apart.
Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future by Patty Krawec
Weaving her own story with the story of her ancestors and with the broader themes of creation, replacement, and disappearance, Krawec helps readers see settler colonialism through the eyes of an Indigenous writer.
Braiding together historical, scientific, and cultural analysis, Indigenous ways of knowing, and the vivid threads of communal memory, Krawec crafts a stunning, forceful call to “unforget” our history. This remarkable sojourn through Native and settler history, myth, identity, and spirituality helps us retrace our steps and pick up what was lost along the way: chances to honor rather than violate treaties, to see the land as a relative rather than a resource, and to unravel the history we have been taught.
Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by Adrienne Maree Brown
Inspired by Octavia Butler’s explorations of our human relationship to change, Emergent Strategy is radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help designed to shape the futures we want to live.
Change is constant. The world is in a continual state of flux. It is a stream of ever-mutating, emergent patterns. Rather than steel ourselves against such change, this book invites us to feel, map, assess, and learn from the swirling patterns around us in order to better understand and influence them as they happen. This is a resolutely materialist “spirituality” based equally on science and science fiction, a visionary incantation to transform that which ultimately transforms us.
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
In her searing collection of essays, Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement, arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women.
Drawing on her own experiences with hunger, violence, and hypersexualization, along with incisive commentary on reproductive rights, politics, pop culture, the stigma of mental health, and more, Hood Feminism delivers an irrefutable indictment of a movement in flux. An unforgettable debut, Kendall has written a ferocious clarion call to all would-be feminists to live out the true mandate of the movement in thought and in deed.
Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life by Alice Wong
Drawing on a collection of original essays, previously published work, conversations, graphics, photos, commissioned art by disabled and Asian American artists, and more, Alice uses her unique talent to share an impressionistic scrapbook of her life as an Asian American disabled activist, community organizer, media maker, and dreamer.
From her love of food and pop culture to her unwavering commitment to dismantling systemic ableism, Alice shares her thoughts on creativity, access, power, care, the pandemic, mortality, and the future. As a self-described disabled oracle, Alice traces her origins, tells her story, and creates a space for disabled people to be in conversation with one another and the world. Filled with incisive wit, joy, and rage, Wong’s Year of the Tiger will galvanize readers with big cat energy.
Agroecology and Regenerative Agriculture: Sustainable Solutions for Hunger, Poverty, and Climate Change by Vandana Shiva
Penned by environmental activist and ecofeminist Vandana Shiva, Agroecology is an interdisciplinary synthesis of research and practice carried out over decades by leaders of the agroecology and regenerative organic agriculture movement. It provides a detailed analysis of the multiple crises we face due to chemical and industrial agriculture, including land degradation, water depletion, biodiversity erosion, climate change, agrarian crises, and health crises.
The book lays out biodiversity-based organic farming and agroecology as the road map for the future of agriculture and sustainable food systems, both locally and globally. With detailed scientific evidence, Agroecology & Regenerative Agriculture shows how ecological agriculture based on working with nature rather than abasing ecological laws can regenerate the planet, the rural economy, and our health.
Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto by Tricia Hersey
In Rest Is Resistance, Tricia Hersey, aka the Nap Bishop, casts an illuminating light on our troubled relationship with rest and how to imagine and dream our way to a future where rest is exalted. Our worth does not reside in how much we produce, especially not for a system that exploits and dehumanizes us. Rest, in its simplest form, becomes an act of resistance and a reclaiming of power because it asserts our most basic humanity. We are enough. The systems cannot have us.
Rest Is Resistance is rooted in spiritual energy and centered in Black liberation, womanism, somatics, and Afrofuturism. With captivating storytelling and practical advice, all delivered in Hersey’s lyrical voice and informed by her deep experience in theology, activism, and performance art, Rest Is Resistance is a call to action, a battle cry, a field guide, and a manifesto for all of us who are sleep deprived, searching for justice, and longing to be liberated from the oppressive grip of Grind Culture.
Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan
As New York City’s transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan managed the seemingly impossible and transformed the streets of one of the world’s greatest, toughest cities into dynamic spaces safe for pedestrians and cyclists.
In the fashion of a modern-day Jane Jacobs, Streetfight sees Sadik-Khan describing the battles she fought to enact change as she imparts wisdom and practical advice for other cities to follow in efforts to make their own streets safer and more vibrant.