Say what you will about millennials, we are a generation of consumers. Because of this, we’re buying books and *gasp* reading them. It might be hard to pull us away from a delicious avocado toast, but the fact that millennials “visit public libraries more than any other generation” seems to prove our passion for reading and ravenous appetite for stories. The demand for books is pushed by “younger readers” – *ahem* millennials – which has facilitated a boom in the literary world. Because of this, we want to share nine books perfect for the millennial woman. From comical cultural interpretations to critical essays, there’s something for everyone.
The Most of Nora Ephron by Nora Ephron
I could talk about Ephron all day. She had wit that was unparalleled and added much-needed comedic anecdotes to the trials and tribulations of life. Ephron’s style of writing, specifically about taboo topics like divorce and aging, gives the reader a level of intimacy with the author that feels much more like a friendship than a writer’s published work. She gives sage and honest advice that can still benefit millennial women long after her passing.
Literally Me by Julie Houts
Julie Houts is a talented artist that turned her hilarious art into a humorous book about the highs and lows of millennial culture. She pokes fun at the generation while also proving that we’re all in this Instagram-filter-of-a-life together. Houts will make you feel better about skipping Coachella, avoiding a wedding diet and sitting on your bed when you just texted your friends “on my way,” making this one of those books that are perfect for the millennial woman.
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
If you need a lesson in gratitude and history, turn to Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique. The book was groundbreaking in 1963, as it gave insight into how women could reclaim their lives if they felt they needed more than what society was giving them. For millennial women, it’s an important reminder that even though we may have adapted since the ’60s, progress is far from over.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Yes, The Haunting of Hill House is scary, but it is still a worthy read for brave millennials. Shirley Jackson made a name for herself writing horror novels at a time when no other women were entering the male-dominated genre. Now, her legacy lives on in the hauntingly beautiful story of Eleanor – a woman who feels alone in the world but discovers she is much more powerful than she ever thought possible. If you haven’t watched the Netflix adaptation of Jackson’s novel, make sure to tune in after you’re done reading.
Nothing Good Can Come from This: Essays by Kristi Coulter
I think this is an extremely important read for younger generations, as it dives into youth culture’s relationship with alcohol and routine drinking. An aspect of Nothing Good Can Come from This that stayed with me after I put the book down was Coulter’s examples of the casual fetishization of alcohol: “Margarita Mondays,” “Rosé O’Clock” and “Bottomless Mimosas.” The way we approach alcohol has a lasting (and sometimes unhealthy) effect on not only the younger generation but women in general. Millennials should see how we associate stress and socializing with relying heavily on booze.
Look Alive Out There: Essays by Sloane Crosley
Sloane Crosley is another female author who manages to sum up what you’re thinking in the most eloquent and witty way possible. In Look Alive Out There, Crosley shares tales from her life, such as her interaction with a pesky neighbor that is up to no good or her plight with an online troll. It’s so enjoyable to read her words because, like any good author, you won’t realize you’re already halfway done after sitting alone for hours reading her essays.
You Know You Want This: “Cat Person” and Other Stories by Kristen Roupenian
I think what millennial women can enjoy from You Know You Want This is the realization that we shouldn’t have to feel like the “good guy” in every single work of fiction. Kristen Roupenian received well-deserved attention when her story Cat Person went viral online. Now, in her first collection of essays, we get to marvel at her flawless ability to create flawed characters that might even feel a little too real.
All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung
Nicole Chung’s memoir, All You Can Ever Know, is breathtakingly honest and vulnerable. Chung’s ability to weave culture, identity and family into a cohesive story is impressive – especially for her first novel. Recounting her experience as a Korean child adopted by a white family in Oregon, Nicole searches for meaning and grapples with being part of a family while simultaneously creating one of her very own.
Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture by Roxane Gay
The millennial generation has been influenced by a lot of historical moments. From 9/11 to the #MeToo movement, millennials continue to grapple with an everchanging and often problematic society. In Not That Bad, author Roxane Gay breaks down harassment, sexual assault and rape. For millennial women, it provides an important dissection of the way women are often subjected to horrific and heinous acts. After reading this book, millennial women should feel empowered to make much-needed changes in our society.
Know of more books for the millennial woman? Tweet us and let us know your picks @shereadsdotcom.
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