In the era of body positivity, #MeToo and all-around female badassery, it’s no wonder that we have been gifted with some amazing new reads by and about strong women. These true stories will not only move you with their candor, humor and sensitivity but embolden you to live your life by your own rules and make the choices that foster happiness, growth and confidence in yourself. After all, the present is female.

The Body Papers by Grace Talusan

Grace Talusan eloquently discusses difficult topics such as sexual abuse, depression, cancer and life as an immigrant in her memoir The Body Papers. Made all the more powerful through her inclusion of family photos, records and immigration documents, this is one memoir that will have you truly captured in its intimacy.

The Seed: Infertility Is a Feminist Issue by Alexandra Kimball

Little is known or discussed about the frequency of miscarriages and the commonality of infertility, which is why Alexandra Kimball felt ashamed and alone in her longing for a child, and her inability to conceive and carry one. In her memoir, Kimball dares to discuss the effects of infertility – both physical and mental – with stark honesty. She urges women to share their stories to deal with this particularly painful and valid grief.

No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us by Rachel Louise Snyder

In her expose hailed as “extraordinary” by The New York Times, journalist Rachel Louise Snyder delves into the hidden epidemic of domestic violence. Weaving impactful stories from victims, law enforcement, abusers and reformers with chilling statistics and facts, Snyder aims to bring this difficult topic to the forefront and jumpstart the discussion that must be had in order to save lives and create change.

The Women’s Suffrage Movement by Sally Roesch Wagner

This illuminating anthology tells the story of women’s suffrage leading up to the centennial of women’s right to vote. Unique in its highlighting of minority voices and untold stories, The Women’s Suffrage Movement shines a new light on the suffrage movement and will have you feeling empowered to voice your opinion and use your right to vote.

Rude: There is no such thing as over-sharing by Nimko Ali

There’s a fine line a woman walks when talking about her body. What information are we actually allowed to talk about that isn’t considered uncomfortable or taboo? In Rude, Nimko Ali and women around the world strip away the rules and discuss everything from periods to how it really feels to give birth – leaving no “awkward” or “taboo” topic untouched. Rude is everything women were told not to talk about, being talked about in the most honest, hilarious and relatable manner.

Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder by Reshma Saujani

In a society that lauds beauty and perfection, it’s no wonder women find themselves under immense amounts of pressure. But what if we stopped being afraid to fail, stopped crushing ourselves under the weight of perfection and were brave enough to let go and live the life we want – not the one others think we should have? In her book full of powerful insights and achievable practices, Saujani encourages us to stop letting the fear of imperfection impede us from going after our dreams and to start being brave enough to be imperfectly us.

Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff

Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff of the My Favorite Murder podcast craft an effortlessly hilarious book that reads like banter between two good friends while simultaneously shedding light on timely societal and cultural issues, ranging from depression to addiction. Hardstark and Kilgariff share personal stories and give “all the best advice your mother never told you,” (Jenny Lawson) in their book – reminding women that their safety and well-being should always come first.

So Here’s the Thing… Notes on Growing Up, Getting Older and Not Giving a Shit by Alyssa Mastromonaco and Lauren Oyler

This guide for the modern woman honestly discusses topics such as careers, politics and motherhood through essays, interviews and personal anecdotes collected from women around the country. You’ll hear from famous women like Chelsea Handler and Monica Lewinksy, as well as from everyday women who Mastromonaco interviewed. They explore everything from their favorite contestants on The Bachelor to how it feels to face workplace discrimination. This book will leave you thinking and laughing.

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis

Why is it that women are always apologizing? Rachel Hollis delves into the reasons behind why women consistently feel the need to explain themselves, to justify their choices and to apologize for being imperfect, when the reality is that perfection doesn’t exist. In this uplifting read, Hollis urges women to let go of the shame they attach to their imperfections and embrace who they are and what they want – without apologizing.

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land

Stephanie Land’s dreams of a future outside of her small town – attending college and pursuing a career as a writer – were derailed when she found out she was pregnant. In hopes of giving her daughter the life she deserved, Land picked up a job as a maid to a wealthy middle-class family, but even so, she lived below the poverty line. Her impactful and eye-opening memoir shines a light on the poverty within America, and the myriad struggles faced by single mothers who – out of unconditional love for their children – bleed themselves dry, never getting anything in return from our country.

Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

In her insightful and sharp collection of essays, Zadie Smith discusses everything from pop culture to social movements. Incredibly smart and well-written, this book weaves a strong feminist outlook into discussions about everything from current political trends to why Justin Bieber is still so popular. You’ll leave this book feeling understood, and hungry for more from this fresh voice.

Joy Enough: A Memoir by Sarah McColl

When her mother is diagnosed with cancer, Sarah McColl leaves everything behind to take care of her – including her fractured marriage. After her passing, McColl must face not only the grief of that loss but also of the loss of her marriage. In this tender memoir, she pays tribute to her mother and walks in the path of the joy she left behind to piece herself back together.

(Feature image courtesy of @alexs.bookgram)

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