BEST BOOKS WRITTEN BY WOMEN THIS YEAR

From Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women to the latest book by award-winning Chilean author Isabel Allende, our bedside table is piling high with the best books written by women this past year.

The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende

The wise, warm, defiant new book from literary legend Isabel Allende – a meditation on power, feminism and what it means to be a woman. As a child, Isabel Allende watched her mother, abandoned by her husband, provide for her three small children. As a young woman coming of age in the late 1960s, she rode the first wave of feminism. She has seen what has been accomplished by the movement in the course of her lifetime. And over the course of three marriages, she has learned how to grow as a woman while having a partner, when to step away, and the rewards of embracing one’s sexuality. This book, Allende hopes, will ‘light the torch of our daughters and granddaughters with mine. They will have to live for us, as we lived for our mothers, and carry on with the work still left to be finished.’

The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende. Published by Bloomsbury.

Sylvia Pankhurst by Rachel Holmes

The definitive biography of Sylvia Pankhurst, a woman ahead of her times – political rebel, human rights champion and radical feminist. Acclaimed biographer Rachel Holmes interweaves the personal and political to reveal Sylvia Pankhurst as never before. This major new biography celebrates a life in resistance, painting a compelling portrait of one of the greatest unsung political figures of the twentieth century.

Sylvia Pankhurst by Rachel Holmes. Published by Bloomsbury.

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

All Lina wanted was to be desired. How did she end up in a marriage with two children and a husband who wouldn’t touch her? All Maggie wanted was to be understood. How did she end up in a relationship with her teacher and then in court, a hated pariah in her small town? All Sloane wanted was to be admired. How did she end up a sexual object of men, including her husband, who liked to watch her have sex with other men and women? Three Women, which was nearly a decade in the making, is a staggering work of non-fiction for our times.

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. Published by Bloomsbury.

Modern Women by Kira Cochrane

Modern Women is a celebration of influential and inspiring women who have changed the world through their lives, work and actions. From suffragettes to scientists, activists to artists, politicians to pilots and writers to riot grrrls, the women included have all paved the way for gender equality in their own indomitable way. Their lives also enable bigger stories to be told: the suffrage movement with Sophia Duleep Singh; the civil rights struggle and Audre Lorde; advances in science made by Rosalind Franklin; and the importance of equality in all sections of society advocated by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Modern Women by Kira Cochrane. Published by Aurum Press.

Girl by Kenya Hunt

Featuring contributions from Candice Carty-Williams, Jessica Horn and more, Girl is a provocative, heartbreaking and frequently hilarious collection of original essays on what it means to be black, a woman, a mother and a global citizen in today’s world. Black women have never been more visible or more publicly celebrated. But for every new milestone, every magazine cover, every box office record smashed, the reality of everyday life remains a complex, nuanced, contradiction-laden experience. Award-winning journalist Kenya Hunt threads razor sharp cultural observation through evocative and relatable stories, both illuminating our current cultural moment and transcending it.

Girl by Kenya Hunt. Published by HarperCollins Publishers.

Great Women’s Speeches by Anna Russell

Discover the inspiring voices that have changed our world, and started a new conversation, Great Women’s Speeches is essential reading for pioneering women everywhere. From Emmeline Pankhurst’s ‘Freedom or Death’ speech and Marie Curie’s trailblazing Nobel lecture, to Michelle Obama speaking on parenthood in politics and Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza’s stirring ode to black women, the words collected here are empowering, engaging and entirely unapologetic. With powerful illustrations from Camila Pinheiro, Anna Russell’s rousing anthology is dedicated to anyone who dares to ask for more.

Great Women’s Speeches by Anna Russell. Published by White Lion Publishing.

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued. If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you’re a woman. In Invisible Women, award-winning campaigner and writer Caroline Criado Perez shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. She exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives.

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez. Published by Vintage Publishing.

Make it Happen by Amika George

Amika George succeeded in campaigning to get the government to fund free period products in every school across England. Make It Happen is her guide to being an effective activist. With chapters on finding your crowd and creating allies, how to get those in positions of power and influence to listen, how to use social media effectively and how to look after your mental health while protesting, Amika will you show you how you can make real and lasting changes in your world.

Make it Happen by Amika George. Published by HarperCollins Publishing.