These books are a must read for twenty-first century women: from feminist philosophy to artful erotica to laugh out loud fiction.
This list of books includes both fiction and non-fiction and any woman out there who is struggling with her love life, career, health, or sexuality will do herself quite a service to read these books.
1) The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
This book is an excellent introduction into feminist philosophy. In The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir argues for women's equality, while insisting on the reality of the differences between the sexes. If you’re not the kind of feminist who goes braless and bald this book will empower you. Additionally, The Second Sex was prohibited reading by the Vatican which of course means that you must read it.
2) Cunt: a Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio
If you think the word “cunt” is a scathing insult this book may change your mind. Next time someone hurls this “insult” at you, raise your middle finger, smile, and offer them a thanks. As with most books, the reviews for this one are mixed. You may hate it or love it; nevertheless, this book is an eye opener.
3) Globalization and Feminist Activism by M. E. Hawkesworth
If you’ve never considered globalization from the feminist perspective this book is for you. Despite the progress women have made around the globe social, economic, and political inequalities between men and women still exist. If you hate economics, politics, and such, well you shouldn’t. The books offered in this blog are meant to empower you, and you can’t be empowered if you know nothing about global justice and women’s issues.
4) The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene
You know you want to learn more about the nine types of seductive character. This book even explores the process of seduction, in other words, how one goes about seducing the object of one’s desire. Some people equate seduction with manipulation, those people however are wrong. Even if you never use any of the advice offered in this book, you will learn a whole lot about famous historical and contemporary figures who have not only seduced individuals but entire nations. One review of The Art of Seduction claimed that this book will, “Have real appeal for power mongers, gold diggers, and heartless manipulators everywhere.” I am not a power monger, gold digger, or a heartless manipulator but I do know that seduction, in one way or another, is necessary for survival.
5) Seductress: Women Who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love by Elizabeth Prioleau
This book is a must read for any woman who thinks that the Kardashians are not and should never be role models for any girl or woman. Prioleau will introduce you to beauties and non-beauties alike who were politicians, intellectuals, artists, and femme fatales. You can’t go wrong in reading about women such as Cleopatra, Lou Salome, Evita, and Martha Gellhorn who shook up the status quo and inspired both adoration and fear.
6) The Delta of Venus by Anais Nin
Anais Nin was a French-Cuban writer famous for her erotic stories. If you’ve never read any female erotica give this book a try. After all, erotica by a woman who said: “I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman,” is worthwhile reading.
7) The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin
This book had me laughing out loud and feeling sincerely sad once I finished reading it. I’ve read quite a bit about polygamy but I’ve never read a book on the subject as funny as Shoneyin’s. The very first sentence of this book sparks curiosity: “When Baba Segi awoke with a bellyache for the sixth day in a row, he knew it was time to do something drastic about his fourth wife's childlessness.” What exactly will Baba Segi do? Get this wonderful book and find out.
Be Inspired, Be Empowered
A Declaration of Independence: Inga Muscio
Seductress: Women Who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love: Elizabeth Prioleau