13 Books To Read This International Women's Day

A bunch of fantastic titles are being released to coincide with the date – here are some of our favourites

10 Books To Read For International Women's Day | LouisvuittonShop UK

It's a year of excellent dystopia and speculative fiction written by and about women, which isn't going anywhere – and why would it? It's only natural that novelists are thinking about reproductive rights and the environment and how things could go wrong, and we're here for it. At the same time, in the nonfiction realm, both the number of books – and the sales – about extraordinary women that history has forgotten, as well as stories of sexual harassment and rape culture, are on the astronomical rise.

Every day is International Women's Day in our book. Nevertheless, a bunch of fantastic titles are being released to coincide with the date – so here are some of our favourites in no particular order.

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Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

After the US House of Representatives passed a

ban to criminalise all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and the dismay

that followed, author Leni Zumas's fierce new novel is, as they say, necessary

and so of the moment – as well as excellent.

Imagining a not-so unbelievable world where

abortion is illegal in America, in-vitro fertilisation is banned, and the

Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every

embryo, Red Clocks follows five Oregon-based women challenging the

status quo. If you loved Naomi Alderman's The Power and couldn't stop

binge-watching (or re-reading) The Handmaid's Tale last year, this is

your go-to book in 2018 to question what it means to be a woman. 

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Women by Chloe Caldwell

Chloe Caldwell, famous for her raw, honest and

hilarious essays, which led the that

"her trademark 'oversharing' have made her one of the most endearing and

exciting writers of a generation", published this perfect novella in the States

in 2014, and it's finally being released in the UK.

Women is about women who are sexually confused, lonely, questioning their

identities, and just a little messed up – like all of us. And it's a sensual

and stimulating love story between two women. It feels like a great late-night

conversation with a friend and a bottle of wine, and it is the perfect

read-in-one-sitting book of the season. 

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Inferior by Angela Saini

I've been pushing this book on

everyone I know. Science is of course GREAT, in caps, but it isn't free from

prejudice, and it has often been used as an excuse to push sexist policies.

Angela Saini challenges a lot of our beliefs and
preconceptions about women and men (are women more nurturing than men? Are men

more promiscuous? Are we biologically different?) and speaks to the scientists

working today exploring the truth about women's actual power. The good news is,

having more women in science is changing how science is done.

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Left Bank by Agnès Poirier

affair, peak into Picasso's studio, peer

through many a Parisian keyhole to see the first kisses and last nights of

icons like James Baldwin, Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, Miles Davis, Samuel

Beckett. Find out about the origins of Existentialism, New Journalism, bebop,

French feminism – all happening in the same city in one big chaotic decade.

This brilliant book is about

the rebirth of Paris in the 1940s, post second world war. In it, writer Agn

Poirier gives a portrait of the generations born between 1905 and 1930 who

lived (and "loved, fought, played, and flourished") and collided in

the city in those years – and whose artistic and intellectual output influences

how we live and think today. She weaves together their great stories, and how

they reinvented not just art but relationships (questioning or outright

rejecting the institutions of marriage and family). Warning: you'll probably

end up booking tickets to Paris.

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A Moonless, Starless Sky by Alexis Okeowo

This incredible work of nonfiction by New

Yorker staff writer Alexis Okeowo weaves together the stories of everyday

people who find themselves swept up in extremism and war in Africa, "the

fascinating, unpredictable, and maddening continent" with which Okeowo, born in

the US to Nigerian parents, got obsessed after a ten-month newspaper internship

in Uganda after college. She then went back and lived in several African

countries for six years, which informed the tales in the book.

Forget stereotypes or superficial headlines.

Okeowo sheds light on the inner lives of her characters like the best

journalism does – and shows that .

You'll love it if you liked Behind the Beautiful Forevers

and Nothing to Envy. In the tradition of this is

a masterful, humane work of literary journalism by New Yorker – a vivid

narrative of Africans, many of them women, who are courageously resisting their

continent's wave of fundamentalism.

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The Little Book of Feminist Saints by Julia Pierpont, illustrated by Manjit Thapp

Written by novelist Julia Pierpont (author of Among the Ten Thousand Things) and with art by

illustrator extraordinaire , this is the perfect little

atlas of awesome women of history, from the household names (Frida Kahlo,

Michelle Obama) to the well-known (computer scientist and WWII lieutenant Grace

Hopper, or Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards).

Mimicking the Catholic saint-of-the-day booklet

format, it's perfect to pick up daily for a dose of inspiration – and to gift

every friend in your life. Think Goodnight Stories for

Rebel Girls
for adults. 

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Forgotten Women: The Scientists and Forgotten Women: The Leaders by Zing Tsjeng

In a similar vein, Broadly UK editor's Zing

Tsjeng's Forgotten Women series aims to shed light

on heroines of history that have been silenced, overlooked. The promising

four-book series is launching with the first two, centred on the pioneering

women scientists and leaders who refused the hand they had been dealt to made

the world a better place.

Not only will you learn about badass

palaeontologists and mathematicians, Irish pirate queens and transgender rights

activists – it's also illustrated by a myriad artists from Women Who Draw, the

simply glorious open directory of female and gender non-conforming

illustrators, artists and cartoonists (if you didn't know it yet, ). 

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The Wonder Down Under: A User's Guide to the Vagina by Nina Brochmann and Ellen Stokken Dahl

Let 2018 be known as the year we stopped

believing nonsense about vaginas for good – and started , by the way. This book by touches on everything from how different

types of contraception work in the body to PMS, what a "normal" vulva

looks like (hint: different for every woman) and how wearing socks can change

your sex life. Medical students and sex educators do a great job at explaining,

in a humorous, informative and no-nonsense tone, everything that sex ed failed

to. Because we need to make informed choices about our bodies, starting now. 

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Big Bones by Laura Dockrill


that note, Laura Dockrill's coming-of-age novel of self-appreciation follows

Bluebelle, aka BB, aka Bigbones, a sixteen-year-old girl who, faced with a

family tragedy, is forced to confront her relationship with her weight and body

and self. Told through a food diary, Big Bones is a smart love letter to

friends, family and food.

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The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

There's nothing quite like the pleasure of a

good New York novel. And The Immortalists not

only recreates the 1960s Lower East Side, but it has one of my favourite

premises in recent years: What would you do if you were told when you're going

to die? Would you live your life any differently? In the novel, four siblings,

too young to understand, are told exactly that by a psychic. Will they take it

in stride, ignore, or defy this?

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Free Woman by Lara Feigel

Lara Feigel re-read Doris

Lessing's 1962 feminist classic
not long ago, in her thirties, and she was

surprised by how directly Lessing spoke to her present self. This

is a genre-defying book, merging memoir and criticism, in which the author

tells her own story while she extracts fascinating lessons from the radical

classic. From free love, women's sexuality and motherhood to mental health and

what freedom means, get ready to question your morals and beliefs. A

stimulating read.

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Bizarre Romance by Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell


Niffenegger, the author of The Time Traveler's Wife and comics artist

Eddie Campbell just got married, after conducting a long-distance courtship

between Australia and Chicago. The result of this new closeness, besides their

getting hitched, is this very special book of short stories about oddballs

falling in love, cats, exes, dates, and fairy tales. The title doesn't lie: the

stories are surreal and esoteric, helped by the eerie illustrations;

Niffenegger's sharp style makes them feel so real. This is a beautiful product

of what is clearly a very productive creative and life partnership.

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She: A Celebration of 100 Renegade Women by Harriet Hall

Let's finish on a high with another celebration

of 100 women of history compiled by Stylist journalist Harriet Hall and

illustrated by Alice Skinner, whose often-satirical you

should definitely follow. Keep 'em coming! "Why is it – – that

100 years after women secured the right for their voices to count in the

political sphere – four waves of feminism deep – that we still don't know the

names of many of our foresisters?"

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