Words: Emily Cliff
March is one of the best months of the year and there are tons of reasons why. First of all, it leads us into spring; the sun is shining (finally!) and the days are starting to get a little longer. Then we have World Book Day, which, let’s admit, was the best day when we were little and we got to dress up as our favourite book characters. On top of all that excitement we also have Women’s History Month, and who doesn’t like a whole month dedicated to all things women and the achievements we have had as well as the hardships we have faced. So to make your Self-Care Sunday a little brighter this march, in the spirit of World Book Day and Women’s History Month, here’s our recommendation of five books written by women to make your Self-Care Sunday all the more exciting and relaxing.
To start off our World Book Day/Women’s History Month extravaganza, we have to go back to a classic childhood favourite. For many, authors like Julia Donaldson, Jacqueline Wilson and Beatrix Potter shaped and framed our childhoods. From ‘Room On The Broom’, to ‘Tracy Beaker’, to ‘The Tale Of Peter Rabbit’; these books and these inspiring ladies fed our imaginations and inspired so many young girls to start following their dreams. The charming characters that showed strong female leads proved to us just how magnificent girl power was from a young age.
Now, if you’re looking for something warm and inspiring to read this Sunday we recommend, ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama. This book tells the truly inspiring and fantastic story of how Michelle Obama became the warm, loving woman and ex First Lady we know and love today. From growing up in Chicago, to the hardships and challenging tasks and obstacles she had to face, this book should be on every woman’s bookshelf.
If biographies aren’t your thing and you’re looking for something a little more meaty and juicy to sink your teeth into, then ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood will be brilliant for you. A heartbreaking tale about women’s rights and feminism in even the darkest of times is a truly inspirational story with a number of dark twists and turns. The fabulous TV adaptation starring Elizabeth Moss is available to stream on Amazon Prime, with all three seasons available.
For fans of a more light hearted and funny story, we recommend the fabulous book ‘Queenie’ by Candice Carty-Williams. This book is funny, relatable and empathetic in every single way. Telling the story of a young woman going through a breakup, documenting all the highs and lows of being an almost single woman living in London. Journalist Queenie Jenkins is just trying to make her way through life whilst still keeping two feet on the ground. The book covers tough topics such as racism in families, miscarriages and mental health. The witty writing style really makes you feel all the highs and lows of the characters in this incredible story.
When looking into good books for your Self-Care Sunday reads, a lot of books that tend to get overlooked are the classics. Whether you’re still dealing with the trauma of having to read ‘Romeo And Juliet’ aloud in your GCSE english class, or you struggle to get your head around some of the language used in these books, you really shouldn’t write them off immediately, you might find some hidden gems. The brilliant thing about classics is if you’re a kindle owner, most, if not all classic novels are free on the kindle book store. Here are some of the classics we recommend if you are branching out of your reading comfort zone this self care sunday. When we think of the world of horror literature our minds often go to writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King or H.G. Wells, however one of the most influential pieces of horror literature was written by Mary Shelley. ‘Frankenstein‘ has everything you could want in a horror story. Its chilling and gothic aura is enough to make you want to sleep with the lights on. Other brilliant age defining authors include the works of Jane Austen and Emily Brontë, but women don’t have to write love stories to be noticed, and Mary Shelley certainly proved that.
Finally to finish off our list of inspirational female authors, we have the wonderful and heartbreakingly truthful book ‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett. This book tells the account of what life was like living in 1960’s America for people of colour. Funny, heartbreaking and a true story of feminism and dealing with racism in small minded post war society. A story of where the maids raise the children, but are not trusted to be left alone in the house without suspicion, ‘The Help’ is an eye opening story with truthful first hand accounts; it’s no wonder the film adaptation of this novel was nominated for four Academy Awards.
Celebrating women’s stories, both fictional and not, is something we need to do, International Women’s Day, Women’s History Month or any day of the year. We hope we have inspired you to stock up your library with these fantastic women and their stories.