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Top Twenty Five Books for Young Women to Read

Updated on June 14, 2012

Top Twenty Five Books for Young Women to Read

Looking to inspire a young woman in your life? Or maybe you are the young woman. Ah, I was there not so very long ago, looking for books that would entertain and expand my knowledge simultaneously. Thankfully, I am a list keeper and have found that compiling books via lists make for beautiful lenses on books.

Young women love books of imagination and reality suspended in a colloid. Here you will find a list of the Top Twenty Five Books that all young women should read before the age of say twenty five. I have provided you with easy links to purchase these texts used or new, as I am a strong believable in recycling books once you have read them. Moreover, there are summaries and ideas to think about whilst reading these wonderful texts.

Thank you for supporting this lens; all proceeds benefit a little girl's college education fund. Every like, comment, and purchase puts a dent in that expense. Again, enjoy the lens as I have enjoyed creating it.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird, 50th Anniversary Edition
To Kill a Mockingbird, 50th Anniversary Edition

To KIll a Mockingbird is a Southern bildungsroman that follows the experiences of Scout Finch, a young girl who lives with her brother and father, Atticus.

 

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar

The young protagonist, Esther Greenwood is beautiful and successful, but she is slowly breaking down for the last time. This novel follows the experiences of Esther as she experiences a major breakdown paired with intensity and insanity. Is it real? This book will make you feel like you are watching it in the theaters. The plot delves into the deep psyche of a woman on the brink of her darkest hours.

It is definitely semi-autobiographical and will show young women the perils of depression if it goes undiagnosed.

More importantly, this novel beckons whether or not the socially acceptable identity for young women is positive or the very reason that Esther experience such depression. It will teach young women to be themselves and ignore the constructs of society.

 

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice (Bantam Classics)
Pride and Prejudice (Bantam Classics)

Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" is a romantic novel that demonstrates to young women that love is worth waiting for. Young Elizabeth has passed on many suitors because she doesn't agree that a woman should be forced into a loveless marriage for the sake of appeasing to society. We follow her as she meets Mr. Darcy, a stubborn man who has remained unmarried for the same purpose. They love each other, but the love is unknown to the other. Elizabeth, or Lizzie, helps her large family of sisters come out into society and enjoys the life of solitude. However, as she sees more of Mr. Darcy she begins to wonder if this is the man to many.

The main themes, pride and prejudice highlight that pride can get in the way of life, whilst prejudice could very well hurt one's ability to seek what they deserve.

 

Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel
Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel

This "memoir" will bring young women into the life of a young orphan turned successful Geisha, all with a price of course. She must give up the chance for love into to be an artist, which is a major theme in many works of female fiction.

Sayuri tells the story of her life: how she lost her parents to illness and was sold into slavery at nine years old. She works as the servant to a powerful geisha, when she become the token of all affection and is transformed from servant to geisha. This modern Cinderella story comes with conflict...she must lose her entire family and sacrifice her love for the man that gave her the gift of passion in order to follow the rules of Japan's society.

This book is great for young women because it combines fantasy with the cruel reality that life doesn't surmount to daisies and fairy tales, but one must sacrifice one piece of their lives in order to get something else.

 

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

If any book should be read at a youthful, adult stage it is this book. The symbol of the trapped bird is one that has followed women throughout the centuries. Writer's portray it best.

In this novel, you will learn that even in a cage you can be yourself and never let those trying to get you down, get you down.

 

Beloved - Toni Morrison

Beloved (Everyman's Library)
Beloved (Everyman's Library)

A chilling novel about trauma and memory, Beloved explores the lives of Sethe, her daughter Denver, and Paul D. as they live in the Reconstruction Era. Sethe, born a slave escaped to Ohio, but decades later she still is not free because the memories of her slave days haunt her in the house.

She suffers with the traumatic murder of her daughter and cannot cope with the constant haunting of rememory.

 

Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged

Okay, you may be thinking that giving this to your daughter is nuts, but Atlas Shrugged will teach her the value of determination, strong will, and how to avoid falling into the pitfalls of society.

This novel is the second most important novel in society, standing next to the Bible. It will teach young women that nothing can get in the way of success, rather you must tear down those constraints that the collective society attempts to cage you within.

Read this is you read anything at all!

 

Short Stories by Raymond Carver

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: Stories
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: Stories

Realism in a modernist style, the late Raymond Carver's stories highlight the ups and downs of life without sensationalizing them. He gets into the problems that every man, woman and child experience every single day.

 

Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell

Gone With The Wind
Gone With The Wind

A whirlwind romance story set in the Confederate point of view during the Civil War, Scarlett O'Hara is a strong Belle surviving the hardships of war. Despite the struggles, she becomes a successful businesswoman by helping rebuild the South. She is motivated by her love for Ashley Wilkes, a married man. Ultimately she goes through a series of failed relationships and finds herself in love with Rhett Butler.

What girl doesn't need a happy ending every now and again?

 

My Life in France

My Life in France
My Life in France

The autobiographical story of Julia Child and her journey into the love affair with food. It starts the in the fall of 1948 when she and her husband docked in Le Havre en route to Paris.

She didn't speak French and felt out of place, but that didn't stop her from enrolling in the Cordon Bleu culinary program where she put forth hardwork and earned a degree despite the pressures pushing against her.

 

Annie John

Annie John
Annie John

A girls love for her mother turn into a series of betrayals.

This is a great novel for young women curious in learning about dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships.

 

Oliver Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge
Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, loathes the changes in her town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large. She doesn't take much notice of the people around her though. The townspeople face despair and when she finally sees it she comes to a better understanding of her own life and decisions.

 

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

The Memory Keeper's Daughter
The Memory Keeper's Daughter

This may be the saddest book that you ever read. But it will be worth it!

On a cold blizzardy night in 1964, Dr. Henry must deliver his twins. The baby boy is born perfectly healthy, but the baby girl is born with down's syndrome. He gives the girl to the nurse and tells her to take her to an institution because his wife would not be able to handle it. The nurse, Caroline agrees, but in a quick change of heart she takes the baby out of the city and raises it herself. This secret, will it bring them together or tear them apart?

 

The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street
The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango street covers a year in the life of Esperanza as she develops into a young woman. Throughout the year the move the house on Mango Street which is the first "home" that she has ever lived in. Moreover, she learns what it is like to grow up in a latino-based neighborhood in Chicago. She faces racial segregation and the struggle of making friends.

 

His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass / The Subtle Knife / The Amber Spyglass
His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass / The Subtle Knife / The Amber Spyglass

In this trilogy that meshes the concepts of science, magic, theology, and spirituality within a parallel universe. Young Lyra, the heroine rides upon armored polar bears, fights witches, and must save the world from the dark matter.

This books jumps boundaries of genre and begs the reader to be enthralled with imagination.

 

Skinny Bitch

Skinny Bitch in a Box
Skinny Bitch in a Box

Great cookbooks for girls looking to eat healthy and learn about what they are putting in their bodies.

 

The Golden Notebook

The Golden Notebook
The Golden Notebook

This novel looks at authorship of one's life as well as the political atmosphere of the 1960s with a major emphasis on gender roles.

 

Women - Charles Bukowski

Women: A Novel
Women: A Novel

Learn how to not let men treat you by reading this novel by Bukowski who mistreats women and demonstrates the characters of what a bad man looks like.

 

Go Tell it On the Mountain - James Baldwin

Go Tell It on the Mountain
Go Tell It on the Mountain

Baldwin's first major novel chronicles the life of a teenage boy discovering his sexual, gender, and racial identity as the stepson of a minister.

 

Country of the Pointed Firs - Sarah O Jewett

Country of the Pointed Firs
Country of the Pointed Firs

Country of the Pointed Firs is one of the best feminist novels written in American literature and all women of any age should read this several times. In this chronicle of short stories, the unnamed narrator decides to spend her summer on coastal Maine. Here she will discover her identity as a writer and as a woman.

Major themes: nostalgia, nature, literature as social status, and storytelling as a means for human connection

 

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    • GuyB LM profile image

      GuyB LM 4 years ago

      Every woman should be taught to read and I support your cause. Times have changed since I was a lad and I am so happy that you are making these books available to females. #equality.