3 Books about Women that Every Woman Should Read

One of the most amazing things about reading is that for the moment your eyes attach to the words of your freshly opened book your mind and imagination becomes transported into a new world. Through books and stories, we are able to see the world differently, through the eyes of very different people.

Of course, we can always imagine what it may be like to be someone else. But in what different way can we truly look through the eyes of another life?

Walking in someone else shoes through books teaches us compassion on a different level, we can discover others emotions through words because it is a deep and intimate experience. Unlike movies, it is just us and the book. Just us and the writer’s soul.

Reading true stories, biographies, and other books written about life accounts has been the single most powerful tool for my personal transformation this year. My path has been lit by brave women, whose stories are often left silenced to louder voices of their time.

Women facing silent battles, dealing with the emotional dramas and restraints that have plagued this sex infinitely. Yes, the world has changed and from that change, great equality has emerged for women all over the world. But not everywhere, and not for the amount of time that we women deserve. Equality for women is still a struggle, women still face obstacles in society that set them apart, when it comes to the workplace and society standards.

I have been reading quite a bit this year and in that reading, I came across three books that truly moved me and made me proud to be women. They are not feminist tales, aimed to empower women and push the boundaries of society. No.

These stories are from women just like you and I. Lovers of books, fantasy, romance, who had dreams, fears, humor. Women who are separate only in the fact that they lived in extraordinary circumstances compared to many. Some of these women paved the way to greatness and change through sharing their stories and empowering others by sharing the truth of their life.

These women were faced with the difficulty of being women in their own time and place but also faced another set of limitations, religion, race, and war. Doubling their battles, and their hardships.

Reading these books inspired me to write, to be brave and to explore the true meaning of compassion and equality.

If you are looking to strengthen your womanly courage, expand your compassion, change your perspective and be inspired then these are the books for you.

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The Diary of a Young Girl

Before a recent trip to Amsterdam, I decided I should pick up this book as preparation for visiting the Anne Frank House Museum.

It was so profound to me that this young girl remained so innocent. She shared feelings that I myself had as an adolescent girl, and her Diary sounded so much like my own at that age.519HKX9M69L.jpg

But there was a huge difference between us. She was in hiding because she was Jewish. This sweet innocent child no different than myself was hiding away in some attic in one of the most beautiful cities in the world because someone decided hundreds of years ago that being Jewish made you in some way different than the rest.

The unfairness and disgusting injustice of history struck me harder than I thought a  book could.

When I finally did visit the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam I was overwhelmed with emotion. Tears filled my eyes the entire time we walked through little Anne’s hiding place.

I was not the only one. There were so many people struggling to hold it together and the mood was somber and silent. Hundreds of people walked through the museum with silent tears. It was in that moment that I realized that they had felt it too. That the message that Anne Frank left behind was a heavier deeper one than little old I experienced back home while reading her diary. It was a global sadness. Sadness for youth lost, kind souls silenced and sadness for the injustice that was felt during World War II.

Anne Frank’s is one of the thousands perhaps millions of people who endured. Reading her story taught me the power of kindness, opened to the beauty of positivity in the face of evil and most of all the unity of compassion.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

This is a recent book that I read, about the life of American poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou. This book broadcasts Maya’s life growing up in the south during the 1920’sCaged_Bird_cover.jpg and 1930’s.

A time and place so riddled with racism and injustice that those prejudices still make headlines today.

Reading this book about Maya opened my eyes to the world that was very different than my own as a child. Being a woman was hard enough during that time, being an African American woman was even harder. Place that African American in the south of the United States and it seemed like all the odds that could face someone were there for the facing.

Never had I felt so in another’s shoes as I did while reading this book. It is beyond beautifully written. Taking me to a place I had never been with people I had never experienced. This book taught me compassion, removed my ignorance about history and gave me so much profound respect for the battles of the everyday women. No matter where or when she lived all have a story to tell and this book opened my eyes to those battles.

A Thousand Splendid Suns 

Afghanistan has been in the headlines in North America since I was in junior high when the news coverage all over the world showed an America hit hard by foreigner hate.

A_Thousand_Splendid_Suns.gifTo me, Afghanistan was as foreign and strange as Mars. When I did hear about it, it would be talked about as a war zone, nothing else.

When I began reading this book my opened to another world that myself and the media had shut out. Did you know there were women and children and people like you and I living and dying in Afghanistan? I don’t know why but up until the point of reading this book I didn’t once think about the people who lived there, about their hardships or their pain. I was completely ignorant.


This book not only opened my eyes to the most sobering parts of this foreign land but also to the life of women living there. A life and struggle that is just as real today as it was 50 years ago.

This book shaped within me a compassion for people that I think every person would benefit from, not just women. Educating ourselves on the injustices and struggles of fellow human beings will only make ourselves and the world better.


So from Nazi-occupied Netherlands to Arkansas and St. Louis America to the heart of Afghanistan, I dare you to read one of these books. As a woman and a citizen of the world, your heart will expand and opinions will change.

Open yourself up to the inspiration that these three women are. Look at their lives as an invitation for you to make the most of your lucky and fortunate life.

Happy reading!

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  1. People Rebuilders Foundation | 7th Sep 16

    Great read and I totally agree. Times has changed sense women got to vote in1920.

  2. fromdreamtoplan | 7th Sep 16

    I love these kind of books so thank you fors sharing these suggestions! Definitely gonna check them! 🙂

    Lisa | http://www.fromdreamtoplan.net/

    • StephJ | 7th Sep 16

      I hope you enjoy them. They are really good reads 🙂

  3. mreadsbooks | 7th Sep 16

    I’ve already read A Thousand Splendid Suns a couple years ago and loved it 🙂 The other two are still on my way too big, ever-growing TBR… 😛

  4. randyjw | 8th Sep 16

    Hi, Steph! Wonderful choices you’ve made! These are three books people should definitely read. The limitations in Nazi Germany upon Jews, found in the Nuremburg Laws, are the same conditions we, as Jews, face from the world today: having to label products as “Jewish” those made in Judaea/Samaria (which land others want to take for themselves, so they falsely claim its name “West Bank”) — Nazis made us put a Jewish star on our stores; the Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jews of Israel compares also to when Germans boycotted stores that had the Jewish Star on them; BDS
    boycotts Israeli teachers, institutions,
    and products — same as when Nazis threw Jews out of their professions and places of employment, going so far as to throwing them out of schools, so that they couldn’t learn (in their stupidity, they even tossed Albert Einstein out!); discriminating against them (Black Lives Matter discriminates against the Jews! We stood side-by-side in the fight for Civil Rights with them, and this is what they do to us! They are NOT a benign group!). This is happening here, in America — right now! And in Europe, and across the world. My mother is still alive, and was part of that Nazi era… It was less than 80 years ago that that happened. The Holocaust occurred during that time and continued throught the 1940’s (only seventy-or-so years ago!), when they killed six million of my people. If you’re still following me, you will learn way more about present-day atrocities than a pocket-sized book held as a yesteryear tragedy you can pull-out or store-away, at-will, can attest. The saga continues, uncomfortable as it may be for others to acknowledge.

    • StephJ | 8th Sep 16

      Hateful attitudes of that nature is something that fortunately many of us had never had to encounter. I think educating people, through reading and other forms of education is the best way to open people’s eyes up to the issues that faced people in the past and the issues that people still face today. The truth is no one can ever truly walk in another’s shoes, but the more awareness that is shared the better likelihood there is of shared respect, and a peaceful world. Thank you for sharing your feelings 🙂

  5. J L Hunt | 8th Sep 16

    Nice selections! I’m familiar with the first two, will have to explore the last one 🙂

  6. Dawn | 8th Sep 16

    I really love all these recommendation. These are going on my reading list.

  7. Gal Hanukaev | 8th Sep 16

    Hey Steph!
    I never read these books but I love your perspective. How you describe reading is amazing. It threw me right away to memories of great times with some of my favorite books.

    Books are such a blessing.

    You mentioned the books’ impact on you and I can totally relate. Huge part of the changes I made in my life and who I am were thanks to reading.

    Thanks for this post! 🙂

    • StephJ | 9th Sep 16

      Thank you for your comment. Books hold the key to many great lessons. I hope you get a chance to read one of these books!

  8. Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life | 8th Sep 16

    I am all about motivation, encouragement and inspiration!
    I have not read the third book, but will definitely look for it! Sounds like a great read.

    • StephJ | 9th Sep 16

      Very good read. The third book is very sad, but it motivated me in the way that it made me feel very grateful for my own life.

  9. PackYourBaguios | 8th Sep 16

    I’ve read the first two. I’ll have to read the third. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • StephJ | 9th Sep 16

      I hope you get a chance to read them. Thank you!

  10. loisaltermark | 9th Sep 16

    Those are all fantastic choices. Every one of them is so inspiring, and I think I cried during all of them!

    • StephJ | 9th Sep 16

      Very emotional reads for sure!

  11. hootsofanightal | 9th Sep 16

    Your post reminded me of this quote:
    “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
    ― Charlie “Tremendous” Jones
    So true, and I love the meanings behind the three books you shared! I can’t believe I haven’t read any of them yet! Definitely adding them to my To Read list! Thanks for sharing!

    • StephJ | 9th Sep 16

      That is a very interesting quote! I hope you get a chance to read them.

  12. MegOhKay | 9th Sep 16

    Splendid Suns has been on my bookshelf for a while- I guess now is as good of a time as any to dust it off and get started. Thank you for the review and reminder to get back to reading for inspiration!

    • StephJ | 9th Sep 16

      I think you will really enjoy it. It is a little dark and some parts hard to read, but it adds to the truth of the story!

  13. Healthy Cooking Mom | 9th Sep 16

    I love reading! I remember my daughter reading about anne frank in high school i never did read it but always wanted to and ive not heard of the other two but will check them out too you can never have enough books 🙂

    • StephJ | 9th Sep 16

      Very true! It is a very inspiring story. 🙂

  14. cutecountrychick | 9th Sep 16

    These books are very inspiring and full of history. I remember reading the Diary of Anne Frank when I was a school girl.

    • StephJ | 9th Sep 16

      It is definitely worth a re=read! Thanks

  15. milenabarrett | 9th Sep 16

    I own all 3 of those books, but so far have only read one! Thank for the insite into each of them to get me reading!

    • StephJ | 9th Sep 16

      I hope you get the chance to read them soon! Let me know what you think when you do!

  16. Jasmine Watts | 10th Sep 16

    I love reading books and these books look so inspiring! I need to check these out!

    • StephJ | 12th Sep 16

      I think you will like them! 🙂

  17. Queen Thrifty | 10th Sep 16

    Maya Angelou one of my favorite authors I love this book and host of her poems.

    • StephJ | 12th Sep 16

      I look forward to reading more of her books in the future!

  18. Healthwealthbridge by Dr.Amrita Basu | 10th Sep 16

    I have read Anne Frank when I was 13 years old and it changed my life.I read a thousand splendid sun when I was 29 years old .I truly realized how blessed I am to be born a woman in a free democratic country ,belonging to a religion which worships woman.With all its problems,India is a beautiful country to grow up in.Books like these make me count my blessings every time.

    • StephJ | 12th Sep 16

      Yes it is so true! Books like these help us be grateful and compassionate! Thank you for sharing!

  19. livelaughhlovee5 | 12th Sep 16

    I love read books when I am in the mood if I find something very interested and I go for it. This seems worth a read to me (:

  20. nlampert | 12th Sep 16

    I loved the Diary of Anne Frank when I read it as a teenager, and I’ve read excerpt of Maya Angelou’s book but I really need to go back and read the whole thing!

  21. Abby | 13th Sep 16

    I need these books! I haven’t read a book in a long while and it is time to get started again!

    Abby of Life in the Fash Lane

  22. Anamika Ojha | 13th Sep 16

    I’ve only read ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ and just loved it! I find “The Diary of a Young Girl’ interesting after your recommendation and I’ll definitely check this out!

    • StephJ | 13th Sep 16

      I would highly recommend reading that one!

  23. Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes | 13th Sep 16

    A Thousand Splendid Suns, is one of those incredible books that I will always remember. Such a powerful message.

  24. daytodayMOMents | 13th Sep 16

    It’s been a very long time but I actually remember reading these. These were great reads for sure.

  25. Valerie | 13th Sep 16

    I’ve read 2 of the three. Now I need to go check out the last one.

  26. Amber | 13th Sep 16

    Reading is the best! I read the Anne Frank book several times but not the others. I’ll have to check them out.

  27. Nourish. Heal. Live! | 13th Sep 16

    Great post! I have not read the last two books. I will put these into my Kindle list. Empowering women is highly important. Women are still being beaten, raped, taken advantage of, prostituted, drugged and used, demeaned and ignored. So many men still view women as secondary or lacking use other than breeding and cooking. Thank you for your post. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts!

    • StephJ | 14th Sep 16

      I hope you enjoy reading these books. I think you will especially enjoy 1000 splendid suns! It is a sad truth about the world in many ways, we have a long way to go!

  28. thebudgetfashionseeker | 13th Sep 16

    i haven’t gotten back with my to-read list! thanks for sharing this post as a reminder 🙂

    The Budget Fashion Seeker

  29. thebudgetfashionseeker | 13th Sep 16

    haven’t done my to-read list! thanks for posting this as i was reminded of the books 🙂 The Budget Fashion Seeker

  30. breakfastwithtiffani | 14th Sep 16

    I have never read A Thousand Splendid Suns. I will have to check it out. The others I am familiar with.

  31. grabaplate | 14th Sep 16

    It’s so amazing how books can take you away. Whether fiction or non-fiction, I love the feeling of reading and being able to see things from another point of view!

  32. Surekha | 14th Sep 16

    Heard so much about “A Thousand Splendid Suns” book. Have to read it.wonderful picks!

  33. suchi | 14th Sep 16

    Heard so much about a thousand splendid suns… I have this on my list! Thanks for sharing!

  34. The Trophy WifeStyle | 14th Sep 16

    What great book suggestions! I’ve read Anne frank… But not the other two. I will have to check them out!

  35. Shamera Branson | 15th Sep 16

    Man Anne Frank is definitely a good read and very inspiring but so sad. I’ve never heard of the other 2 ill have to check them out.

  36. Jasmine Watts | 15th Sep 16

    These books sounds so good!! I love reading books and need to check these out! Thanks for your review!

  37. Chuck Vargas | 16th Sep 16

    I’m a guy so I can’t so much relate to this. But i’m pretty sure that these books are really great!

  38. Jane Rosewood | 17th Sep 16

    Thank you for the recommendations! The diary of Anne Frank is quite famous of course…but I totally should check the other two. 🙂

  39. The Twentysomething Social Recluse | 27th Sep 16

    I’ve read the first two books, but I haven’t read the last. I will have to read it, because the other two are certainly amazing books. Thank you for sharing!

    • StephJ | 27th Sep 16

      I think you will really enjoy!

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  41. loftspeaker1 | 17th Nov 16

    I think that sometimes seeing the world through someone else’s eyes and seeing the challenges they face can help alter our perspectives on how we see the world or face our own challenges.


    • StephJ | 17th Nov 16

      So true! thank you for sharing!

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    […] House. Undoubtedly one of the most famous books ever read and being considered within the top 20 books of the twentieth century. Visiting the home of Anne Frank (now a museum) was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I was so […]

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