Tag: female empowerment

10 Powerful Female Authors Owning 2020

We here at Bookstr love all the strong, women authors out there who are killing it in their fields! Be it a literary fiction piece or a personal memoir, these books are going to be tough to put down! So here is a compiled list, in no particular order, of these ten incredible writers who are launching their spectacular novels in 2020.


Liz moore- Long Bright river


Image Via Montgomery News


American author Liz Moore started as a musician in New York City, which inspired her writing and lead her to eventually launch a number of books, including the forthcoming mystery thriller, Long Bright River. The novel follows the insane lives of two sisters, Kacey and Mickey, in a Philadelphia neighborhood, when suddenly Kacey disappears! As Mickey starts looking for her sister, she realizes she has to act fast because a series of murders begins to take place in the neighborhood.


Image Via Amazon


Long Bright River is gripping, suspenseful, as well as heart-wrenching, as it keeps readers on their toes while the mystery unfolds, but also explores the emotional ties shared by siblings, which makes it a must read in our list!



Anna weiner – uncanny valley


Image Via Amazon


Anna Wiener is a contributing writer to The New Yorker, where she writes about Silicon Valley, startup culture, and technology. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, as well as in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2017.


Image Via Amazon 


In her memoir, Uncanny Valley, Weiner explores her life and choices as a twenty-something Her story starts with her living as a broke and stuck individual in New York City, who makes moves to San Francisco and landing at a big-data startup, ending up where else but in the heart of Silicon Valley. Part coming-of-age-story, part portrayal of an already bygone era, her memoir is a unique first-person glimpse into the ever-so-relevant startup culture of our time, highlighting unrelenting ambition and unregulated surveillance, alongside wild fortune and the influence of rising political power. This is a book which touches on relevant issues that’s taken over our society, all through the lens of a witty protagonist, who is eager to share her story.



tessa bailey – Love her or loose her


Image Via HarperCollins


New York Times bestselling romance author, Tessa Bailey, has done it again! And we can’t wait for her forthcoming novel, Love Her or Loose Her, which promises a page turning tale of high school sweethearts turned married couple, heading their way to something even more exciting – marriage boot camp! In order to save what they have, and to rekindle their old flame, Rosie is sure this is the right decision and has convinced her husband Dom, that he either agrees to it or walks. At the camp, things actually take a positive turn, and Rosie is quite impressed by her husbands progress and eagerness, but suddenly she comes across a secret Dom has kept from her, and it could destroy everything.


Image Via Amazon


Bailey keeps her hungry readers hooked with her endless plot twists about stories of people in love, and we want her to keep ’em coming!



jeanine cummins – american dirt


Image Via Twitter


Jeanine Cummins has taken us on a devastating journey before in her true crime memoir, A Rip in HeavenBut this time she wows her readers with this excellent piece of literary fiction, that circles around a family living in Acapulco, Mexico, who unexpectedly fall victim to life-threatening danger that’s brought by the drug cartel in the city. American Dirt is a gripping page turner, taut with suspense and claustrophobic encounters.


Image Via Amazon


What sets the novel apart is its share of protagonists, as both the mother Lydia, and son Luca, narrate the story, giving its readers a whole different level of intimacy, while keeping the suspense at a constant.




Abi darÉ – The girl with the louding voice


Image Via Curtis Brown


Abi Daré was inspired by her two daughters to write her debut novel The Girl with the Louding Voice, and it’s already won the Bath Novel Award for unpublished manuscripts in 2018 and was also selected as a finalist in the 2018 Literary Consultancy Pen Factor competition—so we know for a fact that she’s insanely talented.


Image Via Amazon


The novel circulates around fourteen-year old Adunni, a Nigerian girl who just wants an education. Her mother had told her that only an education will allow her a “louding voice”, which will give her the ability to speak for herself and decide her own future. But sadness strikes when her father sells her to be the third wife of a local man, who can’t wait to have a son, and Adunni runs away to the city in the hopes of a better life and finds herself a servant for a wealthy family. She is told time and time again, that she amounts to nothing, and that she would accomplish nothing, but she is relentless and knows that they may try to quiet her down, but they can never truly silence her voice.



lily king – writers & lovers


Image Via Goodreads


Lily King is the author of the Kirkus Prize winning novel Euphoria, and her New Adult novel, Writers & Lovers, doesn’t disappoint anyone either.


Image Via Amazon


The book follows Casey—a smart and vulnerable protagonist, who carries her heart in her fingertips—wandering through her last days of a long youth, she’s at a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. King exhibits her traditional humor, heart and intelligence, creating a spectacular novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating jump between the end of one chapter of life and the beginning of another. 




veronica roth – chosen ones


Image Via Amazon


The mega-selling author of the Divergent trilogy, Veronica Roth, needs no introduction, and her millions of fans across the globe are waiting impatiently for the release of her first book for adults, Chosen Ones.


Image Via Amazon


The novel goes back a decade near Chicago, when five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. Ten years after the fateful day of glory, though the world has moved on, one of the five teens, Sloane, never managed forget the gory details. As the nightmares of the Dark One continue to haunt her dreams, tragedy strikes again, and on the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, they face the death of one of their own. And when the heroes gather for the funeral, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended and a new, bloody battle is about to begin.



marie benedict – lady clementine


Image Via Goodreads


Marie Benedict is the author of The Other Einstein, Carnegie’s Maid, The Only Woman in the Room, and the upcoming novel, Lady Clementine. Benedict takes the life of Clementine Churchill, in this fictionalized version of history, and does a splendid job of unfolding the bewildering tales of the ambitious woman beside Winston Churchill.


Image Via Amazon


This is the untold story of a partner who did not flinch through the sweeping darkness of war, and who would not surrender either to expectations or to enemies. Benedict’s ability to take the past and weave it into a compelling story for today’s generation is nothing short of remarkable, and her novel has been praised extensively for the behind-the-scenes account of a powerful woman, who played such a huge role in shaping history. 




yaa gyasi – transcendent kingdom


Image Via Gabriela Hasbun


Yaa Gyasi took the world by storm with her first novel, Homegoing, a national bestseller and is now about to launch the follow-up book, Transcendent Kingdom, which is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants living in Alabama, ravaged by depression, addiction, and grief.


Image Via Amazon


The novel’s protagonist is Gifty, a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford University, studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Family tragedies have Gifty determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her, but even as she turns to science to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hovering over her childhood faith and obsessing with the biblical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation now seems only as real as a wild, pleasant dream.



marie Kondo – joy at work: organizing your professional life


Image Via Amazon


Marie Kondo has become a household name since the release of her book and her popular Netflix show, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Upand this organizing whiz keeps her promise to help us de-clutter even further with her new book, Joy At Work.


Image Via Amazon


In Joy at Work, Kondo and Rice University business professor Scott Sonenshein offer stories, studies, and strategies to help eliminate clutter and make space for work that really matters. The workplace is a magnet for clutter and mess, and it’s only normal to feel drained by the disorganized piles of papers and the modern-day hazards of working limit our chances of career progress, and undermine our well-being. Using the now popular KonMari Method and cutting-edge research, Joy at Work hopes to help us overcome the challenges of workplace mess and enjoy the productivity, success, and happiness that comes with a tidy desk and mind. 



From searching for lost sisters, to keeping your work desk tidy, this list should excite you for all the incredible books these powerhouse female authors are bestowing us with in 2020, because I know I am!

Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!

Bookstr's Three to Read 4/4/19: 'Madame Fourcade's Secret War,' 'Save Me The Plums,' & 'First'

Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 4/4/19

March was Women’s History Month—but, while we appreciate the sentiment, we also know that women make history every month. In the entire world, men outnumber women only slightly, with a ratio of 102 men to every 100 women. We also know (or should know) that, in certain region, the infanticide of female children has impacted this figure. In the United States, women outnumber men. And yet, women’s stories are frequently placed into their own categories. Women’s stories are frequently deemed less universal. This week, we delve deeply into those stories: the professional, the political, and the historic. So often, women’s stories are all three of these things at once. (Let’s just note that these stories in particular share one more important quality—they’re damn good reads.)

So, although it may be April, here are Bookstr’s Three to Read: Women’s History edition. Why? Because we know it matters!





'Save Me the Plums' by Ruth Reichl


Trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl took the risk (and the job) of a lifetime when she entered the glamorous, high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet, during which she spearheaded a revolution in the way we think about food.

When Condé Nast offered Ruth Reichl the top position at America’s oldest epicurean magazine, she declined. She was a writer, not a manager, and had no inclination to be anyone’s boss. And yet . . . Reichl had been reading Gourmet since she was eight; it had inspired her career. How could she say no?

This is the story of a former Berkeley hippie entering the corporate world and worrying about losing her soul. It is the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed, forever, the way we eat. Readers will meet legendary chefs like David Chang and Eric Ripert, idiosyncratic writers like David Foster Wallace, and a colorful group of editors and art directors who, under Reichl’s leadership, transformed stately Gourmet into a cutting-edge publication. This was the golden age of print media–the last spendthrift gasp before the Internet turned the magazine world upside down.

Complete with recipes, Save Me the Plums is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with being in charge and making a mark, following a passion and holding on to her dreams–even when she ends up in a place she never expected to be.



Women never have to apologize for their success. So it’s complicated to realize that we are often expected to. This book is a fascinating look at the career trajectory of an accomplished professional at the height of her power. Ruth Reichl asserts herself and her capabilities as she takes on a massive leadership role with talent and personality, inspiring all readers to not only live their dreams but also CRUSH them. Beyond the feminist elements of Reichl’s boss rise to success, Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir is a colorful story of big-time creative professionals, sure to add plenty of flavor (bad pun, accurate description) to your reading list. Reichl has also written a number of other successful books that draw upon her relationship with food, including the successful Delicious!: A Novel. As a bonus, this cover design is especially inventive—we look at the tantalizing first page of an open, glossy magazine, a nod to Reichl’s role in Gourmet that perfectly captures the feeling of such a prestigious publication. Also, we love food. We assume you feel the same.




'Madame Fourcade's Secret War' Lynne Olson



The dramatic true story of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade–codename Hedgehog–the woman who headed the largest spy network in occupied France during World War II, from the New York Times bestselling author of Citizens of London and Those Angry Days.

In 1941, a thirty-one-year-old Frenchwoman born to privilege and known for her beauty and glamour became the leader of a vast Resistance organization–the only woman to hold such a role. Brave, independent, and a lifelong rebel against her country’s conservative, patriarchal society, Marie-Madeleine Fourcade was temperamentally made for the job. Her group’s name was Alliance, but the Gestapo dubbed it Noah’s Ark because its agents used the names of animals as their aliases. Marie-Madeleine’s codename was Hedgehog.

No other French spy network lasted as long or supplied as much crucial intelligence as Alliance–and as a result, the Gestapo pursued them relentlessly, capturing, torturing, and executing hundreds of its three thousand agents, including her own lover and many of her key spies. Fourcade had to move her headquarters every week, constantly changing her hair color, clothing, and identity, yet was still imprisoned twice by the Nazis. Both times she managed to escape, once by stripping naked and forcing her thin body through the bars of her cell. The mother of two young children, Marie-Madeleine hardly saw them during the war, so entirely engaged was she in her spy network, preferring they live far from her and out of harm’s way.

In Madame Fourcade’s Secret War, Lynne Olson tells the tense, fascinating story of Fourcade and Alliance against the background of the developing war that split France in two and forced its citizens to live side by side with their hated German occupiers.



Culturally, we’re fascinated with female spies and operatives: consider the sheer number of listicles starring Hedy Lamarr, film actress, inventor, and WWII radio operator. Perhaps its appeal comes from something inherent in the subversion of gender roles. War is a man’s game, pop culture and history dictates. But, if that were true, why are women so good at playing? The reality is that men are frequently the ones writing the history they populate, removing the narratives of these compelling women. In Madame Fourcade’s Secret War, Lynne Olson explores the multifaceted life of a fascinating woman—a woman whose motherhood (and womanhood) does not make her any less of a Nazi-fighting badass. Olson is a prolific writer of non-fiction, and you don’t have to take my word for it: former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright dubbed Olson “our era’s foremost chronicler of World War II politics and diplomacy.”




'First' Sandra Day O'Connor



Based on exclusive interviews and access to the Supreme Court archives, this is the intimate, inspiring, and authoritative biography of America’s first female Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor- by New York Times bestselling author Evan Thomas.

She was born in 1930 in El Paso and grew up on a cattle ranch in Arizona. At a time when women were expected to be homemakers, she set her sights on Stanford University. When she graduated near the top of her class at law school in 1952, no firm would even interview her. But Sandra Day O’Connor’s story is that of a woman who repeatedly shattered glass ceilings–doing so with a blend of grace, wisdom, humor, understatement, and cowgirl toughness.

She became the first-ever female majority leader of a state senate. As a judge on the Arizona State Court of Appeals, she stood up to corrupt lawyers and humanized the law. When she arrived at the Supreme Court, appointed by Reagan in 1981, she began a quarter-century tenure on the court, hearing cases that ultimately shaped American law. Diagnosed with cancer at fifty-eight, and caring for a husband with Alzheimer’s, O’Connor endured every difficulty with grit and poise.

Women and men today will be inspired by how to be first in your own life, how to know when to fight and when to walk away, through O’Connor’s example. This is a remarkably vivid and personal portrait of a woman who loved her family and believed in serving her country, who, when she became the most powerful woman in America, built a bridge forward for the women who followed her.



It’s a rare biography that fully juxtaposes the human with the historic, the personal with the political. The New Yorker contributor Evan Thomas‘ First: Sandra Day O’Connor is one such work… and it’s worth putting first on your reading list. While the biography may center around O’Connor’s professional accomplishments, it also portrays her as a complex person. All of us craving that Game of Thrones content (specifically, the gossip and artifice of power dynamics) will feel the hypnotic pull of the Supreme Court’s political intrigue… without as much of the baggage of contemporary political discourse. There’s an inherent (if slightly voyeuristic) appeal in looking at the secret side of stories we’ve seen play out on the news, people we’ve seen on television made whole and complete. Thomas grants us access to rivalries hidden from the media, to the intimate accounts of friends and colleagues. This biography captures that same appeal of reality television—just with fewer beach hookups and parking lot fights. (By ‘fewer,’ we mean absolutely none. Just to clarify.)


Punk Band Green Day Releasing Feminist Book!

The American punk rock band Green Day has been around for over thirty years, and they’ve done so much in their time. They’ve released twelve studio albums, written a broadway musical and have been involved in several charity projects. Now, they’re set to release their first ever book inspired by one of their most popular songs.

Being published by HarperCollins, Last of the American Girls is written collaboratively by all three members of Green Day and illustrated by cartoonist Frank Caruso. According to the publisher’s website, the book is described as a tribute to rebellious women who challenge social norms and empower other women.


Image Via HarperCollins Publishers


“Celebrating true rebel girls—girls who push back, girls who use their voice, girls who say no—Last of the American Girls takes on both the establishment and the upwardly mobile, espousing an infectious spirit that has never been more relevant.”

Released as the last single for the band’s 2009 album 21st Century Breakdown, Last of the American Girls centers around a woman named Gloria, one of the main characters in the loose narrative surrounding the album, and talks about her nonconformist personality while also discussing the album’s larger themes about politics and religion. Songwriter and lead guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the song as a tribute to his wife.


Last of the American Girls goes on sale October 29th. You can watch the music video for the song here:




Featured Image Via BBC

Chaucer’s First Female Biographer Discovers His Outrageous Fashion Choices

When we think of Geoffery Chaucer, we think of The Canterbury Tales, a work loved by literary scholars and passionate readers the world over (and loathed by undergraduate English majors). We do not, however, think of “a teenager wearing leggings so tight one churchman blamed the fashion for bringing back the plague.”

According to The Guardian, Associate Professor of English at Jesus College, Oxford, Marion Turner, who is Chaucer’s first female biographer, is also the first to look in depth at Chaucer’s fashion choices. While The Guardian notes that scholars have long known that Chaucer wore a ‘paltok’, bought for him as a teenager by his employer Elizabeth de Burgh, Turner notes that nobody seems to have investigated what exactly a ‘paltok’ was!


image via telegraph.co.uk (credit: ap)


Turner has discovered that paltoks were tunics, but not just any tunics! They were “extremely short garments… which failed to conceal their arses or their private parts.” She explains:

“No one had ever thought about what they were before [but] I found these were completely scandalous items. The paltok was skimpy and scanty, and underneath that there are these long leggings, or tights. Contemporary sources say they emphasised the genitals, as they were laced up very tightly over the penis and bottom, so you could see everything.”


Black and white image of Dr Marion Turner



Turner’s biograhpy, Chaucer: A European Life notes that the theologian John of Reading “explicitly blamed [paltoks] for causing the plague,” and “feared judgment from God for such outrageous sartorial choices.”

There were many biographies, written by men, throughout the years focused on Chaucer’s masculinity due to how he writes sympathetic women in his stories and poetry, in a time where toxic masculinity was the norm. Chaucer was someone who was ahead of his time and was with independent women, like his wife, who made her own money, and they lived independently rather than the traditional ways of marriage like most people lived by. Turner speculates that he took care of his daughter and always visited her at the nunnery where she was staying.


image via theconversation.com by Mrs H. R. Haweis


I loved it when Marion Turner gave a thoughtful explanation and connection to Chaucer’s feminism (at least I believe he’s a feminist) and his flamboyant fashion choices and make sense of it in his most recognizable work, The Wife of Bath. The most famous female figure in his work, the academic said “becomes an authority figure, which is great, because one of the things she talks about in her prologue is how men wrote all the stories and history is biased against women, and Chaucer makes her into an authority figure with gravitas. Of course she’s not a real woman, she’s Chaucer in drag, but he’s still emphasising the importance of recognising the bias of the literary canon.”


Read more of the article from The Guardian if you want to learn more of this fascinating find in literary history!


Featured Image Via The Guardian (Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Five Books for Women Who Want to Skip Parenthood

It’s tough being a woman who doesn’t want kids and it shouldn’t have to be. We compiled a list of books for women who are proud of their decision, or for those who are thinking about not wanting kids, try these reads before making your decision, or you can see these books to help you with your choice. Book Riot, and Hello Giggles influenced some of these book choices. Happy Women’s History Month, to every woman and her choices!



#1. Beyond Motherhood: Choosing a Life Without Children by Jeanne Safer



image via amazon


After years of soul-searching, Jeanne Safer made the conscious decision not to have children. In this book, Safer and women across the country share insights that dispel the myth of childless women as emotionally barren or incomplete, and encourage all women to honestly confront their needs–whether they choose motherhood or not.



#2. I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From A Happy Life Without Kids by Jen Kirkman



image via amazon


In this instant New York Times bestseller that’s “boldly funny without being anti-mom” (In Touch), comedian and Chelsea Lately regular Jen Kirkman champions every woman’s right to follow her own path—even if that means being “childfree by choice.”

In her debut memoir, actress and comedian Jen Kirkman delves into her off-camera life with the same snarky sensitivity and oddball humor she brings to her sold-out standup shows and the Chelsea Lately round-table, where she is a writer and regular performer. As a woman of a certain age who has no desire to start a family, Jen often finds herself confronted (by friends, family, and total strangers) about her decision to be “childfree by choice.” I Can Barely Take Care of Myself offers honest and hilarious responses to questions like “Who will take care of you when you get old?” (Servants!) and a peek into the psyche—and weird and wonderful life—of a woman who has always marched to the beat of a different drummer and is pretty sure she’s not gonna change her mind, but thanks for your concern.



#3. Motherhood by Sheila Heti



image via amazon


In Motherhood, Sheila Heti asks what is gained and what is lost when a woman becomes a mother, treating the most consequential decision of early adulthood with the candor, originality, and humor that have won Heti international acclaim and made How Should A Person Be? required reading for a generation.

In her late thirties, when her friends are asking when they will become mothers, the narrator of Heti’s intimate and urgent novel considers whether she will do so at all. In a narrative spanning several years, casting among the influence of her peers, partner, and her duties to her forbearers, she struggles to make a wise and moral choice. After seeking guidance from philosophy, her body, mysticism, and chance, she discovers her answer much closer to home.

Motherhood is a courageous, keenly felt, and starkly original novel that will surely spark lively conversations about womanhood, parenthood, and about how―and for whom―to live.



#4. Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids by Meghan Daum



image via amazon


One of the main topics of cultural conversation during the last decade was the supposed “fertility crisis,” and whether modern women could figure out a way to have it all-a successful, demanding career and the required 2.3 children-before their biological clock stopped ticking. Now, however, conversation has turned to whether it’s necessary to have it all (see Anne-Marie Slaughter) or, perhaps more controversial, whether children are really a requirement for a fulfilling life. The idea that some women and men prefer not to have children is often met with sharp criticism and incredulity by the public and mainstream media.

In this provocative and controversial collection of essays, curated by writer Meghan Daum, sixteen acclaimed writers explain why they have chosen to eschew parenthood. Contributors include Lionel Shriver, Sigrid Nunez, Kate Christiensen, Elliott Holt, Geoff Dyer, and Tim Kreider, among others, who will give a unique perspective on the overwhelming cultural pressure of parenthood.
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed makes a thoughtful and passionate case for why parenthood is not the only path in life, taking our parent-centric, kid-fixated, baby-bump-patrolling culture to task in the process. What emerges is a more nuanced, diverse view of what it means to live a full, satisfying life.



#5. Nobody’s Mother: Life Without Kids by Lynne Van Luven



image via amazon


Statistics say that one in 10 women has no intention of taking the plunge into motherhood. Nobody’s Mother is a collection of stories by women who have already made this choice. From introspective to humorous to rabble-rousing, these are personal stories that are well and honestly told. The writers range in age from early 30s to mid-70s and come from diverse backgrounds. All have thought long and hard about the role of motherhood, their own destinies, what mothering means in our society and what their choice means to them as individuals and as members of their ethnic communities or social groups. Contributors include: Nancy Baron, a zoologist and science writer who works in the United States for eaWeb/COMPASS and has won two Science in Society awards, a National Magazine Award and a Western Magazine Award for Science. Lorna Crozier, well-known poet and the author of a dozen books, as well as the recipient of a Governor General’s award and numerous other writing prizes.



featured image via girltalkhq.com