Every December, former US president Barack Obama reveals his reading list, a compilation of books that stood out to him that year. Obama is known for reading voraciously and widely, so his reading list is always an interesting read in itself. This year Irish author Sally Rooney’s hit novel Normal People appeared alongside Bernadine Evaristo’s Man Book Prize-winning book Girl, Woman, Other as well as non-fiction titles such as Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep and Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino. Check out his full list below!
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There’s no doubt that the representation of women in literature is changing, and we owe most of that to female writers who have created female characters that us readers can use as role models. From Jane Austen to J.K. Rowling, these female authors know just what it’s like to be a woman in a man’s world, and they won’t let the female struggle go unnoticed in books. Here are eleven powerful quotes by female writers to repeat to yourself throughout the day whenever you need a reminder of just what it means to be a woman.
image via biography.com
1. “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”
– Jane Austen, Persuasion
image via poetry foundation
2. “I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.”
– Audre Lorde
image via literary hub
3. “Just like any woman… we weave our stories out of our bodies. Some of us through our children, or our art; some do it just by living. It’s all the same.”
– Francesca Lia Block, Necklace of Kisses
image via thought co
4. “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”
– Maya Angelou
image via the telegraph
5. “We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. we have the power to imagine better.”
– J.K. Rowling
image via the guardian
6. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
– Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
image via mental floss
7. “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”
– Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
image via culture trip
8. “No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.”
– Virginia Woolf, A Room Of One’s Own
image via los angeles times – quote via quote fancy
9. “Does ‘feminist’ mean a large unpleasant person who’ll shout at you or someone who believes women are human beings? To me, it’s the latter, so i sign up.”
– Margaret Atwood
image via south china morning post – quote via alive media
10. “Every girl, no matter where she lives, deserves the opportunity to develop the promise inside of her.”
– Michelle Obama
image via hollywood reporter
11. “Extremists have shown what frightens them most: a girl with a book.”
The former First Lady has a smash hit on her hands. According to The Guardian, Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming, has sold more than 10 million copies and is on track to become the most successful memoir in history. Penguin Random House has revealed that the book was their biggest success of last year and is still growing. Becoming has been a global sales juggernaut since its release in November of last year, having been translated into thirty-one languages and the audiobook becoming Random House’s fastest seller ever.
Image Via The Guardian
Michelle Obama has been promoting the book on a press tour, having been visiting Copenhagen, Paris, Amsterdam, the USA, and Canada. The tour has proven to be hugely popular and she next plans to visit London on April 14th. The book itself details her life, chronicling her early childhood in the South Side of Chicago to her years as an early mother to her time serving as First Lady. Let’s hope it continues to keep climbing and breaking new records!
Each holiday season, former US president releases a list of his favorite books, movies and music from the past year, and unsurprisingly, his wife Michelle Obama’s memoirBecoming has topped this year’s list. Becoming is 2018’s bestselling book, selling over 800,000 copies since its release in November.
Barack Obama posts his much anticipated list annually on Facebook. Check it out below! Have you read any of his top picks?
The books and authors highlighted by Obama this year were as follows: