Some books are simply better than others. We read and re-read them, display them proudly on the bookshelf, and discuss them at length with fellow book lovers. And each time we read these books, we find something different, new and more inspiring about them.

If you love reading a variety of books, here is a list of six books that every woman must read at least once in her life. These books are not only written by women from different ethnicities, they are written with aim to empower women so that they can become independent and claim their rights.

Let’s take a look:

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Published in the 19th century, Little Women is a classic that is still loved by readers across the world. Women love reading this book over and over again as it becomes close to their hearts. It talks about four sisters who grow up together, their family and their rivalry against each other, love towards one other, relationships, poverty, and their fight for their own identity. The book focuses on women’s independence.

It was almost impossible for women to compete with their male companions back in the 19th century, but the author tried to break that stereotype and empower women towards finding their own identities and living lives independently.

2. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Written by American author, Alice Walker, ‘The Color Purple’ is a 1982 epistolary novel. Alice Walker won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award in the Fiction category. The story is about the life of African-American women in the 1930s in the southern United States. The novel addresses the various issues faced by women at that time.

When you read this book, you get to know how important it is for women to have their own voice and how strong they can really be. Put them in any situation and they’ll find a way out. Women who have read this book agree that they have evolved to be much stronger and see life with a different perspective. If you haven’t gotten your hands on this book yet, grab it now.

3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ is the tale of a young, sensitive, and aspiring Irish-American adolescent girl and her family who live in Brooklyn. It is a beloved American classic, which is a story filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and various incidents.

The book talks about the hardships of the protagonist’s life that start from her formative years. The daily experiences of the Nolans as described in the book get etched into your heart when you read this book. The author brilliantly captures the time and place, and the rich moments that are truly heartwarming.

4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

You will hardly find anyone who hasn’t read this book, and there is no way you can miss out on ‘Pride and Prejudice’ when it comes to listing the best reads for women. The book teaches two important lessons of life: first impressions are not always correct and everyone needs a second chance. It is an eighteenth-century complex love story of the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet and the proud Mr. Darcy.

According to literary critic and historian, George Saintsbury, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is one of the “most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author’s works.” If you missed the chance to read this book so far, find some time and read it as soon as possible; especially if you have fallen in love with someone or are in the search for Mr. Perfect.

5. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Found in the attic where Anne Frank and her family had been hiding from the Nazis for two years, ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ was written at a time when Nazis were occupying Holland. The thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled from their home and went into hiding. They lived in the “Secret Annexe” of an old office building (for about two years) along with another family until their Gestapo found them. They had to face hunger, boredom and the constant discomfort of living in a small and confined space.

Considered as one of the best holocaust books of all times ; Anne Frank’s Diary (as the book is also known) records the vivid impressions of Anne Frank’s experiences during the troubled period.

6. Chinese Cinderella: The Secret Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah

Chinese Cinderella is the story of Chinese-American physician and author, Adeline Yen Mah’s growing up years in a wealthy Chinese family during the 1940s. The author tells the story of her painful childhood and her victory in the face of despair. Adeline Yen Mah’s mother died while giving birth to her and her family started considering her bad luck after that incident. Life became even tougher when her father remarried. She never got the love and affection she deserved.

The Chinese Cinderella is a must-read for women of all ages, since it conveys the message that you must learn from your failures and rise above them to do what you want to.


Books can be your best friends in the truest sense. Books can also empower you to a great extent. So, do read books, especially the ones listed above, to become more confident and independent. Read books to understand the world and the people around you and to know where you stand.

Korie Cantor is a writer and blogger – connect with her on Twitter @koriecantor