Cover Image: Courtesy of Penguin Books

Get ready to celebrate strong, history-making female characters

1. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

After delivering this book-long essay at a TEDx talk in 2012 in London, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s video recording went viral with over 5 million views and was consequently adapted to a book in 2014 under the same name, We Should All Be Feminists

At the heart of this eloquently written book, Adichie, the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun and Americannah, reframes what feminism truly means in today’s modern day and age. The book’s narrative also draws extensively on Adichie’s personal experiences which sheds light on instances of blatant discrimination as well as moments of marginalisation perpetuated by institution, while questioning the importance of gender divides.

The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Her remarkable ability to frame modern day gender realities prompts readers to inspect common day experiences that they themselves face, and lastly, presents a loud, rallying cry of why we should all be feminists.

(Related: 10 Women Who Are Shaping Singapore)

2. Becoming by Michelle Obama

One of the most compelling women of our era, the former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, shares her personal journey from being a young lady in the south side of Chicago, to her time in the White House as she supported and witnessed her husband’s political rise to president for two consecutive terms in office. Through this incredibly candid and intimate autobiographical memoir, her wit and strength shines through, and will undoubtedly be an inspiration to the next generation of trailblazers.

People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.
Michelle Obama

3. A is for Awesome! by Eva Chen

The power of storytelling opens up a realm of vivid imagination, and for children, to grow up hearing stories of and from strong and independent women leaders who are champions in their field will seek to inspire and instil confidence while growing up. The colourful and lively illustrations of A is for Awesome! is by Derek Desierto, and written by former editrix and head of fashion at Instagram, Eva Chen. The brilliant book lists groundbreaking women in an alphabetical order, from female forces such as Oprah and Julia Child, and talks about their contributions and achievements. 

(Related: Exclusive: Women Trailblazers Raise Awareness Of Crib With Social Media Campaign)

4. The Little Book of Feminist Saints by Julia Pierpont

Illustrated beautifully by Manjit Thapp and written by Julia Pierpont, this volume of women biographies collectively brings the profiles of 100 female go-getters, role models and trendsetters throughout history to the forefront. Perfect for dull days when you're looking for a quick pick-me-up, you can expect to find biographical portraits of Frida Kahlo, Jane Austen and Eleanor Roosevelt to inspire and lift spirits.

(Related: Who Are The Women Behind Asia's Most Innovative Entrepreneurs?

5. Puan Noor Aishah, Singapore's First Lady by Kevin Tan

On a narrative that is a little closer to home, get to know the story of Singapore's first lady, when she assumed the role at age 26 in 1959. Written by local scholar and historian, Kevin Tan, be inspired by her journey, and the trials and tribulations that she had to overcome back in the day. 

(Related: The Women Who Inspired Singapore’s Most Prolific Female Chefs)


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