2014 was the year of the woman. With Lena Dunham and Caitlin Moran empowering the girl-growing-up, Sophia Amoruso and Amy Poehler showing us how to be a #GIRLBOSS who says Yes Please, and a spate of fabulous first-time female authors leaving their mark—there was no shortage of excellent reads from, for, and about strong women. Here are six of the best womanly reads to read right now:



Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny and sincere look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms to do better. In the midst of damaging feminist infighting, Gay playfully crosses the borders between pop culture consumer and critic, between serious academic and lighthearted sister-girl, between despair and optimism, between good and bad.


Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

Just when we thought Lena couldn’t wow us further, here comes Not That Kind of Girl. Illuminating the experiences that brought her to where she is today: falling in love, feeling alone, having to prove yourself in a room full of men twice your age, finding true love, and, most of all, having the guts to believe that your story is one that deserves to be told—Not That Kind of Girl is an inspiration to us all.


How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

Imagine The Bell Jar written by Rizzo from Grease. Sound amazing? Well it most definitely is. Written by the beloved broadcaster, TV critic, and columnist at London’s The Times, How to Build a Girl is a funny, poignant, and heartbreakingly evocative story of self-discovery and invention, as only Caitlin Moran could tell it.



We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adapted from her much-admired TEDx talk of the same name, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (the award-winning author of Americanah) offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and delivered with humor and levity.


The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore

Think you know Wonder Woman? Think again! The Secret History of Wonder Woman is a riveting work of historical detection revealing the origin of one of the world’s most iconic superheroes and the fascinating family story behind it—a crucial look at the history of twentieth-century feminism.


Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton

Women in Clothes is a book unlike any other. A conversation among hundreds of women of all nationalities—famous, anonymous, religious, secular, married, single, young, old—on the subject of clothing and how the garments we put on every day define and shape our lives, it is a book that burrows under your skin (and Chanel blazer) and stays with you long after you’ve turned the final page.


So what do you say booklovers? Is there anything we’re missing? Which books by strong, intelligent women moved you this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!