51 Books by Female Authors to aid Sociological Imagination Development.


Source: Aamir Khan


Below are books by Sociologists, Academics, Theorists, Journalists, and Authors. A mixture of fiction and non fiction, these books have been written by individuals from various backgrounds, drawing from numerous countries around the world.

We have attempted to be inclusive of the wide experiences of women on Earth. But each of these books share a few traits.

  1. All of the authors are women
  2. Each book can aid developing our Sociological Imagination, empathy, and understanding of the world

With that being said, I hope you enjoy these books, they are obviously not the only books by female authors which can develop your Sociological Imagination. Let me know if you have any recommendations which we stupidly missed out!



Bell Hooks

Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism

In this book, Bell Hooks explores how the Transatlantic slave trade has affected the status of African American women. Black Sexual Politics, and what activists can do now to bring about social change which doesn’t hinder the community.



Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale

A Dystopian classic, Margaret Atwood sets the scene for what America would be like for women if Christian Extremists were to take over. Think of the Virgin-Madonna dichotomy gone extreme.



Simone de Beauvoir

The Second Sex

In this French classic Simone de Beauvoir argues against Psychoanalysis and Marxism before examining the life stages women progress through. This isn’t an easy read so don’t attempted this for a ‘light read’.


Source: Mansfred Antranais Zimmer



Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Purple Hibiscus

The first novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This book works through the life of an African girl living in a very conservative Christian Nigerian family. But how tight are the bonds of family?



Nawal El Saadawi

Woman at Point Zero

This Egyptian classic explores what life is like for a poor woman in a patriarchal family. Then flung out to the world, she finds she is in a Patriarchal culture. Marriage or prostitution, what proves to be better?



Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl

A book everyone should read, in Anne Frank’s diary we get the opportunity in the 21st century to be transported into the shoes of a young extraordinarily intelligent Jewish girl forced into hiding. Sadly transported on the last Nazi train out of Amsterdam, Anne Frank becomes our friend. Like many other Jewish children could have.



Kimberly Crenshaw

On Intersectionality: Essential Writings

Kimberly Crenshaw developed the now popular theory of Intersectionality. This book explores the development of the theory and why it is considered an essential addition to modern feminism.



Naomi Alderman

The Power

In this modern dystopian classic, published only in 2016, women develop a power that completely changes relations and interactions with men. Wars break out, and militia groups organise to tame these out of control women.



Katherine Connelly

Sylvia Pankhurst: Suffragette, Socialist and Scourge of Empire (Revolutionary Lives)

How did Sylvia Pankhurst have such an effect on British Politics? This compelling read examines her career, the barriers to social change she faced. And her everlasting resilience to change numerous political and cultural systems. Right up to her death.


Source: Arek Socha



Vanda Felbab-Brown

Shooting Up: Counterinsurgency and the War on Drugs

Does compensated eradication work? Can we pay drug farmers money to stop growing Opium, Coca, or Marijuana? Is aerial eradication moral? Read this book buy Vanda Felbab Brown to find out.



Michelle Obama


One of the best selling memoirs of all time, place this book between Bell Hooks & Malcolm X, because it is going down in history.



Kerry-Anne Mendoza

Austerity: The Demolition of the Welfare State and the Rise of the Zombie Economy

In this book, Kerry Mendoza examines how the Conservative government is attempting to roll back safeguards under the guise of ‘Austerity’.



Susie Orbach

Fat Is A Feminist Issue

A large number of women are dissatisfied with their bodies, they feel fat. Explore in this book how fat is, in fact, a feminist issue.



Hannah Arendt

The Origins of Totalitarianism

Hannah Arendt’s work on Totalitarianism is truly a piece of gold. This work of Political Science is dense but not a book to be missed.



Mary Wollstonecraft

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

A classic feminist text which is great to understand the groundworks of British Feminism. Mary Shelley’s mother argues feminism before the cause was fashionable.



Anne Cassidy

Looking for JJ

With a prostitute mother and absent father. Odds aren’t looking to bright for JJ. But then her mother starts giving her to a pedophile. Then before you know it, things keep getting worse for JJ.


Source: Pixabay



Lionel Shriver

We Need To Talk About Kevin

Should all women be mothers? Do/can mothers contribute to their children’s mental health issues? Could a mass shooting be an extreme cry for help? These are interesting questions you will ponder after reading We Need To Talk About Kevin.



Sheridan Prasso

The Asian Mystique: Dragon Ladies, Geisha Girls, and Our Fantasies of the Exotic Orient

How has Asian colonialism affected the way Asian women are perceived throughout the world? How does this implicit the way Asian women can live their lives and navigate through the world on a daily basis?



Toni Morrison


Especially now that Toni Morrison has passed away, her work must still not be forgotten. Read this novel by the Nobel Laurent and examine life in a different America.



Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games Trilogy

Now a very successful movie, the book is not to be overlooked. Suzanne Collins amazingly weaves love into a dark dystopian society to remind you of the complexity and versatility of human emotion.



Tara Westover


In the mountains, no one goes to school. Though it is the 21st century, child labour is the norm here. Waiting for the end of days and unable to read, how does one become educated?



Betty Friedman

The Feminine Mystique

A second wave feminist classic in this book you get to explore ‘The Problem Which Has No Name’.


Source: Siamlian Ngaihte



Michelle Alexander

The New Jim Crow

Following Slavery, African Americans faced a new system of discrimination: Jim Crow. Following desegregation. African Americans are now facing a new system of discrimination: Mass incarceration.



Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Half of a Yellow Sun

This book begins pre Biafran war. You get a false sense of security before you are plunged into war, bombings, running to what you hope are better places, and near starvation. Chimamanda transports the world to a part of Nigeria craving independence.



Danah Boyd

It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

What is the social networking lives of teens like online? Is it uniform? Easy to explain to parents? Nope. As Danah Boyd found, it’s complicated.



Wendy Pearlman


This book brings us the under-heard voices of women fleeing the war zones of Aleppo. First-hand testimonies, of what it’s like to live under the iron fist of Isis and the Syrian Government.



Kristin Hannah

The Great Alone

What happens a woman follows her husband to live off track. A husband who is just back from war. A husband who is about to attempt killing his family. This book follows a woman and her child running for their lives.



Virginia Wolf

A Room of One’s Own

For a woman to truly develop, what must she have? For Virginia Woolf this was simple. A room of One’s Own.



Sylvia Walby

Theorizing Patriarchy

In this book, the influential theorist Sylvia Walby examines how Patriarchy changes throughout society. This book is great to examine how Patriarchy manifests itself in the home, workplace, etc.


Source: Couleur



Rebecca Sonit

Men Explain Things to Me: And Other Essays

In a few short essays, become familiar with what men have attempted to explain to Rebecca Sonit.


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Christina Dalcher


In this dystopian future women have been limited to a certain amount of numbers a day. Daughters learn not to speak, and the world is suddenly free of female voices.



Arlie Hochschild

The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home

Feminism has allowed women to make massive strides. One of the places where this has taken place is in the workplace. But even with women occupying jobs, they still seem to have a second shift waiting for them. Housework.



Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice (Illustrated)

Marriage has been pivotal to a woman’s status for the last few centuries. It could be argued marriage still has many ramifications. In this English classic Austen explores 3 marriages in particular. I’m sure you already know!



Julia Eccleshare


How does a young girl end up living on the streets doing heroin? What happens when this young girls turns to anarchism?



Germaine Greer

Female Eunuch

Does the nuclear family depress women sexually? Are women able to only find true satisfaction in alternative families, free of male stereotyping? Germaine Greer explores these ideas in The Female Eunuch.


Source: H S



Hannah Arendt

Eichmann and the Holocaust

Eichmann had a pivotal role to play in the Holocaust and in this book, Hannah Arendt explores how he became the man tasked with doing the job. Answering ‘the Jewish Question’ for the Nazi Party.



Bell Hooks

We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity

Another great book by Bell Hooks. In this one, Bell Hooks focuses on how mainstream society marginalises black men.



Susan Cain

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Has the Western world got it wrong? Is there more power in being quiet?



Arlie Hochschild

Strangers in Their Own Land Anger and Mourning on the American Right

Arlie Hochschild explores how Conservatives are coming to feel like Strangers in their own land.



Rupi Kaur

Milk and Honey

Sadly, this list lacks poetry from all around the world. This modern poetry explores the problems women face in relationships, with family and each other.



Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

This YA book was received with warm arms. Exploring the world of black lives matters, Star gets to see how the world attacks her friend following his death. Already adapted into motion, this is a book all should try.



Margaret Atwood

The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood thought it was necessary to follow up The Handmaids Tale. This book will be released in September and already it is being hailed as unique.


Source: cocoparisienne



Toni Morrison

The Bluest Eye

Sadly, Toni Morrison recently passed away. That doesn’t mean this Nobel Laurent’s work should be forgotten or neglected.



Patricia Hill Collins

Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (Perspectives on Gender)

In this book, Patricia Hill Collins examines the contributions to feminism made by black women. She also examines how their relationship to work differs from white women.



Marjane Satrapi


This graphic novel turned film follows the life of a middle class girl into a European refugee.



Jacqueline Wilson

The Illustrated Mum

Told from her daughter’s perspective, a mother battles with mental health problems following the breakdown of numerous relationships.



Juliet Schor

The Overspent American: Upscaling, Downshifting and the New Consumer

Why do we want what we don’t need? Juliet Schor aimed to explore why Americans experience Material Dissatisfaction, yet have a growing wishlist of things to buy.



Denis Chong

The Girl in the Picture: The Remarkable Story of Vietnam’s Most Famous Casualty

One of the most shocking pictures from the Vietnam war. Denise Chong explores the story behind the girl in the picture.



Lisa Appignanesi

Fifty Shades of Feminism

A compilation of essays, poems, and short stories from some of Britain’s most influential women. Coming from all sectors this is a great read.



Malorie Blackman

Noughts & Crosses

Race relations are completely different in this society. Watch as two friends pick different paths. One filled with terrorism, the other decadence. Then they meet again. It sounds cliche but this is a great book.



Peggy Orenstein

Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture

Pink. Do girls naturally gravitate to this colour? Or is it forced down their throats?



We hope you enjoy these reads! If you have any suggestions, let us know.


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