So, this is a list consisting of books about girls that I think girls should read. Of course they should read all books, but it's nice to relate to strong, female characters every now and then, am I right?
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
This is the first book that came to my mind when compiling this list. The Bell Jar is the 1963 epitome of angsty teenage girl book-- a female Catcher in the Rye, if you will. Anyway, I've probably read this book about three times. If you don't know, it's a semi-autobiographical novel about Esther Greenwood, who is based on Plath. She struggles with post-collegiate life, serious depression and what seems to be an addiction to suicide attempts. The writing is beautiful, simple, and the reader genuinely roots for this unlikely protagonist. Maggie Gyllenhaal narrates the audiobook and if anyone can capture Esther Greenwood, it's she.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I've just recently started reading this book, but I totally saw the Winona Ryder version in theaters when I was in second grade and cried my eyes out. Forever I've had this gorgeous hardcover illustrated copy that I used to peruse, but never commit to reading. Anyway, I'm reading it now and the story is written in such a way that it seems personal and kind. But really, who doesn't love Jo March? I, like, want to name my daughter Josephine kind of (idk). She's the independent and smart-- almost fearless-- girl you've always admired. Apparently a poll was done in the 1920s or so asking high school students what book was most influential to their lives and Little Women was ranked second, after the Bible. How crazy is that? But it makes sense, because it rules. Also, Jo March is based on Alcott... holla.
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
One thing that's pretty cool abou this book is that it's like reading Virginia Woolf but way easier. Cunningham tells a rather haunting story weaving the lives of three different women in different eras: Virginia bb, a real-life Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway in present time and a 1950s pregnant woman reading Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. This book is fabulous. Obviously it would have to be, in order for ~Queen Meryl~ to be in the screen version... which is also fabulous.
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
I recommend this book to all my mixies out there. Zadie Smith's first novel is dripping in gorgeous language, telling the stories of two families from different cultures. This book spoke to me because, as a mixed black-white girl, I wanted to see how they talk about the hair issue. Smith totally does and I rarely read a book where I so completely identified with the thoughts and feelings of a main character (Irie) so much. I want to be friends with Zadie Smith in real life!
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Okay, so I haven't read this one yet, but I am going to! I have it and it's in the queue. HOWEVER, I've seen the movie, seen Bridget Jones' Diary, so I think I'm good, yeah? Every girl needs their Mr. Darcy :)