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Be inspired by these female-focused books compiled for International Women’s Day

As part of Loughborough University’s celebrations for International Women’s Day, Senior Lecturer in Sustainable and Resilient Urbanism Dr Ksenia Chmutina – who is also the Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering - has compiled a reading list sharing fiction and non-fiction reads focused on women.

With more than 80 books covering themes of motherhood, resilience, romance, feminism, success, class and race – there is something for everyone to enjoy and learn from.

We also asked colleagues to recommend their favourite books for International Women’s Day and to tell us why they had chosen these:

Anna Leather, Research and Enterprise Marketing Manager

  • Life after Life by Katie Atkinson for its gusty heroine Ursula Todd
  • The Colour Purple by Alice Walker for the strong characters of Celie and Shug Avery

Paula Malins, Research and Enterprise Marketing Officer

  • The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan, a fantasy novel with strong female leads
  • Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman, a story which gives you an insight into a busy Mum’s head
  • Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, which explores dislocation in Japanese society

Hannah Billington, Social Media and Digital Engagement Co-ordinator

  • Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez.

Hannah said: “All genders need to read this book. It’s thought-provoking, informative and is based on true stories and data. Discussions into topics that aren’t usually talked about give insight into how real inequality is in everyday life across the world.”

Jess Excell, Student Ambassador Coordinator

  • Lift as you climb: Women and the art of ambition by Viv Groskop

Jess added: “This book, part self-help guide and part master class in survival, is the ultimate confidence bible for the working woman who wants to be ambitious and brave, whilst staying true to their authentic sense of self. Unlike some books in this genre that are difficult to digest, Viv Groskop uses real experiences that are thought-provoking and relatable yet very entertaining. As it’s all about the importance of women supporting women (and was bought for me by my Mum for Christmas), it seems fitting that it is recommended in light of IWD2021.”

Sadie Gration, Internal Communications Officer

  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Sadie said: “The author created a quiet yet movingly strong female main character which you immediately warm to, as she journeys through her mid-twenties and the obstacles that come with it. Exploring love, race, gender, mental health, self-worth, and friendships, I think many women readers will relate to aspects of Queenie’s story and find it hard to put down.”

The full reading list is available here and you can find out more about what the University is doing to celebrate International Women’s Day here.