2017 Book Recommendations: Women, Therapy and Feminism

It’s a bit early for a 2017 round up I know, but I’ve read some excellent books this year that you might want to consider as Christmas presents for the readers in your life.

I’m mostly just reading books written by women these days, which is terribly exclusionary of me I know but, meh, what can you do? I also really like to read books where the main character is experiencing some kind of crisis and trying to figure out what to do with their lives. I CANNOT IMAGINE WHY. Also, feminist books, because of course. It’s also quote Irish influenced, because well, I live here, and Irish women writers are amazing.

Click on the titles for the GoodReads page.

Not all of these books were released in 2017, it’s just when I read them. So  here we go, head to your favourite local bookseller and fill your…stockings!

Novels as therapy:

If like me you like reading books where you identify with a wandering central character trying to figure life out, try these:

  1. All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg

  2. A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume

  3. Not Working by Lisa Owens


4. Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

This is a couple of years old at this stage but well worth the read if you haven’t got round to yet. It’s a nice quick read, but Lindy writes so well and the feminist in you, or your life, will be able to identify with the stories she tells about finding her voice.

5. Girls will be Girls: Dressing Up, Playing Parts and Daring to Act Differently by Emer O’Toole

I think the absolute favourite thing I read this year. Total feminist must read, Emer O’Toole shines a light on all the ways we limit girls and how arbitrary and pervasive stereotypes are.

6. Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed

For all my fellow feminist killjoys, this book will make you feel truly seen and understood. And also clever.

Short stories

I wouldn’t often pick up a collection of short stories, but actually they’re ideal for the time pressed reader who might find a doorstep of a novel overwhelming. These are two of my favourite collections from this year – stories about heartache, motherhood, love and loss.  A really good short story will stay with you as long as a novel would, and I’m still thinking about both of these collections months later.

7. Multitudes by Lucy Caldwell

8. Joyride to Jupiter by Nuala O’Connor

Family Dramas

9.Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny

I do love a story about a chaotic family on the brink of collapse. This book is really funny, whilst also being smart and moving. The characters are equal part loveable and repulsive – just like real people.

10. Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter

This book is written by a man but don’t let that put you off. It’s a bit misplaced as a ‘family drama’, but is about the exploration of a family’s grief. Its unusual, poetic and quite overwhelming actually, for such a slim volume.

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