Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
Magaret Mitchell only ever wrote one book and she made it a good one. The main character is a woman of strength and a fighting spirit. We all need female heroines to look up to. How do we get by? How do we survive? What do we need to do? Scarlett O'Hara loves to say: "Tomorrow is another day."
Fear of Flying - Erica Jong
Fucking. Simple unemotional, uncensored, fucking. What a shock it was when Erica Jong wrote a book telling the world that, yes! Girls want that too, not just men! Girls like to have sex. And shockingly not all of them just want to have sex with their husbands. Ha! It's quite often the opposite! They want to fuck, wildly and passionately. Fear of Flying tells the story of Isadora Wing and her tale of sexuality and infidelity.
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Those years. The early ones that aren't as sweet as they should be. Finally free. In your late teens and early 20s. But so, so lost and confused. Do you need love? Or should you thrive at being alone? The Bell Jar is one young woman's experience of losing her way and losing her mind in the process.
Valley of the Dolls - Jaqueline Susann
Hollywood. It's a city of sin that's eaten more women than Hannibal Lector. And in the 1960's it was no different. Three beautiful young women, trying to make their way in the world, get lured in by the appeal of the bright lights and flash bulbs. But nothing is as it seems in this town. No one can be trusted. And when it's all too much, a gal can be forgiven for reaching for a few "dolls" to pick her back up.
How to Build a Girl - Caitlyn Moran
Life is full of transitions and transformations. But one of the most poignant stages in a woman's life, in the transition from girl to young woman. Up until this vital time the girl has been an extension of her parents. They've taught her the ways of the world. How to walk, talk, speak, learn. But now, it's up to her. Who will she become? What kind of girl will she be? How do you build a girl?
How to Build a Girl tells the story of Johanna Morrigan, a teenage girl growing up in working class England in a family of beneficiaries; A wannabe musician father who's on a disability allowance, a mother suffering from PND due to the birth of the "Unexpected Twins", and Johanna's two quirky brothers.
Johanna herself is an intelligent but hilariously geeky, "pudding" of a girl who is hell bent on finding someone to have sex with. Well, at least she's got her priorities sorted.
This book is an insightful look at what it's like to be a family in poverty, struggling with life's blows. And the impacts it can have on a young girl trying to find herself.
A hilarious read that may have you painfully laughing out loud on many occasions and a spot on portrayal of what it's like to create yourself out of the rubble of your childhood.
The Red Tent - Anita Diamant
This biblical tale of sisterhood centres around the basic historical practice of the red tent. The tent that women were confined to every month while they menstruated. They were not to handle food or mix with any of the men as they were considered unclean - as aspect of the bible that has always angered me. At first the concept seems ridiculously ludicrous and the feminist inside grows wild with rage. But after time the concept of the red tent imbues a sense of sisterhood that is long gone in this fast paced modern world. Imagine, sitting in a tent with your sisters, singing, talking, braiding each others hair. And not doing any housework! For four to five days straight each month! It sounds like a freaking good idea to me!
The Rehearsal - Eleanor Catton
It's high school. Everyone has a role to play. What part will you have? Will you be the seductive young girl, who hikes up her tartan skirt so that the hot young male teacher can see? Or will you be the rebel who tries to kiss the quiet bi-curious girls? Will you be the girl who always talks, the one who never shuts up but no one wants to listen to? Or will you be the one who dies? There's always one.
And if you're older now, which part did you play? Can you remember?
Thing is, everyone casts the roles differently. So you may have played more roles than one.
The Rehearsal is the first novel from Eleanor Catton, award winning author of The Luminaries.
The Kabul Beauty School - Deborah Rodriguez
Deborah Rodriguez left her safe life in Michigan, USA to travel to Afghanistan and open a beauty school. She did so to offer Afghani women the opportunity for freedom and independence in what is a very male oriented culture - women are not even permitted to mix with males who are not their husbands or relatives. The Kabul Beauty School, tells the story of Deborah's journey to Afghanistan, the culture shock and the fight to set up a beauty school in a foreign country. Deborah's beauty school, not only offers the Afghani women a chance at a career and some financial independence, it also offers the women a safe haven from the outside world, as men are not permitted to enter public places that are intended for women. A rule that conveniently creates a peaceful girls only sanctuary in the middle of a war-torn country.
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
Humbert Humbert's account of his love and lust for prepubescent girls is a poetic masterpiece. Often moving, sometimes nauseating and constantly marvellous, Nabokov's Lolita is a glimpse at youthful female sexuality, through the eyes of a silver tongued paedophile. While disturbing, Humbert's story of love and affection for his "Nymphet" is so elegantly told, it is impossible to put down.
Conversations With Creative New Zealand Women - By Mariana Collette and Lisette Prendergast
Our book! A collection of interviews with kiwi women from a myriad of creative disciplines. Read about what inspires them, what challenges them, how they grew up and what it means to them to follow their creative passions. Features such inspiring women as: Blogger Gala Darling, Hip Hop artist Ladi6, poet Hinemoana Baker and playwright Georgina Thitheridge.