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Before 25, read these five books.

Whatever the reason for your desire for a digital detox (you know, after all the great Facebook posts, tweets, and #hashtags you’ve been reading), there is a four-letter answer to it: #hashtags. Grab a b*o*o*k, please! Even if you’re not a bookworm, there’s no need to be concerned. This is the list of five books that will gradually pique your interest and stimulate your thinking about some of the most important issues facing women today.

Sharon G Flake’s The Skin I’m In

It’s time to accept the fact that you’re the only one who matters.

Follows the life of Maleeka Madison, an African-American teen with a strong message about body positivity. When Maleeka meets Miss Saunders, she finally learns to love and accept herself after years of being teased by her classmates for her skin colour and the clothes she wears to school. Maleeka is inspired by the English teacher with a rare skin disease who refuses to allow anyone to get under her skin, despite what the rest of the world tells her.

Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain’s Sultana’s Dream: A Novel

“What gives you the right to keep your mouth shut?”

An Indian Muslim feminist and social reformer’s book from 1905 depicts a world in which women rule solely! ‘Ladyland’, as the title suggests, is a dreamworld that takes place in Ultana’s imagination, and it is far less serious than Gilman’s Herland. On the other hand, the book’s naivety lends it an air of sincerity. This is a must-read for those interested in Hussain’s views on war, science, and education, as well as to see if you, too, have considered a world without men.

When the Bell Doesn’t Ring Plath, Sylvia

A deep breath was taken and my heart’s old brag was heard. In other words: “I am,” “I am, I am.”

Plath’s feminist icon Sylvia Plath focuses on Esther Greenwood’s journey toward discovering her identity in this almost autobiographical novel. Esther’s mental health is deteriorating as she ruminates on the unfairness of society’s double standards, particularly in the areas of sex and motherhood.

Joyce Carol Oates’ Confessions of a Girl Gang

To paraphrase the saying, “That’s how a thing starts out real then fades away to nothing.”

It is a must-read for any young woman who enjoys a good dose of vigilantism. One of the five girls known as Firefox, Madeleine Wirtz, tells her story in this book. Betty “Goldie” Siegfried, Loretta “Lana” Maguire, Elizabeth “Rita” O’Hagan, and Margaret “Legs” Sadovsky plot retribution against the’man’kind in 1953, when the book was first published.

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