Grrrl Power: 40 books by women about women to inspire

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Want to keep the International Women's Day fire burning? Buro 24/7 culturemaker Noelle Faulkner pulls from her own bookshelf and recommends 40 of the most inspired female biographies to add to your library

As the great poet Annie Lennox once said, "There was a time when they used to say, that behind every great man there had to be a great woman. But in these times of change,you know that it's no longer true." 

Well, Annie, I'm sure it was a thing that was said, but it was never really all that true, was it? Women haven't always hidden behind a man. It's not like we suddenly hit 1985 and POOF! "SURPRISE! I'M HERE!" There have always been trailblazers making a stand in their own right and I've got 40 pieces of literature here as my army of evidence to prove it so.
40 women making a mark in the sand and inspiring generations to come, dating back from ancient times up to now. Actually, if you count the writers and extra notable mentions here, it's almost double that. If  you count the writers and extra notable mentions here, it's almost double that. 

We have spent much of this week celebrating the female mind, body, form and flex, honoring the women who have shaped us, raised us, moved us and supported us, and we did a very good job of it - you only have to look at the #IWD hashtag to see that. But why just let the International Women's Day power praise stop when the clock strikes 12? Sometimes we need to be reminded just how strong and powerful we are/can be and that it's OK to sometimes feel vulnerable and small and weak as well. For me, I've often found this kind of solace in the pages of memoirs, and biographies of inspired women, written by inspired women. Nothing preachy or click-baity, just a story about a girl.

Not all these women are extraordinary beings, some are vulnerable and flaw-filled femme fatales and others are pioneers in their field. Some have been praised for their sass, their wit, their sartorial choices or their social circles, others, for their revolutionary brains, rule or refusal to back down. My point is, you don't have to be a Nobel Prize winner to inspire (though you definitely can be, I've included a few of those women in here too).

So, keep the fire burning, support your girl gang, hustle, stand tall and own your femininity, whatever that may mean to you. We all know it's kinda tough, but at I hope that at least one of these tomes can help inspire, from my power library to yours. 

Follow Noelle:
Instagram: @noelleflamingo
Twitter: @noelleflamingo 

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