Ready to feel empowered? Eight Australian books to read on International Women’s Day that’ll make you laugh, cry and feel everything in between

I am woman, hear me read!
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International Women’s Day is a day for women around the world to celebrate themselves and continue the fight for gender equality.

Whether you’re attending a women’s march, learning from fellow females at a conference or donating to a relevant charity, there are so many ways to mark the day.

In fact, you can do something as simple as picking up a book.

Reading isn’t just a relaxing hobby, it’s also a simple and effective way to learn more from all sorts of people – particularly women.

A 2015 Macquarie University study of the Australian book industry found female authors account for about 66 per cent of books written in Australia. It’s not often women dominate these sorts of fields, so why not add some of their work to your reading list?

Whether you’re looking for motivation, laughs or to learn, we have eight books that you can devour this International Women’s Day.

On Reckoning by Amy Remeikis

A raw look into the shocking allegations of what’s been happening in Canberra.

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As The Guardian‘s political reporter and a sexual assault survivor, Amy Remeikis’ personal and professional rage takes centre stage in this book.

Written in the wake of the shocking allegations of gendered and sexual violence in Canberra, it’s a captivating but confronting read that will make you think about how much progress is really being made.

Buy a copy of On Reckoning here.

Don’t Be Too Polite, Girls by Wendy McCarthy

Prepare to be inspired: Icon Wendy McCarthy shares her life lessons.

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With rave reviews from public figures including Dr Kerryn Phelps and Sandra Sully, Wendy McCarthy’s memoir is one that every woman living in Australia will be able to relate to on some level.

An educator, activist and feminist, Wendy has been a champion for women for decades and this read is all about finding your voice and listening to it.

Buy a copy of Don’t Be Too Polite, Girls here.

This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch by Tabitha Carvan

The title says it all…sort of!

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After she unexpectedly fell for British actor Benedict Cumberbatch while stuck at home with two young children, Tabitha put pen to paper to write about women and how we need to unashamedly loving our passions.

This hilarious, joyful read is not so much about the Sherlock star (as the title says) but rather finding out what you love and rolling with it.

Buy a copy of This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch here.

Growing Up Disabled in Australia by Carly Findlay

An insightful look into what it’s like to be someone with a disability or chronic illness in our country.

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Writer Carly Findlay, who was born with a lifelong skin genetic skin condition called ichthyosis form erythroderma, leads a group of prominent Aussies with a disability or chronic illness as they share their own original pieces.

It’s the fifth book in the highly acclaimed, bestselling Growing Up series so if you enjoy it we recommend checking out other titles including Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia and Growing Up Queer In Australia.

Buy a copy of Growing Up Disabled in Australia here.

Another Day in the Colony by Chelsea Watego

Another Day In The Colony will make you reassess colonialism.

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Written by Munanjahli and South Sea Islander woman Chelsea Watego, this collection of essays that examine ongoing racism First Nations peoples live with will stop you in your tracks.

Through her own experiences and observations, Chelsea discusses how colonialism has seeped into everything from the media, to courtrooms, and how it’s a matter of standing her ground rather than fighting back.

Buy a copy of Another Day in the Colony here.

Asian Girls are Going Places by Michelle Law

This one will make you want to book your next overseas flight stat.

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You may have heard of her brother Benjamin Law, but Michelle’s writing skills are just as impressive and this book is testament to that.

Bursting with advice and anecdotes on everything from solo travel, to finding good Asian food around the world, to romance and relationships, this offbeat read is one that will make you want to book your next flight – something that’s an actual possibility now international borders are opening.

Buy a copy of Asian Girls are Going Places here.

Sheilas by Eliza Reilly

Want to learn more about Aussie female trailblazers?

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Ever heard of Merle Thornton who fought for Indigenous rights alongside Faith Bandler? What about Annette Kellerman who revolutionised swimming for women?

Learn about them and more powerhouse Aussie sheilas in this cheeky, funny and inspirational read. Turns out we have them to thank for many of the awesome opportunities we have in modern Australia.

Buy a copy of Sheilas here.

Ten Steps to Nanette by Hannah Gadsby

Hannah Gadsby’s memoir is a harrowing and hilarious read.

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If you checked out Hannah’s Netflix special Nanette then you’ll have a good idea of how powerful this read is.

This read is both harrowing and hilarious and follows Hannah’s life as a queer person growing up in Tasmania where homosexuality was illegal until 1997, her late diagnoses of autism and ADHD and many more stories. It’s even received rave reviews from Oscar winner Emma Thompson so you know you won’t be able to put it down.

Buy a copy of Ten Steps to Nanette here.

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