Reading list

Amazing books by inspiring women

The Female Lead is a collection of portraits of 60 inspirational women, from film stars to astronauts. Here are 5 of the women featured in the book who you can find out more about, in their own words

 

In Order To Live

Yeonmi Park

This is the harrowing but ultimately hopeful story of North Korean defector turned human rights activist Yeonmi Park. She escaped to China in 2007 with her mother but they fell into the hands of human traffickers; eventually managing to settle in South Korea, via Mongolia, where she campaigns against human trafficking and human rights abuses. After speaking at a summit in Dublin about her journey, she rose to global prominence and wrote this book; her story of survival.

 

Chasing the Flame

Samantha Power

Power has a pretty extraordinary CV; an Irish-American academic, author and diplomat who was a senior advisor to Barack Obama. She even won the Pulitzer Prize for her first book about genocide, A Problem from Hell. Chasing the Flame is the story of Sergio Vieira de Mello - a humanitarian who died in the terrorist attack on the UN headquarters in Iraq in 2003. It explores his life story, the attack itself and also deals with big questions about when military force is justified and the responsibility of outsiders to Iraq.

 

Women in Clothes

Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton

Reading this book is like being part of a conversation about clothes among hundreds of women of all ethnicities, ages and life stories. The project started as a survey that the authors sent to women that prompted them to think about their own relationship with clothes, and their own personal style. People who responded include Tavi Gevinson, Roxane Gay and Lena Dunham. The book also delves deeper into how choices we make every day about what we wear impact our confidence, relationships and even politics. 

 

Make Life Beautiful

Camilla Morton

This book, curated by fashion writer Morton, is packed with knowledge you didn’t know you needed. For example: Manolo Blahnik’s biscuit recipe, how to make a Faberge egg, instructions from celebrity milliner Stephen Jones on how to turn a magazine into a headpiece, or even photographer Nick Knight’s tips on the perfect cup of tea. Gorgeously produced, and boasting a foreward from Diane von Furstenberg, this book is the coolest craft book you’re likely to find. It offers a glimpse into the life and style of creative icons, and is packed with genuinely brilliant - and practical - ideas. 

 

The Diana Chronicles

Tina Brown

While Princess Diana's memory still captivates people’s minds and hearts, much about her remains unknown - including what actually happened on the day she died. Tina Brown, a journalist and former  editor ofTatler, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, knew Diana personally, but also interviewed over 250 people to build a fuller picture of her life, as well as the events that led to her death. The resulting book became an instant bestseller when it was published in 2007.

 

Related features