The WOW Bookshelf

Discover some of WOW's recommended reads from 21st century authors

Audience members at WOW LondonWOW - Women of the World Foundation

WOW — Women of the World is a global movement celebrating women and girls, taking a frank look at the obstacles they face. Many authors have found inspiration or inspired others through WOW and here are some of their favorites...

Author and illustrator Flo PerryWOW - Women of the World Foundation

Flo Perry

How to Have Feminist Sex

We were so excited about this book because even when it seems the world is talking about gender equality, our sex lives so often remain unexamined. The orgasm gap is alive and well ladies and gentlemen, and we think this book will help level the playing field - it really lives up to being "a guide to loving your body and having a fun, guilt-free sex life without the patriarchal bullsh*t." Flo Perry has written a corker. Find out more here.

Mary Robinson

Climate Justice: A Man-Made Problem With a Feminist Solution

Mary Robinson's compelling book opens with the story of learning she is becoming a grandmother for the first time. Born in 2003, it is then, we're told "the faceless, shadowy menace of climate change became, in an instant, deeply personal." The former President of Ireland and one of the world's most influential climate change and social justice activists, embarks on a journey meet women in communities across the world workign on the frontline of the environmental crisis to learn of the incredible work they are doing. With women currently disproportionately affected by climate change, this is a book that needs to be read now. Before it's too late. Find out more here.

Chelsea Kwakye and Ore OgunbiyiWOW - Women of the World Foundation

Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi

Taking Up Space: The Black Girl's Manifesto for Change

"As a minority in a predominantly white institution, taking up space is an act of resistance, and the feeling that you constantly have to justify your existence within institutions that weren't made for you is an ongoing struggle for many people."

In this guide and manifesto for change, recent Cambridge University graduates Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi lay bare the the realities of being a black girl in a white institution. A must read for anyone and everyone, it tackles issues of access, unrepresentative curricula, discrimination in the classroom, the problems of activism and life before and after university. 

For black girls and women to find inspiration and validation. For white girls and women to help them be better friends, teachers and colleagues. Find out out more here

Maaza Mengiste

The Shadow King

At 2020's WOW - Women of the World Festival, author Maaza Mengiste spoke about her epic novel The Shadow King; explaining what her female characters have taught her about war, feminism, resilience, violence and power, and about history and who gets to tell it.

Set during Mussolini's 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, the novel spotlights women who went to war and puts back into history the women soldiers that have been written out. It makes a statement about who gets to tell stories - and is as detailed as it is epic. We loved it. Find out more here.

Our Women on the Ground

It's almost 10 years since the first Arab uprising in Tunisia. This book is always on the WOW bookshelf, ready to recommend to people who drop into our London HQ. Featuring 19 essays by Arab women reporting from the Arab world, it's a fearless, harrowing and personal collection that offers an unparalleled insight into reporting on conflicts that are, literally, too close to home.

This book also features a foreword by legendary journalist Christiane Amanpour, who we love.
Find out more here.

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