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19 Books That Everyone With A Vagina Should Read

Because we all need more cliterature in our lives.

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We hope you love the books we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

1. The V Book – Dr. Elizabeth Stewart

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This top-selling 2002 book is still a vital medical guide to your "unmentionables". It's great to have around as a reference, but it's so engaging and well-written you can also read it cover to cover. Buy it here for £2.83.

What the reviews say: "This author, who happens to be a brilliant writer and funny with it, strips away the mystique and shows us how marvellous our 'V's are. That's the vulva, vestibule and vagina. Read it, and celebrate and cherish your bits."

2. Animal – Sara Pascoe

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In this book, UK comedian Sara Pascoe aims to deal with all of the things women have to contend with, e.g. "boobs and sex and infidelity and pubes and wombs." Get the paperback here for £12, or click here for the audiobook.

What the reviews say: "It may sound like an exaggeration but this book changed my life. It's helped me with some personal issues in a funny and therapeutic way. Sarah's writing is intellectual, witty, and personal and I just loved it so much."

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3. Becoming Cliterate – Dr Laurie Mintz

Instagram: @harpercollinsaustralia

Dr Laurie Mintz wants you to make friends with your clit, and to make a case for that she starts by exposing the cultural gap between straight sex and female enjoyment, then offers up improved, satisfying techniques for "cliterate" sex. It's available for £10.99 on Kindle, and £18.99 as a hardcover.

What the reviews say: "Fun, funny, and empowering. A must-read for people with clits, especially those who are having sex with people with penises."

4. The Power – Naomi Alderman

Instagram: @theorganicspoon

This award-winning YA novel has been described as "The Hunger Games crossed with The Handmaid's Tale". All over the world, women discover that they have "the power", and can inflict pain and death with a flick of their fingers. Ouch. Get the paperback here for £6.29, or click here for the audiobook.

What the reviews say: "Really thought provoking and interesting. It makes you reconsider your views on historical fact, feminism, gender and morality."

5. She-ology – Sherry A. Ross MD

Instagram: @karaearthwoman

This guide, which is in a similar vein to The V Book, was written by US-based OB-GYN and women’s health advocate Dr Sherry Ross, and sets out to definitively answer every single embarrassing question women have about their vaginas. Get the Kindle edition for £8.21 here, or the hardcover for £22.95 here.

What the reviews say: "The turn of each page brings vital information and invaluable tips, which even the most bashful of readers will appreciate."

6. How to Be a Woman – Caitlin Moran

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British writer and comedian Caitlin Moran calls on her own experiences to talk frankly about women's lives and bodies in this hilarious book. Chapter titles include "I Start Bleeding!", "I Become Furry!", and "I Need a Bra!". It's so relatable. Get the paperback for £6.29 here, or click here for the audiobook.

What the reviews say: "Leaves you feeling positive and optimistic. I dare anyone to read this book and not feel empowered and passionate about equality."

7. Our Bodies, Ourselves – Boston Women's Health Book Collective

Instagram: @michellemillarfisher

This iconic book first published in the 1960s is just as relevant for women today, especially in the current political climate. It helped women "own" their bodies, dispelling the image of doctors as all-powerful, unchallengeable authority figures. You can buy a used paperback edition here from £1.98.

What the reviews say: "This book changed the lives of generations of women, and remains the hallmark of information for women to learn and understand themselves."

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8. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls – Elena Favili

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This groundbreaking kids' book raised a million dollars in Kickstarter funding, and profiles 100 extraordinary women in mini-biographies with a touch of fairytale charm. It's certainly a fascinating read for adult rebel girls too. Get it here for £9.

What the reviews say: "I bought this for my 5-year-old daughter. She loves it and it's a joy to watch her learning about heroines of our world."

9. The Vagina Monologues – Eve Ensler

Instagram: @thepiquantfox

When Eve Ensler first decided to talk to women about their vaginas, she probably didn't realise how iconic, groundbreaking, or revolutionary the results would be. This witty, irreverent "bible for a new generation of women" has since been performed and read in cities across the world countless times. Get it here for £9.99.

What the reviews say: "This book made me love my vagina."

10. Cunt – Inga Muscio

Instagram: @pizza_broad

In this punchy declaration of independence, Muscio explores issues like birth control, sexuality, and prostitution, and encourages readers to reclaim the word "cunt". Get the Kindle edition for £5.49 here, or the paperback for £12.48 here.


What the reviews say:
"This book has given me a totally different perspective on life. I laughed, pondered, cried, and got angry. It helped me understand myself and other women better than any other book out there. "

11. Woman: An Intimate Geography – Natalie Angier

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This Pulitzer Prize-winning book is celebrating its 15th year in print; it's an essential guide to the female body, from orgasms to hysterectomies, all delivered with clarity and engaging insight. It cuts through the bullshit, basically. Get it here for £5.

What the reviews say: "It gives the reader a bells-and-whistles tour of the female anatomy and bodily functions, with entertaining digressions. It's fascinating."

12. The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter

Instagram: @bookishelise

This classic collection reworks familiar fairy tales and legends like Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, and Beauty and the Beast into an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories, filled with metaphors for periods and vaginas. You can get the Kindle edition for £4.99 here, or the paperback for £6.21 here.

What the reviews say: "I am a massive Angela Carter fan but this collection of stories is particularly special – dark, rich, dreamlike, and coarsely real."

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13. The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History – Emma L.E. Rees

Instagram: @whittlings

If you've ever asked why vaginas are simultaneously everywhere in our porn-obsessed culture, but at the same time still "unmentionable" or silenced, this book is for you, and uses examples from literature, film, TV, and performance art. Get the Kindle edition for £10.89 here, or the paperback for £15.99 here.


What the reviews say:
"Scholarly and accessible, entertaining and serious."

14. Come As You Are – Dr Emily Nagoski

Instagram: @luxdelioux

If you've ever wondered if you're "normal", read this book by sex educator Dr Nagoski. TL;DR, the answer is "yes": Women are different, but we're all normal. You can get the Kindle edition for £7.79 here, or the paperback for £9.09 here.

What the reviews say: "This book changed my understanding about sexuality. Each chapter makes you think about your life, about the things you were taught, about culture, feminism. I highly encourage everyone to read this."

15. We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Instagram: @nyekhabee

This powerful, eloquent essay was adapted from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's epic TEDx talk of the same name (quoted in "Flawless" by Beyoncé). It offers up a "unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century". Get the Kindle edition for just 99p here, the paperback for £4 here, or click here for the audiobook.

What the reviews say: "It unravels assumptions, and gives an insight into what constant gender labelling has done to the way we view ourselves and others."

16. Vagina: A New Biography – Naomi Wolf

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This bestselling nonfiction book blends science and cultural history to radically reframe how we understand the vagina, women, and the modern world. Get the Kindle edition for £6.99 here, or the paperback for £9.98 here.

What the reviews say: "A clear, easy to read, and entertaining biography of women's sexuality written by a very intelligent woman...Naomi Wolf takes the study of neuroscience and translates it into a fascinating, accessible book that a non-scientist can read and understand and doesn't want to put down."

17. We – Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel

Instagram: @lauranatalie_

This detailed manifesto from actor Gillian Anderson calls for women to form a sisterhood across cultures, and offers up practical, empowering tools to help us support and encourage each other, with a goal to leave us happier and more free. Get the Kindle edition for £9.99 here, or the paperback for £8.99 here.

What the reviews say: "Beautifully written, honest and kind. I believe this world needs books like this. I certainly do. Thank you Gillian and Jennifer."

18. Letters to My Fanny – Cherry Healey

Instagram: @cherryhealey

As with How to Be a Woman, Healey uses her own experiences to create a hilarious memoir filled with confessions about sex, the female body, and other weird, wonderful, and taboo aspects of 21st-century womanhood. Get the Kindle edition for £4.99 here, or the paperback for £5.59 here.

What the reviews say: I was badly bullied at school, and always felt the need to apologise for my boobs, my period etc. This book has taught me it's OK to cherish me, for me."

19. The Handmaid's Tale – Margaret Atwood

Instagram: @oursharedshelf

No list of iconic books for women would be complete without this earth-shattering dystopian classic. It's set in a near-future version of the US, where fertile women are subjugated within a totalitarian theocracy. It's utterly chilling. Get the Kindle edition for £4.99 here, the paperback for £6.29 here, and the audiobook here.

What the reviews say: "You might think that something written 30 years ago would seem dated. But if anything, I think there are so many things imagined in the book which have become more possible today instead of less."

Is your favourite women's studies, feminism-related, or female health book not featured here? If so, why not leave a recommendation in the comments?

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