Coffee table books have become an interiors staple offering an insight into the owner’s interests. While some women choose the best fashion coffee table books to style their home, others choose the best feminist books to adorn their living room. Whether you want to add a feminist coffee table book to your collection or start afresh in your home with a female spin, we’ve rounded up the best feminist coffee table books for 2023.
Want more? We also have a round-up of best feminist books to read in 2023.
Best Feminist Coffee Table Books 2023
Women & Power, Mary Beard
Britain’s best-known classicist Mary Beard, is also a committed and vocal feminist. With wry wit, she revisits the gender agenda and shows how history has treated powerful women. Her examples range from the classical world to the modern day, from Medusa and Athena to Theresa May and Hillary Clinton.
Beard explores the cultural underpinnings of misogyny, considering the public voice of women, our cultural assumptions about women’s relationship with power, and how powerful women resist being packaged into a male template.
Since the advent of the #metoo movement, Beard looks at how the discussions have moved on during this time, and how that intersects with issues of rape and consent, and the stories men tell themselves to support their actions. In trademark Beardian style, using examples ancient and modern, Beard argues: “it’s time for change – and now!”
The Power, Naomi Alderman
In The Power, the world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family.
But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power: they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.
From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, The Power is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.
We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In this personal, eloquently argued essay – adapted from her much-admired Tedx talk of the same name – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness.
Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now – an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
The Second Sex, Simone De Beauvoir
Of all the writing that emerged from the existentialist movement, Simone De Beauvoir’s groundbreaking study of women will probably have the most extensive and enduring impact.
It is at once a work of anthropology and sociology, of biology and psychoanalysis, from the pen of a writer and novelist of penetrating imaginative power.
The Second Sex book stands, four decades after its first appearance, as the first landmark in the modern feminist upsurge that has transformed perceptions of the social relationship of man and womankind in our time.
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther’s life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiralling into serious depression as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take her aspirations seriously.
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath’s only novel, was originally published in 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The novel is partially based on Plath’s own life and descent into mental illness, and has become a modern classic.