5 books every woman must read

5 books by women for women!! Don't miss these wonderful 5 books every woman must read.

Guest post by Shalzmojo

Today I have a guest post from a very good friend, Shalini Baisiwala of Shalzmojo! Over to her now!!

Hello everyone! I am so happy to be hosted on Anshu’s blog today. She has chosen a woman centric topic for me to write about and I hope I will do justice to it. So without much ado, let me lead you to five books that I think every woman should definitely read.

I feel women are quite the marginalised gender; it’s been easier to suppress their voice and choices over the centuries. Be it any country, historical period, society, family, culture, religion – Women have had to fight it out everywhere to be heard and taken seriously.

I have always been the spunky kid who would pick up the cudgels on anyone and not take things lying down. I would hear my mother telling me that girls don’t behave so aggressively or loudly or…….

I found solace in my female heroines early on in life and to date a book based on a woman’s life story fascinates me more than any other.

Little women by Louisa M Alcott

This is probably the first classic I ever read and I was fascinated by it. Set in England, a household of 4 daughters where the father is away at the civil war and the mother manages everything by her. Margaret is the eldest who is a romantic and is the most beautiful of the four. She is looking forward to being married, having her own house and children in the near future. Jo is the aspiring author and a tomboy at heart with no patience for the feminine graces. Beth is a shy, sweet girl who loves music. Amy is the youngest and a bit spoilt with illusions of grandeur for her future. Each sister has a well-developed voice and character which comes out clearly in the book. They are poor and spend all their time doing household chores, and trying to supplement the family income as best they can. All the women in this book possess strength of character and don’t shy away from expressing their desires. I loved this book for the clarity in portraying women in this light.

40 Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak has spun a tale of love and longing in this well written book which enchanted me from the first sentence. A parallel narrative runs in the book which switches from present day to events happening in the past as written in a book being read by the protagonist. Our heroine is a book editor who is reading a book written on the Sufi poet Shams and his relationship with Rumi. In the book, Shams gives out the 40 rules of love, each a gem in its own. While reading the book, the protagonist goes through her own life and begins to unravel it to re-build it. Only this time she has her happiness in the forefront over everyone else. The book takes us on a twin journey which allows us to have a second look at our lives too. I found this book to be very powerful from a woman’s perspective and that’s why it finds itself here on this list! You can read my review of it here

Eat,pray, love by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book was a tough read for me at first, and I abandoned it for a while. When I next began to read it, I was going through a relationship crisis in my life. I guess that’s why I fell in love with it as I could so relate with what Liz was going through. She finds herself at a junction in her life where even though her career is going great and she has a perfect relationship, she keeps feeling something is missing. Ultimately, her relationship falls apart and she takes a sabbatical from work to travel to search out what’s missing in her life. She begins her journey in Italy and through food, discovers contentment and happiness for a while. Next she heads to India to live in an ashram to find inner peace. Finally, she goes to Bali where she meets a holy man who enlists her help in translating his medicinal texts. Here love finds her but it’s not a perfect relationship and she begins to run away from it. All through the three journeys, she finds a piece of herself and begins to heal. I loved the journey of self as described in this book and found it to be very relatable. Woman tend to put too much of themselves into everything they do, leading to a burn out. This book echoes the message of self-love which is so essential for every human being, not just women.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed wrote this book to chronicle the miseries she encountered in her life, one after the other and how she undertook a 2600 miles Pacific Crest trail to unearth her demons. 26 year old Cheryl’s life was on the rocks as she was using heroin to keep sane, sleeping around with too many men even as it endangered her marriage. Her mother’s recent death to cancer made matters worse for her. In an attempt to unscrew her screwed up life, she decided to undertake this gruelling trek. Without any physical preparation , she launches herself into a world of pain. This book is a true blue account of her struggles on this trek and how she limps through all of it to complete it. In between she faces her demons and finds the way forward through all her pain and grief.

Oh how I loved this one. The honesty with which the author has portrayed every mistake of hers and owned them is what impressed me most about it. On top of that the trek was challenging not just physically but mentally too. I know I can never do something like it. This is one book which tops it for me out of all the five mentioned here.

Erotic stories for Punjabi widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

This is a tale of 23 year old Nikki, who is born to Indian parents in London. They immigrated to England and set up a family here in hopes of bettering their living standards. Minti is her older sister who is yearning to get married and has decided to try out the arranged marriage route. Nikki is a rebel, yearning for independence in her lifestyle and thought process. Though she drops out of law school and works at a bar to support herself, she realises she needs to do better in life. So she applies for a position at the local Gurudwara to teach creative writing classes for women. Problem arises when she realises her students are white robed, white haired elderly  widowed matrons who can’t read or write anything other than Punjabi. Things become interesting when the women begin to craft out sexual stories which on the surface are fictional but underneath speaks of their hearts desires. How the women look at sex and their bodies comes out via their fantasies and leads us into an unspoken world.

I just loved this book for the brave way it let us look at the world of elderly widows. They are generally ignored by the society and left much to their devices. No one cares to know about what they want or could possible want. Through much humour and warmth, this world has been brought out in an extremely poignant way. Don’t miss out reading this book.

5 books by women for women!! Don't miss these wonderful 5 books every woman must read.

5 books every woman must read

So there you have it – my top 5 reads for a woman! I wish you would share what you felt about them. Do tell me your favourite books too.

 

About Shalzmojo

An interior designer by profession, writing is a passion which coupled with travel love blossomed into this blog where I love to just “do my thing”! Be it recipes, food events, travel jaunts, fiction dreaming or even meditative musings; all of it’s taken up quite passionately on my blog. I am a serious wine guzzler and love to chase butterflies in my free time.

This post is part of the December bloghop #mymojo with Shalzmojo

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#TellTaleThursday – 6th December 2018

The rules are simple:

  • Write a story, complete in itself.
  • Check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Copy and paste your Story URL to the inLinkz list.
  • The story should be up to 250 words.
  • Add this line < #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya > at the end of the post.
  • Read, comment and share – spread the love.

Today we have a picture prompt! We know, we know, you love those! 🙂

#TellTaleThursday - picture prompt for 6th Dec 2018 hosted by Anshu and Priya

Image credit : Pixabay


Word count – 211 Words

The survivors

Rachel raised her hand and started sharing. Her soft musical voice gaining confidence with each spoken word.

“He would hit me with a bat, cut me with a knife – the more I screamed the more he would be aroused. I knew it was wrong but I lacked the force to quit. He was my husband with whom I had shared vows to be there till death did us apart.”

She had come a long way from the quiet shy girl who would sit in her chair meeting after meeting, refusing to talk or share, Jason thought. The bruises on her face had healed leaving faint scars, but the fear and pain in her eyes had taken a long time to be driven away.

Rachel looked at Jason and found his eyes on her. She smiled. If it wasn’t for him, she would have been lost. She would not even have survived. He was her anchor.

Rachel had sparked feelings in him which Jason didn’t know existed. He had supressed them for so long that he had forgotten his real self. He feared all human beings. His stepdad had made sure of it. After years, he had found himself and the capability to love someone. He had found an anchor in her.

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#TellTaleThursday – 29th November 2018

The rules are simple:

  • Write a story, complete in itself.
  • Check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Copy and paste your Story URL to the inLinkz list.
  • The story should be up to 250 words.
  • Add this line < #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya > at the end of the post.
  • Read, comment and share – spread the love.

And today we have an exciting prompt. We are sure you will feel that way too!

“I think I have killed a man.” Use this sentence anywhere in your story.


Word count – 241 Words

Murder on the highway

#TellTaleThursday

Image credit: Pexels.com

“I think I have killed a man,” she said nonchalantly.

“What? When? How?” I was stunned.

“Oh, it was a long time ago, maybe 15 years,” she shrugged.

“I am curious. How could you have killed a man?” I couldn’t resist asking her after the bomb she had dropped.

“It was nothing. I had partied the night before and had too much to drink. The next morning, I woke up late and rushed for my examination. I didn’t realise I was driving fast.”

“But, you would have been only 15 or 16 at that time. How you could have driven at that age?” I realised.

She shrugged again. “I have known how to drive since I was 15.”

“Not so well obviously!” I couldn’t resist remarking. She looked at me, obviously not pleased with the sarcasm.

“So, who did you kill?”

“A villager who was trying to cross the highway. I mean couldn’t he have seen there’s a car coming?”

“Yes, but he didn’t know the driver was under the influence of alcohol and in desperate need of sleep.”

“What happened?’

“Nothing. My father paid money to the poor man’s family, they were more than happy to take it and let me go scot-free.” She replied as if it was nothing, as if a man hadn’t died, as if she had all the right to do this.

“You didn’t think you had killed a man, you actually killed a man,” I said and left her standing at her door step.

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#TellTaleThursday – 22nd November 2018

The rules are simple:

  • Write a story, complete in itself.
  • Check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Copy and paste your Story URL to the inLinkz list.
  • The story should be up to 250 words.
  • Add this line < #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya > at the end of the post.
  • Read, comment and share – spread the love.

Today, we have a picture prompt – the genre the most loved of all.

#TellTaleThursday

Image credit: Pexels.com

Word count – 236 Words

Home Coming

As Maria looked down from the airplane, she saw small boats bobbing in shallow waters. She was instantly filled with a love so sharp for her home town. She was visiting afer 10 years. The memory of the last day was etched in her memory as vividly as if it had happened just yesterday.

Maria went to the beach to meet Savio. They met every evening; she came from college and he from the sea. This evening, he was not alone, there was a girl with him. Before she could make her presence known, Maria saw Savio kissing the girl, passionately as only a lover could. Hurt and dejected, she ran away. The next day, she went to Mumbai to stay with her aunt.

She visited the beach in the evening. A little while later, she was joined by a fisherman. His face was deeply tanned and he had a slight paunch. But his face was oddly familiar. She gasped when she realised it was Savio. The years had not been kind to him.

“You haven’t changed Maria. If at all, you look more beautiful.” She smiled.

“I have missed you.

“I heard you have a wife and family,” she reminded him.

“I can still miss my friend.”

That’s when she understood. He had thought of her as a friend, while she had looked at him as something more. In the miscommunication, she could have neither.

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#TellTaleThursday – 15th November 2018

The rules are simple:

  • Write a story, complete in itself.
  • Check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Copy and paste your Story URL to the inLinkz list.
  • The story should be up to 250 words.
  • Add this line < #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya > at the end of the post.
  • Read, comment and share – spread the love.

We promised you we will try to be as creative as possible with the prompts. So, here is this week’s prompt.

Let your imagination run wild and write a story keeping these words in mind!

We’ll both forget the breeze
Most of the time

– Song by Damien Rice

Word count – 179 Words

Another Chance

Sarah was so wrapped in her own little world that she didn’t realise Mario was cheating on her. So, when the bomb dropped, she was hit pretty badly. She broke down and even decided to quit her marriage of 12 years. It took her a long time to accept the reality and calm down.

Just when they were ready to give their marriage another chance, the boat rocked again. However, this time it was Sarah who fell for the subtle charms of another man, a married man no less. She didn’t think about right or wrong, her husband, her marriage and her future. All that mattered was the present.

But when she got over the first flush of attraction, she realised her mistake. Guilt besieged her. Instead of hiding it, Sarah confessed to her husband.

“We’ll both forget the breeze
Most of the time.

But if we love each other and see a future together, this time too shall pass.”

These lines by her husband restored her faith in her relationship and the man she had never stopped loving.

………..

Listen to the full song here.

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#TellTaleThursday – 8th November 2018

The rules are simple:

  • Write a story, complete in itself.
  • Check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Copy and paste your Story URL to the inLinkz list.
  • The story should be up to 250 words.
  • Add this line < #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya > at the end of the post.
  • Read, comment and share – spread the love.

Use this prompt given below, weave a story, and add to the linky.  Have fun!

Participate in #shortstory writing by #TellTaleThursday

Image Credit: Pexels.com

Word count – 237 Words

The Last Customer

He was about to close the café, when the glass door opened with force and a woman entered with her hair flying and fear writ large in her eyes.

“We are closed.”

“Coffee please, black and sweet,” she said without hearing him.

There was something about her manner, frightened and dejected that made him give in.

“Take a seat. I will get you coffee.”

While measuring ground coffee, he looked at the woman. Though she was sitting with her back to the glass door, she was turning behind from time to time. Was she running away from something or maybe someone?

“Your coffee, mam!”

“Uh, thanks!”

“Be careful,” he warned but too late. She absentmindedly took a sip of scalding hot coffee.

“You don’t seem to be from these parts.”

“No.”

“Is someone following you?”

She looked at him long and hard. That look of helplessness and fear vanished instantly.

“No.” Finishing her coffee in one single gulp, she stood up, put some loose coins on the table and left.

Used to the whims of women, he started closing the café, when once again the glass door opened. It was a middle aged but well-built man this time.

“Barista, have you seen a woman in her thirties, long hair and exceptionally pretty?” He asked.

“No Sir!” He lied.

The next morning, he found a note under the glass door with a big THANK YOU written on it.

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#TellTaleThursday – 1st November 2018

The rules are simple:

  • Write a story, complete in itself.
  • Check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Copy and paste your Story URL to the inLinkz list.
  • The story should be up to 250 words.
  • Add this line < #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya > at the end of the post.
  • Read, comment and share – spread the love.

This being the Diwali week, it feels only right to have Diwali – the festival of lights, as our weekly prompt.

Write a short story on Diwali without using the word ‘Diwali’ explicitly.

Word count – 195 Words

New Moon

It was a big night. She had prepared the sweets herself because she knew how much he liked homemade sweets. The house was decorated with oil lamps and Rangoli and smelled of fresh flowers and frankincense.

Dressed in her new Benarasi silk saree and wearing jasmine veni in her long hair, she sat on the porch and waited. He had promised her he would visit her tonight even if for a few short minutes. It was her birthday and he knew how important it was for her to celebrate this day with him.

She looked up at the sky. Though there was a smattering of stars, the moon itself was conspicuous by its absence. The night sky bereft of its silver pride felt gloomy and lost, just like her.

As the crackers burst in the distance, she felt her happiness ebbing away. It was not the first time, he had broken his promise and it wouldn’t be the last. But for once, she had thought he would place her before his other family. She knew what she had to do. It was time she rewrote her story. She went inside and started packing her bags.

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