EmpowHERto Book Club: Self-Love

By Alanna Sabatino

Let’s be honest, learning to love and appreciate yourself is hard. We go through all the emotions when trying to accept ourselves: anger, joy, sadness, contentment—it’s like a Pixar movie in our brains! And sometimes, social media makes it even more challenging by steering us away from the fact that what works for one person won’t work for everyone. Your journey to self-love is precisely that: YOUR journey. Your unique, individualized journey. So let’s explore.

Here are some book recommendations for learning about self-love and navigating your personal path.

Non-Fiction:

Poetry

  1. Home Body” by Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur’s third collection of poems is an ode to growth in the human body. Her honest and intimate poetry reminds readers to fill up on love, acceptance, community and family, and embrace change. Her reflective writing style allows the reader to look inward to their own personal growth journeys. 

  1. The Strength in Our Scars” by Bianca Sparacino

Bianco Sparacino’s poetry focuses on healing from the inside-out. She tackles the gut-wrenching—but universally-relatable—experiences of moving on, self-love, and ultimately learning to heal. Sparacino wants her readers to know that no matter what you’re going through, or where you are on your healing journey, you are strong.

Prose and Novels

  1. 101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think” by Brianna Wiest

Brianna Wiest’s novel features a compilation of short essays on why you should pursue purpose over passion, learn from negative thinking, see the wisdom in daily routines, and become aware of the little things in life. 

  1. Just as I Am” by Cicely Tyson 

Cicely Tyson’s memoir is a stunning portrait of the pioneer’s life, and a farewell letter to all she inspired. Her autobiography celebrates family, wisdom, strength, and living as a strong African-American womxn in Hollywood. 

  1. More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are” by Elaine Welteroth 

“More Than Enough” is a part-memoir, part-manifesto by Elaine Welteroth—the revolutionary editor who infused social consciousness into the pages of Teen Vogue. Her book unpacks lessons on race, identity, and success through her own journey as a womxn of colour climbing the ranks of media and fashion, shattering ceilings along the way.

  1. 101 Awesome Women Who Changed Our World” by Julia Adams

This non-fiction picture book teaches readers about some of history’s most fascinating and remarkable womxn, from Cleopatra to Malala Yousafzai. Adams’ collection features a wide range of nationalities, ages and fields, spanning from science and arts to exploration and activism. This book is meant to inspire and educate readers of all ages about the historical contributions of womxn. 

Fiction:

  1. Becoming Naomi León” by Pam Munõz Ryan

Pam Munõz Ryan’s fictitious story highlights the resilience of Latinx womxn. This story focuses on culture, family, and finding your inner lion. In her fight against the world around her, Naomi learns to use her inner lion to stand up for herself and use her voice to right the wrongs in her life.

  1. Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)” by Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer’s “Lunar Chronicles” bring a new meaning to princess stories and fairytales. In these reimagined tales, the heroic princes who once saved the damsels in distress are gone. In Meyer’s world, the womxn are saving the day.

  1. Firekeeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley

Angeline Boulley’s YA novel features a biracial tribal member who has never quite “fit in.” The main character, Daunis’, journey to self-love lies in learning what it means to be a strong Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe woman) and understanding how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

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