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Empowering Reads for Women by Women

International Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8th of March. The theme for the 2024 campaign is ‘Inspire Inclusion’.  When people are inspired to perceive and value the inclusion of women and girls, we start to build the foundations of a better and more equitable society. 

When women and girls are encouraged to be included they are inspired and there is a strong sense of empowerment and belonging. 

At QBD Books we have curated a list of epic and uplifting titles, fiction and non-fiction, that are written by brave and empowering women and depict strong and multi-faceted female characters that we can’t get enough of.

Keep reading to view the entire list of Empowering Reads and head to your local QBD store or online to order your copy. 


“The Woman In Me” by Britney Spears

In her debut title, “The Woman In Me”, Britney Spears has crafted an amazingly honest and brave memoir that focuses on motherhood, survival, faith, freedom and most importantly hope.

This memoir symbolises the significance of women finally being able to share their stories, on their terms. Britney has had so many people in her life try to silence her, some of whom are shockingly people who were supposed to care for her. The stories Britney shares are dark and heartbreaking, but the tenacity and joy Britney has for her life and loved ones shines through.


“The Girl Who Touched The Stars” by Bonnie Hancock 

The magnitude of resilience, ambition, and the power of the human spirit is incredibly explored in Bonnie Hancock’s vividly honest biography. 

Bonnie broke multiple world records on her circumnavigation journey around Australia. But her most revered achievement is the challenging test this journey had on her physical and mental capacities and realising the importance of teamwork.

“Women Don’t Owe You Pretty” by Florence Given 

“Women Don’t Owe You Pretty” is the perfect title for you if you want to challenge beauty standards, outdated gender roles, and the patriarchy. 

Florence is distinctly honest and vulnerable in her story and teaches the reader how to discover their own sense of self-worth, protecting their energy and a strong reminder that you owe men nothing. 

“Unsung” by Kate Ceberano 

Kate has layered her memoir with an abundance of passion, joy, and the beauty of creating art.

In this radiant title, Kate goes in-depth on the people and events that have inspired her as a musician, what sustains her as a creator and person, and a beautiful tribute to the art she has created over her lifetime in the music industry.

“Home To Biloela” by Priya Nadesalingam with Rebekah Holt

It was dawn in the small rural town of Biloela. Loud thumping on the front door signalled the start of a four-year odyssey that would catapult Priya and her family into national debate.

The shocking dawn raid was the first of multiple attempts by Australian government to deport the family. But the people of Biloela wouldn’t have it. A small group swung into action, and built an extraordinarily powerful social media campaign that broke through into the mainstream, gathering support from hundreds of thousands of ordinary Australians around the country.


“The Women” by Kristin Hannah

‘Women can be heroes, too’. When twenty-year-old nursing student, Frances “Frankie” McGrath, hears these unexpected words, it is a revelation. Raised on California’s idyllic Coronado Island and sheltered by her conservative parents, she has always prided herself on doing the right thing, being a good girl. But in 1965 the world is changing, and she suddenly imagines a different path for her life. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she impulsively joins the Army Nurses Corps and follows his path.

“Sisters Under The Rising Sun” by Heather Morris 

Amid the turmoil of World War II, Norah Chambers,  sends her daughter Sally away on a ship bound for Australia, desperate to keep her safe from invading Japanese forces.
Two months later, Norah has fled to Singapore. As has Australian nurse Nesta James, who had originally enlisted to care for Allied troops. 

Nesta and Norah are captured and held in a succession of Japanese POW camps, places of starvation and brutality.

But even here, joy can be found by those with the will to defy their desperate circumstances. When Norah forms a ‘vocal orchestra’, with the women’s voices taking the place of instruments, their music has the power to bring hope into the midst of despair.

“Lessons In Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus 

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.

But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one- Calvin Evans,  who falls in love with – of all things – her mind. True chemistry results.


“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins 

In a dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live TV show called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

“Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls” by Elena Favilli 

What if the princess did not marry Prince Charming but instead went on to be an astronaut or an activist? What if the jealous step sisters were supportive and kind? And what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom? Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives. From Marie Curie to Malala, Ada Lovelace to Zaha Hadid, this book brings together the stories of scientists, artists, politicians, pirates and spies.

“Ash Barty: Champion” by Ash Barty 

It’s a tennis story. It’s a family story. It’s a teamwork story. It’s the story of how I got to where and who I am today.

My story is about the power and joy of doing that thing you love and seeing where it can take you, from the first time I picked up a tennis racquet as a young girl in Queensland to the night I packed up my tennis bag at Melbourne Park after winning the 2022 Australian Open.

Maybe my story will inspire you to follow your dreams – I really hope it does.

We hope these titles inspire you to chase your goals, create a new perspective or simply get back into reading. We hope you celebrate International Women’s Day with a great book and the people who empower you.

On Key

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