I have always been disproportionately drawn to fiction, but this year non-fiction is really winning me over. I don’t know if it’s because lately, I’ve been giving more importance to personal experiences and the effort to tell those stories coherently so as to inspire others, but there’s something about personal essay collections that is really seducing me in the last six months. The personal essay collections listed below are titles I’ve come across that have genuinely made me feel excited: I couldn’t wait to dive into these women’s thoughts, feelings and arguments. They all feel unique in some way and I recommend that you add them to your TBR as soon as you can.
So Much I Want to Tell You: Letters to My Little Sister by Anna Akana
I’ve been watching Akana’s YouTube channel for quite a few years and her takes on modern dating, mental health, feminism and everything in between have always struck me as insightful and important. Akana has spoken about her sister’s suicide on her channel before, but this collection of essays addresses the issue explicitly, at the same time giving young women advice about self-care, money, sex, female friendships and much more.
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Eddo-Lodge writes about her experiences of being black in the United Kingdom, a subject that hasn’t been tackled enough as discussions of race and racism tend to center African Americans the most. As a black British woman, Eddo-Lodge has been deliberate about centering English black people and their specific struggles in Britain. She discusses racism in left-wing and feminist spaces, the connection between race and class and offers a new framework within which to discuss racism. (An excerpt of this book can be read here.)
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Khoul
Scaachi Khoul has the millennial dream job: she’s a writer on the internet, at Buzzfeed Canada. Khoul’s debut book contains hilarious and beautiful essays about being an internet writer, a visible woman of color online, growing up in Canada as a girl of color, the colorism in her own community, and much more.
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
If you don’t know about blog bitches gotta eat, stop what you’re doing and give it a browse. Samantha Irby’s writing is razor-sharp, cackling-inducing and has the best life advice I’ve ever come across. Her new book of essays tackles the topics of sex, friendship, adulting and growing up.
What are your favorite personal essay collections? Want even more essays? We’ve got 100 essay collections here.