Emma Watson has encouraged her fans from around the globe to join her in reading a selection of "thought-provoking, empowering" books via her digital book club, which she launched on goodreads at the beginning of 2016. Since starting the club, called Our Shared Shelf, Emma has recommended several books to the 192,000 members of the group which she then discusses with them the following month. Get involved with these three books and see Emma's reasons why they're worth reading…
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
"Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale – is a gripping read, but it won't make you feel comfortable. It is set in a dystopian future where a society (which was once clearly the USA) is ruled by a fundamentalist religion that controls women's bodies," Emma says. "Because fertility rates are low, certain women – who have proved they are fertile – are given to the Commanders of the 'Republic of Gilead' as 'handmaids' in order to bear children for them when their wives cannot."
Emma continued: "Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid's Tale over thirty years ago now, but it is a book that has never stopped fascinating readers because it articulates so vividly what it feels like for a woman to lose power over her own body."
Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
"When Women Who Run with the Wolves was first published in 1993, it created a furore about the idea of the Wild Woman archetype and how women had lost our connection to our natural, instinctual selves…" Emma explained. "Estes' ideas are both ancient and completely new. She points to storytelling, our ancient narratives, as a way for women to reconnect to the Wild Woman all women have within themselves, but have lost."
The actress concludes: "Estes retells ancient myths and fairy tales from around the world and in doing so shines a light on a path which leads us back to our natural state --- and help us restore the power we carry within us."
The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
"This book isn't strictly just a book - it's a play that became a political movement that became a world-wide phenomenon. Just say the title The Vagina Monologues and, even now, twenty years after Eve Ensler first performed her ground-breaking show, the words feel radical. I'm very excited about spending the months of January and February reading and discussing a book/play that has literally changed lives," Emma wrote of the book.
"I'm so interested to see which monologues we all like best, and which ones still shock us. Has the world moved on in twenty years, or are there still aspects of women's sexuality we can't talk about, through our own fears or because others try to stop us?"