Emma Watson doesn’t just play a leading lady in Beauty and the Beast, the Disney remake that is predicted to break box office records this weekend. The 26-year-old actress also happens to be that heroine in real life–as the U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador.
In January 2016, she started a feminist book club called “Our Shared Shelf.” The group, which is open to the public, has so far selected 10 books and has 179,154 members. Watson was even photographed hiding some of these books in the subway systems of New York City and London last year.
“As part of my work with U.N. Women, I have started reading as many books and essays about equality as I can get my hands on,” she wrote on her Goodreads page. “I decided to start a Feminist book club, as I want to share what I’m learning and hear your thoughts, too.”
Here are five of Watson’s best reading picks on empowerment, leadership, and inspiration:
1. “My Life on the Road,” by Gloria Steinem
Steinem’s new book dives into her career as an activist and writer. She details her experience as a catalyst for change during the movement for equality while exploring her childhood, career and life so far.
2. “The Complete Persepolis,” by Marjane Satrapi
Satrapi grew up in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution in the 1970s. As she entered adolescence, her world drastically changed. Her parents sent her to study in Austria, where she had to grow up quickly and without her family.
3. “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” by Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof
From sex slavery to devastating injuries in childbirth, the married authors catalog the stories of women who experienced oppression in the developing world. The one overarching theme? Hope.
4. “Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl,” by Carrie Brownstein
A musician in the feminist punk rock band Sleater-Kinney, Brownstein describes the hard work, determination, and courage it took to achieve her professional dreams.
5. “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler
This groundbreaking play tells the stories of women from all over the world. Each vignettes explores a different aspect of the feminine experience, and also promotes female empowerment.