Group of diverse women

Group of diverse women ()

Compiling these “10 Books” lists for every month has easily become one of my favorite parts of my job. However, I must admit some bias in terms of this month’s list: As someone with an academic background (and vested interest) in women’s history, more than one of my favorite books appears in this month’s list. With inspiring memoirs and biographies, captivating female-led novels and several collections of essays, there is something for everyone on this list.

The Geek Feminist Revolution” by Kameron Hurley (2016)

Hurley has succeeded in the typically male-dominated science-fiction writing field. This is a collection of autobiographical essays that tackles topics such as sexism, body image, defining success and geek culture. This collection includes her 2014 Hugo Award-winning essay, “We Have Always Fought.”

She Persisted” series by Chelsea Clinton (2018)

This series includes stories about historical women around the world, in America, in sports and science. Aimed at children ages 4-9, this is a perfect read-aloud series for the entire family to introduce everyone to important women throughout history.

Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly (2016)

A New York Times bestseller, this book tells the story of the African American mathematicians of NASA that were vital to the American space program, previously left in the margins or completely left out of the story of the success of the program. While it is about the women and the space program, readers also get the story with the context of the second world war, the cold war, the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Rights Movement in America. You can watch the film version on Disney+ and Amazon Prime.

I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for kids and Was Shot by the Taliban” by Malala Yousafzai (2012)

In October 2012, Malala Yousafzai stood up to the oppression of the Taliban and almost paid the ultimate price when she was shot in the head. “I am Malala” tells the story of this heroine’s early life that led up to this moment. She has since become the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate and graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

I'll Be the One” by Lyla Lee (2020) (Realistic Fiction) This young adult novel is relatable to those both young and old. Skye Shin is a teenager seeking to be the first plus-sized K-Pop star. She has no shame in being fat, it’s just part of who she is. She loves to dance and knows that she has what it takes to succeed. Yet, her confidence is shaken by the fat-phobic culture and beauty standards of K-Pop and reality television. Can she have it all without losing herself?

My Own Words” by Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2016)

A pioneer for women’s equal employment opportunities and a Supreme Court Justice, Ginsburg recounts her life and provides insights into various topics such as gender, equality, being Jewish and the Supreme Court. The book also provides quotes from some of Ginsburg’s iconic interviews.

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot” by Mikki Kendall (2020)

This collection of essays challenges traditional notions of mainstream feminism which tends to focus on topics such as equal employment and reproductive health. Kendall brings up non-traditional topics such as food deserts, kids, safe neighborhoods and how they impact women’s lives and impede feminism as a whole.

Agatha Christie: An Autobiography” by Agatha Christie (1977)

I always try to provide a mystery on these “10 Books” lists and what better way to celebrate Women’s History Month than by including the pinnacle herself, Agatha Christie? Known as the “Queen of Crime,” she lived a fascinating life through the transition from the 19th to the 20th century, two world wars, multiple marriages and became the “best-selling author of all time.”

The Lady Elizabeth” by Alison Weir (2008) (Historical Fiction)

As a historical fiction written by a historian, this novel weaves factual history into a fantastical story of the notorious Queen Elizabeth I. Before she was the iconic queen, Elizabeth was a royal child brought up in a world of intrigue, scandal, love and betrayal. Those who want to decipher the truth from fiction can read Weir’s “The Life of Elizabeth.”

Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay (2014)

This collection of essays is call-of-arms to her readers (and a reminder to herself) to constantly try to do better in terms of how we treat ourselves, how we interact with the world around and with what media and entertainment we consume. She reminds the reader that you can identify as a feminist and like pink and explains how one is a good and (bad) feminist in a world of social media, objectifying (but catchy) music and more.

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