March is here and that means it’s time to reflect on some of the individuals and stories that paved the way for future generations of women.
All the books on this list were written by women about women. Both fiction and nonfiction, these women changed the world for the better. We hope that by reading about these women’s journeys, you’ll be inspired and see yourself in their perseverance and strength.
All of the books listed here are available through the Library. Looking for more? See the full list here.
Read this if… you love Michelle Obama’s famous mantra: “when they go low, we go high” and want to know the story behind it.
In a nutshell... Michelle Obama shares her experiences and achievements, both in and out of the White House, that have made her who she is today. She recounts impactful stories from childhood, to dating the future president of the United States, to becoming the first African-American First Lady.
The Book of Unknown Americans
Read this if... you love young romance and want to understand the immigrant experience.
In a nutshell... Immigrants from México, Venezuela, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, etc. live in an apartment complex in Delaware. Though they come from all over the Spanish speaking world, they have more in common than they do not and they form a community--something of a home away from home. Arturo and Alma Rivera have moved from Mexico so their daughter, Mirabel, who suffered an accident on Arturo's construction site, can get the help she needs.
Read this if… you’re a life-long learner.
In a nutshell… This coming-of-age memoir shares the story of one young woman’s fight for education. Growing up without formal education, in a family of survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she took it upon herself to seek knowledge and achieve her academic goals and beyond.
First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies
Read this if… you’re a history buff and interested in all things presidential.
In a nutshell… From Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama, former White House correspondent Kate Andersen Brower shares insights into the last 10 first ladies of the White House. This group biography includes wide-ranging interviews and even anticipates what life would be like with a first husband one day.
The Handmaid's Tale
Read this if… you binge-watched the show and it feels eerily close to reality.
In a nutshell… Before the Emmy-award winning Hulu series, The Handmaid’s Tale originated as a 1984 dystopian novel. The near-future world of the Republic of Gilead describes a woman’s rebellion against a system of gender-based oppression and has provoked thought about our modern-day society.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
Margot Lee Shetterly
Read this if… the Oscar-nominated film adaptation inspired you.
In a nutshell… This true story weaves the narratives of four African-American women who played a major role in achieving some of NASA’s greatest successes in space. Known as “human computers,” these women used their mathematical gifts to help propel the first man in space, all while being segregated from their white, male counterparts.
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
Read this if… you want to be empowered, regardless of age or obstacles.
In a nutshell… Malala Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and a global symbol of peaceful protest. The memoir recounts her recovery journey from Pakistan to New York, and how the hope of education and family helped her to overcome insurmountable odds.
Louisa May Alcott
Read this if… you’re looking for a true classic (even if you’ve already read it a dozen times).
In a nutshell… This Civil-War era story follows sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March as they grow up and experience great love and loss. “Little Women” is inspired by the author’s childhood and its theme of sisterhood is timeless.
My Own Words
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Read this if… you’re looking for hope in tumultuous times.
In a nutshell… Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shares a glimpse into her influential life and career. The book includes her perspective on topics ranging from gender equality, being Jewish in her field, and interpreting the U.S. Constitution.