Nonfiction for Women’s History Month

Here are a few nonfiction books for Women’s History Month. Celebrate by reading about some amazing women!

Revolutionary Mothers by Carol Berkin –  “The American Revolution was a home-front war that brought scarcity, bloodshed, and danger into the life of every American. In this groundbreaking history, Carol Berkin shows how women played a vital role throughout the conflict and reveals a fascinating and unknown side of the struggle for American independence.”

She Caused a Riot by Hannah Jewell – Women who were geniuses despite the fact that they were girls; Women who fought empires and racists; Women who punched Nazis; Women who wrote dangerous things.

The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara – “Milicent Patrick was one of Disney’s first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood’s classic movie monsters. Author O’Meara discovered that Patrick’s contribution had been claimed by a jealous male colleague, and she soon after had disappeared from film history. O’Meara set out to right the wrong, and in the process discovered the full, fascinating story of an ambitious, artistic woman ahead of her time.”

Invisible Women, Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez – “Data is fundamental to the modern world. From economic development, to healthcare, to education and public policy, we rely on numbers to allocate resources and make crucial decisions. But because so much data fails to take into account gender, because it treats men as the default and women as atypical, bias and discrimination are baked into our systems. And women pay tremendous costs for this bias, in time, money, and often with their lives.”

Stories for Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month is celebrated each March. Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Public Law 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Public Law 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.”

This year’s theme is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” Women are honored who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and have pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society. These women embraced the fact that the means determine the ends and so developed nonviolent methods to ensure just and peaceful results.

Here are a few fiction books about women and war:
51zaKGHzUQL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – It’s the Biafran secession and the subsequent war. Fifteen-year-old Ugwu is houseboy to Odenigbo, a university professor who sends him to school, and in whose living room Ugwu hears voices full of revolutionary zeal. Odenigbo’s beautiful mistress, Olanna, a sociology teacher, is running away from her parents’ world of wealth and excess; Kainene, her urbane twin, is taking over their father’s business; and Kainene’s English lover, Richard, forms a bridge between their two worlds.

 

 

19286587Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera – Yasodhara tells the story of her Sinhala family, rich in love, with everything they could ask for. As a child in idyllic Colombo, Yasodhara’s and her siblings’ lives are shaped by social hierarchies, their parents’ ambitions, and, subtly, the differences between Tamil and Sinhala people; but the peace is shattered by the tragedies of war. Yasodhara’s family escapes to Los Angeles. Yasodhara’s life has already become intertwined with a young Tamil girl’s. Saraswathie is living in the active war zone of Sri Lanka, and hopes to become a teacher. But her dreams for the future are abruptly stamped out when she is arrested by a group of Sinhala soldiers and pulled into the very heart of the conflict that she has tried so hard to avoid – a conflict that, eventually, will connect her and Yasodhara in unexpected ways.

 

23209971Girl at War by Sara Novic – When her happy life in 1991 Croatia is shattered by civil war, ten-year-old Ana Juric is embroiled in a world of guerilla warfare and child soldiers before making a daring escape to America, where years later she struggles to hide her past.

 

 

 

51BJV0x8DsL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli – Helen, an American female combat photographer in the Vietnam War, must take leave of a war she is addicted to and a devastated country she has come to cherish. As the fall of the city begins, Helen and her lover make their way through the streets to try to escape to a new life.

Women’s History Month Reads

Every March we celebrate the history of women in the United States and the obstacles they have overcome throughout all aspects of life. Check out some of these female-centric books, written by or about inspiring women:

The Hello Girls: America’s First Women Soldiers by Elizabeth Cobbs – In 1918 the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France to help win World War I where they faced numerous challenges in a war zone where male soldiers resented, wooed, mocked, saluted, and ultimately celebrated them. Back on the home front, they fought the army for veterans’ benefits and medals, and won.

Geek Girl Rising: Inside the Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech by Heather Cabot & Samantha Walravens – Profiles the female entrepreneurs staking out a place for themselves in the tech industry, sharing the examples of such innovators as Debbie Sterling, Michelle Phan, and other role models behind the success of women-led tech start-ups.

#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso – The founder of the Nasty Gal fashion e-tailer shares an irreverent manifesto for ambitious young women that explains how to channel personal passion and energy while overcoming insecurities, outlining straightforward advice on doing meaningful work and garnering recognition.

The Extra Woman: How Marjorie Hillis Led a Generation of Women to Live Alone and Like It by Joanna Scutts – Presents a cultural history of independent single women from the 1920s to 1950s through the reclaimed life of glamorous guru Marjorie Hillis. Continue reading