|Books about women||
What's the purpose of this website????
I have always been an avid reader, ever since I was introduced to the magic world of books through Dick and Jane. In my reading journey, I found myself most often searching for books about real women--women who really existed and from whom I could learn about life. As a young girl, I can remember reading about Russian ballerinas and envisioning myself dancing in Swan Lake!
The first specific book I remember reading was Karen by Marie Killilea. This is a classic written in 1952. Somehow it spoke to me and I have been on the hunt ever since to read about women who once walked on this earth.
Through the years, I have made lists and lists of the books I have read. I have always wanted to share this resource with others who wanted to know more about real live women. I retired in the summer of 2011 from a long career in education and now have the time to do so. This website is the compilation of those lists. At this time there are approximately 200 books for you to investigate and enjoy! I add more as I read them.
There is a contact link on the home page for you to send me your comments and/or suggestions for books to add. I would love to hear from you!
My name is Diane Burke and I am retired from a long career in education both in K-12 and higher ed. I currently live in Chesapeake, Virginia with my husband, Joe.
Looking for specific book or woman?
Type in the name below and see if you can find it on this website. If you can't, send me an email on the comment page and I'll see if I can find her!
How this site is organized
No book is exclusively about one topic alone. My challenge was to decide to how to categorize the books so that you, the reader, could access them in some organized way. The ten categories listed on the home page are the ones I decided on. Each category has a home page with a list of the books and then a page that follows with a copy of the cover and an annotation about the book.(My apologies to all librarians who read these pages for the lack of the most accurate bibliographic annotations.) The second page in the home section lists all of the books currently listed on the site. Although I have read all of the books on the website, I did not write the annotations. They are from Amazon.com and are attributed to the author as stated on Amazon.
Check out previously recommended books in the MORE section of the website!
November Monthly Book Feature
Threading My Prayer Rug
by Sabeeha Rehman
One of the pleasures of reading about the varied lives of women is the opportunity to better understand the rich diversity of the country we live in. Threading My Prayer Rug more than meets this expectation. Sabeeha Rehman writes about coming to the US in the early 1970s from Pakistan as a young bride in an arranged marriage. She shares the story of her life over the past forty years and provides a richly textured reflection on what it is to be a Muslim in America today.
October Monthly Book Feature
Read My Pins
by Madeline Albright
In this book, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright reveals that she used jewelry as a diplomatic tool during her years with the Clinton administration.
It all started when she was the ambassador at the U.N. and Saddam Hussein called her a serpent. "I had this wonderful antique snake pin. So when we were dealing with Iraq, I wore the snake pin." After that incident, Albright decided that it might be fun to speak through her pins. She went out and bought pins she thought would convey her message. Her book goes on to tell of the many pins she acquired during her years as a diplomat and how she used them to send her messages. The final words in her book could serve as a reminder to current US leaders, "One might scoff and say that my pins didn't exactly shake the world. To that I can reply only that shaking the world is precisely the opposite of what diplomats are placed on Earth to do."
September Monthly Book Feature
by Kate Moore
In the early twentieth century one of the best jobs young girls and women in America could have involved something exciting and brand new: radium. Sparkling, glowing, and beautiful, radium was also, according to the companies that employed these young women, completely harmless. A century later the truth about radium and its assorted isotopes is all too well known. In The Radium Girls Kate Moore tells the story of these young women, seemingly so fortunate, who were poisoned by the jobs they felt so lucky to have. The physical consequences of exposure to radium are heart breaking; however, the blatant disregard that companies had to the effects of radium exposure are enough to make you never want to trust any industry!
August Monthly Book Feature
by Robert Specht
Anne Hobbs was only nineteen in 1927, when she came to harsh and beautiful Alaska. Running a ramshackle schoolhouse would expose her to more than just the elements. After she allowed Native American children into her class and fell in love with a half-Inuit man, she would learn the meanings of prejudice and perseverance, irrational hatred and unconditional love. Her fierce commitment to living her values serves as a role model for all of us.
July Monthly Book Feature
Find Me Unafraid
by Jessica Posner
As a college student, Jessica Posner spends a semester abroad in Kenya and moves into the slums of Nairobi. She meets Kennedy Odede and they begin a relationship that leads to marriage and a life dedicated to fighting poverty and hopelessness in one of the worst places in the world. Jessica's drive and persistence shine through and you can't but admire her and appreciate her efforts to change a small part of the world!
June Monthly Book Feature
My Life on the Road
by Gloria Steinem
Somewhere buried in a an old box, I have a copy of the first issue of MS. magazine and Gloria Steinem is the reason! Most of us know Gloria as an early feminist who helped to raise the conscientiousness of many. This book tells part of that story, but it is also much more. Rather than a biography, Gloria writes a journal of her travels in both time and space, sharing the wisdom of cab drivers and native Americans and many more. Her dad played a big influence on her, and his story alone is worth reading this book.
May Monthly Book Feature
Leap of Faith by Queen Noor
Lisa Halaby's story of how she moved from an affluent American family and a member of the first class of women at Princeton to the fourth wife of the late King Hussein of Jordan is a fascinating one. With eloquence and candor, Queen Noor speaks of the obstacles she faced as a naive young bride in the royal court and of her own successful struggle to create a working role as a humanitarian activist.
April Monthly Book Feature
by Mary Peterson
This is the story of three generations of women framed by the white dresses that they wore throughout their lives: Christening, First Communion, Graduation and Wedding. Mary Peterson poignantly tells the story of her grandmother, mother and herself. Her mother always felt that white dresses portrayed the start of something fresh and new. Although there are fresh and new parts of these women's lives, Mary also tells of her mother's unhappy time as a nun and her marriage to a man, Mary's father, who turns out to be gay. Mary's own life as one of the early journalists for CNN and her subsequent work for ABC add interest to the story.
March Monthly Book Feature
The Blue Sweater
by Jacqueline Novogratz
The Blue Sweater is the inspiring story of a woman who left a career in international banking to spend her life on a quest to understand global poverty and find powerful new ways of tackling it. It all started back home in Virginia, with the blue sweater, a gift that quickly became her prized possession--until the day she outgrew it and gave it away to Goodwill. Eleven years later in Africa, she spotted a young boy wearing that very sweater, with her name still on the tag inside. That the sweater had made its trek all the way to Rwanda was ample evidence, she thought, of how we are all connected, how our actions--and inaction--touch people every day across the globe, people we may never know or meet. From her first stumbling efforts as a young idealist venturing forth in Africa to the creation of the trailblazing organization she runs today, Novogratz tells gripping stories with unforgettable characters--women dancing in a Nairobi slum, unwed mothers starting a bakery, courageous survivors of the Rwandan genocide, entrepreneurs building services for the poor against impossible odds.
February Monthly Book
by Hope Jahren
This in an engaging and educational read about how Hope Jahren developed into a world-class geo-biologist. She is one of four scientists, and the only woman, to have been awarded both of the Young Investigator Medals given within the Earth Sciences. She has been the recipient of three Fulbright Awards and in 2005, Popular Science named her one of the "Brilliant 10" young scientists in the United States. She certainly brings to her writing a wealth of knowledge to share. What makes her book so interesting, however, is the way in which she connects and weaves her life story into the stories of plants and trees. I decided to read the book so I could learn about Hope, but found that I enjoyed equally learning about seeds, plants and trees!
January Monthly Book Feature
by Nina Willner
Nina Willner elegantly recounts the story of five women in her family who were separated for 40 years by the Iron Curtain in East Germany. She begins her book by telling a story of how she cannot understand, at the age of 5, why her grandmother cannot come to grandparents day at school. The explanation she is given is that her grandmother lives behind a curtain. Willner, using the logic of a 5 year old, asks why they can't just tear the curtain down. She grows up to be an Army intelligence officer who serves in Berlin, just miles from her unseen family. When the wall falls in 1989, her family is reunited. Willner writes about the 40 years before the fall of the wall and the years that follow. She shares with us a story of courage, resilience, and love—of five women whose spirits could not be broken, and who fought to preserve what matters most: family.
220 last edited 10-23-17