|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!
The Girl with Seven Names
by Hyeonseo Lee
Hyeonsee Lee grew up in North Korea, one of the world's most secretive societies. Her home on the border with China gave her some exposure to life outside of North Korea and at the age of 17 she decided to escape across the river to China. She learned Chinese and survived for 12 years in China before she could return to help her mother and brother escape too. At times reading her book, I wondered if Hyeonseo Lee could survive one more challenge or setback, but survive she does. Her story is one that inspires all who are searching for a better life, whether we are refuges or not.
Castings Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful Broken World
by Susan Silverman
Susan Silverman grew up with parents who were atheists. Yet, as a young adult, she shocked everyone who knew her and became a rabbi. She then built her own big, unwieldy family through both birth and adoption. With three daughters and two sons (“We produce girls and import boys”), Silverman writes about raising a family in the Jewish tradition. Not having this as my own background, I found it intriguing to learn more about these traditions and compare them to my own. In the process I discovered how we are more alike than different and this made me feel hopefully for our often divided world.
Accidental Saints: Finding God In All the Wrong People
by Nadia Bilz-Weber
Nadia Bilz-Wber is the founding Lutheran pastor of the House for All sinner and Saints Church in Denver, Colorado. She is a former stand-up comic who answers God's call to minister to all of God's people, be they saints or sinners. She is a master story teller who understands that God greets our messed-up lives with His mercy over and over again. Reading this book reminds us that we are all flawed, but we can also all become accidental saints. Bilz-Weber's insights into life and faith are authentic, down-to-earth and full of hope.
Rise of the Rocket Girls
by Nathalia Holt
In the 1940's and 50's when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Lab needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper and mathematical prowess, served as human computers who transformed rocket design and helped bring about the first US satellites and made space exploration possible. This book is their story, Nathalia Holt describes the successes and challenges these women faced in a world composed almost exclusively of men. One particular story tells of one of the women requesting a closer in parking space when she was 7 months pregnant. This disclosure of her "condition" did not result in a closer parking space but resulted in being fired! Reading this book takes you on a journey through shifting gender norms, science and history and showcases the hard work and commitment of many unsung female scientists.
Monthly Book Feature--
A Pearl in the Storm
by Tori McClure
Tori McClure is the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. In her book she shares the physical, intellectual and spiritual challenges she faced in doing so. Learning how she survived a hurricane in a 23 foot homemade plywood boat with no motor or no sail is just one part of the adventure that awaits readers. This is a remarkable tale of one woman's tenacity and determination written in clear and descriptive language. In addition to her sea-faring adventures, the author shares how she came to be a graduate of Smith College, Harvard Divinity School and U of Louisville Law School.
Monthly Book Feature--
by Jessica Alexander
Over the past 12 years, Jessica Alexander has worked in humanitarian operations around the world. In telling her story, she shares her motivations for doing this work and the challenges that she encountered. Rwanda, Dafur and Haiti are just a few of the places from which she shares her analysis of foreign aid and the world of NGOs, the U.N. and disaster recovery efforts. Part coming of age and part insightful analysis of the power and limitations of humanitarian work, Alexander's personal memoir charts one young woman's education in the challenging, maddening, and often times heartbreaking world of humanitarian aid.
Monthly Book Feature --
Surprised by Oxford
by Carolyn Weber
Part love story, part an agnostic's search for God and part life as an Oxford graduate student, the author of this book, Carolyn Weber, engages the reader on all three levels. Weber is a passionate wordsmith who invites her readers to share in both her personal and spiritual journey. As a bonus, she intersperses snippets from the Romantic poets along the way. Regardless of your own faith journey, Weber's story is incredibly compelling and entertaining.
Monthly Book Feature--
7 Women and The Secret of Their Greatness
by Eric Metaxas
This book caught my eye in the new books section of my local library. What kept me reading was when the author stated in his introduction that what made these women great had nothing to do with their being measured against or competing against a man. They were great in their own right. The seven women selected were from various periods in history: Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Saint Maria of Paris, Corrie ten Boom, Rosa Parks, and Mother Teresa. Metaxas gracefully writes about how they broke the norms of society to be the person they were created to be. How they took their hardships, their questions, and their passions to change the world they lived in.
Monthly Book Feature--
In the Skin of a Jihadist
by Anna Erelle
If you are like me, it is at times hard to understand how young women can leave their western lives and travel to Syria to join ISIS. The author of this book, Anna Erelle, provides some insight into how this can happen. Erelle is a young French journalist who poses on-line to be an 18 year old French girl who wants to come to Syria and be an ISIS bride. What unfolds is an accounting of how ISIS recruiters play on the vulnerabilities of young women and entice them to leave their families and travel to a place from which they can never return. I couldn't help but make a comparison between ISIS and other cults that draw people in with dreams of a better life that really does not exist.
Monthly Book Feature--
The News Sorority
by Shelia Weller
This book follows the stories of Daine Sawyer, Katie Couric and Christiane Amanpour on their journeys in broadcast journalism. Today, the news is brought to us by mean and women in equal numbers. However, when these three journalists began their careers, journalism was an Old Boys Club. Reading about the challenges each of these women faced cracking the glass ceiling of network news makes for engaging reading.
202 last edited 10-10-16