|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 230 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!
October Monthly Book Feature
by Todd Fisher
Todd shares his heart and his memories of his mother and sister, Debbie and Carrie, with deeply personal stories from his earliest years to those last unfathomable days. His book, part memoir, part homage, celebrates their legacies through a more intimate, poignant, and often hilarious portrait of these two remarkable women than has ever been revealed before.
September Monthly Book Feature
Murder, Motherhood and Miraculous Grace
by Debra Moerke
When Debra Moerke and her husband decided to become foster parents, they never imagined how their lives would change. Debra became especially close to one little girl: four-year-old Hannah. She loved her and did everything she could to help Hannah learn to trust and teach her to feel safe. But when Hannah went back to her birth mother, Karen, it wasn’t long before one of Debra’s worst fears came true.Overwhelmed with horror and grief, Debra didn’t think she could take anymore, but then she received a phone call from prison. Karen, facing a life sentence, was pregnant, and she had a shocking question to ask .
Murder, Motherhood, and Miraculous Grace is an incredible true story of faith, family, and a journey toward seemingly impossible forgiveness. A story that tests the limits of the human heart, it’s ultimately a life-affirming testament to how unconditional love and relentless obedience can transform even the darkest nights into mornings of hope.
August Monthly Book Feature
When I Was White
by Sarah Valentine
At the age of 27, Sarah Valentine discovered t that she was not, in fact, the white girl she had always believed herself to be. She learned the truth of her paternity: that her father was a black man. And she learned the truth about her own identity: mixed race.
And so Sarah began the difficult and absorbing journey of changing her identity from white to black. In this memoir, Sarah details the story of the discovery of her identity, how she overcame depression to come to terms with this identity, and, perhaps most importantly, asks: why? Her entire family and community had conspired to maintain her white identity. The supreme discomfort her white family and community felt about addressing issues of race–her race–is a microcosm of race relationships in America.
A black woman who lived her formative years identifying as white, Sarah's story is a kind of Rachel Dolezal in reverse, though her "passing" was less intentional than conspiracy. This memoir is an examination of the cost of being black in America, and how one woman threw off the racial identity she'd grown up with, in order to embrace a new one.
July Monthly Book Feature
The World Accrding to Fannie Davis
by Bridgett Davis
In 1958, a pretty young mother from Nashville, Tennessee, borrowed $100 from her brother to run a numbers racket out of her home. That woman was Fannie Davis, Bridgett M. Davis's mother.
Part bookie, part banker, mother, wife, and granddaughter of slaves, Fannie ran her numbers business for thirty-four years, doing what it took to survive in a legitimate business that just happened to be illegal. She created a loving, joyful home, sent her children to the best schools, bought them the best clothes, mothered them to the highest standard, and when the tragedy of urban life struck, soldiered on with her stated belief: "Dying is easy. Living takes guts."
A daughter's moving homage to an extraordinary parent, The World According to Fannie Davis is also the suspenseful, unforgettable story about the lengths to which a mother will go to "make a way out of no way" and provide a prosperous life for her family -- and how those sacrifices resonate over time.
June Monthly Book Feature
The Woman Who Smashed Codes
by Jason Fagone
Jason Fagone chronicles the life of an extraordinary woman, who played an integral role in our nation’s history for forty years. After World War I, Smith used her talents to catch gangsters and smugglers during Prohibition, then accepted a covert mission to discover and expose Nazi spy rings that were spreading like wildfire across South America, advancing ever closer to the United States. As World War II raged, Elizebeth fought a highly classified battle of wits against Hitler’s Reich, cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine used by German spies. Fagone unveils America’s code-breaking history through the prism of Smith’s life, bringing into focus the unforgettable events and colorful personalities that would help shape modern intelligence.
May Monthly book Feature
To Heaven and Back
by Mary Neal
In 1999 in the Los Rios region of southern Chile, orthopedic surgeon, devoted wife, and loving mother Dr. Mary Neal drowned in a kayak accident. While cascading down a waterfall, her kayak became pinned at the bottom and she was immediately and completely submerged. Despite the rescue efforts of her companions, Mary was underwater for too long, and as a result, died.
To Heaven and Back is Mary’s remarkable story of her life’s spiritual journey and what happened as she moved from life to death to eternal life, and back again. Detailing her feelings and surroundings in heaven, her communication with angels, and her deep sense of sadness when she realized it wasn’t her time, Mary shares the captivating experience of her modern-day miracle.
April Monthly Book Feature
The Genius of Women
by Janice Kaplan
Even in this time of rethinking women’s roles, we define genius almost exclusively through male achievement. When asked to name a genius, people mention Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Steve Jobs. As for great women? In one survey, the only female genius anyone listed was Marie Curie.
Janice Kaplan set out to determine why the extraordinary work of so many women has been brushed aside. Using her unique mix of memoir, narrative, and inspiration, she makes surprising discoveries about women geniuses now and throughout history, in fields from music to robotics. Through interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, and dozens of women geniuses at work in the world today—including Nobel Prize winner Frances Arnold and AI expert Fei-Fei Li—she proves that genius isn't just about talent. It's about having that talent recognized, nurtured, and celebrated.
March Monthly Book Feature
by Doris Payne
This is the memoir of the world's most notorious jewel thief - a woman who defied society's prejudices and norms to carve her own path, and live out her dreams.
She stole diamonds from the people who underestimated her, she exploited the men who tried to domesticate her, and she consistently defied society's assumptions and prejudices to create a new life for herself. For fans of Catch Me If You Can, The Wolf of Wall Street and Molly's Game, this is the newest must-read crime autobiography.
February Monthly Book Feature
by Tilar Mazzeo
If you fell in love with Eliza Hamilton—Alexander Hamilton’s devoted wife—in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton you probably left the theater wanting to know more about her. A strong pioneer woman, a loving sister, a caring mother, and in her later years, a generous philanthropist, Eliza had many sides—and this fascinating biography brings her multi-faceted personality to vivid life.
January Monthly Book Feature
Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA by Amaryllis Fox
If you ever wondered what it would be like to be a a spy for the CIA, you can get a glimpse into this world by reading Life Undercover by Amaryllis Fox. Fox was in her last year as an undergraduate at Oxford studying theology and international law when her writing mentor, Daniel Pearl, was captured and beheaded. Galvanized by this brutality, Fox applied to a master's program in conflict and terrorism at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, where she created an algorithm that predicted, with uncanny certainty, the likelihood of a terrorist cell arising in any village around the world. At 21, she was recruited by the CIA. At 22, she was fast-tracked into advanced operations training, sent from Langley to "the Farm", where she lived for six months in a simulated world learning how to use a Glock, how to get out of flexicuffs while locked in the trunk of a car, how to withstand torture, and the best ways to commit suicide in case of captivity. At the end of this training, she was deployed as a spy under non-official cover to infiltrate terrorist networks in remote areas of the Middle East and Asia. In her story she shares the challenges that life in the CIA present both in her personal and professional life.
260 last edited 12-27-20