March is Women’s History Month, a time when we can educate ourselves on historic moments women fought for and our progress thus far, along with celebrating women as a whole. And what better way to do that than reading a bunch of books about women by women?
If you are looking for recommendations on biographies that will educate you, comedies that will make your belly ache or stories that encapsulate the unique challenges women face every day, read on.
Want to educate yourself in another way as well? Some interesting podcasts to listen to during this month include “The History Chicks” by Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider, “Stuff Mom Never Told You” by iHeartRadio and “The Other Half: The History of Women Through the Ages” by James Boulton.
‘The Secret History of Wonder Woman’ by Jill Lepore (starting at $9.99; amazon.com)
In this book about the popular superhero character, we learn the parallels between Wonder Woman and the fight for women’s rights. Lepore argues that Wonder Woman is a kind of missing link in our rights’ history, and details the creator of the comic book hit and his own relationship with powerful women. If you like superheroes and educating yourself on women’s rights, this is a must-have on your bookshelf.
‘Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women’ by Elena Favilli (starting at $14.99; amazon.com)
“Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” tells the stories of female heroes from years ago and present day. With color portraits and biographies that are short and sweet, this book is a page-turner for anyone wanting to learn about influential women in the past and present.
‘We Should All Be Feminists’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (starting at $4.99; amazon.com)
In this longform essay, which was adapted from Adichie’s viral Tedx talk by the same name, she draws from her experience being born in Nigeria and moving to the US at age 19, offering a unique, new definition of feminism for the 21st century.
‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen (starting at $0.60; amazon.com)
A classic that never gets old. Set in rural England in the early 19th century, this tale centers around the Bennet family, a family of five daughters and their two parents who are desperate to find at least one of the daughters a wealthy match. Austen’s story focuses on the tension between marrying for love instead of just for power and prestige, and also the unique pressure on women to find financial security by way of marriage at the time.
‘Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World’ by Rachel Ignotofsky (starting at $9.99; amazon.com)
“Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World” is a sweetly illustrated and educational book that highlights the contributions of 50 women in the fields of technology, science, engineering and mathematics, from present day all the way back to 360 AD.
‘Hidden Figures’ by Margot Lee Shetterly (starting $6.99; amazon.com)
This book tells the inspiring true story of four Black female mathematicians — Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden — who worked for NASA in the 1950s and ’60s, and participated in some of the organization’s biggest successes, including sending a man into outer space. It chronicles nearly 30 years of their lives, which involved fighting against both sexism and brutal racism, and also how they used their intelligence to change both their own lives and this country.
‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott (starting at $2.99; amazon.com)
In this classic coming-of-age story, writer Louisa May Alcott tells us the story of the March girls — Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy — all of whom are facing pivotal life decisions, whether that be who to marry or how to push against societal expectations and find a new life path themselves. “Little Women” is based loosely on Alcott’s younger years, and this book is guaranteed to touch the hearts of readers young and old.
‘My Own Words’ by Ruth Bader Ginsburg (starting at $9.18; amazon.com)
In this witty, engaging, New York Times-bestselling book, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg discusses gender equality and the work of the Supreme Court as well as her own fascinating personal life and the impact of her Jewish faith.
‘Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own’ by Kate Bolick (starting at $6.44; amazon.com)
Some want to marry, while others choose to lead an independent life on their own. In this witty conversation starter, author and journalist Kate Bolick uses her life as an example for why there’s a growing population of women that chooses to remain unmarried, and how women can savor these years and their lives in a wholly fulfilling way.
‘The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars’ by Dava Sobel (starting at $4.99; amazon.com)
After years of women being overlooked in the astronomy field, Sobel tells the amazing story of the group of women who helped the world see the universe as they never had before. In the mid-1800s, Harvard College Observatory began hiring women to interpret the findings that their male counterparts made via telescope each night. Eventually, as photography transformed astronomy as we know it, the women began to make discoveries like what stars are actually made of and a way to measure distances across space.
‘Elizabeth the Queen’ by Sally Bedell Smith (starting at $14.99; amazon.com)
Known for leading an exceedingly private life, all while being arguably the most known woman in the world, “Elizabeth the Queen” explains the history of the Queen and how her characteristics as a woman have led her to be an icon for women’s rights at a global scale. Spanning from 1952 — at the time of her ascension to the throne — to modern day, Smith pulls back the curtain to detail the Queen’s personal life during her last 60 years as a leader.
‘My Beloved World’ by Sonia Sotomayor (starting at $9.59; amazon.com)
From her early life to where she is today, this captivating memoir gives readers a look into the life of Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and third female judge on the United States Supreme Court. Throughout this read, Sotomayor shares her experiences overcoming barriers both women and minorities face in everyday life, and how she went from a precarious childhood to working her way through education and jobs that would eventually lead to fulfilling her dream of becoming a lawyer and one of the country’s most influential judges.
‘Finding My Voice’ by Valerie Jarrett (starting at $9.99; amazon.com)
Gain insight into the life of the longest-serving senior adviser to President Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett. Writing about her life, which has been filled with plenty of personal challenges, Jarrett’s road from Chicago to the White House will captivate you.
‘No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference’ by Greta Thunberg (starting at $6.99; amazon.com)
The title of this book says it all, with Thunberg’s astonishing accomplishments ranging from creating a school strike that became a global movement called Fridays for Future to speaking at climate rallies across Europe at the age of 16. This is a book of her most famous speeches, including her historic address at the United Nations.
‘The Moment of Lift’ by Melinda Gates (starting at $4.99; amazon.com)
Empowering women across the world, Melinda Gates writes this book with a focus around gender equality and empathy. Combining scientific data and stories alike, “The Moment of Lift” highlights her experience with inequality in the workplace and humanitarian work.
‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama (starting at $11.89; amazon.com)
We wouldn’t be able to write this list without including Michelle Obama’s memoir. “Becoming” has the former FLOTUS discussing her childhood, family, motherhood, her own FLOTUS impact, the pressures of being part of the first Black family in the White House and balancing her public life now. And of course she writes all about meeting her husband and the many unique challenges they faced too.
‘Bossypants’ by Tina Fey (starting at $8.99; amazon.com)
In “Bossypants,” comedian and “Saturday Night Live” alum Fey writes all about her life and career, and offers a unique and modern take on motherhood and power, all of course while being uproariously funny.