In March we celebrate Women’s History Month, a movement that was spearheaded by the National Women’s History Alliance and gives recognition to the women, past and present, who have devoted their lives to producing art, pursuing the truth, and showcasing their talents to create a better world for all. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories”, with a focus on women who have been active in the multimedia industry: podcasters, pioneering journalists, teachers, playwrights, and many more. Through the accomplishments of influential women, the voiceless were given voices and a new wave of information and entertainment broke into the mainstream, reaching critical heights in the pathway to progress. The theme of 2023 goes hand in hand with what libraries strive to do–sharing stories that expand our understanding and strengthen our connections to each other.
The Faraway World
Patricia Engel, a Colombian-American writer who has been a Reese’s Book Club pick, shares a collection of short stories in this book set across the Americas, linked by the themes of class distinction, migration, sacrifice, and moral compromise. In her sensitive portrayal of human relationships, these stories highlight the vibrancy of community and the underrated, quiet moments of love that hold the power to change everything.
Someone Else's Shoes
Old Babes in the Wood
Written by internationally acclaimed dystopian author Margaret Atwood, this latest book makes a return to her short fiction for the first time since 2014. Filled with wit and intellect, the title story explores alienation and miscommunication with a classic folklore twist. At the heart of the collection are seven stories that follow a married couple across the decades, where the themes of uncommon love and loss are prominent, and what it means to work together to solve the question of what spending a life in unity looks like. True to her tone, this book brings readers both devastation and illumination.
Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age
Author and podcaster Katherine May’s spellbinding self-help memoir shows readers how they can marvel at the goodness in the world during times of high anxiety and uncertainty. Full of inspiration for when you feel exhausted or directionless, this book–among her others–has been deemed a good read for women in their twenties and beyond who may be grappling with existential issues or who are overwhelmed in the grind of constant change. Blending lyricism and empathy, Enchantment reminds us of the magic that can always be found within the mundane.
*Strong Female Character
Scottish comedian Fern Brady weaves an intertwining tale of womanhood and neurodiversity in this top-rated memoir about life after being diagnosed with autism. Using her voice as a working class woman, Brady challenges societal expectations placed on women and brings the conversation on domestic abuse and mental health to the forefront. This book comes with a healing message on traumatic experiences that’s full of sharp humor and unflinching vulnerability.
Taylor Jenkins Reid, a familiar favorite at our library, doles out another riveting beach read in this story of a tennis legend keen on defending her record and her legacy in the sports world despite pushback due to her age. This novel alludes to the double standards women can face for showing ambition and the determination to win when it comes to their goals. The moral of the story can best be summarized by the words of actress Michelle Yeoh, “don’t let anybody tell you you’re ever past your prime.” If you like historical fiction and epic heroines, this is the book for you!
Malaysian-American investigative journalist Stephanie Foo interviews scientists, tests out a variety of innovative therapies, studies the effects of immigrant trauma, and uncovers family secrets in this memoir about healing from and destigmatizing PTSD. Combining the topics of culture and race with mental health, this book is a brave narrative imbued with self-awareness on one woman’s ability to reclaim agency in her life and over her mind.
Set to officially release on April 18, 2023, this unique novel by librarian Hazel Jane Plante is a two-sided fictional memoir of a punk musician who takes us on a personal chronological journey from fledgling artist (Side A) to semi-famous big city rocker (Side B), like a cassette tape in book form! This book is about finding your community, taking risks, and letting go of the past all in one iconic, intimate story. Masterfully depicting the plurality that is woven into the lives of trans women and said to be “a love letter to art”, this is a novel for our LGBTQ+ readers that you won’t want to miss!
In this historical reimagining, women trailblazers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are given alternate timelines to their stories–ones where they battle for liberation, justice, and control over their lives and forge a new, independent path for themselves. Featuring Rina Pierangeli Faccio, Romaine Brooks, and Virginia Woolf as the main triad of characters, among many other notables, this book celebrates daring women of the past (with a twist!) and offers hope to the women of the present and future.
I’m No Philosopher, But I Got Thoughts