ARCs, Uncategorized

3 Kick Butt Books About Women

Today I want to share some mouth-watering ARCs I picked up recently in Auntie’s freight room. Unfortunately, none of them are fiction.

Women and the World, 2019 Edition

BeneathBeneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram by Isha Sesay
Hardback, $27.99
On Street July 9 / Dey Street (an imprint of William Morrow)
Do you remember the morning of April 14, 2014? Most Americans don’t. In the wee hours in Chibok, Nigeria, Islamic militants kidnapped 276 young schoolgirls. Although the horrific act and those that followed sparked global outrage and the #BringBackOurGirls movement, it was quickly buried by America’s 24-hour news cycle and forgotten.

Why it’s Worth Choosing

  • As an award-winning female journalist from Sierra Leone, this author’s perspective is unique. She also led CNN’s Africa reporting for over a decade.
  • The book is told in the only way that readers can transcend macro events and empathize with the victims: through their personal stories on a micro level.
  • The focus of the book is on how one person can make a difference, including the one who is telling the story.

Yale Needs Women: How the First Group of Girls Rewrote the Rules of an Ivy League Giant by Anne Gardiner PerkinsYale
Hardcover, $25.99

On Street: September 10 / Sourcebooks
Summer, 1969. Girls and women all across America begin sending their applications to Yale University for the first time since the Ivy League school was founded in 1701. Originally dedicated to graduating “One thousand (male) leaders per annum”, this landmark policy reversal seems to be a huge step forward. But is it? Many of the first girls at Yale find themselves isolated, treated as oddities and/or sex objects, and barred from many of the privileges an elite education is supposed to offer.

Why it’s Worth Choosing

  • While unflinching, this account is ultimately inspiring as it focuses on strength, resilience, and courage
  • Again, this female author has an insider’s view of how chauvinism not only looks, but feels. She received her undergrad degree from Yale in 1977, something the first female students made possible. She received her PhD from U Mass, Boston, at 52.

MotherhoodMotherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender & Parenting in America
by Nefertiti Austin
Hardback, $25.99 
On street: September 24 / Sourcebooks
Imagine you’re a single American woman and you want to adopt a Black baby from the foster care system. Now imagine that people are asking you why you would bother with a “crack baby” and telling you that you can’t handle a Black son on your own. And you are Black. This honest and raw memoir tells Nefertiti’s story of having to fight to create the family she always knew she was meant to have.

Why it’s Worth Choosing

The secret of a great memoir, dating all the way back to the philosopher Montaigne’s 1592 Essais, is to take a highly personal story and craft it into something universal. Although as a white, married woman who never wanted children I am far from this book’s target audience, I was still drawn in by the global questions of how we surmount racial divides in this country, how we overcome obstacles when people repeatedly say we can’t, and how kind people of goodwill can create their own non-blood-tie family groups based solely on love.

And there you have it: three fascinating books about women, by women. May your reading empower you!

 

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