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  • Writer's pictureNora Curry

Women's History Month

This March marks forty years since the first official celebration of Women's History Week in 1981. While it is, and should be, impossible to ignore the voices, achievements, and experiences of women at all times of year, we continue to take this month to celebrate and honor their history. At the library, we're highlighting books and films that articulate these experiences (though one reading list can hardly touch the tip of the iceberg). Explore this list for histories, social commentaries, memoirs and biographies, poetry, plays, and novels both new and classic that celebrate, empower, and convey the joys and hardships of being a woman. There are so many unique perspectives on the struggles and triumphs of women. I'm currently relishing Writing Wild: women poets, ramblers, and mavericks who shape how we see the natural world, Kathryn Aalto's collection of biographical sketches about woman who have had strong relationships with nature and thus affected our relationship with and understandings of it.

Click on the links to request items through our catalog, and please share with us any books or other art forms you've discovered that feel particularly relevant this month.


Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

The Power, Naomi Alderman

Conjure Women, Afia Atakora

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

The Only Woman in the Room, Marie Benedict

The Girls in the Picture, Melanie Benjamin

The Girls, Emma Cline

Song of a Captive Bird, Jazmin Darznik

The Lions of Fifth Avenue, Fiona Davis

The Gilded Hour, Sarah Donati

America’s First Daughter, Stephanie Dray

Girl, Woman, Other, Bernadine Evaristo

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls, Anissa Gray

The Once and Future Witches, Alix E. Harrow

A Thousand Ships, Natalie Haynes

Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly

Circe, Madeline Miller

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

The Farm, Joanne Ramos

A Woman is No Man, Etaf Rum

The Daughters of Erietown, Connie Schulz

Kopp Sisters on the March, Amy Stewart

Women Talking, Miriam Toews

The Color Purple, Alice Walker

The Female Persuasion, Meg Wolitzer

Red Clocks, Leni Zumas

Poetry and Plays

Blessing the Boats: new and selected poems, 1998-2000, Lucille Clifton

The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler

Ain’t I A Woman?: a book of women’s poetry from around the world, ed. Illona Linthwaite

Undersong: chosen poems, old and new, Audre Lorde

Poems from the Women’s Movement, ed. Honor Moore

Ariel: poems, Sylvia Plath

Diving into the Wreck: poems, 1971-1972, Adrienne Rich

Selected Poems of Anne Sexton, Anne Sexton

Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth: new poems, Alice Walker

Memoir and Biography

The Soul of a Woman: on impatient love, long life, and good witches, Isabel Allende

Home work: a memoir of my Hollywood years, Julie Andrews

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Letter to My Daughter, Maya Angelou

Notorious RBG: the life and times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

Red Comet: the short life and blazing art of Sylvia Plath, Heather Clark

Living History, Hilary Rodham Clinton

True North: a memoir, Jill Ker Conway

Revolutionary Heart: the life of Clarina Nichols and the pioneering crusade for women’s rights, Diane Eickhoff

I Feel Bad About My Neck: and other thoughts on being a woman, Nora Ephron

Bossypants, Tina Fey

Janis: her life and music, Holly George-Warren

My Own Words, Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Without a map: a memoir, Meredith Hall

The Truths We Hold: an American journey, Kamala Harris

My Life, My Love, My Legacy, Coretta Scott King

In the Dream House: a memoir, Carmen Maria Machado

Eleanor, David Michaelis

Know My Name, Chanel Miller

Becoming, Michele Obama

The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the making of an American dynasty, Susan Page

Know Your Power: a message to America’s daughters, Nancy Pelosi

A Singular Woman: the untold story of Barack Obama’s mother, Janny Scott

My Beloved World, Sonia Sotomayor

My Life on the Road, Gloria Steinem

Sex Object: a memoir, Jessica Valenti

Dear Girls: intimate tales, untold secrets, and advice for living your best life, Ali Wong

Other Nonfiction

Together We Rise: behind the scenes at the protest heard round the world, the Women’s March organizers and Condé Nast

Writing Wild: women poets, ramblers, and mavericks who shape how we see the natural world, Kathryn Aalto

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

When Women Invented Television: the untold story of the female powerhouses who pioneered the way we watch today, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Women in White Coats: how the first women doctors changed the world of medicine, Olivia Campbell

America’s Women: 400 years of dolls, drudges, helpmates, and heroines, Gail Collins

When Everything Changed: the amazing journey of American women from 1960 to the present, Gail Collins

Come fly the world: the jet-age story of the women of Pan Am, Julia Cooke

Women’s Words, Women’s Stories: an American daybook, ed. Lois Stiles Edgerly

Why We Cook: women on food, identity, and connection, Lindsay Gardner

The Moment of Lift: how empowering women changes the world, Melinda Gates

Women’s Letters: American from the Revolutionary War to the present, ed. Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler

Sister Citizen: shame, stereotypes, and Black women in America, Melissa V. Harris-Perry

The Genius of Women: from overlooked to changing the world, Janice Kaplan

More Than Petticoats: remarkable Maine women, Kate Kennedy

Mother is a Verb: an unconventional history, Sarah Knott

Sister Outsider: essays and speeches, Audre Lorde

Every Day is a Good Day: reflections by contemporary indigenous women, Wilma Mankiller

Women in Early America: struggle, survival, and freedom in a new world, Dorothy A. Mays

Highway of Tears: a true story of racism, indifference, and the pursuit of justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, Jessica McDiarmid

D-Day Girls: the spies who armed the resistance, sabotaged the Nazis, and helped win World War II, Sarah Rose

The World Split Open: how the modern women’s movement changed America, Ruth Rosen

Hidden Figures: the American dream and the untold story of the Black women mathematicians who helped win the space race, Margot Lee Shetterly

The glass universe: how the ladies of the Harvard Observatory took the measure of the stars, Dava Sobel

Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit

Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Gloria Steinem

Good and Mad: the revolutionary power of women’s anger, Rebecca Traister

The Three Mothers: how the mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin shaped a nation, Anna Malaika Tubbs

Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Not For Ourselves Alone: the story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Geoffrey C. Ward

The Woman’s Hour: the great fight to win the vote, Elaine F. Weiss

The Agitators: three friends who fought for abolition and women’s rights, Dorothy Wickenden

A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf

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