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  • Writer's pictureNora Curry

Women's History Month

March brings Women's History Month around once again. If these annual months of recognition happen over and over again, how can we make them different? One way is that, as a society, we continuously reframe the ways we talk about gender and what it means to be a woman. And, of course, we see women increasingly add to the incredible wealth of their contributions to our world across history and into the present. This year's official theme for the month, "Providing Healing, Promoting Hope," highlights these more recent contributions while also honoring the past. The National Women's History Alliance describes it as "both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history."

Photo courtesy of the Camden Herald

As we look outward to our country and our world to celebrate women this month, it's of course also worth a local look at the wonderful women right here in Camden—and with an eye toward history, who better to honor than a woman who helped to tell ours? Historian Barbara Dyer was truly beloved in this community as she grew up here and documented the area's history in books and newspapers. Dyer passed away at 97 last month, but her legacy lives on in part on the circulating shelves of our library and in our Walsh History Center, where you can find many of her works to explore.

Now we turn to the reading list! Below you'll find fiction and nonfiction titles written by and about a diverse array of women. Please discover some exciting titles from last year's list ( and then delve into some newer acquisitions and discoveries below. We can redefine a bit what this month means to us every year, but one thing doesn't change—the wealth of books available that help us learn about incredible women. After the following list, you'll find a short selection of newer titles linked to our current Picker Room exhibit, "Finding Our Voices," which features portraits of 41 Maine survivors of domestic violence.

Without further adieu...

Roar, Cecelia Ahern

Her Hidden Genius, Marie Benedict

Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler

The School For Good Mothers, Jessamine Chan

Martita, I Remember You: A Story in English and Spanish, Sandra Cisneros

Dear Miss Metropolitan, Carolyn Ferrell

We Demand: The Suffrage Road Trip, Anne B. Gass

Libertie, Kaitlyn Greenidge

Matrix, Lauren Groff

Something Wild, Hanna Halperin

The Other Black Girl, Zakiya Dalila Harris

A Spindle Splintered, Alix E. Harrow

Mirrorland, Carole Johnstone

Notes on an Execution, Danya Kukafka

What You Can See From Here, Mariana Leky

The Drowning Kind, Jennifer McMahon

Recitatif: A Story, Toni Morrison

Please See Us, Caitlin Mullen

The Swimmers, Julie Otsuka

Island Queen, Vanessa Riley

Ariadne, Jennifer Saint

False Witness, Karin Slaughter

Wayward, Dana Spiotta

Daughter of the Moon Goddess, Sue Lynn Tan

The Chosen and the Beautiful, Nghi Vo

Black Cake, Charmaine Wilkerson

O Beautiful, June Yun

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War, Karen Abbott

A History of Women in 100 Objects, Maggie Andrews & Janis Lomas

The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos, Judy Batalion

Sometimes You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of Harriet the Spy, Leslie Brody

Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement, Tarana Burke

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Irin Carmon

The Hello Girls: America's First Women Soldiers, Elizabeth Cobbs

We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence, Becky Cooper

What Would Frida Do?: A Guide to Living Boldly, Arianna Davis

A Girl Stands at the Door: The Generation of Young Women Who Desegregated America's Schools, Rachel Devlin

Formation: A Woman's Memoir of Stepping Out of Line, Ryan Leigh Dostie

The Unfit Heiress: The Tragic Life and Scandalous Sterilization of Ann Cooper Hewitt, Audrey Clare Farley

Somebody's Daughter: A Memoir: Ashley C. Ford

Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story: Remaking a Life from Scratch, Erin French

Justice, Justice, Thou Shalt Pursue: A Life's Work Fighting for a More Perfect Union, Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law, Haben Girma

Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley, Charlotte Gordon

Bending the Arc: My Journey from Prison to Politics, Keeda J. Haynes

Radiant: The Dancer, the Scientist, and a Friendship Forged in Light, Liz Heinecke

Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence, Anita Hill

Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World, Linda R. Hirshman

Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted, Suleika Jaouad

Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, Martha S. Jones

All in: An Autobiography, Billie Jean King

The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story, Lily Koppel

They Didn't See Us Coming: The Hidden History of Feminism in the Nineties, Lisa Levenstein

Seeing Serena, Gerald Marzorati

All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake, Tiya Miles

No Man's Land: The Trailblazing Women Who Ran Britain's Most Extraordinary Military Hospital, Wendy Moore

Kamala's Way: An American Life, Dan Morain

Aftershocks: A Memoir, Nadia Owusu

Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power, Susan Page

She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man's World, Jennifer Palmieri

It's Up to the Women, Eleanor Roosevelt

The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation, Rosemary Sullivan

Fighting for Space: Two Pilots and Their Historic Battle for Female Spaceflight, Amy Shira Teitel

Just As I Am, Cicely Tyson with Michelle Burford

Persist, Elizabeth Warren

Mary Magadelene Revealed: The First Apostle, Her Feminist Gospel & the Christianity We Haven't Tried Yet, Meggan Watterson

This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing: A Memoir, Jacqueline Winspear

The Field House:A Writer's Life Lost and Found on an Island in Maine, Robin Clifford Wood

Written on the Body: Letters from Trans and Non-binary Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, ed. Lexie Bean

Goodbye, Sweet Girl: A Story of Domestic Violence and Survival, Kelly Sundberg

Writings in the Sand, Ruth Collins

The Woman They Could Not Silence: The Shocking Story of a Woman Who Dared to Fight Back, Kate Moore

The Road Through Wonderland: Surviving John Holmes, Dawn Schiller

Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence, Tanya Selvaratnam

Nobody's Victim: Fighting Psychos, Stalkers, Pervs, and Trolls, Carrie Goldberg

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