The Library

thelibrary.org Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri
Books & Authors

Women's History Month

March is Women’s History Month. While 31 days is criminally insufficient time to grasp the immense force of the population’s better half, it's highly recommended that you take a crash-course with this reading list.

"Mother Jones: The Most Dangerous Woman in America" by Elliott J. Gorn

Her rallying cry was famous: "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." A century ago, Mother Jones was a celebrated organizer and agitator, the very soul of the modern American labor movement. At coal strikes, steel strikes, railroad, textile, and brewery strikes, Mother Jones was always there, stirring the workers to action and enraging the powerful.

 

"Slouching Towards Bethlehem" by Joan Didion

This classic collection of journalism defined the state of America during the upheaval of the sixties revolution. The essays feature barricades and bombings, mass murders and kidnapped heiresses.

 

"Men Explain Things to Me" by Rebecca Solnit

In her comic, scathing essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters.

 

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" Rebeca Skloot

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years.

 

"Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions" by Gloria Steinem

Both male and female readers have acclaimed it as a witty, warm, and life-changing view of the world--"as if women mattered." Steinem's truly personal writing is here, from the humorous expose "I Was a Playboy Bunny" to the moving tribute to her mother "Ruth's Song (Because She Could Not Sing It)" to prescient essays on female genital mutilation and the difference between erotica and pornography. The satirical and hilarious "If Men Could Menstruate" alone is worth the price of admission.

 

"The Second Sex" by Simone de Beauvoir

Vital and groundbreaking, Beauvoir’s pioneering and impressive text remains as pertinent today as it was sixty years ago, and will continue to provoke and inspire generations of men and women to come.

 

"Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" by Harriet A. Jacobs

The true story of an individual's struggle for self-identity, self-preservation, and freedom, "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" remains among the few extant slave narratives written by a woman. This autobiographical account chronicles the remarkable odyssey of Harriet Jacobs (1813–1897) whose dauntless spirit and faith carried her from a life of servitude and degradation in North Carolina to liberty and reunion with her children in the North.

 

"Radioactive: Marie & Peirre Curie, a Tale of Love & Fallout" Lauren Redniss

"Radioactive" is the visual journey into the life of Marie Curie, as told through the dazzling collage style of acclaimed author and artist Lauren Redniss. A brilliant visual storyteller, Redniss has hand-designed more than 100 color collages to tell Curie’s story, fascinating in its scientific significance and its sometimes whimsical, sometimes haunting mix of romance and intrigue. Bringing together archival photos, images, and clippings with dazzling line drawings and a compelling narrative.

 

 

 

 

 

Find this article at