In case you didn’t know, March is Women’s History Month! It’s a wonderful time to explore women’s stories and writing. I talked to the library staff about books they read recently that were written by women, and they shared their recommendations with me. Check out these authors, and maybe discover an intriguing new story!
I read The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O'Neill. Her illustrations are beautiful and her books do a great job of representing marginalized communities through great storytelling.
I enjoyed a picture book called The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard. Mary Walker had such an interesting life and I really liked her enthusiasm about reading, especially at such an advanced age. It just goes to show that reading is for all ages and walks of life! And it’s a short picture book too.
I read Capital Dames by Cokie Roberts, which explores the lives of influential women before and through the Civil War and early Reconstruction Era in Washington D.C. The book provides details that I had never heard before and painted a great picture of all that was going on using firsthand accounts and newspapers articles.
I recently read Circe by Madeline Miller. It's a retelling of the story of Circe from Greek Mythology, from Circe's perspective. I liked that the author made me step back and think about the story from a woman's perspective. In Greek mythology she is portrayed as an evil sorceress who torments and kills hapless sailors. But if you stop and think, most, if not all, of the sailors are pirates and very shady men. So, isn't it possible that Circe is just defending herself? I love how the author looks at ancient legends through modern eyes.
I listened to the audiobook Avalon High by Meg Cabot. It's a retelling of the Arthurian legend from the point of view of Elaine, named after Elaine of Astolat. Each chapter starts with a section of the poem The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson and parallels the legend. Though it is not the type of thing I normally read, I actually laughed out loud several times! AND it took a twist that I didn't completely see coming--which is rare for me.
I listened to Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli. It's a slim volume of essays that tells the stories of migrant children and teenagers trying to seek asylum in the United States. It covers the violence that led these children to flee their home countries, and the challenges they face in the asylum process. I appreciated the stark honesty of the author and how the stories humanize a difficult situation and shine a light on how broken the U.S. immigration system is. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator does an excellent job conveying the emotion in these stories.
I read Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke. It’s a mystery novel about a Texas ranger who is looking for a missing boy. He has to navigate the local history of the town Jefferson and deal with racial bigotry and his own personal issues. I would rate it 5 out of 5 stars!