6 Books On My TBR By Badass Women
Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening – Manal Al-Sharif
From Goodreads: A ferociously intimate memoir by a devout woman from a modest family in Saudi Arabia who became the unexpected leader of a courageous movement to support women’s right to drive.
This sounds incredibly powerful and inspiring. It’s at the top of my Wish List right now!
Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II – Liza Mundy
From Goodreads: Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.
While I generally avoid historical fiction set around WWII, I find non-fiction about the time period mesmerizing. The way women of previous generations stepped up during war time is unbelievable. To think they were grieving and struggling to survive, yet succeeded in important roles such as this is astounding.
Trainwreck – Sadie Doyle
From Goodreads: From Mary Wollstonecraft—who, for decades after her death, was more famous for her illegitimate child and suicide attempts than for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman—to Charlotte Brontë, Billie Holiday, Sylvia Plath, and even Hillary Clinton, Sady Doyle’s Trainwreck dissects a centuries-old phenomenon and asks what it means now, in a time when we have unprecedented access to celebrities and civilians alike, and when women are pushing harder than ever against the boundaries of what it means to “behave.”
This one has been on my Wish List for a long time. The first time I saw the title, I clicked on it because I have been called a trainwreck more times than I can count. Most often, it was during a trying time in my life, when my behavior didn’t match the expectations of others. I’m curious about where the term came from and how it has been perpetuated in our society.
Rubyfruit Jungle – Rita Mae Brown
Rita Mae Brown is probably best known for her mystery novels, particularly the Mrs. Murphy series, but this novel is much different! First published in 1973, Rubyfruit Jungle was remarkable at its time because of its portrayal of lesbianism. The story is a coming-of-age autobiographical account of Brown’s youth and emergence as a lesbian author. I’m interested in this book because it was groundbreaking, and apparently it’s a great novel too!
Whip Smart: A Memoir – Melissa Febos
From Goodreads: While a college student at The New School, Melissa Febos spent four years working as a dominatrix in a midtown dungeon. In poetic, nuanced prose she charts how unchecked risk-taking eventually gave way to a course of self-destruction. But as she recounts crossing over the very boundaries that she set for her own safety, she never plays the victim. In fact, the glory of this memoir is Melissa’s ability to illuminate the strange and powerful truths that she learned as she found her way out of a hell of her own making.
I discovered this book on a list of recommended memoirs while doing research for my own writing. What I admire most about the concept of this book is that I know the bravery and vulnerability involved in writing any type memoir, so would be a thousand times stronger with a subject such as this. And of course I’m curious about the story!
The Wife – Meg Wolitzer
From Goodreads: The Wife is a wise, sharp-eyed, compulsively readable story about a woman forced to confront the sacrifices she’s made in order to achieve the life she thought she wanted. But it’s also an unusually candid look at the choices all men and women make for themselves, in marriage, work, and life. With her skillful storytelling and pitch-perfect observations, Wolitzer invites intriguing questions about the nature of partnership and the precarious position of an ambitious woman in a man’s world.
I loved Wolitzer’s The Interestings, partly because the way she spans time with her characters feels true to life. Apparently she does something similar in >The Wife, and I’m sure it’s just as great!