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A Mighty Girl's 2018 Books of the Year

38 items
  1. Becoming: A Memoir by Michelle Obama

    During her eight years as First Lady, Michelle Obama established herself as a powerful advocate for girls and women, while helping to create one of the most welcoming White Houses in history. In her inspiring memoir, she chronicles the experiences that shaped her: childhood years in Chicago's South Side, the struggles of balancing motherhood with her work as an executive, and the challenges that come with stepping onto the nation's political stage. This compelling account by one of present-day America's most iconic women will encourage readers to reach high, defy expectations, and become who they're meant to be.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $8.14
  2. The Woman's Hour

    The Great Fight to Win the Vote

    Author: Elaine Weiss

    This real-life political thriller tells the story of the nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political battles in American history: the ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote. In August 1920, 35 states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed — after a seven-decade long crusade, the future of women's suffrage comes down to Tennessee. Over one hot summer, opposing forces converge on the state for a vicious face-off replete with dirty tricks, bigotry, and betrayals. Following a handful of remarkable women who led their respective forces into battle, The Woman's Hour is the inspiring story of activists winning their own freedom in one of the last campaigns forged in the shadow of the Civil War, and the beginning of the great twentieth-century battles for civil rights.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $11.99
  3. Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

    For many people, the iconic Little House on the Prairie series is pioneer life, but the true story of Laura Ingalls Wilder's life is more complex and fascinating than revealed through her books. To create a more nuanced picture of Wilder's life, author Caroline Fraser examined unpublished writings, letters and diaries, and even financial records. She found that the Ingalls family struggled with poverty, as well as a sense of rootlessness. It wasn't until after the Great Depression that she wrote her children's books and achieved unexpected fortune and fame. For the millions of readers of the Little House books who believe they know Laura Ingalls, this first comprehensive historical biography, which was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Biography, offers an eye-opening look at both her personal story and the mythologizing of America's westward expansion.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $15.89
  4. Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life

    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's pioneering career has made a profound mark on both American law and society. Now, in this definitive biography, meticulously ressearched and fifteen years in the making, admirers of this groundbreaking jurist can learn about the foundational moments of her life, work, and philosophy. When Ginsburg began her study of law, she was one of only a handful of female law students; as a law professor at Rutgers University, she had to hide her second pregnancy or risk losing her job. But her tireless efforts to fight for gender equality have continued to push progress forward. In this substantial work, author Jane Sherron de Hart has produced an intriguing portrait of a justice whose influence, particularly on the lives of American women, cannot be overstated.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $21.59
  5. Enough As She Is

    How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy, and Fulfilling Lives

    Although girls seem to be more "successful" than ever today, outpacing boys in GPA, college enrollment, and more, they're also reporting feeling overwhelmed by the need to be exceptional at everything. This book takes a look below the put-together surface that girls project to the world, and provides practical tips for parents to help them reduce negative thoughts, embrace risk and authenticity, and prioritize feeling confident and happy as the ultimate sign of success. Best-selling parenting author Rachel Simmons relies on in-depth case studies and careful research to create both a portrait of the challenges facing girls today and a road map to help girls create their own paths to happy, healthy lives.

    Price: $12.82
  6. Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed The World

    Joe Kennedy spent his life grooming his sons for politics — and ignoring the potential of his daughters. Eunice Kennedy Shriver grew into a formidable woman, determined to confront the injustices she saw, including a country that offered no options for people like her sister, Rosemary, who had intellectual disabilities, and a family that considered its sons the only important part of the future. She would go on to make an incredible impact on American society, including by founding the Special Olympics. In this insightful biography, Eileen McNamara draws on previously-unseen private papers to provide a compelling look at a woman of compassion, drive, and vision.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $12.39
  7. Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History

    Author: Keith O'Brien

    In the 1930s, everyone loved air racing, and male pilots were considered daring and courageous heroes — but female pilots were the subject of ridicule; why would people more suited to a home and kitchen even try to take the controls of such a dangerous machine? In this book, Keith O'Brien tells the stories of five women who dared to challenge the entrenched prejudice and prove that women had what it took to fly. Florence Klingensmith, Ruth Elder, Amelia Earhart, Ruth Nichols, and Louise Thaden came from drastically different backgrounds, but they all had a dream of flight... and one of them would prove that a woman could do more than just fly: she could win the toughest race of them all.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $13.44
  8. In Pieces

    Author: Sally Field

    On screen, Sally Field dazzled and delighted from the moment of her first TV role at seventeen. But beneath the polished exterior was a shy, nervous girl who depended on her acting skill to give herself a voice. In this honest and open memoir, Field explores her lonely childhood, her complicated relationship with her mother, the joys, sorrows, and hardships of her early career, and the fulfillment she's found both in front of and away from the camera. In Pieces is a powerful account of life as a woman in the second half of the twentieth century.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $15.94
  9. The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After

    Clemantine Wamariya experienced tremendous trauma as a child: at six years old, she and her older sister Claire had to flee the Rwandan massacre and spent six years seeking safety in seven countries in Africa, facing both horrors and unexpected kindness. Then, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the US, and the sisters parted: Claire was now a struggling single mother, while Clemantine was taken in by an American family. But a privileged American life didn't erase the struggles of her past. In this powerful memoir, Wamariya challenges readers to redefine "victim," instead seeing the incredible resiliency that allows people like her, all over the world, to overcome profound losses and build new lives.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $26.09
  10. The Wind in My Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran

    Masih Alinejad was a teenage activist, a young wife and mother, and then a young divorcee — to the shame and embarrassment of her religiously conservative family. She fought for custody of her beloved son, and as a journalist, she fought to bring truth to the world. And on a picture on her Facebook page — one where she stands proudly without wearing the veil that is compulsory for Iranian women — she sparked a social media campaign, "My Stealthy Freedom." Masih's vivid memoir is a testament to fighting adversity at every turn and to the little freedoms that many women must still fight to win.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $17.64
  11. Sign My Name To Freedom: A Memoir of a Pioneering Life

    Betty Reid Soskin has witnessed dramatic changes to American culture in her 96 years — and she's helped to create plenty of that change, too! Today, she's the oldest park ranger in the history of the National Park Service, sharing her perspective by leading tours of the Rosie the Riveter National Park. In this absorbing memoir, Soskin describes a life watching the course of American 20th century history, complete with tremendous strides in women's and civil rights. Conversational and fresh, this book will make you look at the world around you with new eyes.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $17.21
  12. Can't Nothing Bring Me Down

    Chasing Myself in the Race against Time

    Author: Ida Keeling

    101-year-old Ida Keeling had survived the Great Depression and the Civil Rights Movement; she thought nothing could be worse. Then her two sons were brutally murdered, and Ida felt like she couldn't carry on. But her daughter urged her to tie on a pair of sneakers, and at 67, she started to run. Since her first race 35 years ago, Miss Ida has never looked back! In this conversational and charming memoir, Keeling — the world record holder for the 60-meter dash in the 95-99 age group — proves that it's easier to overcome obstacles when you pick up your feet and go.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $12.86
  13. No More Mean Girls

    The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls

    Author: Katie Hurley

    Many parents think big social stressors first hit girls during the middle school years, only to discover that tough issues like low self-esteem, cyberbullying, and peer pressure are cropping up at younger ages. This invaluable book tackles "mean girl culture" and provides practical advice for parents on how to to teach girls to seek out and build strong, positive friendships; express themselves in a healthy way; and stand up for themselves and for others, empowering young girls to be kind, confident, and resilient leaders who work together and build each other up.

    Price: $12.86
  14. Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet

    When people talk about the history of computers, the names that come up are almost exclusively male — but groundbreaking women have been at the heart of every important wave of technology! In this insightful social history of the internet, Claire L. Evans shares the little-known stories of women in tech, from Ada Lovelace and her first computer program, to Grace Hopper teaching computers to "talk," to Stacy Horn, who ran one of the first social networks out of her apartment in the 1980s. This inspiring call to action shines a light on the bright minds whom history forgot, and shows us how they will continue to shape our world in ways we can no longer ignore.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $18.95
  15. Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters

    Since it was published in 1868, Little Women and its beloved sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy have spoken to people around the world. In this unique exploration of the American classic — released for the 150th anniversary of its publication — Anne Boyd Rioux tells both the story of Louisa May Alcott's writing and of how the story continues to resonate so many years later. She also pays tribute to the women writers who were inspired by Alcott's novel. Straddling the line between entertainment and nuanced complexity, this fascinating look at Alcott's novel is not to be missed.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $11.89
  16. Daughters of the Winter Queen

    Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots

    Elizabeth Stuart, granddaughter of the martyred Mary, Queen of Scots, found herself thrust into the glittering world of British royalty when her father ascended to the throne of England — and then her world changed again he betrayed the commitment he'd made when he married her to a German count. Nicknamed the "Winter Queen," Elizabeth was forced into exile in Holland, where she and her four daughters found refuge and comparative peace. Author Nancy Goldstone depicts the determined former queen and her four defiant daughters with wit and admiration, and highlights how their refusal to give in changed the course of history.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $19.47
  17. Visionary Women: How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall, and Alice Waters Changed Our World

    Author: Andrea Barnet

    At first glance, Jane Jacobs, Rachel Carson, Jane Goodall, and Alice Waters have little in common with one another — but these four women, each of whom defied convention, all proved that one voice speaking truth to power can change the world. Author Andrea Barnet shows how each woman found her voice during the early 1960s: Jacobs fought for strong communities, Carson proclaimed the danger of environmental damage, Goodall proved that humans and animals weren't so different as we thought, and Waters urged us to consider what we put on our dinner table. This intriguing book is a tribute to the power of visionary women.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $18.28
  18. In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin

    In Extremis is the inspiring and devastating biography of Marie Colvin, a fearless and iconoclastic war correspondent who covered the most significant global calamities of her lifetime. Like her hero Martha Gellhorn, Colvin was committed to bearing witness to the horrifying truths of war, and to shining a light on the profound suffering of ordinary people caught in the midst of conflict. In Extremis is a thrilling investigation into Colvin's epic life and tragic death based on exclusive access to her intimate diaries from age thirteen to her death, interviews with people from every corner of her life, and impeccable research.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $15.29
  19. Educated: A Memoir

    Author: Tara Westover

    Tara Westover grew up in a family of survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, with a father who refused them medical care, education, and more, even when an older brother turned violent. Then one of her other brothers extricated himself and went to college... and his story inspired Westover to try to. Stepping into a classroom for the first time at age 17, everything — including major world events — was new to her. But as she learned more, she began to wonder if she would ever be able to go home. This coming-of-age memoir is a testament to both the determination of one woman and the power of education.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $13.99
  20. Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry

    Author: Imani Perry

    Looking for Lorraine is a revealing portrait of one of the most gifted and charismatic, yet least understood, black artists and intellectuals of the twentieth century, Lorraine Hansberry. Although best-known for her work A Raisin in the Sun, her short life was full of extraordinary experiences and achievements, and she had an unflinching commitment to social justice, which brought her under FBI surveillance when she was barely in her twenties. While her close friends and contemporaries, like James Baldwin and Nina Simone, have been rightly celebrated, her story has been diminished and relegated to one work – until now.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $17.95
  21. In Praise of Difficult Women: Life Lessons From 29 Heroines Who Dared to Break the Rules

    Author: Karen Karbo

    When women are independent, ambitious, opinionated, or simply insistent that they will take up space, they're often branded with the word "difficult." But in this beautifully illustrated book, author Karen Karbo argues that being "difficult" may not make life easier, but it definitely makes it more meaningful and fulfilling! Her unique narrative tells the stories of 29 iconic women, including figures like Frida Kahlo, Carrie Fisher, Amelia Earhart, and Shonda Rhimes, who forged their own paths in the world. She explores their stories — imperfections and all — and examines the universal themes that connect us to each of these mesmerizing personalities today: success and style, love and authenticity, daring and courage.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $7.15
  22. Ask Me About My Uterus

    A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Women's Pain

    Author: Abby Norman

    It's a story that's all too familiar: a woman in pain, dismissed by doctors, has to find her own answers. In 2010, Abby Norman dropped out of college because of excruciating pain that her doctors wrote off as a urinary tract infection. It wasn't until years later, when she took matters into her own hands and spent hours reading in a medical library, that she received a diagnosis of endometriosis. In this important book, Norman uses her own story to illuminate the cultural and political context of how women's bodies — and women's pain — are treated. This eye-opening and infuriating book is a rallying cry for women's health.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $14.99
  23. A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America

    When 18-year-old Marie reported being raped in her apartment in Seattle, Washington in 2008, both police and those close to her doubted her story — and soon she "admitted" she'd made up the story and was accused of false reporting. But two years later, Colorado detectives Stacy Galbraith and Edna Hendershot realized that a serial rapist was on the loose: one whose careful steps to intimidate victims and erase physical evidence implied he might be a soldier... or a cop. Their meticulous investigation would connect the rapist to attacks in multiple states and highlight the skepticism directed toward rape victims. This harrowing story, rich in forensic detail, is also a rallying cry to change the way society views rape and accusations.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $19.59
  24. Jane and Dorothy: A True Tale of Sense and Sensibility

    The Lives of Jane Austen and Dorothy Wordsworth

    Jane Austen and Dorothy Wordsworth were contemporaries, and while they shared many similarities — they were talented writers who struggled to express themselves, they both desperately desired financial security, and neither ever married — they took two very different paths. Austen decided to try to achieve financial independence through her writing, while Wordsworth turned her gifts to help her brother, poet William Wordsworth. In this unique dual biography, author Marian Veevers compares their lives side by side, creating an intriguing portrait of two brilliant women trapped by the conventions of their time.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $24.47
  25. Blood Letters: The Untold Story of Lin Zhao, a Martyr in Mao's China

    Author: Lian Xi

    Lin Zhao was a poet and journalist who refused to let her voice be silenced, even by the brutal Chinese Cultural Revolution. Driven by her Christian faith and her belief in free speech, she is the only known Chinese citizen who openly opposed Mao's communism. Despite being arrested and tortured for eight years, she remained steadfast, writing poems and letters proclaiming her dissent in her own blood. Author Lian Xi drew on Lin Zhao's prison writings and interviews with friends, classmates, and other former political prisoners to create this searing portrait of courage and defiance.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $16.27
  26. First Ladies of the Republic

    Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, and the Creation of an Iconic American Role

    Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and Dolley Madison were America's first First Ladies, and they faced tremendous challenges: they had to define a role that had no official description, and maintain the dignity of the president's office while avoiding the aristocratic behavior of European nobles that was so contrary to their new republic's ideals. Their public personas had to buoy confidence and prop up their husbands' presidencies, no matter what challenges they were facing. Author Jeanne Abrams looks at these three First Ladies as a group, showing how they influenced one another — and created a new role for women in America.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $44.55
  27. Astrid Lindgren: The Woman Behind Pippi Longstocking

    Author: Jens Andersen

    Astrid Lindgren's life was often turbulent and difficult: she faced life as an unwed teenage mother, poverty during the war, and battles with depression. Then, as the creator of beloved book characters like Pippi Longstocking and Ronia, she was suddenly launched into fame, giving her a voice for causes that mattered deeply to her, like women's and children's rights. In this first English-language biography of Lindgren, author Jens Andersen draws on primary sources and letters to create a detailed and accessible account of Lindgren's life, and also explores how her characters still resonate with children today.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $20.83
  28. Renoir's Dancer: The Secret Life of Suzanne Valadon

    Suzanna Valadon spent the 1880s as the beautiful model who inspired many of the great Impressionists. For an illegitimate child, born into poverty, and with an illegitimate child of her own, it seemed the best she could hope for. Then Renoir discovered her secret: she was herself a tremendously talented painter. Her friends Toulouse-Lautrec and Degas could also see her skill, and encouraged her as she refused to be held back by tradition or gender. Finally, in 1894, her work was accepted by the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, a stunning achievement. This story of ambitious woman who successfully found an expressive voice is captivating and delightful.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $14.99
  29. The Good Mothers: The Story of the Three Women Who Took on the World's Most Powerful Mafia

    Author: Alex Perry

    The 'Ndrangheta — the Calabrian Mafia — is one of the richest crime syndicates in the world, and it maintains its fearsome grip with bloodshed and violence — even against the wives and daughters it treats as chattel. In 2009, prosecutor Alessandra Cerreti wondered: could the 'Ndrangheta's sexism be its downfall? She approached two mafia wives, offering safety for themselves and their children in exchange for testimony. This feminist true crime story of pits one woman against an entrenched crime ring, with nailbiting stakes as readers wonder which of the 'Ndrangheta women will testify — and who will survive the betrayal.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $16.99
  30. The Girl from Kathmandu

    Twelve Dead Men and a Woman's Quest for Justice

    Author: Cam Simpson

    In August 2004, twelve Nepalese men took what they thought was a job at a luxury resort in Jordan, not knowing that they had actually been hired for subcontract work at an American military base in Iraq. They were murdered by Islamic extremists, and video of their execution was shared on the web. Investigative journalist Cam Simpson asked why these men were in Iraq and who they were working for. The question would trigger a 10-year journey into war profiteering, trafficking, and human rights violations — and a meeting with Kamala Magar, a widow who dared to face the powerful men who had sent her husband to die without a thought. This shocking and thought-provoking story sheds new light on the ugly truths of global capitalism.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $13.89
  31. The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind

    My Tale of Madness and Recovery

    Barbara Lipska was an expert on the neuroscience of mental illness when she was diagnosed with melanoma that had spread to her brain. The illness damaged her frontal lobe and soon dementia- and schizophrenia-like symptoms overwhelmed her. Then, unexpectedly, the immunotherapy she had been prescribed worked, and within a few more months, she was back to normal — but with full memories of her experience of mental illness. In this powerful book, Lipska takes a scientist's look at her ordeal, exploring how mental illness and brain injury affects us and what that looks like both inside and out.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $10.99
  32. A Lab of One's Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War

    Author: Patricia Fara

    With men on the fronts of World War I, British suffragists saw an opportunity: mobilize women to enter STEM careers, and prove that women belonged there. For years, women carried out vital research — and they succeeded in winning the vote in the UK — but when men returned from war, they reclaimed their places and re-established conventional hierarchies. But the courage and determination of the pioneers who took wartime jobs set the stage for today's women in STEM. Patricia Fara tells both individual stories of groundbreaking women, and also the broader story of how their work changed our world.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $13.95
  33. Just the Funny Parts... And A Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys' Club

    Author: Nell Scovell

    For thirty years, Nell Scovell worked as a writer, producer, and director for some of TV's iconic shows, including The Simpsons, Murphy Brown, NCIS, and Late Night with David Letterman. Then, in 2009, when the David Letterman sex scandal broke, Scovell called out the lack of diversity in late-night TV writers' rooms; two years later, she collaborated with Sheryl Sandberg on Lean In. In this book, Scovell shares her own story, but she also provides insights into the creative process — and navigating a difficult workplace. Funny, fast-paced, and insightful, it's a unique look past "the funny parts" that you see on TV at the nitty-gritty of behind the scenes.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $2.22
  34. I Should Have Honor: A Memoir of Hope and Pride in Pakistan

    Author: Khalida Brohi

    Khalida Brohi grew up in Pakistan, where arranged marriage was the norm, but her father refused to let her become a child bride, and encouraged her to pursue her education. But when her cousin was murdered by her uncle in an "honor killing," for falling in love with a man who was not her betrothed, Brohi turned to activism. She started a social media campaign and created a foundation to give opportunities to girls — and change attitudes among the men in their lives. This inspiring memoir shows how Brohi reconciled her love of her country and her determination to make a change, and fought for the freedom she and other Pakistani girls deserved.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $16.43
  35. The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters

    The Tragic and Glamorous Lives of Jackie and Lee

    A poignant and evocative account of the two sisters who represented style and class above all else, this dual biography tells the story of Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill. In life, Jackie and Lee were alike in so many ways. One would grow to become the most iconic woman of her time, while the other lived in her shadow. As they grew up, the two sisters developed an extremely close relationship threaded with rivalry, jealousy, and competition. Yet it was probably the most important relationship of their lives.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $17.81
  36. Because We Are Bad: OCD and a Girl Lost in Thought

    Author: Lily Bailey

    13-year-old Lily Bailey was convinced that she was bad — her rogue thoughts had caused havoc and no penance would ever be enough. Unaware that she was in the grips of childhood obsessive compulsive disorder, she created a second personality inside herself to help drive the compulsions that she desperately hoped would quiet and order her thoughts. In this intimate and searing memoir, she describes how she struggled to "normalize" herself as a child, and the adult breakthrough that allowed her to understand herself as she never had before. This eye-opening look at OCD is also a testament to the resilience of a woman who refused to give up on herself.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $16.47
  37. An Elephant in My Kitchen

    When Francoise fell in love with renowned conservationist Lawrence Anthony, she ended up at Thula Thula, his South African game reserve. When Lawrence died in 2012, she found herself having to step into his shoes to protect both its human and animal family. Although she knew little about conservation and she was short on funds, Francoise found ways to forge a relationship with Lawrence's rescued elephant herd, and soon was having adventures like finding a lost baby elephant in her kitchen or caring for an abandoned hippo baby who hated water. This sparkling book is full of laughter, wonder, and the joy of the natural world.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $16.30
  38. Butterfly: From Refugee to Olympian

    Author: Yusra Mardini

    When young Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini realized that the boat she and dozens of others were taking to Greece has lost its engine and was sinking fast, she leapt into action — and into the water. With the rope in one hand, she swam for shore, pulling the boat to safety. As the world shared her story, Mardini refocused on a new dream: competing in the Olympics. And in 2016, she joined the Refugee Olympic Team in Rio. Mardini hopes her story of fleeing home, swimming on the world stage, and working as a UN Goodwill Ambassador will put a personal face on the refugee crisis for readers around the world.

    Ages: Adults
    Price: $11.82
38 items