Books for International Women’s Day 2019

It’s that time of year again! Last year I was doing a book reading with a couple of author friends for International Women’s Day, and it was really a lot of fun. The reading that I did was from Questing for a Dream, which happens to be included in Kobo’s International Women’s Day sale this year, so I thought I would also put it on sale at some of the other stores for a few days as well. Links are below. Prices vary depending on the venue.

And keep reading to discover some other books by or about fascinating women to add to your TBR pile.

What is International Women’s Day? I’m glad you asked!

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first​ ​IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the​ Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women’s equality.

https://www.internationalwomensday.com

About Questing for a Dream

Nadie is a bright, caring teen growing up Manitoba Cree growing up in abject poverty. She tries to balance school attendance, caring for her younger cousin Luyu, and spending time with handsome, impish Mouse, her best friend and confidante. Together, they strive to find the path to happiness on the reservation.

But tragedy strikes and Nadie’s is devastated by Luyu’s accidental death. Unable to find comfort in Mouse’s arms or Grandfather’s traditional mourning rites, Nadie leaves the band and strikes off on her own, searching for meaning and a new life in the outside world.

Can Nadie find happiness and a place of her own in a foreign world where she is abused and discriminated against? Completely alone for the first time in her life, it is a challenge such as Nadie has never before faced.

Easily one of the most thought-provoking and compelling reads of the year, Ms. Workman has written a masterful contemporary account of one native teen’s journey from home and the possibilities for hope even for those drowning in poverty, prejudice, and addiction. Examining hard concepts such as death, rape, abuse, neglect, addiction, and wounds passed down from generation to generation, this story is full of raw emotion that will bring the reader to tears, yet unable to put the smoothly-paced story down. With true-to-life characters both good and bad, Nadie is inspirational. It isn’t because she’s perfect but rather because she is far from it and somehow manages to find the courage in the end to become someone who can help bring her tribe forward. A must-read tale for any book lover!

Sarah E. Bradley, InD’tale Magazine
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You Can Wear Purple

The commemorative color for International Women’s Day is purple, and not only do I have a new purple shirt that I am looking forward to wearing, but Questing for a Dream is already dressed in purple! (At least, the second edition is!)

More Books

I put on my thinking cap, and here are a few more books you could read for International Women’s Day reading. Books by influential women or with strong female characters. Give me your suggestions in the comments!

I am Malala

I am Malala, by Malala Yousefzai

How could I not start off with Malala? An amazing girl and woman. Great book. I was really excited to see that Malala was speaking in my city this year. Unfortunately, tickets start at $500, so I won’t be there!

Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren’t allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn’t go to school.

Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school.

No one expected her to survive.

Now Malala is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. In this Young Readers Edition of her bestselling memoir, which has been reimagined specifically for a younger audience and includes exclusive photos and material, we hear firsthand the remarkable story of a girl who knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world — and did. 

Malala’s powerful story will open your eyes to another world and will make you believe in hope, truth, miracles and the possibility that one person — one young person — can inspire change in her community and beyond.

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud brought us Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon, Jane of Lantern Hill, and so many other strong girls and women. And extra special to me — they are all Canadian.

When red-headed orphan Anne arrives at the Cuthberts’ home, Green Gables, she feels sure she’s found the home she has longed for. They, however, are less certain; their request to the orphanage had been for a boy.

But before long Anne’s irrepressibly optimistic, loving nature has charmed them. While her temper is unpredictable and her extravagant imagination makes her dreamily whimsical and prone to comic mishap, the Cuthberts come to love Anne as if she were their own child. Montgomery’s classic tale is a celebration of the transformative power of love and the unique qualities of a girl who has a second chance at childhood.

Parcels of Doom

Parcels of Doom, by Anne Lown

Postwoman, Jenny Reid, moved to Chapel End village to get away from the drama in her life, but the anonymous hiring of a private investigator to reopen an old case stirs up the past. Jenny stands by her boyfriend when village rumours suspect him of being a murderer, but can she still do so when a voodoo doll names the next victim?

Jason Kettle returns to the village after two decades away. While reliving memories of his youth, he visits his friend, Annalise’s, old home and intervenes in an emotional situation with Jenny’s ex-fiancé. Angry at being suspected of committing a crime, he needs to help Jenny clear his name.

My Life with the Chimpanzees

My Life with the Chimpanzees, by Jane Goodall

I have to tell you, I was obsessed with Jane Goodall when I was a teenager and read everything by her that I could get my hands on about animal behavior and her life as a scientist. She revolutionized animal behavioral studies and is still one of my heroes.

From the time she was a girl, Jane Goodall dreamed of a life spent working with animals. Finally she had her wish.

When she was twenty-six years old, she ventured into the forests of Africa to observe chimpanzees in the wild. On her expeditions she braved the dangers with leopards and lions in the African bush. And she got to know an amazing group of wild chimpanzees — intelligent animals whose lives, in work and play and family relationships, bear a surprising resemblance to our own.

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle

I recently watched the new movie of a Wrinkle in Time, and while I enjoyed it, nothing ever compares with reading the book. I love the women who become Meg’s guides in helping her to find her strength and her place in the universe.

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”

Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

The Outsiders

The Outsiders, by S.E.Hinton

The Outsiders is about boys, not girls, so why would I include it in my list? This classic YA novel is one of my favorites, written by Susan Eloise Hinton when she was just fifteen. She turned the publishing world on its head and her book had a huge impact in my writing career.

No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he’s got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends—true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far.

Sleeping Murder

Sleeping Murder, by Agatha Christie

I’m a mystery writer writing about influential women, so I don’t think I can leave out this queen of mystery, or her famous protagonist, Miss Marple. Did you know that Agatha suffered from dysgraphia and possibly dyslexia as well? She didn’t let it hold her back! Agatha Christie mysteries were the first “grown up” books that I read, and this is one of my favorites.

Soon after Gwenda moved into her new home, odd things started to happen. Despite her best efforts to modernize the house, she only succeeded in dredging up its past. Worse, she felt an irrational sense of terror every time she climbed the stairs.

In fear, Gwenda turned to Miss Marple to exorcise her ghosts. Between them, they were to solve a “perfect”; crime committed many years before.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank, the Diary of a Young Girl

In 1942, with the Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, the Franks and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annexe” of an old office building.

Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period.

By turns thoughtful, moving, and surprisingly humorous, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

Y is for Yesterday

Y is for Yesterday, by Sue Grafton

We will truly miss Sue Grafton, whose Kinsey Milhoun Alphabet Series will forever end with Y.

In 1979, four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate–and film the attack. Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state’s evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace.

Now it’s 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents–until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That’s when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he’s not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find…

The Zookeeper’s Wife

The Zookeeper’s Wife, by Diane Ackerman

This is actually what I’m reading at the moment. While a little slow to begin with, it is a fascinating look at life in Poland during WWII.

A true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands.

After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages.

With animal names for these “guests,” and human names for the animals, it’s no wonder that the zoo’s code name became “The House Under a Crazy Star.” Best-selling naturalist and acclaimed storyteller Diane Ackerman combines extensive research and an exuberant writing style to re-create this fascinating, true-life story―sharing Antonina’s life as “the zookeeper’s wife,” while examining the disturbing obsessions at the core of Nazism.

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

An amazing woman writing about an amazing girl in a difficult time in American history. It was sad to see Harper Lee fail in health and pass away, but she left an amazing legacy.

One of the most cherished stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterley

I admit I haven’t read this one yet, but have only seen the movie. And it is an awesome movie. I will get to the book sooner or later!

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.

Little Women

Last but not least, one more beloved classic tells the tale of four young women all looking to find their own place in the world.

A heart-warming tale of love, sisterhood and hardship during the New England Civil War, Little Women tells the story of the lovable March family. Meg, Beth, Jo and Amy try to support their mother at home while their father is away at war and enter into various scrapes and adventures as they do so. Alcott beautifully interweaves bad times and good as her characters struggle with the trials and tribulations of growing up and their relationships with one another.

Wouldn’t it be fun if all the castles in the air which we make could come true and we could live in them?

Fool’s Gold

When a rookie geologist discovers a clue to a lost Inca treasure, her first job gets a lot more thrilling.

It’s 1987. Geologist Sam Harris is a woman in a man’s world – overlooked and underpaid, but resilient and passionate. Desperate for her first job, she accepts a contract with a dodgy entrepreneur exploring for gold in the remote rainforests of Sierramar.

When she uncovers a clue to a treasure buried deep within the jungle, she is sent on an expedition to find it, but one of her colleagues is plotting to seize the hoard and will kill to get his hands on it.

Will Sam find the treasure or will her first adventure be her last?

If you like gutsy heroines, complex twists and turns, and exotic locations, you’ll love PJ Skinner’s thrilling novel.

Tell me what you think!

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