Monday, March 26, 2012

[Quick Picks] Beyond Women's History Month

Although Women’s History Month is coming to an end, there are plenty of great books with historical facts and daring female characters to enjoy all year. Below, library staff members profile fiction and non-fiction books with memorable women.

Bastard out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

Nine-year-old Bone is one of the strongest, most resilient characters I have ever encountered. When it is more than obvious her stepfather, Daddy Glen, hates her beyond belief and her mother, Anney, is not going to leave him, Bone is forced to take care of herself at such a young age. Bone is also one of the most calloused characters I have ever read. After reading her plight against Daddy Glen and her will just to survive, readers will feel compassion for Bone and even possibly see her as a hero!

--Andrea King, Poplar-White Station

The Heretic’s Daughter, by Kathleen Kent

I’ve always been fascinated with the Salem Witch Trials. It amazes me that a supposedly religious community lost itself so completely into superstitious tyranny and blamed innocent women of terrible acts with no real proof of guilt. This well-reviewed book is written by a tenth generation descendant of Martha Carrier, one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem. It is written from the point of view of Martha’s daughter, Sarah, who survived the persecution. This is an extreme example of repression and intolerance, but it shows how vulnerable women have been for centuries due to a lack of rights and respect.
--Kay Due, Central

Uppity Women of Ancient Times by Vicki Leon

The title itself is amusing and I love it. Within these pages, Leon profiles 200 women from the ancient Mediterranean, North Africa, and Asia Minor who are often not mentioned in traditional history books. The women are slaves, queens, socialites, seers, martyrs, prostitutes, and more. Drawing from literary and non-literary sources, Leon injects the biographies with the right amount of humor that even the most sobering chronicles are enjoyable. This book can be read in one sitting or by randomly selecting a chapter, like “Track Stars, Tricky Queens, Trollops & True-Blue Martyrs.” This is a fun and educational book.

--Darletha Matthews, South Branch

Want more books with strong, unapologetic women?
Visit for the feature, Readers Choice: 10 More of the Most Powerful Women in Literature.


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