Two weeks ago I posted a list of reviews of books about women’s history for your amusement. Since then, the world’s gotten weird and scary. Most of us are carrying on as best we can. (If you want to know what life in the world of social distancing looks like here in the Margins, you can read my newsletter on the subject, which came out earlier today. Here’s the link: https://mailchi.mp/23d920b1c446/writing-from-a-social-distance. )
Personally, I have not yet experienced the great flood of free time that some of my friends are reporting. However, I am eye-ing my To-Be-Read stacks in anticipation.
Here are links to a dozen books about women’s history that I am eager to dive into: *
1. Hallie Rubenhold. The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper
2. Mikki Kendall and A. D’Amico. Amazons, Abolitionists and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights
3. Nathalia Holt. The Queens of Animation: The Untold Story of the Women who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History
4. Elizabeth Wein. A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
5. Caroline Fraser. Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder.**
6. Caroline Moorhead. A House in the Mountains: The Women Who Liberated Italy From Fascism
7. Janice Kaplan. The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World
8. Gemma Hollman. Royal Witches: Witchcraft and the Nobility in Fifteenth-Century England.
9. Nicolla Tallis. Uncrowned Queen: the Life of Margaret Beaufort, Mother of the Tudors
10. Jason Fagone. The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies.
11. Nancy Goldstone. Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots
12. Denise Kiernan. The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II.
The only question is, where to start?
* The links are to my local independent bookseller, rather than to Amazon. A writer would be a fool to bad-mouth the Big A because they sell lots and lots of books. ( At the same time, if readers don’t patronize independent bookstores, we won’t have independent bookstores. Now is a harder time than usual for small businesses of all kinds. If you want to order books, I urge you to order them from your independent bookstore. If there isn’t an independent bookstore in your town, adopt one. (Mine is shipping for free through April 15.)
**I realize many of you have either already read this one, or have it sitting in your own TBR pile. But just in case.
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A Public Service Announcement
I’ve already said this in a couple of other places: One of the social side effects of the corona virus is that authors of new books have had to cancel book launch events, book signings, and talks. This doesn’t cause chaos on the level of, say, closing schools. But for a writer who has spent years on a book it’s pretty devastating, whether it’s her first book or her fiftieth.
These are my people, so I’m doing my best to spread the word about new books, here on the Margins and in the other places where I hang out on line. One way you can find out about new books as they come out is to subscribe to Shelf Awareness for Readers: a free semi-weekly newsletter that reviews new books. (Total transparency here: I’m a regular Shelf reviewer.) Here’s the link: https://www.shelf-awareness.com/