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Elizabeth (Alaska) March is Women's History Month

http://womenshistorymonth.gov/

Surely we Chicks must celebrate.

Who are some of your favorite women authors and the books they have written?

Can you recommend a biography of a woman you especially admire?


message 2: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Chaney (carrie_chaney) | 148 comments I haven't read more than the synopsis, but Reading Women: How the Great Books of Feminism Changed My Life seems like it would fit the catagory.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Here is another link site, and I note there is a link to Women novelists, which I haven't yet explored.

http://edsitement.neh.gov/exploring-w...


message 4: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Mar 01, 2011 11:01AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) Currently, my two favorite female authors are Louise Erdrich Louise Erdrich and Anne Tyler Anne Tyler. There are so many others ...


message 5: by Megan (new)

Megan Underwood | 267 comments Lucky by Alice Sebold


message 6: by Viola (new)

Viola | 1014 comments For feminist reads, I really enjoyed A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen and The Awakening by Kate Chopin. I read both in high school & can't say I remember too much about them anymore, but I do remember that I enjoyed them a lot.


message 7: by Terri (new)

Terri | 95 comments Jane Austin, Margaret Mitchell, Barbara Kingsolver and Susan Monk Kidd. I have Susan Monk Kidd's nonfiction book called "When the heart Waits" but haven't read it yet.


message 8: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) Doris Kearns Goodwin is a favorite contemporary author of mine.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Terri wrote: "Jane Austin, Margaret Mitchell, Barbara Kingsolver and Susan Monk Kidd. I have Susan Monk Kidd's nonfiction book called "When the heart Waits" but haven't read it yet."

I didn't realize Sue Monk Kidd had a non-fiction. I'll have to look for it.

I have a couple of Doris Kearns Goodwin on my History & Biography shelf. I've always liked her interviews, so I'm looking forward to reading her too.


message 10: by Terri (new)

Terri | 95 comments Ahh, Doris Kearns Goodwin--How COULD I forget her! I read her biography of Reagan called "When Character Was King" and I LOVED it. I came to admire him as a man--he was one of the last of a dying breed.

I'm currently reading her book about Abraham Lincoln called "A Team of Rivals". It's really interesting, in fact I read it at night right before I go to sleep and I'm finding it hard to put down after one chapter. (And they're long chapters.) I've learned so much more about him and my admiration for him has grown if that's possible. I've also learned a lot more about the troubles he faced in the North. That poor guy got it from all sides--I don't know how he managed to govern at all.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Terri, the Abraham Lincoln is one I want to read as well as her biography on FDR. Have you checked into the Chicks Presidential Challenge? when you finish one, please give us a word or two over there!


message 12: by Nadia (new)

Nadia A (bagambo) I love Jean Rhys, Atwood, Sandra Cisneros, Cherrie Moraga, Gloria Anzaldua, Woolf, Jhumpa Lahiri, Lorraine Lopez - amazing authors!


message 13: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Mar 01, 2011 05:24PM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) This is one of the links I pass on during this time (the other is already in the first comment):
http://www.nwhp.org/ which seems especially useful if anyone is in education.


message 14: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) I first saw Goodwin on Ken Burn's baseball series for PBS. She was so interesting. I've read No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II & will read Team of Rivals this year. I love books about WW2 and highly recommend No Ordinary Time. I'm reading another WW2 book by a woman - Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour. I'm loving it & plan to read her other books.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Thanks for the tip on Citizens of London - I've added it to my ever growing wish list.


message 16: by Kay-tee (new)

Kay-tee Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Terri wrote: "Jane Austin, Margaret Mitchell, Barbara Kingsolver and Susan Monk Kidd. I have Susan Monk Kidd's nonfiction book called "When the heart Waits" but haven't read it yet."

I didn't r..."


Sue Monk Kidd also wrote The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd and I recently heard about a book she wrote with her daughter, haven't heard much about it though Traveling with Pomegranates A Mother-Daughter Story by Sue Monk Kidd


message 17: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
I LOVE this thread and this topic in general.

Okay off the top of my head I go back to basics and the woman who made me want to read and read and read was Laura Ingalls Wilder. She started this addiction I have.

Currently I really like Amy Tan, I just finished The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life and found it really interesting.


message 18: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Mar 01, 2011 07:19PM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Louisa May Alcott, the many who wrote under the Nancy Drew series (under the name Caroline Keen if I remember correctly as the series continued on after her passing), Francine Pascal and Anne Frank are among the first women authors (I know, Anne was a girl) I gravitated to and to this day I tend to read more women authors than male authors.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Oh, well, if we want to talk childhood authors, one of my very favorites of childhood were the books by Eleanor Estes. Strange that I don't recall reading her The Hundred Dresses until as an adult and volunteering with slow readers. But her The Moffats series was wonderful I loved that family.


message 20: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 2175 comments As I sit here looking at my shelves (the physical ones), I notice that very few books on there are by women. How can this be? The only woman author who appears multiple times is Jodi Picoult.

As I look through my goodreads shelves, though, it's another story entirely. Kathryn Lasky, Suzanne Collins, Laurie Halse Anderson, Carol Goodman, Philippa Gregory, Geraldine Brooks, Anita Diamant, the list goes on and on.

I would like some recommendations if anyone's read any biographies on Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. I was tremendously impressed with what they went through to get the 19th Amendment passed- as depicted in the movie Iron Jawed Angels (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338139/), I know little about them otherwise.


message 21: by Megan (new)

Megan Underwood | 267 comments My favorite female writers include: Harper Lee, Jane Austin, J.K. Rowling, Agatha Christie, this could take forever,Margaret Mitchell,Emily Dickinson...


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Tera, I forgot to mention I read Amy Tan's memoir you mentioned above and really liked it!


message 24: by Laura K (last edited Mar 02, 2011 11:58AM) (new)

Laura K | 266 comments My favorite women authors include-- Jane Austen, Phyllis Whitney, JK Rowling, Margaret Mitchell, Louisa May Alcott, and Patricia O'Brien.
A couple of women biographies that I like are Barbara Bush: A Memoir and Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women.


message 25: by Nell (new)

Nell Last year my in-person book group read When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present When Everything Changed The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins . It's a fascinating history of the women's movement in America. The book reads like a well-told story. I highly recommend it.
Hmmm... so my first posting to Chicks on Lit isn't about a novel.


message 26: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 2175 comments Thanks for the research, Elizabeth. I'll probably look into From Equal Suffrage... as my library has that one. I'll let everyone know how it is!


message 27: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
Maybe the first bio I read

Me: Stories of My Life


message 28: by Nancy (new)

Nancy | 1274 comments Nell wrote: "Last year my in-person book group read When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present[bookcover:When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey ..."

Nell I picked that one up at Borders about a month ago and am looking forward to fitting it in! It really caught my interest. We're not all about fiction!!


message 29: by Adrienne (last edited Mar 03, 2011 05:38PM) (new)

Adrienne (adriennemarietheresa) | 175 comments Fantastic thread!!! I've been listening in, nodding smiling and agreeing.

I've had all the same influences and been inspired by the same women... Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, Anne Frank, I read Hundred Dresses with my daughter and adore it. Margaret Mitchell is a given for girls from the south. Jane Austen came later.

The first woman's biography I ever read was The First Woman Doctor: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D.. She launched me into healthcare and I've never looked back!

Currently I am reading and adoring Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own/Three Guineas and plan to move onto Florence Nightengale'sNotes on Nursing and then Margaret Atwood's Negotiating with the Dead. Nightengale has been sitting on my desk unread for too long, and she appears to have been quite an influence on Woolf. Nightengale is mentioned repeatedly throughout A Room of One's Own. Curiousity carries me along. And isn't it Woolf that said... yeap, insert quote:

"For books continue each other, in spite of our habit of judging them separately."

Speaking of nurses, last year I read three of Tilda Shalof's books and treasured them all. Very nice lady. Canadian too. I also thought Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis was a fabulous biography of a woman born too early and a book that deserved more praise and promotion.

In fiction, I'll never stop recommending Sandra Gulland's The Josephine Bonaparte Collection and for fantasy, I'm a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. Season Eight in graphic novel form = Epic!

Probably Little Women and Louisa herself are my biggest overall influences. That new biography of her last year sits proudly on my living room shelf : Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women.

Re-reading this post, I notice that I have unconsciously made quite the tidy list of women in science, healthcare and literature. That's me and that was Louisa.


message 30: by Nell (new)

Nell Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker. I read this book years ago. It is amazing and had a political impact because of the women's issue it brought to light.


message 31: by Rachelle (last edited Mar 06, 2011 08:56PM) (new)

Rachelle (awaken80) | 353 comments Wow, this thread has made me realize that my favourite authors are pretty well all male! However, there is an amazing autobiography written by a woman that I absolutely loved and that I recommend to everyone, which is Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali


message 32: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne (adriennemarietheresa) | 175 comments Hey Rachelle, I just picked up her new book, Nomad, from the library and am excited to read it.


message 33: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle (awaken80) | 353 comments Hi Adrienne, I bought Nomad around Christmastime and haven't read it yet, but I can't wait either! I've been wondering what happens to her after the end of Infidel.


message 34: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne (adriennemarietheresa) | 175 comments Oooo, so does that mean I should read Infidel first? That happened to me with another book recently. Went into to pick up When Everything Changed by Gail Collins and ended up getting her America's Women instead. The jacket info for WEC said "picking up where her first book left off"... and since both looked equally good, the decision was easy.


message 35: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle (awaken80) | 353 comments Hi Adrienne, Yes you should start with Infidel, as both books are memoirs detailing her life. Nomad should pick up where Infidel left off. Maybe when you finish reading Infidel we can create a thread and have a chat about it, as it's a great book to talk about :-)


message 36: by Adrienne (last edited Mar 07, 2011 06:03PM) (new)

Adrienne (adriennemarietheresa) | 175 comments That settles it, thanks so much Rachelle! And yes, we'll chat about it. I should be picking up Infidel tomorrow. Scratch that, all three copies are out. Requested.


message 37: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle (awaken80) | 353 comments Looking forward to it! Too bad you don't live near me, I'd lend you my copy lol ;-)


message 38: by Regine (new)

Regine Obvio my favourite is Jane Austen. I have fallen in love with every single one of her books, and her heroines all embody strong, amazing women.

If you want a good heroine Jane Eyre is a must-read.

I also have soft spots for Isabel Allendeand J.K. Rowling.

Any thoughts on Ursula K. Le Guin? A close friend keeps recommending that I start reading her.


Elizabeth (Alaska) I have not read this author, but think I might look into some of her work.

Elaine Showalter has written on women, particularly women authors. A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx is how I became aware of her, but I see she also has a similar work on women British authors, and one on short story authors.


message 40: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Mar 09, 2011 07:27AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) Regine, I have an Isabel Allende "on deck" so to speak. I, too, keep hearing about Le Guin. I think she writes science fiction and fantasy which are a genres I rarely read so will not be running out the door to read her, but she would be one I'd try if I were in the market for either of those.


message 41: by Dimity (last edited Mar 09, 2011 08:39PM) (new)

Dimity | 87 comments I am excited to check out everyone else's suggestions! My favorite female authors are Edwidge Danticat, Jamaica Kincaid, (both are exceptional writers of Caribbean descent) Connie Willis-she writes science fiction-if you enjoy time travel stories, check her out!, Jacqueline Winspear-author of the Maisie Dobbs series-mysteries with a great heroine,Zadie Smith and Sarah Waters. I also really really loved Ann Rinaldi when I was younger and am excited for the day when my daughter can read her remarkable historical fiction for young adults.


message 42: by Meg (last edited Mar 10, 2011 10:29AM) (new)

Meg Clayton (megwaiteclayton) | 129 comments No one has mentioned Gail Collins yet that I saw. I loved America's Women and When Everything Changed - both terrific histories of american women.

Also there are several good short essay things going on now on Women Heros, one on AOL News (where I did a piece on Elizabeth Cady Stanton) and another at BookClubGirl.com


message 43: by Regine (new)

Regine Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Regine, I have an Isabel Allende "on deck" so to speak. I, too, keep hearing about Le Guin. I think she writes science fiction and fantasy which are a genres I rarely read so will not be running ou..."

Same, which is why I'm hesitant to read her. But, apparentley, she writes "feminist science fiction" which might be interesting to delve into.

I hope you do get to Allende one day. She's one of my favourite authors.


Elizabeth (Alaska) I have read Daughter of Fortune, which I liked very much, and The House of the Spirits, which I did not. I expect Island Beneath the Sea to be less magical realism and more historical fiction.


message 45: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Mar 14, 2011 09:13AM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Adrienne wrote: "Fantastic thread!!! I've been listening in, nodding smiling and agreeing.

I've had all the same influences and been inspired by the same women... Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, Anne Fra..."


Your post makes me smile; Louisa is a favorite of mine, always will be! She is a timeless inspiration!

Along with those I listed earlier in the thread, I'd like to add Gertrude Jekyll who was a British garden designer and writer as well as part of the Arts and Crafts Movement in England in the last 1800's; Vita Sackville-West, English author and poet who's gardens at Sissinghurst Castle are still in existence today (who also had an affair with author Virginia Wolf in the late 1920's); Elizabeth von Arnim, Australian born British author of Elizabeth and Her German Garden and Lester Rowntree (aka Gertrude Ellen Lester aka Gertrude Lester Rowntree) [English born] American botanist, horticulturist, and writer.


message 46: by Renee (new)

Renee (elenarenee) | 275 comments I love so many female authors. My tops have to be Austin and Lee. Their books are ones I return to over and over again for comfort reading.

I also enjoy Rowling,Asaro,Tyler and Kingsolver


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Today, the grand marshal's of the 2 biggest St. Patrick's Day Parades in the world (NYC and Dublin) were both women! Author Mary Higgins Clark is the grand marshal of the NYC parade and champion boxer Katie Taylor is the grand marshal of the Dublin parade.

Mary Higgins Clark: http://www.ny1.com/content/top_storie...

http://www.maryhigginsclark.com/mary_...

Katie Taylor: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/i...

http://www.wban.org/biog/ktaylor.htm


message 48: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle (awaken80) | 353 comments That's great!


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