Today marks the first day of Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month honors and commemorates the important role women have played in our world’s history. This month is dedicated to reflecting on women’s contributions to society, which are so often overlooked. Women’s History Month can be trailed back to Santa Rosa, California where it began as a local celebration in 1978. It is celebrated in March to honor the women’s march, which took place in 1908 in New York City, where women united to fight for better labor laws, conditions and the right to vote.
Celebrating women and learning about all that women have accomplished, sacrificed and persevered through over the years is inspiring and broadens the horizon for what is possible in the future. With setbacks we are experiencing recently in women’s rights, it is so important for young girls to know what is possible and have the faith and outlook to continue to make change.
Today we are celebrating all of the inspiring, influential trail blazers before us, with the best books to read in honor of Women’s History Month. If you have been looking for your next great read, check out one of the books below to feel empowered and uplifted by the women who came before us and those that will be in history books to come.
Best Books to Read in Honor of Women’s History Month
Badly Behaved Women by Anna-Marie Crowhurst
Badly Behaved Women is the story of the last 100 years of the feminist movement– with all of it’s accomplishments, flaws and the future of the movement. If you are looking for something comprehensive that covers a larger span of time and many issues, you will find Badly Behaved Women to be a great informative and entertaining read.
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Hidden Figures is a New York Times bestseller that follows the lives of three black female mathematicians whose work at NASA contributed to some of the most incredible space discoveries of their time. In fact, Hidden Figures is an inspirational story that highlights issues of race, discrimination, war, science and space. The movie adaptation is almost just as wonderful as the book.
This Ancient Historical Fiction tells the story of the daughter of Helios, god of the sun, named Circe. When Circe is banished to a deserted island by the gods who fear her witchcraft, she discovers the strength of her power while also finding herself at odds with the men and gods who have banished her. This story of love, loss, humanity and the unimaginable feminine power will both inspire and transport you all at once.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Vanishing Half has been on my list for a while now. And there is no better time than Women’s History Month to read it! The Vanishing Half tells the story of two twins and their contrasting lives– one living in the south with her daughter and the other pretending to be white, while hiding her past from her husband and family. Eventually the lies catch up to the twins and they must face the past and its influence on their present. This story of race and the challenges facing black females highlights how our family history can follow us but in the end it is up to us to make our own way.
My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsberg
There is no one better to celebrate Women’s History Month with than the iconic RBG in My Own Words. Tackling topics like gender equality, Supreme Court happenings, Judaism, law, lawyers and understanding our countries constitution on a global level– Justice Ginsberg has a brilliant, wise, fresh and fascinating perspective that we can all learn from.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
I would love to read or listen to Becoming by Michelle Obama again because it was just that good. Her memoir includes beautiful storytelling, inspiring nuggets of wisdom and a fascinating look into the life of a First Lady. Michelle is so refreshing, real and incredibly wise. I loved the audible version of her book read by her. And felt so connected to and empowered by her story.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
If you’ve watched The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu it’s time to delve into The Handmaid’s Tale novel. In this dystopian story, Offred, a “Handmaid” or servant is determined to both survive and escape from the Republic of Gilead, which took over the government after a staged terrorist attack killed off the prior government. This story explores themes of power, gender and religious politics with stunning characters and suspense.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
This American classic is one you will come back to time and time again. The portrayal of the March sisters in Civil War New England is both heartwarming, heartbreaking and a beautiful story of love, loss, hope and perseverance. Little Women would make a sweet bedtime read aloud with children.
Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy
Code Girls is the story of the women working behind the scenes codebreaking during World War II. Often overlooked to their male counterparts on the battlefield, this women’s work was done in secrecy and has recently been rediscovered and revered for their courageous service and important role in protecting our country.
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Ever since I visited the secret annex where Anne Frank wrote her diary in hiding in Amsterdam, I have been completely riveted and heartbroken by her story. This incredible account of a young girl living during the Nazi regime in World War II, is a close look into what it was like to feel like a prisoner, cut off from the world and the courage, spirit and hope Anne maintained throughout. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl is a beautiful tribute to the hardships and strength of women throughout time.
The Witches: Salem 1692 by Eliza Foss
The Witches: Salem 1692 is the story of the Salem Witch Trials, both a raw historical account and psychological thriller. This insightful look into the reality behind the mayhem of the Salem Witch Trials is refreshing and intriguing.
Black Candle Women by Diane Marie Brown
Black Candle Women is a fun fictional family drama that follows the history of four generations of black women to their roots in the New Orlean’s French Quarter in the 1950s. The Montrose women currently reside in California and keep their magic to themselves. When the Montrose daughter falls in love, the women are suddenly tasked with exposing the family curse. This leads them on a journey of heartache, misunderstandings, and letting go.
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Jess Harriton
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls tells the stories of 100 of the most influential women and how they paved the way for every woman after them. With a wide range of women from all over the world, women and girls will feel inspired, empowered and invigorated to join the feminist movement and find their own way to make change in the world. This would make a great gift for young girls!
What books are you reading for Women’s History Month? What are your favorite books to celebrate women? Let us know in the comments below.
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