Books to read this Women’s History Month


Lost in the world of words, a customer eagerly adds another book to their collection. Photo by Saichand Chowdary (He/Him) / Mass Media Contributor

Rena Weafer, Arts Editor

As some readers may know, March is Women’s History Month. To honor this month, here is a list of books to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of all kinds of women.

New York Times Bestseller, “Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay makes the top of this list for its creative and witty play on the traditional idea of a “feminist.” The author comments on the irony in modern-day feminism, where we criticize known misogynists but ignore systemic misogyny ingrained in our society.

Through this collection of essays, she proves her devotion to the heart of feminism with her hilarious personality shining through. Vanity Fair says that Gay provides “a complex and multifarious feminism to answer the movement’s ongoing PR issues,” while Celeste Ng simply puts it as “trailblazing” (1).

“White Tears/Brown Scars” by Ruby Hamad describes how white feminists often perpetuate patriarchal and white supremacist values through their treatment of women of color. Hamad conveys powerful messages through her writing that are essential to intersectional feminism.

Author of “The Sex Myth,” Rachel Hills says “‘White Tears/Brown Scars’ belongs in twenty-first century feminist canon. Hamad has written a truly exceptional, agenda-setting work” (2). This book is a must-read, especially for those who want to unlearn white supremacy.

“The Fortunes of Jaded Women” is a story of family and love through generations of women. Years ago, the family was cursed by a witch because their ancestor, Oanh, married for love. In exchange for that, her descendants would never find love or happiness and they would only give birth to women.

In a moment of conflict, Oanh’s descendant Mai Nguyen went to her trusted psychic to ask for advice, where she is told there will be a wedding, a funeral and the birth of a son in the coming year. This prediction brings together the family “for better or for worse” (3). Nancy Jooyoun Kim describes it as “sharp, smart, and gloriously extra” (3).

Danica Roem and her novel “Burn the Page” made history after she became the first openly trans person elected to the U.S. state legislature. She unseated the infamous anti-LGBTQ+ Bob Marshall and was elected to Virginia’s House of Delegates. During her campaign she hired someone to dig up everything that her opponent could possibly use against her, and this book is exactly that.

Roem shows that anyone can rewrite their own future regardless of their past. Electric Literature says, “a political memoir unlike any other. Inspired by the opposition research she conducted on herself during her campaign, the Virginian delegate chronicles her rise from a metalhead reporter moonlighting as a food delivery driver to a game-changing public official” (4).

Founder of arguably the largest movement of the twenty-first century, Tarana Burke writes her story of the Me-Too Movement in her memoir, “Unbound.” This instant New York Times bestseller illustrates her past as a sexual assault survivor and her need to confront this past as she pursues justice for herself and every Black and Brown girl in her situation.

Barnes and Noble says, “it is a story of possibility, of empathy, of power and of the leader we all have inside ourselves. In sharing her path toward healing and saying ‘me too,’ Tarana reaches out a hand to help us all on our own journeys” (5).

“Beauty Sick” by Renee Engeln, Ph.D., is a starter to the long-needed conversation about how modern society’s influence has detrimental effects on women’s health. She explains the contradiction between anger at the news’ treatment of women and the use of popular apps like Facetune.

Peggy Orienstein says, “girls learn that how they look is more important than who they are—the essential symptom of beauty sickness. But Engeln doesn’t stop at diagnosis: she offers the possibility of a cure” (6).

All of these books are available at Boston Public Library and Barnes and Noble. Make sure to pick up one to celebrate the incredible history of women!