Books to read this Women's History Month

Mar 7 2023

Book covers for Little People Big Dreams: Amelia Earhart, Kindred, and Menopausing
Women have always been gifted writers, innovators, and storytellers. To commemorate Women’s History Month this March, we have selected some of our favourite books from a selection of gifted female authors. Whether you’re in the mood for non-fiction, or searching for a children’s story, we’ve chosen books from a variety of genres, so no matter what you’re interested in you can join in the celebration.

Children's books

Little Women and Little People Big Dreams: Amelia Earhart book covers

Little People, Big Dreams - Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara

This charming, illustrated biography series by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara explores the lives of inspirational people, including Harriet Tubman, Dolly Parton, Frida Kahlo and Amelia Earhart. The series has over 80 books which will entertain and delight your children as they learn about the artists, scientists, and other trailblazers who have made an impact on the world as we know it.

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

The treasured children’s classic focuses on beloved March sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy - as they grow up against the backdrop of the American Civil War. Whether you’ve watched one of the cinematic adaptations or you’re new to the story, this is the perfect tale of sisterhood to snuggle up under a blanket with this Women’s History Month.

Mystery and thrillers

The Secret History and The Appeal book covers

The Secret History – Donna Tartt

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Goldfinch, The Secret History tells the scintillating story of a group of wealthy students in Vermont whose lives are altered by the influence of their charismatic Classics professor. The novel, which helped popularise the dark academia sub-genre, follows the group’s friendship, education and their spiral into mystery and murder.

The Appeal – Janice Hallett

Told through emails, texts, and transcripts, the narrative surrounding a murder at the centre of a village drama production and a fundraiser unfolds in this intriguing whodunnit. If you enjoyed The Appeal, you can listen to our interview with Janice Hallett.

Fantasy and science fiction

Kindred, Piranesi and Babel book covers

Kindred – Octavia Butler

Kindred was the first published science-fiction book written by a black woman. The novel follows Dana, a black woman born in 1950, who’s suddenly thrown back in time to pre-Civil War Maryland. She then saves a drowning white boy before travelling back to the present. As she time-travels she becomes involved the life of a white slaveholder, and entangled in the experiences of the many people he has enslaved.

Piranesi – Susanna Clarke

Piranesi lives in a house that seems to be part labyrinth, filled with endless corridors, halls, and statues. Luckily, he’s not alone. There’s one other person who visits him twice a week, asking for A Great and Secret Knowledge that only Piranesi can uncover. However, as Piranesi explores and gets closer to finding the answers he seeks, the secrets of the house and Piranesi’s life itself begin to unravel.

Babel - R. F. Kuang

Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution tells the spellbinding tale of Oxford University’s fictional Royal Institute of Translation—also known as Babel. Set in 1800s, R.F. Kuang’s fantasy novel depicts colonialism in action and how language itself functioned as a tool of the British empire.

Contemporary

Such a fun age and Oranges are not the only fruit book covers

Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid

Emira, a young black woman, is babysitting the Chamberlains' white toddler one night when the store's security guard accuses her of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. When a video of the event unearths someone from Alix Chamberlain’s past, Emira and Alix find their lives changed forever.

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson’s coming-of-age story follows a lesbian girl growing up as the adopted daughter of English Pentecostal evangelists. The novel discusses love, family, and the impact of growing up gay inside a Christian household.

Non-fiction

Menopausing and Women and Power book covers

Menopausing - Davina McCall

By exploring the science, myths, and taboos around the perimenopause and menopause, this Sunday Times bestselling self-help guidebook by Davina McCall and Dr Naomi Potter gives you the tools to make informed decisions about your health and your life.

Women and Power - Mary Beard

Britain's best-known classicist Mary Beard explores how history has treated powerful women in her manifesto. From classical figures like Medusa, to modern day women like Hillary Clinton, she discusses the relationship between women and power in an intelligent and witty way.

All of the books mentioned here are available from Hampshire’s libraries. Let us know on Facebook or Instagram if you’ve read any of our suggestions and sign up to our newsletter so you can stay in touch with all of the latest library news.