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  • Tara Sonin 5:00 pm on 2018/03/09 Permalink
    Tags: , anita hill, , , , , children of blood and bone, , diary of anne frank, dread nation, erika l. sanchez, , hard choices, , , i am not your perfect mexican daughter, inspiring stories, , jessica spotswood, justina ireland, kate moore, , , , love hate and other filters, march forward girl, margot lee shetterly, meet cute, melba patillo beals, my beloved world, my own words, , nicola yoon, , option b, piecing me together, , , renee watson, , , ruth bader ginsburg, samira ahmed, she persisted, sheryl sandberg, , sonia sotomayor, speaking truth to power, , , the radical element, the scarlett letter, tomi adeyemi,   

    25 Must-Reads for Women’s History Month 

    It’s Women’s History Month, so to celebrate the women who have shaped our history, written characters we loved, lived lives we admired and learned from…here are twenty five books you should read this month!

    Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay
    An essential collection of essays perfect for women’s history month reading about feminism in the modern world, all from the perspective of writer and activist Roxane Gay. The intersections of race, gender, body politics, and much more collide in a poignant, funny, and striking collection.

    Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson
    Told through poetry, the story of an African American girl’s journey through adolescence stings with the remains of Jim Crow and follows her through the Civil Rights Movement. But it’s also the story of a writer coming into her own, learning the power of words, and overcoming a childhood struggle with reading.

    March Forward, Girl, by Melba Patillo Beals
    Another memoir about a courageous, young black girl living in a racist, segregated society, this one will inspire you to action in your own life. You may know of Melba Patillo Beals as one of the legendary Little Rock Nine, but her story begins before that…and leads her to a lifetime of resilience.

    I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika L. Sanchez
    Olga was perfect. She did everything her parents wanted. But then she died, and Julia has no chance of being the perfect Mexican daughter her sister was. That is, until she learns her sister may not have been so perfect after all. A story of family, Mexican culture, the American Dream, and much more.

    Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton
    Not the memoir you expected, but an important one: one of history’s most influential women and former Secretary of State details her life experience in politics and during her time in the Obama administration.

    She Persisted, by Chelsea Clinton
    Like mother, like daughter! Chelsea’s picture book about women throughout history who have persisted during difficult times is inspiring and informative. Learn the stories of women such as Ruby Bridges, who triumphed during the Civil Rights Movement; Helen Keller, who owned her identity as a disabled woman and refused to let others define her abilities; Oprah Winfrey, media mogul and the first black female billionaire, and more!

    Love Hate and Other Filters, by Samira Ahmed
    Another story about young women loving their families and yet, defying the cultures they come from. Maya wants to go to film school, live in New York, and be with a boy who isn’t Muslim. But her parents want the opposite. Can she reconcile the life they want for her with the life she wants for herself?

    My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor
    Yes, you need to read the book by the first Latina Supreme Court Justice! Sonia grew up in the projects in the Bronx and wound up on the most senior court in the land. How did she get there? By overcoming adversity, relying on family, and learning to love herself.

    My Own Words, by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
    If there is a more incredible woman to learn from…well, we can’t finish that sentence, because there isn’t. RBG has seen it all, and in this collection of essays on everything from her early career, being a woman, the law, and much more, she shares her wisdom with us.

    Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly
    The book that became a box office smash is a must-read. The story of the NASA mathematicians—and African-American women—who changed the face of the race to space was lost to time and whitewashed history. But now you can read about the brilliance and ambition of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, and Gloria Champine.

    Radium Girls by, Kate Moore
    A new product hit the market that people all across the country used for beauty and medicinal purposes. We now know this dangerous product for what it really is: radium, and while people were using it to make themselves more beautiful and healthier, the truth was glistening beneath the surface. When the girls working in the radium factories got sick, it exposed an industry’s dark underbelly of corruption, abuse, and more.

    The Radical Element, by Jessica Spotswood (and others)
    The subtitle of this anthology tells you everything you need to know: daredevils, debutants, and other dauntless girls throughout history finally have their stories told. From some of the best YA authors come twelve short stories about everything from girls secretly learning Hebrew in the US South, to living as a second-generation immigrant, and much more.

    Meet Cute, by Nicola Yoon, Nina Lacour, and other authors.
    Another anthology written by women! Why this for Women’s History Month, you ask? Because the stories touch all intersections of love: interracial relationships, trans love, bisexual love, and so much more.

    Diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank
    The haunting story of a girl’s innocence touched by the violence and hatred of the Third Reich has a message that still persists to this day: love one another, before it is too late.

    Shrill, by Lindy West
    For centuries, society has demanded women be small, warm, sexually open (but not too open), good mothers, good wives, smart but not too smart….the list goes on and on, but the one thing women are not supposed to be, is shrill. This memoir is about all the things women are, and more importantly, what we could be if we were set free.

    The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
    Starr is a girl living two lives: the one with her black family, in a neighborhood struggling with systemic racism, poverty, gang violence and police brutality…and as a student at a private school with white friends and a white boyfriend who are often insensitive when it comes to matters of race. But when her childhood best friend is maliciously gunned down by police, Starr bridges her two worlds with a message that all need to hear: black lives matter.

    We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Based on an essay by the same name, this book tackles the issue of feminism head on. Exploring everything from race and gender to sex and power dynamics, this incredible book is perfect for those just starting to break down the definition of feminism and how it applies to their lives.

    Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg
    When her husband died, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was faced with a choice: lose herself to her grief, or turn to option B and try to find a way forward. She chose the second option, but she did not do so alone. This book examines grief, and the multitude of ways human beings process it, and how to find happiness again “when option A is not available.”

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
    Don’t miss the unforgettable story of Henrietta Lacks, a woman whose cells were taken from her during cancer treatment…and without her knowledge, consent, or compensation, provided essential information to cancer research. Those cells are still alive today, and in them, her legacy lives on.

    Speaking Truth to Power, by Anita Hill
    The #MeToo movement has had many starts and stops, and one of them was no doubt spurred by the testimony of Anita Hill, who alleged that her former boss—and Supreme Court Justice nominee—Clarence Thomas, had sexually harassed her. The message in this book rings loud and clear: to be a woman in a man’s world, you must get comfortable standing up for yourself and what you believe to be true.

    Piecing Me Together, by Renee Watson
    To live the life she wants, Jade has to get out of her bad neighborhood…and its not enough that she already goes to a private school far away from home. But she’s not sure the way out is through the opportunities given to black girls from “at-risk” backgrounds, either. A moving portrait of living in systemic racism, about loving who you are, and wanting everything out of life.

    Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi
    A fantasy inspired by the lore and culture of West Africa, this YA novel is one of the buzziest books of the year. Zéli’s mother was murdered, as were so many other maji, by a king who feared the magic they possessed. But now she has a chance to restore her kingdom to glory…if she can align herself with a princess, and outsmart a prince.

    Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
    This story of a family of women bonded while the patriarch of the family is off at war has lasted generations for its timeless message of love, sisterhood, and fighting for what you want in life.

    The Scarlett Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
    The book that explored the stigma of the fallen women has inspired many stories since. Hester has been branded with a Scarlet A to wear on her clothing a symbol of her sin: having a child out of wedlock, and refusing to name the father.

    Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland
    Jane McKeene was born during the Civil War…but when zombies start rising from the dead, the war becomes something else entirely. Indigenous and black kids are forced to learn how to eradicate the monsters. This one publishes in April, but you should pre-order it for Women’s History Month today.

    What books are you reading in honor of Women’s History Month?

    The post 25 Must-Reads for Women’s History Month appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 8:14 pm on 2014/06/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , hard choices, , , , , political figures, , , vladimir putin   

    5 Revelations from Hillary Clinton’s New Memoir, Hard Choices 


    Hillary Clinton, kicking off her book tour today at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square, New York.

    She’s nothing if not a polarizing figure, and if you ask ten people their thoughts on Hillary Clinton, chances are you’ll get twenty different responses. But it’s undeniable that she’s led a fascinating life filled with unique experiences—and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. I sat down with a cup of coffee and a copy of Clinton’s highly anticipated new memoir, Hard Choices, to see what our former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State has to say about the tumultuous years since her 2008 Presidential bid. Here are a few of the more interesting subjects (of the many, many topics Clinton touched on) in this engaging, absorbing, and occasionally wry and funny read:

    Life in the Sky: Clinton’s Second Home Aboard a U.S. Air Force Boeing 757:
    During her four years as Secretary of State, Clinton spent over 2,000 hours (or 87 full days) aboard her 757, where she told her staff to “dress casually, sleep as much as possible, and do whatever they could to stay sane and healthy amid the rigors of a grueling schedule.” While in the air, she and her staff also celebrated birthdays, watched (and occasionally cried over) sappy romantic comedies, and were delighted by Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke’s “bright yellow pajamas that he called his ‘sleeping suit.’” She added that the plane broke down several times, stranding her briefly in different countries across the world. Even when you’re Secretary of State, you still end up occasionally waiting around thanks to a plane’s “mechanical issues.”

    The Truth Behind Clinton’s Decision to Accept the Position of Secretary of State:
    In Hard Choices, Clinton reiterates that serving as Secretary of State for Barack Obama’s new administration was not something she immediately agreed to. In fact, she initially turned the offer down, then spent several days mulling the decision over, speaking with family, friends, and advisers, before accepting the offer. Clinton notes she was concerned that taking time out of her career in the Senate would derail the work she was doing in that position. She explains that what finally swayed her decision was, “a simple idea: When your President asks you to serve, you should say yes. As much as I loved my work in the Senate and believed I had more to contribute there, he said he needed me in the State Department.” Discussing her father’s service in the Navy during World War II, she notes that although he “often grumbled about the decisions various Presidents made in Washington, he and my mother instilled in me a deep sense of duty and service.” This story offers insight into Clinton’s decision to wholeheartedly support and serve President Obama, after waging a sometimes acrimonious campaign against him for the presidency.

    She’s Even Gotten Vladimir Putin to Open Up:
    In September 2012 Clinton attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, which was hosted by President Putin in Vladivostok, in place of Barack Obama, who couldn’t attend due to his campaign schedule (which Putin resented). Seated next to Putin at dinner, Clinton discussed visiting a memorial in St. Petersburg for the victims of the 1941–44 Nazi siege of that city (then called Leningrad). Putin then told her a story about his family that she had never heard nor read before: During WWII, he said, his father came home for a brief break from military service to find men loading a pile of bodies into a truck outside the apartment he shared with his wife. Approaching them, he recognized that one of the bodies belonged to his wife, and demanded that it be returned to him. After some arguing, it was—and he discovered she was still alive. Putin’s father nursed his mother back to health, and eight years later their son Vladimir was born. Clinton noted that she’s never been able to verify the veracity of this story—but that it’s a fascinating glimpse into the psyche of Russia’s complicated president.

    She Believes Technology is a Double-Edged Sword:
    Although Clinton admits she is “not the most tech-savvy person,” she also describes “falling in love with my iPad,” even as she acknowledges that new technologies, including more widespread use of cell phones and ever expanding social media channels, are tools that are “in and of themselves value-neutral. They could be forces for bad as easily as for good, just as steel can be used to build hospitals or tanks, and nuclear power can either energize a city or destroy it.” She adds that we must “act responsibly to maximize technology’s benefits—while minimizing the risks.” Ways she and her staff were advised to minimize those risks included leaving “BlackBerrys, laptops—anything that communicated with the outside world—on the plane, with their batteries removed to prevent foreign intelligence services from compromising them” when they visited places like Russia. She was also advised to keep sensitive material confidential by reading it “inside an opaque tent in a hotel room. In less well-equipped settings we were told to improvise by reading sensitive material with a blanket over our head. I felt like I was ten years old again, reading covertly by flashlight under the covers after bedtime.” I can’t help but smile at the thought of Clinton reading important classified documents with a blanket over her head, the way I read Twilight.

    So? Is She Running For President in 2016?
    The short answer, in the epilogue of Hard Choices, is: “I haven’t decided yet.” I know, this didn’t satisfy me, either. But as Clinton also notes, “the most important questions anyone considering running must answer are not ‘Do you want to be President?’ or ‘Can you win?’ They are ‘What’s your vision for America?’ and ‘Can you lead us there?’” It’s the kind of pragmatic approach to presidential politics that can only come from someone who has run for president before. Whether Clinton decides to run again or not—another hard choice that is still on the horizon—remains to be seen. But with this memoir, she’s given us a thorough and detailed account of her experiences as Secretary of State, and her hopes for the future of the country—which if she does decide to run, will be useful information for voters.

    Are you planning to read Hillary Clinton’s new memoir?

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