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Daring Women

Updated: January 11, 2020

A collection of biographies and autobiographies about women with strong, unique characters who followed their own inclinations and dreams.

Essinger, James, 1957-
Call Number: 92 L8978Es

Ada Lovelace was said to be the only legitimate child of English poet Lord Byron.  She was a brilliant mathematician and worked with Charles Babbage on his Analytical Engine, possibly the first computer.

Kraus, Chris,
Call Number: 810.92 A182Kr

The first authorized biography of poet, artist, feminist, scholar, cult figure, Kathy Acker, written by Chris Kraus. Kraus and Acker, although not close to each other, have shared friends, lovers, and artistic circles. In Kraus’s words, she began writing about Acker “through the distance, but with this incredible frisson of feeling that often I could write “I” instead of “she.” 

Devonshire, Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford Cavendish, Duchess of, 1920-
Call Number: 942.51 D511-6

Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire takes us into the world of running one of England's most well-known stately homes, Chatsworth.  Without any formal education but a keen business sense, she tranformed the house and grounds into a beautiful and profitable tourist sight.

This is a particularly charming and funny interview with the Duchess at the Frick Collection.

Rice, Christina, 1974-
Call Number: 812.092 D988Ri

A brilliantly researched and beautifully written biography of the talented actress who fought the studio system and paid the price of stardom deferred. This book transcends most film biographies because of the exhaustive study of Ms. Dvorak’s personal and public life that unfolds in Christina Rice’s polished prose full of real affection for the subject. A must read for those interested in the star system and the life of one of Hollywood’s leading ladies who paid the price for being truly independent.

Fitch, Noel Riley.
Call Number: 641.092 C536Fi

Julia Child changed the way Americans think about food and cooking by teaching French cooking.  Noel Riley Fitch's biography is concise, well-researched, and delightful.  

Gay, Roxane,
Call Number: 301.412 G2855
Being a feminist isn’t about being a perfect, platonic ideal of womanhood. Instead, Roxane Gay writes a series of essays about a feminism that acknowledges (and frequently examines) the individual pieces of her life and her experiences, allowing for inconsistencies and rough edges that grind against other aspects of her life and identity. The result is an autobiographical exploration of life and culture that is honest, compelling, and very, very funny.

Obama, Michelle, 1964-
Call Number: 92 O1166-1

With candor and class, former First Lady Michelle Obama recounts her personal life from growing up on the South Side of Chicago in a working class family; years of study at Princeton and Harvard; being a lawyer, a wife and mother; and the wife of the first African American President.

Burton, Susan,
Call Number: 351.765092 B974

Susan Burton's life took a dive into hell when her five-year-old son was killed by a van driving down her street. She began self-medicating, taking increasingly stronger illegal drugs, and for over fifteen years Burton was in and out of prison. By chance she found a private drug rehab facility and turned her life around. Through her organization, A New Way of Life, Ms. Burton is now an advocate for formerly incarcerated women.

Osborne, Frances.
Call Number: 92 S1213Os
Osborne's great-grandmother, Idina Sackville, loomed large as a mysterious, unmentionable relative. It is a box of letters and pictures that initiates a quest to find out who the notorious bolter truly was and how very much ahead of her time she was, way back then--and perhaps even for today.

Seymour, Miranda.
Call Number: 796.72092 N588Se

Hellé Nice was a girl from the countryside who hit Paris with a bang as a nude model, dancer and cabaret performer, but when she caught the eye of Ettore Bugatti, car designer, she became the fastest race car driver on the track.

Siebert, Muriel.
Call Number: 332.62 S571

Muriel Siebert was known as the first woman of finance, and this was not in the nineteenth century but the twentieth:  the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock exchange; the first woman to head one of the New York Stock Exchange's member firms; the first woman Superintendent of Banking for the state of New York. In this autobiography she is candid, tough, and humorous about her own life and many of the people she worked with in the financial and political world.

Collis, Rose.
Call Number: 822.092 B882Co
Coral Browne was an actress of stage, screen and television, and also a liberated, witty and elegant woman. She was audaciously outspoken and seductive with a long list of famous lovers plus a loyal following of gay men who admired her lack of caution when speaking her mind.

O'Brien, Edna.
Call Number: 823 O13Ob-1

Irish novelist, short story writer, and literary grande dame, Edna O'Brien looks back on her life.  She is unsparing and unsentimental in reminscences about convent schooling, marriages, divorces, the wild sixties in London, the brouhaha, banning and burning of her first novel Country Girls which later became a modern classic. O'Brien may have been born in the country but she had precociously sophisticated yearnings which became realities. 

Vreeland, Diana.
Call Number: 746.52 V979 1997

Off-beat, elegant and original in dress, manner and speech, but with a very keen eye for new talent, Diana Vreeland was editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine during the 1960s and resuscitated its image and sales.

Kaplan, Alice Yaeger
Call Number: 920.073 K165

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis were three American women who, in their youth, spent time studying and living in Paris  Living in France would sustain, nourish, and confirm a sense of independence and uniqueness in each of their lives.

Call Number: 641.092 L673Ed

A collection of essays that pay tribute to cookbook writer, master chef and outspoken activist.  She brought proper attention to good Southern cooking.

Peirce, Leslie P,
Call Number: 92 S9491Pe

Abducted and brought to the harem as a Russian (specfically Ruthenian) slave and Christian, Roxelana became the only Queen in the Ottoman Court. What caused Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent to free and marry her? There was more to the harem than seduction, and a great deal more to this woman who was smart, fascinating, shrewd, and a clever diplomat.

Federman, Adam, 1979-
Call Number: 641.092 G781Fe

Adam Federman presents the life of Patience Gray, an important figure in modern food writing. Independent, iconoclastic, a type of earth mother who eschewed modern consumerism, she and her partner, the sculptor Norman Mommens, led a  rugged life on the island of Naxos. LAPL owns these books by Gray:  Honey from a weed : fasting and feasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades, and Apulia; A Catalan cookery book : a collection of impossible recipes; Plats du jour

Warren, Elizabeth.
Call Number: 92 W287
The story of Elizabeth Warren’s life and career is not simply about her journey from a penniless childhood to the heights of political power in Washington, D.C. Throughout the book one thing is clear, and that is Warren’s understanding and appreciation of the hard work that people use to try to carve out lives for themselves and their children in America.

Haskins, James, 1941-2005.
Call Number: 92 C5423Ha

Shirley Chisholm was the first African American Congresswoman and the first African American woman to run for President in 1972. Outspoken and candid, she was fearless in expressing her opinions and criticism regarding established politicians and activists alike.

Jemison, Mae, 1956-
Call Number: 629.450092 J49

Dr, Mae Jemison is an engineer, physician, and was a member of the Peace Corps and a NASA astronaut. In 1992 she was the first African American woman astronaut to travel in space. She is the principal of The 100 Year Starship organization, and has written a book for children about the program.

Thomas, Evan, 1951-
Call Number: 347.092 O18Th

There were many firsts in the life of Sandra Day O'Connor, and all of them are well-documented by Evan Thomas who had access to Justice O'Connor's personal archives, and was able to interview her. Thomas' writing style is perfect for bringing us this biography of an incredible woman.

Ferrante, Elena,
Call Number: 853 F373F

The very private writer Elena Ferrante presents one aspect of her life, as a writer. She does so in bits and pieces which is what frantumaglia means in Neapolitan dialect. In the current world with the need to know everything about everyone, there was conjecture about her true identity. As for this reader--I want more exceptional novels from Elena Ferrante, whoever she may be.

Escobedo, Elizabeth Rachel.
Call Number: 301.4129794 E746

World War II opened up jobs for women and minorities, and for Mexican American women the opportunities caused a type of revolution in their personal lives, shaking up traditional customs and ideas about women going out into the world unprotected.

Kiernan, Denise.
Call Number: 976.82 K47
This book explores the development of the atom bomb through the lens of the working women, from all walks of life, who contributed to its development.

Beyer, Kurt.
Call Number: 621.38195092 H797Be

Grace Hopper was a computer scientist and a Navy Rear Admiral. Often known as Amazing Grace or Grandma Cobol, Hopper was an early programmer in 1944 at Harvard, and invented the first compiler for a computer programming language. Yale University's Calhoun College was renamed "to honor one of Yale's most distinguished graduates, Grace Murray Hopper '30 M.A., '34 Ph.D."


Swaby, Rachel,
Call Number: 509 S971

This is a series of vignettes about female scientists who deserve more recognition than they have received, but is not a recitation of wrongs. Rather, it shows 52 unique, indomitable, free spirits and free-thinkers who were moved to overcome any obstacle because they loved what they did, and they wanted to know more.


Rhodes, Richard
Call Number: 812.092 L216Rh

Not just another pretty actress, at one point she was called, “The most beautiful woman in the world.” Lamarr also had a brain and it was for the scientific and technical. She and composer George Antheil worked on a radio-controlled spread-spectrum communications system that included frequency hopping which later would prove important in cell phones and GPS technology. With Antheil she shared The Pioneer Award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Lowry, Beverly.
Call Number: 668.52092 W177Low

Madam C. J. Walker was the first African American woman millionaire. She developed a line of hair products specifically created for African American women. Born in 1867 on a plantation, her rags to riches story is filled with her ability to overcome personal and racial obstacles.

Lee Shetterly, Margot.
Call Number: 510.973 L481

During and after World War II among the female human computers, who were subsumed within aeronautics, there was another group of female human computers who were submerged because they were African Americans. This book recounts the lives of some of those African American women who worked as calculators, and then as mathematicians and engineers for NASA and its precursors. This is their story, at long last revealed, as the author shines a light on the stellar work of a group of African American women, whose contributions were not fully known by enough people.



Lynn, Loretta.
Call Number: 789.14 L989-2

Crammed with photos from back in the day, Honky Tonk Girl recounts, in Loretta’s unmistakable voice, the stories behind some of her most celebrated songs, from 1960's “Honky Tonk Girl” to 2004’s Grammy-winning “Van Lear Rose.” Over the course of her 50-year career, Loretta has worked with everyone from Buck Owens and Tammy Wynette to Pavarotti and Jack White. If you love to get your Loretta on, you will enjoy every page.

Brownstein, Carrie, 1974-
Call Number: 789.14 B8853
Rock goddess and Portlandia Actress-Writer-Producer Carrie Brownstein returns to her childhood and musical beginnings in the Riot Grrrl feminist movement of the 1990s when she co-founded the iconic musical group Sleater-Kinney. Brownstein describes contending with how she was perceived by journalists and audiences being a woman in a rock band in this heartfelt and honest exploration of her professional and personal lives.

Yousafzai, Malala, 1997-
Call Number: 370.95491 Y82-1

Learn the story of the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner ever, who risked her life to fight for the rights of girls in Pakistan to attend school. Malala was a young girl who would not be denied an education, despite being threatened by the Taliban, who shot her in the head. She lives in exile and continues to speak out for justice and human rights. In 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Wood, Beatrice.
Call Number: 738.914 W873 1988

A late-bloomer who did not find her true art until she was forty years old. Prior to that she was the object of affection for both Marcel Duchamp and Henri-Pierre Roche who based his novel, Jules and Jim, on this real-life ménage à trois. And Francois Truffaut based his film, Jules and Jim, on the novel.

McCully, Emily Arnold,
Call Number: 92 T179Mc

Ida M. Tarbell was one of the leading muckrackers, later known as investigative journalists. Her book, The history of the Standard Oil Companyis frequently ranked as one of the most important books of twentieth century journalism.

Halbreich, Betty, 1927-
Call Number: 746.52 H157

 Betty Harbreich is well known for her book Secrets of a fashion therapist:  what you can learn behind the dressing room door which offers practical fashion advice for every woman, gleaned from her years of experience at Bergdorf Goodman as a personal fashion advisor. Snappy, direct and funny she recounts her life and how she came to be known as the first personal shopper--a name she does not like at all. She is in Bergdorf's every day before the doors open, walking and looking for clothes for her clients, but Harbreich does have her limits and boundaries, "The door of my office is where I draw the line.  I'm not part of the package--I don't go home with the pants. . . There is a cutoff period to my involvement, but with me at least one gets an hour or two."


Skloot, Rebecca, 1972-
Call Number: 610.71 S628
Explore issues of bioethics, racism, poverty, science, and faith in this investigation into the origins of a line of cells that has and continues to be instrumental to biological and medical research.

Hilsum, Lindsey,
Call Number: 071.092 C727Hi

War correspondent Lynsey Hillsum's biography and memoir is about fellow war correspondent, Marie Colvin who was killed in Holms Syria in 2012. Colvin, the subject of a recent movie, was a leading war journalist who covered many international areas of war and conflict, some places where male journalists would not dare to go.  Colvin was brave and determined to be where the action was, so as to report first-hand what was taking place.

Field, Sally.
Call Number: 812.092 F456

Field’s painfully honest and frank memoir focusing on her childhood and the early years of her career is among the more resonant celebrity autobiographies. Field shows that her ability to embody the plucky, confident heroines of television and film stood in contrast to the crisis of confidence she struggled with as an individual. The end result is a well-written book that is raw, insightful, and cathartic. A welcome contribution from a woman who helped shaped the landscape of American popular culture.


Carter, Stephen L., 1954-
Call Number: 810.92 C325

Stephen Carter's biography is about his grandmother and lawyer, Eunice Hunton Carter, who overcame gender and racial prejudice. In the legal profession she was a force to be reckoned with, having put together a plan to take down Lucky Luciano, head of the Mafia.  During the 1940s she was the most famous African American women in the United States,

Addario, Lynsey.
Call Number: 770.9 A222

Lynsey Addario is a driven international photojournalist who has traveled to the world's hotspots to document and present life during conflicts, revolutions and wars.  She is candid in her writing and her photography.

Cochran, Jacqueline.
Call Number: 629.13092 C663-1

Jacqueline Cochran pulled herself out of abject poverty to become the top female competitive racing pilot in the 1930s, organized the WASPS during World War II, tested jet aircraft, became the first female pilot to break the sound barrier, and became the successful owner of her own cosmetics firm.

Irvin, Sam.
Call Number: 813 T4735Ir

Kay Thompson seemed to know just about everybody there was to know from the 1930s on until her death in 1998. She was an actress, singer, coach, writer,cabaret performer,first-class eccentric, godmother to Liza Minnelli and the creator of the stories about Eloise, the precocious wild-child who lived at The Plaza in New York City.

Jahren, Hope,
Call Number: 570.92 J25

Geobiologist Jahren has created a memoir of a life in “big science” that started with a life as the daughter of a community college science professor in Minnesota. She worked her way up through academia in a world that is not often welcoming to women, but persevered and got her own lab. Her life story is woven between stories about the lives of trees, the plants that are Jahren’s specialty and her passion.


O'Meara, Mallory
Call Number: 812.092 P3135Om

First time author Mallory O’Meara chronicles the life of one of the most interesting and influential people whose work you have seen, but whose name is not known: Milicent Patrick.  She is the only woman to design a classic monster, and it is far past the time for her story to be told. This is a compelling and enjoyable biography about the legacy of a female trailblazer in film, who not only worked, but excelled repeatedly in aspects of production dominated by men, both then and now.


Murad, Nadia
Call Number: 323.4092 M972

The Nobel Peace Prize, 2018. This prize was shared with Dr. Denis Mukwege, "for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict." Nadia Murad is a member of the Yazidi community who lived in Kocho, northern Iraq. She and her family lived a peaceful rural life with other families until their village was caught in the crosshairs of ISIS in 2014. People were killed and Nadia was abducted, beaten, tortured, repeatedly raped, and became part of the ISIS slave trade. She escaped and this is her story. Even though she is free, ISIS has continued to issue death threats because Nadia continues to speak out.

Sandberg, Sheryl.
Call Number: 658.31242 S213
Sheryl Sandberg, Harvard-educated, formerly with Google, and more recently the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, writes a notably attention-getting, compelling, and provocative book. Her insights draw from personal experiences and perspectives, as well as data and research, and offer practical advice about how women in the workplace can overcome the internal and external obstacles to enable them to do more for both personal and career achievement and how men can be more supportive of women.

Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984, artist.
Call Number: 759.14 K889-1

In poplular media and real life, Lee Krasner took a back seat to her rambunctious, talented husband, Jackson Pollock. This outstanding book places her front and center, with full-page color reproductions of her work, black and white photos of the artist at work, and interviews with Krasner by Gail Levin.

Copeland, Misty.
Call Number: 793.324 C782

Misty Copeland overcame the odds of a dysfunctional home, racism, and a late start with ballet lessons to became a star and soloist with American Ballet Theatre.  No matter what the odds, obstacles or pain, in life and in ballet, her autobiography conveys her indomitable spirit and passion for dance.

Gilot, Franc?oise, 1921-
Call Number: 759.64 P586Gi 1989

Francoise Gilot was a talented young artist when she met Pablo Picasso who was forty years her senior. She spent ten years with him, had two children and was the only woman to leave him.

Smith, Patti,
Call Number: 789.14 S656-3

In unsurprisingly poetic prose, both beautiful and personal, Patti Smith recounts memories plucked from various adventures in her life, from visiting a South American prison with her husband Fred "Sonic" Smith, to surveying a Coney Island devastated by a storm, to holing up in a European hotel to binge-watch detective shows. 


Garelick, Rhonda K., 1962-
Call Number: 746.52 C456Gar

The name Chanel is iconic and eponymous for a fragrance and a jacket, both created by a woman from a poor, socially undesirable background. Based on new research, this book analyzes the woman and her achievements within the context of the historical periods in which she lived. Heartbroken by a first great love, she became completely absorbed and driven to succeed on her own merits, and nothing, definitely not an ethical code, stood in her way.

Norris, John, 1964-
Call Number: 071.092 M147No

John Norris portrays the life of journalist Mary McGrory, who broke ground in the male-dominated newsrooms of the 1950s and 1960s, with her guts, gumption, calm observation, and detailed honest writing. She came from a working class Irish Catholic family that had a strong work ethic, which served her well. Without being salacious, Norris also writes about McGrory's personal and professional encounters with numerous well-known politicians. And with discerning insight documents the toll her career took on her personal life.

Bastianich, Lidia,
Call Number: 641.092 B326

Lidia Bastianich is a successful restaurateur, televsion host of numerous cooking programs on PBS, and cookbook author. In this heartfelt autobiography and memoir, she recounts her family's history in post-World War II Pula, Istria, then part of Italy, and how they eventually came to America. Filled with joy and hope, Basitanich's life is the embodiment of what it means to be an immigrant and find a new life in the United States.

Sotomayor, Sonia, 1954-
Call Number: 347.092 S718

In this engaging memoir, explore one woman’s life and learn how she overcame barriers of poverty, race, and illness to achieve great success.

Esfandiari, Haleh
Call Number: 365.955 I78

In 2006 while visiting her mother in Tehran, Iran, the American Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Middle East Program, Haleh Esfandiari was suddenly imprisoned and interrogated for nearly eight months. For part of that time she was in solitary confinement in the notorious Evin Prison where focus, self-discipline and determination were attributes that sustained her through a living nightmare in a country that once had been her home.

Kastin, David.
Call Number: 781.995 K19

She was an unofficial, unpaid promoter of jazz musicians, in particular Thelonius Monk.  Kathleen Annie Pannonica Rothschild Later Koenigswarter was a decorated WWII hero, a mother and the wife of a diplomat, but left it all for the world of American jazz in the 1950s. Charlie Parker died in her elegant Stanhope Hotel apartment. Other musicians referred to her simply as the Baroness.

Wickenden, Dorothy.
Call Number: 370.92 W893Wi

What happens when two Smith graduates decide to set off in 1916 for, what was then, the wild west of Colorado? Well, adventure, and a good deal more of it than either they or their families could imagine. Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood wrote to their families back in New York, and it is from those letters that Woodruff's granddaughter has created this hearty tale.

Greer, Germaine, 1939-
Call Number: 759 G816

In a style that is both scholarly and thoroughly enjoyable, Gerrmaine Greer presents a history, from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century, of women painters and the difficulties they confronted while pursuing their passion for art.

Souder, William, 1949-
Call Number: 570.92 C321So

Over 50 years ago, in her book The silent springRachel Carson warned about the dangers of widespread use of pesticide. This recent biography examines the life of this quiet, dedicated scientist.

McCoy, Esther.
Call Number: 720.910941 M131
Esther McCoy was one of modern architecture's most important critics and writers. She was the first architectural critic to take Los Angeles architecture seriously. This is a new anthology which includes a variety of her work.

Tapert, Annette.
Call Number: 812.09 T175

Tapert chose eleven actresses from Hollywood's golden period of the 1930's and 1940's and shows how each of them developed their own unique style outside of the movie studios' machines. She examines their lives and personalities and how each woman found what suited her best, but never at the expense of her image which embodied glamour. As Tapert says,"They had the ability to change the temperature of a room when they entered it. . ." and therefore had what was ". . . akin to glamour's original meaning: witchcraft."  Also check out Tapert's other book, The power of style:  the women who defined the art of living well.

Albright, Madeleine Korbel.
Call Number: 943.7 A342

An engrossing and enlightening multi-layered history of Czechoslovakia, the Albright family, and World War II, through the eyes of the Czech girl who grew up to be the first female Secretary of State. A must-read for World War II history buffs or anyone wanting to gain a clear understanding of the events and decisions that led to the war.

Buck, Joan Juliet,
Call Number: 051.092 B922

Joan Juliet Buck's father was a motion picture producer for Peter O'Toole and best friends with John Huston. Buck's best friend was Angelica.  But, that's just the start of this biography because Buck doesn't stay in filmland for long. She makes her name in fashion publishing, ending up as the editor of Paris Vogue.  Buck's adult life runs through the 1960s to the 1980s, prime years of the women's movement and she writes about how manners and fashion determined and reflected women's place in the world.  A near tell-all with fashion's most enduring names as major players.

Fisher, Carrie.
Call Number: 812.092 F533-2

In her latest memoir, actress/writer Carrie Fisher reflects on her complicated relationship with Princess Leia, the character she first brought to life four decades ago in the original Star Wars film. Also discussed at length is the three-month affair she had with co-star Harrison Ford during the location shoot. Drawing from journals Fisher kept at the time, the memoir is at times a painful yet relatable chronicle of a 19-year-old who, despite being on the verge of international fame, is consumed with the raw emotions of unrequited young love.


Rich, Doris L.
Call Number: 629.13092 C692Ri

Bessie Coleman was the first African American woman aviatrix in. Her biography is as exciting and daring as her flying stunts at airshows.

Holt, Nathalia, 1980-
Call Number: 629.40973 H758

This book delves into the culture of women who worked as “human computers” at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during the 1940s, 1950s, and beyond. The author conducted hundreds of hours of first-person interviews, and went deep into the JPL and NASA archives. The book offers a personal take on the accomplishments of these women who worked in the gendered discrimination reality of the American workplace.  Despite the obstacles these women created a collaborative support network in order to advance American space exploration.

Klobuchar, Amy.
Call Number: 92 K657

No mud-slinging here. The senior Senator from the great state of Minnesota recalls, with heart and humor, the path she took to public service. With election season heating up, it’s nice to be reminded that some politicians can be genuinely nice people. She is from Minnesota, doncha know? 


Valenti, Jessica,
Call Number: 301.41292 V155

Guardian columnist and founder of the Feministing blog, Jessica Valenti has written five other books, but this one is far more personal. She recounts her life growing up in New York, learning early on that her female body was treated differently from men’s bodies. Sometimes shocking, sometimes rousing, this memoir really brings home the need to continue the fight to get women on an equal footing with men. 

Wald, Gayle, 1965-
Call Number: 789.14 T367Wa

Sister Rosetta Tharpe is well-known as the godmother of rock 'n roll who mixed religious and secular styles which angered gospel singers in more conservative churches. In the 1920s she sang at The Cotton Club and Café Society. Despite the efforts of singers like Eric Clapton, B. B. King, and Johnny Cash, she has yet to be inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.  Here are some examples of her style from YouTube:

"That's All!"

"Precious Memories" 


West, Lindy.
Call Number: 071.092 W518

Part hilarious memoir, part no-holds-barred apologia on fatness, this is a stand out in the abundance of new third-wave feminist nonfiction. Not one to beat around the bush, West calls out, by name, the much-loved journalist Dan Savage for his crusade against obese people, and a who’s who of edgy male stand-up comics for their insistence that rape jokes are funny and everything is fair game.


Bernier, Rosamond.
Call Number: 709.2 B528
Coming from a background of privilege and advantage did not stop Rosamond Bernier from working hard and being successful at what she loved doing. She had a passion for art and loved to talk about it, and that's what she did with her sparkling, well-informed lectures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She knew, socialized and wrote about major twentieth century artists.

Mulley, Clare.
Call Number: 351.74092 S626Mu

Christine Granville was beautiful, intelligent, rebellious, daring and courageous, and left behind a slew of admirers and lovers.  Not a fictitious character in a spy novel, she was one of the most successful World War II spies who was awarded the George Medal, the OBE, and the Croix de Guerre.  She died, not on the war front, but as the result of a brutal murder in 1952.  This well-researched book reveals all aspects of her life and offers reasons why such a complete biography may have been thwarted in the past.

Norman, Jessye.
Call Number: 789.14 N842

A true diva is a distinguished female opera singer who strives for the best in her own work and expects the same from everyone with whom she works in order to create a marvelous experience for an audience. Jessye Norman is the full embodiment of a diva on stage and off, always striving for the best in life and art. 

On May 15, 2014, Jessye Norman was a guest at Aloud, and you can hear the podcast.

Jerkins, Morgan,
Call Number: 301.412973 J55

The first essay in Morgan Jerkins’ debut collection is a story about how, as a young black schoolgirl, she had been rejected by the cheerleading squad because “they don’t accept monkeys like you on the team.” And thus begins a no-holds-barred catechism of what life is like for African-American girls and women. You’re gonna want to take notes. 

Rivera, Jenni.
Call Number: 789.14 R621

Jenni Rivera was strong, determined, talented and very smart. This is her autobiography told her way, as she did everything else, including damaging choices in men.  She toughed it out to succeed in the male-dominated world of banda and norteño music to become an international sensation.


Conroy, Paul,
Call Number: 071.092 C727Co

They may not make war journalists, male or female, to match the likes of Marie Colvin who was one of the greats and valued as such by her colleagues. Colvin was not a thrill seeker, but was driven by the need to see first-hand what took place in war zones:  East Timor, Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Libya and Syria. 

Evers-Williams, Myrlie.
Call Number: 323.4092 E935

After the assassination of her husband, civil-rights activist Medgar Evers, Myrlie Evers completed her B.A. in sociology at Pomona College, worked in private business and went on to become Chairwoman of the NAACP.

Santiago, Esmeralda.
Call Number: 301.45097295 S235 1994

Esmeralda Santiago was one of eleven children who grew up in a tin-can of a house in Puerto Rico, surrounded by quarreling parents and poverty. While living in Brooklyn with her grandmother, Santiago's ambition and hard work resulted in a Harvard education, and a successful career as a writer and film producer.

Moser, Benjamin.
Call Number: 869.3 L771Mo

Brazilian novelist, short story writer, and journalist, Clarice Lispector is well known for her innovative style of writing. Born in the Ukraine in 1920, she was brought to Brazil after World War I. Beautiful and brainy, her life was peripatetic and turbulent. This biography is based upon years of reserach and brings attention to a major writer.

Mazzeo, Tilar J.
Call Number: 663.2092 C636Ma
Veuve Clicquot is one of the best-known and highly rated champagnes, however the story of its creator has been something of a mystery. New research reveals the portrait of a determined, bright and shrewd businesswoman who lived during a turbulent period in French history and created an enduring heritage.

Strayed, Cheryl, 1968-
Call Number: 813 S913S

Shattered at age 26 by her mother's death and the end of her marriage, Strayed did something way out of the realm of her experience--she took a solo 1,100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Fagone, Jason,
Call Number: 652.092 F8995Fa

Elizebeth Smith and her husband, William Friedman, were important code breakers during World War II, and their work helped create what would become the NSA. Elizebeth Smith has never received the credit she deserves for her unique contirubtions to breaking numerous versions of the Enigma machine. The story of how she became a code breaker is as intriguing and unbelievable as are her many contributions.

Nochlin, Linda,
Call Number: 709 N757-7

A collection of essays about women artists by art historian, scholar and professor, Linda Nochlin, whose writing is scholarly, provocative, and fascinating. These essays are from the past, but not at all dated, and in many ways are answers to another Nochlin essay, "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" which also is included.