Tag: female empowerment

5 Inspiring Female Memoirs to Celebrate Women’s History Month

As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, here are five inspiring memoirs from some of the most powerful and compelling women of our era.



1. Small Fry by Lisa brennan-jobs

Everyone knows tech-mogul, Steve Jobs. However in Small Fry, his daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs details the complicated relationship she had with her father throughout her youth and early adulthood. Lisa talks about how growing up with the emerging Silicon Valley shaped her life and how her difficult relationship with her father influenced the person she is today.


image via Amazon


2. The Girl Who Smiled Beads by clemantine wamariya

Clemantine Wamariya is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide. Not knowing if her parents were alive or not, Clemantine and her sister spent years migrating through Africa before eventually being granted refuge in the United States. Taken in by a family in Chicago, she attended school for the first time and went on to graduate from Yale University. The Girl Who Smiled Beads follows Clemantine’s struggle as she enters into a life of privilege after running from a life of hardship.


image via amazon



3. Becoming by michelle obama

In Becoming, Michelle Obama gives a candid reflection of her journey to the White House. She talks about her life as a young girl in Chicago to becoming an accomplished lawyer and mother to becoming First Lady of the United States. One of the most compelling women of our time, Michelle Obama invites us into her world in this memoir.


image via amazon


4. Educated by tara westover

Growing up in an extreme survivalist family, Tara Westover first set foot in a classroom at the age of seventeen. Dealing with a mentally ill father convinced the world was coming to an end and an abusive older brother, Westover had to overcome all odds to simply receive an education. Educated is the story of a girl with a will to have a better life for herself and the struggle she overcame to achieve that.


image via amazon


5. The last black unicorn by tiffany haddish

A true success story, Tiffany Haddish tells the story of her difficult childhood, rotating through foster homes, attending a primarily white high school, and dealing with sexual abuse. Haddish soon found a love for comedy and details the challenges she faced as she made her way to the top of Hollywood. The Last Black Unicorn, though a painful story, is a hilarious collection of Haddish’s essays and will make you laugh along the way. 


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Empowering Female Biographies For Women’s History Month

Happy Women’s History Month! This month, we take the time to celebrate all the fierce women of history and recognize their outstanding lives of achievement and legacy. To start off this month, here are five must-read biographies of women that have certainly shaped history.


Image via amazon

You have most likely heard of this inspiring young woman. In October of 2012 when Malala’s story garnered worldwide attention, watchers from all parts of the globe avidly tuned in as this courageous young woman fought for the rights of girls everywhere. Courage radiates off the pages of this autobiography and you will surely admire Malala’s journey.


Zelda– nancy Milford

image via amazon

Her husband is one of the most famous authors in literary history. Young Zelda Sayre’s life is chronicled from her childhood through her adult life, as she became Zelda Fitzgerald, and in turn, a prominent figure in the literary world beyond. Milford eloquently tells of the struggles and trying times behind the glamour of the roaring twenties and the shining legacy of The Great Gatsby.


Madame curie: a biography– eve curie

image via amazon

This biography written by Madame Curie’s own daughter brings a personal touch to the story of one of the greatest female scientists of all time.

The collective autobiographies of Maya Angelou– Maya Angelou

Featured image via amazon

This collection of memoirs will let you into the intimate details of Maya Angelou’s life and mind. This book chronicles the many milestones in her life, from her childhood to her adulthood.

The immortal life of henrietta lacks– rebecca skloot

image via amazon

Rebecca Skloot writes the unbelievable story of Henrietta Lacks, the woman who contributed revolutionary cells to science without knowing it. Skloot takes dives deep into the Lacks family, science, and the circumstances surrounding the revolutionary HeLa cells. Much is revealed about this strong woman’s life in this utterly fascinating account.


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You Need to Read this Woman’s Experience at Uber

CW: Sexual harassment

In an article by Time, former Uber software engineer Susan Fowler opens up about her blog post describing the sexual harassment she faced while working at the company. Her report came after a manager was talking about sex on an open chat in the company app. Fowler took a screenshot of the conversation and reported it to HR. After her blog post, which can be read here, Fowler published a book called Whistleblower, detailing her fight for justice in the events during and after working at Uber.


image via time


To make matters worse, Fowler experienced constant harassment outside of work after she reported the sexual harassment. She found out people were digging for information about her, even going so far as to follow her. Fowler was told by friends and family that they were being asked by strange people about her, some that Fowler hadn’t been in contact with since she was a teenager. It’s really disturbing.



Fowler notes that eventually, private investigators were trying to get in touch with her. Fowler received a call from someone she didn’t know but decided to answer it. On the other side was a woman claiming to be working on a case against Uber, and she wanted Fowler to help her. Fowler declined and did her own research. It turned out that the woman worked for a firm that was hired for past cases working to discredit victims of sexual misconduct!


Fowler also notes instances of her social media being hacked, her phone ringing constantly to alert her, her email being hacked and combed through, and her sister’s accounts being hacked into. Although not directly correlated, it seems that Uber was retaliating against Fowler for speaking up, but she persevered.




In an interview with NPR News, Fowler speaks with David Greene about what happened after she filed the report. Fowler describes that the work culture was toxic, full of misogyny, bullying, and harassment. She’s had what she calls, “surreal encounters with an HR department that refused to take action.” She noticed a culture of destruction and rule-breaking, and was often yelled or berated at during meetings.


It’s really disgusting to think that this happens in workplaces, but it’s important to know that change can occur, which is what happened after Fowler left. The company’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, along with twenty other employees, were fired after investigations were held.


image via amazon


If you’d like to read about Fowler’s experience (and you should!), you can get her book on Amazon, linked just above.


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10 Powerful Female Authors Owning 2020

We here at Bookstr love all the strong, women authors out there who are killing it in their fields! Be it a literary fiction piece or a personal memoir, these books are going to be tough to put down! So here is a compiled list, in no particular order, of these ten incredible writers who are launching their spectacular novels in 2020.


Liz moore- Long Bright river


Image Via Montgomery News


American author Liz Moore started as a musician in New York City, which inspired her writing and lead her to eventually launch a number of books, including the forthcoming mystery thriller, Long Bright River. The novel follows the insane lives of two sisters, Kacey and Mickey, in a Philadelphia neighborhood, when suddenly Kacey disappears! As Mickey starts looking for her sister, she realizes she has to act fast because a series of murders begins to take place in the neighborhood.


Image Via Amazon


Long Bright River is gripping, suspenseful, as well as heart-wrenching, as it keeps readers on their toes while the mystery unfolds, but also explores the emotional ties shared by siblings, which makes it a must read in our list!



Anna weiner – uncanny valley


Image Via Amazon


Anna Wiener is a contributing writer to The New Yorker, where she writes about Silicon Valley, startup culture, and technology. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, as well as in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2017.


Image Via Amazon 


In her memoir, Uncanny Valley, Weiner explores her life and choices as a twenty-something Her story starts with her living as a broke and stuck individual in New York City, who makes moves to San Francisco and landing at a big-data startup, ending up where else but in the heart of Silicon Valley. Part coming-of-age-story, part portrayal of an already bygone era, her memoir is a unique first-person glimpse into the ever-so-relevant startup culture of our time, highlighting unrelenting ambition and unregulated surveillance, alongside wild fortune and the influence of rising political power. This is a book which touches on relevant issues that’s taken over our society, all through the lens of a witty protagonist, who is eager to share her story.



tessa bailey – Love her or loose her


Image Via HarperCollins


New York Times bestselling romance author, Tessa Bailey, has done it again! And we can’t wait for her forthcoming novel, Love Her or Loose Her, which promises a page turning tale of high school sweethearts turned married couple, heading their way to something even more exciting – marriage boot camp! In order to save what they have, and to rekindle their old flame, Rosie is sure this is the right decision and has convinced her husband Dom, that he either agrees to it or walks. At the camp, things actually take a positive turn, and Rosie is quite impressed by her husbands progress and eagerness, but suddenly she comes across a secret Dom has kept from her, and it could destroy everything.


Image Via Amazon


Bailey keeps her hungry readers hooked with her endless plot twists about stories of people in love, and we want her to keep ’em coming!



jeanine cummins – american dirt


Image Via Twitter


Jeanine Cummins has taken us on a devastating journey before in her true crime memoir, A Rip in HeavenBut this time she wows her readers with this excellent piece of literary fiction, that circles around a family living in Acapulco, Mexico, who unexpectedly fall victim to life-threatening danger that’s brought by the drug cartel in the city. American Dirt is a gripping page turner, taut with suspense and claustrophobic encounters.


Image Via Amazon


What sets the novel apart is its share of protagonists, as both the mother Lydia, and son Luca, narrate the story, giving its readers a whole different level of intimacy, while keeping the suspense at a constant.




Abi darÉ – The girl with the louding voice


Image Via Curtis Brown


Abi Daré was inspired by her two daughters to write her debut novel The Girl with the Louding Voice, and it’s already won the Bath Novel Award for unpublished manuscripts in 2018 and was also selected as a finalist in the 2018 Literary Consultancy Pen Factor competition—so we know for a fact that she’s insanely talented.


Image Via Amazon


The novel circulates around fourteen-year old Adunni, a Nigerian girl who just wants an education. Her mother had told her that only an education will allow her a “louding voice”, which will give her the ability to speak for herself and decide her own future. But sadness strikes when her father sells her to be the third wife of a local man, who can’t wait to have a son, and Adunni runs away to the city in the hopes of a better life and finds herself a servant for a wealthy family. She is told time and time again, that she amounts to nothing, and that she would accomplish nothing, but she is relentless and knows that they may try to quiet her down, but they can never truly silence her voice.



lily king – writers & lovers


Image Via Goodreads


Lily King is the author of the Kirkus Prize winning novel Euphoria, and her New Adult novel, Writers & Lovers, doesn’t disappoint anyone either.


Image Via Amazon


The book follows Casey—a smart and vulnerable protagonist, who carries her heart in her fingertips—wandering through her last days of a long youth, she’s at a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. King exhibits her traditional humor, heart and intelligence, creating a spectacular novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating jump between the end of one chapter of life and the beginning of another. 




veronica roth – chosen ones


Image Via Amazon


The mega-selling author of the Divergent trilogy, Veronica Roth, needs no introduction, and her millions of fans across the globe are waiting impatiently for the release of her first book for adults, Chosen Ones.


Image Via Amazon


The novel goes back a decade near Chicago, when five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. Ten years after the fateful day of glory, though the world has moved on, one of the five teens, Sloane, never managed forget the gory details. As the nightmares of the Dark One continue to haunt her dreams, tragedy strikes again, and on the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, they face the death of one of their own. And when the heroes gather for the funeral, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended and a new, bloody battle is about to begin.



marie benedict – lady clementine


Image Via Goodreads


Marie Benedict is the author of The Other Einstein, Carnegie’s Maid, The Only Woman in the Room, and the upcoming novel, Lady Clementine. Benedict takes the life of Clementine Churchill, in this fictionalized version of history, and does a splendid job of unfolding the bewildering tales of the ambitious woman beside Winston Churchill.


Image Via Amazon


This is the untold story of a partner who did not flinch through the sweeping darkness of war, and who would not surrender either to expectations or to enemies. Benedict’s ability to take the past and weave it into a compelling story for today’s generation is nothing short of remarkable, and her novel has been praised extensively for the behind-the-scenes account of a powerful woman, who played such a huge role in shaping history. 




yaa gyasi – transcendent kingdom


Image Via Gabriela Hasbun


Yaa Gyasi took the world by storm with her first novel, Homegoing, a national bestseller and is now about to launch the follow-up book, Transcendent Kingdom, which is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants living in Alabama, ravaged by depression, addiction, and grief.


Image Via Amazon


The novel’s protagonist is Gifty, a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford University, studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Family tragedies have Gifty determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her, but even as she turns to science to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hovering over her childhood faith and obsessing with the biblical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation now seems only as real as a wild, pleasant dream.



marie Kondo – joy at work: organizing your professional life


Image Via Amazon


Marie Kondo has become a household name since the release of her book and her popular Netflix show, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Upand this organizing whiz keeps her promise to help us de-clutter even further with her new book, Joy At Work.


Image Via Amazon


In Joy at Work, Kondo and Rice University business professor Scott Sonenshein offer stories, studies, and strategies to help eliminate clutter and make space for work that really matters. The workplace is a magnet for clutter and mess, and it’s only normal to feel drained by the disorganized piles of papers and the modern-day hazards of working limit our chances of career progress, and undermine our well-being. Using the now popular KonMari Method and cutting-edge research, Joy at Work hopes to help us overcome the challenges of workplace mess and enjoy the productivity, success, and happiness that comes with a tidy desk and mind. 



From searching for lost sisters, to keeping your work desk tidy, this list should excite you for all the incredible books these powerhouse female authors are bestowing us with in 2020, because I know I am!

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Bookstr's Three to Read 4/4/19: 'Madame Fourcade's Secret War,' 'Save Me The Plums,' & 'First'

Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 4/4/19

March was Women’s History Month—but, while we appreciate the sentiment, we also know that women make history every month. In the entire world, men outnumber women only slightly, with a ratio of 102 men to every 100 women. We also know (or should know) that, in certain region, the infanticide of female children has impacted this figure. In the United States, women outnumber men. And yet, women’s stories are frequently placed into their own categories. Women’s stories are frequently deemed less universal. This week, we delve deeply into those stories: the professional, the political, and the historic. So often, women’s stories are all three of these things at once. (Let’s just note that these stories in particular share one more important quality—they’re damn good reads.)

So, although it may be April, here are Bookstr’s Three to Read: Women’s History edition. Why? Because we know it matters!





'Save Me the Plums' by Ruth Reichl


Trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl took the risk (and the job) of a lifetime when she entered the glamorous, high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet, during which she spearheaded a revolution in the way we think about food.

When Condé Nast offered Ruth Reichl the top position at America’s oldest epicurean magazine, she declined. She was a writer, not a manager, and had no inclination to be anyone’s boss. And yet . . . Reichl had been reading Gourmet since she was eight; it had inspired her career. How could she say no?

This is the story of a former Berkeley hippie entering the corporate world and worrying about losing her soul. It is the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed, forever, the way we eat. Readers will meet legendary chefs like David Chang and Eric Ripert, idiosyncratic writers like David Foster Wallace, and a colorful group of editors and art directors who, under Reichl’s leadership, transformed stately Gourmet into a cutting-edge publication. This was the golden age of print media–the last spendthrift gasp before the Internet turned the magazine world upside down.

Complete with recipes, Save Me the Plums is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with being in charge and making a mark, following a passion and holding on to her dreams–even when she ends up in a place she never expected to be.



Women never have to apologize for their success. So it’s complicated to realize that we are often expected to. This book is a fascinating look at the career trajectory of an accomplished professional at the height of her power. Ruth Reichl asserts herself and her capabilities as she takes on a massive leadership role with talent and personality, inspiring all readers to not only live their dreams but also CRUSH them. Beyond the feminist elements of Reichl’s boss rise to success, Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir is a colorful story of big-time creative professionals, sure to add plenty of flavor (bad pun, accurate description) to your reading list. Reichl has also written a number of other successful books that draw upon her relationship with food, including the successful Delicious!: A Novel. As a bonus, this cover design is especially inventive—we look at the tantalizing first page of an open, glossy magazine, a nod to Reichl’s role in Gourmet that perfectly captures the feeling of such a prestigious publication. Also, we love food. We assume you feel the same.




'Madame Fourcade's Secret War' Lynne Olson



The dramatic true story of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade–codename Hedgehog–the woman who headed the largest spy network in occupied France during World War II, from the New York Times bestselling author of Citizens of London and Those Angry Days.

In 1941, a thirty-one-year-old Frenchwoman born to privilege and known for her beauty and glamour became the leader of a vast Resistance organization–the only woman to hold such a role. Brave, independent, and a lifelong rebel against her country’s conservative, patriarchal society, Marie-Madeleine Fourcade was temperamentally made for the job. Her group’s name was Alliance, but the Gestapo dubbed it Noah’s Ark because its agents used the names of animals as their aliases. Marie-Madeleine’s codename was Hedgehog.

No other French spy network lasted as long or supplied as much crucial intelligence as Alliance–and as a result, the Gestapo pursued them relentlessly, capturing, torturing, and executing hundreds of its three thousand agents, including her own lover and many of her key spies. Fourcade had to move her headquarters every week, constantly changing her hair color, clothing, and identity, yet was still imprisoned twice by the Nazis. Both times she managed to escape, once by stripping naked and forcing her thin body through the bars of her cell. The mother of two young children, Marie-Madeleine hardly saw them during the war, so entirely engaged was she in her spy network, preferring they live far from her and out of harm’s way.

In Madame Fourcade’s Secret War, Lynne Olson tells the tense, fascinating story of Fourcade and Alliance against the background of the developing war that split France in two and forced its citizens to live side by side with their hated German occupiers.



Culturally, we’re fascinated with female spies and operatives: consider the sheer number of listicles starring Hedy Lamarr, film actress, inventor, and WWII radio operator. Perhaps its appeal comes from something inherent in the subversion of gender roles. War is a man’s game, pop culture and history dictates. But, if that were true, why are women so good at playing? The reality is that men are frequently the ones writing the history they populate, removing the narratives of these compelling women. In Madame Fourcade’s Secret War, Lynne Olson explores the multifaceted life of a fascinating woman—a woman whose motherhood (and womanhood) does not make her any less of a Nazi-fighting badass. Olson is a prolific writer of non-fiction, and you don’t have to take my word for it: former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright dubbed Olson “our era’s foremost chronicler of World War II politics and diplomacy.”




'First' Sandra Day O'Connor



Based on exclusive interviews and access to the Supreme Court archives, this is the intimate, inspiring, and authoritative biography of America’s first female Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor- by New York Times bestselling author Evan Thomas.

She was born in 1930 in El Paso and grew up on a cattle ranch in Arizona. At a time when women were expected to be homemakers, she set her sights on Stanford University. When she graduated near the top of her class at law school in 1952, no firm would even interview her. But Sandra Day O’Connor’s story is that of a woman who repeatedly shattered glass ceilings–doing so with a blend of grace, wisdom, humor, understatement, and cowgirl toughness.

She became the first-ever female majority leader of a state senate. As a judge on the Arizona State Court of Appeals, she stood up to corrupt lawyers and humanized the law. When she arrived at the Supreme Court, appointed by Reagan in 1981, she began a quarter-century tenure on the court, hearing cases that ultimately shaped American law. Diagnosed with cancer at fifty-eight, and caring for a husband with Alzheimer’s, O’Connor endured every difficulty with grit and poise.

Women and men today will be inspired by how to be first in your own life, how to know when to fight and when to walk away, through O’Connor’s example. This is a remarkably vivid and personal portrait of a woman who loved her family and believed in serving her country, who, when she became the most powerful woman in America, built a bridge forward for the women who followed her.



It’s a rare biography that fully juxtaposes the human with the historic, the personal with the political. The New Yorker contributor Evan Thomas‘ First: Sandra Day O’Connor is one such work… and it’s worth putting first on your reading list. While the biography may center around O’Connor’s professional accomplishments, it also portrays her as a complex person. All of us craving that Game of Thrones content (specifically, the gossip and artifice of power dynamics) will feel the hypnotic pull of the Supreme Court’s political intrigue… without as much of the baggage of contemporary political discourse. There’s an inherent (if slightly voyeuristic) appeal in looking at the secret side of stories we’ve seen play out on the news, people we’ve seen on television made whole and complete. Thomas grants us access to rivalries hidden from the media, to the intimate accounts of friends and colleagues. This biography captures that same appeal of reality television—just with fewer beach hookups and parking lot fights. (By ‘fewer,’ we mean absolutely none. Just to clarify.)