Women’s History Month

Happy last day of March!

Thanks for sticking it out with me, March was a one crazy month. I became lactose intolerant, I got sick for two weeks (just now rounding the corner) and I am in the process of moving out of my apartment. Needless to say, I’m glad that April will a low key chill month (hopefully).

March is National Women’s History Month and it is important to celebrate women (including women of color) and to continue to tell their stories. There are so many important women who have accomplished so much, but there is little known about them.

One of my most favorite recent discoveries is Katherine Johnson. Katherine Johnson was one of the ladies spotlighted in the movie Hidden Figures. She was one of the African American women at NASA that helped launch John Glenn into orbit.  And of course there is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the OG. And then we have another list of amazing women: Harriet B. Tubman, Ruby Bridges, Susan B. Anthony, Queen Elizabeth I (and the current). There are so many women in history who have done so much, I’m happy that we finally have a month to spotlight everything they have accomplished and the barriers they have broken. Here’s an awesome article from New York Times that spotlights some amazing women as well.

It is important to not only read and learn about these women, but to also hear their stories from them. Here’s a few books that I’ve read that I think are great stories about what women have accomplished.



Some other lists:

Please let me know if you have any more book suggestions as I am constantly trying to find more.

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Black History Month Spotlight: Lorraine Hansberry

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Thanks for following along so far. I’ve had great reception from friends and family who have appreciated these spotlights. Next week will be my final spotlight and my last spotlight will be Marian Wright Edelman so stay tuned! I know it’ll be in March, but as I took a week off for travels I wanted to still do my final spotlight.

Today’s spotlight is Lorraine Hansberry.

Lorraine Hansberry is the first black American playwright to have her play produced on Broadway.  Her play Raisin in the Sun is considered an American classic today (NPR). Her play Raisin in the Sun is about a black family that tries to move into a white neighborhood in Chicago (SparkNotes).

Hansberry was born in Chicago and attended University of Wisconsin before moving to New York City to pursue theater (Britannica). It was in New York that she began writing  for a monthly paper called Freedom and became an activist for peace and racial justice (FemBio).

Raisin in the Sun is her most famous play to date.  The play spotlights the struggles black people faced living in a segregated city and trying to move up in the world. Her female character Beneatha is highlighted for her positive image of a black woman who is intelligent and career driven (FemBio).

Unfortunately for us Hansberry passed away at age 34 to pancreatic cancer. Not much is known about her life except for a few pieces of work that she left behind after her death.

Here are some books to read more about her:

Black History Month Spotlight: Wangari Maathai

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Happy Black History Month! I wanted to spotlight different women this month as a way to honor them, remember them and hopefully inspire other women. My second spotlight of the month is Wangari Maathai. The next spotlight will be Lorraine Hansberry.

In my opinion, Wangari Maathai is one of the most notable women in this generation who does not get as much recognition as she deserves. She is the first Black woman to receive a Nobel Peace Prize.

Wangari Maathai was born in Kenya and became the first woman in East and Central Africa to receive a doctoral degree (Nobel Peace Prize). She served on the National Council of Women in Kenya and it was during this time that she founded the Green Belt Movement (Green Belt Movement).

The Green Belt Movement is an organization that empowers communities, particularly women, to work towards conserving the environment and improving their lives. Maathai founded the environmental organization to address the issue of having streams drying up, food supplies being less secure. By planting seedlings, the women are able to store rainwater, provide food and firewood and receive a monetary token for their work (Green Belt Movement).

Conservation work wasn’t her only passion, Maathai was also an advocate for human rights, AIDS prevention and women’s issues. She addressed these issues in front of the United Nations General Assembly frequently. In 2002 she was elected to Kenya’s National Assembly and in 2003 she was appointed Assistant Minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife (Britannica). In 2004 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the first Black woman to receive the award.

Since being award the Nobel Peace Prize, Maathai published an autobiography of her journey. She was also appointed the Goodwill Ambassador to the Congo Basin Forest Ecosystem. In 2006 she founded the Nobel Women’s Initiative (Green Belt Movement).

Maathai passed away in 2011 due to ovarian cancer.

Here are some books to read more about her:

Black History Month Spotlight: Ida B. Wells

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Happy Black History Month! I wanted to spotlight different women this month as a way to honor them, remember them and hopefully inspire other women. My first spotlight is Ida B. Wells.

I choose Ida B. Wells as my first spotlight. Ida B. Wells was considered one of the most famous African-American woman in the United States during her time. She was a powerful journalist that pioneered reporting techniques that are still implemented today (NYT obituary).

Wells was born into slavery in Mississippi. After yellow fever swept through her town, killing her brother and her parents, Wells moved her siblings to Memphis and worked as a teacher to provide for them (Women’s History). After her move to Memphis, Wells was arrested for sitting in an all-white Women train car, despite having a ticket. Wells sued and won her case, however it was overturned in the Tennessee Appeals Court.

In Memphis, Wells co-founded a newspaper called The Free Speech and Headlight. Through this newspaper, she wrote articles condemning violence against blacks, disenfranchisement, poor schools and other issues that plagued black people south. A pivotal moment in Wells’ life was when her close friend Thomas Moss was lynched in Memphis. Wells would become known for her famous anti-lynching campaign that followed this traumatizing event (Jim Crow Stories). The lynching of Moss is known as The People’s Grocery Lynching and happened on March 2, 1982. To read more about it, you can go here (JSTOR).

Through her newspaper, Wells questioned the reason behind lynchings and to expose the violence the black people faced in the South. Her writings were published abroad and in 200 black weeklies (NYTimes). Her lynching profiles was what she became more famous for, but she was also one of the first activist to implement economic boycotts. These forms of boycotts were made famously by the sit-in and the Montgomery Bus Boycott that happened later.

Another big accomplishment that is often attributed to other people is her help with founding the National Association of Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and National Association of Colored Women (NYTimes). Wells accomplished a lot in her lifetime, but was eventually pushed out for activist like Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois.

Her life was filled with activism, bringing attention to black violence in the south and empowering black people. She was a powerful woman who didn’t backdown in the face of violence and threats. She is often forgotten about during the stories of the Civil Rights Movement.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about Ida B. Wells and our next spotlight will be Wangari Maathai so stay tuned next week to learn about the first Black Woman Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

Here are some books about Ida B. Wells if you want to read more about her.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Today is an important day for many reasons. For the last few years, racial tensions in U.S. have heightened. Almost weekly we read different incidents where cops are being called on black people for the most mundane issues. It shows that there are still a lot more work that needs to be addressed and worked towards if there’s ever going to be any sort of civility towards each other.

For people who are not black, being an educated ally is important. Understanding the history of racial tensions between black people and white people is vital to being an ally. Additionally, as there are new “hidden” barriers that black people face, it is important to understand and recognize these barriers.

As someone who wants to be an ally, I’ve taken it upon myself to become as educated as possible. Below are a lists of different books and podcasts that can help you become a better ally and supporter to black people. I’d love to know if there are any other books or podcasts so if you have any suggestions please let me know! And for a little humor, scroll all the way down to hear a segment by Michael Che.



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13 Books That Are Worth Reading Again

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As much as I try and read new books and try and make my to-read pile smaller, sometimes I just want to pick up a book that I am familiar with. I often describe rereading a book like reuniting with an old friend. You forget how great it is when you’re together, and you always have a good time. That’s what rereading a book is to me. I often reread books if I’m in a book slump, or I’m transitioning genres. I’ve been trying to read more nonfiction this year, but I do love a good young adult book. These are the books that I am always eager to reread.

  1. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  2. All the President’s Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
  3. The Children by David Halberstam
  4. Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
  5. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  6. Cheating at Solitaire by Ally Carter
  7. Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict
  8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  9. Definitely, Maybe In Love by Ophelia London
  10. Holes by Louis Sachar
  11. A Room With A View by E.M. Forster
  12. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  13. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

What are some books you could reread?

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14 Books on My To – Read List

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I always look forward to new books that are coming out, but this always reminds me that I have a huge to-read pile that is endless and continues to grow every month. My goal was to read at least four books off my to-read list this year, while this happened, I ended up adding a bazillion more. Here are some of my books I want to read next year.

  1. Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II by Liza Mundy
  2. Artemis by Andy Weir
  3. White Houses by Amy Bloom
  4. The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck
  5. Airport, Exes and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff
  6. The Kennedy Debutant by Kari Maher
  7. All The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister
  8. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
  9. Philomena: A Mother, Her Son and a Fifty-Year Search by Martin Sixsmith
  10. The Night Manager by John Le Carré
  11. The Wright Brothers by David McCollough
  12. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
  13. The Brethren by Bob Woodward
  14. Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

Any books on your to-read list that you want to try and tackle? Let me know! I want to add more books to my list…

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18 Christmas Books

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I love books and I love Christmas, so these two things combined make me especially happy. When I was younger, I used to have a goal where I was going to try and read every book in the world (obviously my 10-year-old self was extremely unrealistic).

Regardless, I found that in the past two years, I’ve wanted to read more holiday books and so I’ve been borrowing them from the library. First off I found some Christmas books have a sad storyline, or they are romantic books (like Debbie Macomber is the queen of Christmas romantic books) or they are picture books. While I really tried to find non-romantic happy Christmas books, I haven’t been very successful (also I didn’t try that hard so this list is based on my meager attempts).

I’ve read all the books listed and they’re all great and incredibly cheesy . Also really no shame in reading romantic Christmas fiction because it creates the best happy holiday feelings.

  1. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
  2. The Gift of the Magi by Lisbeth Zwerger
  3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  4. Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Ganor
  5. Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber
  6. The Nutcracker by E.T.A Hoffman
  7. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  8. Eloise at Christmastime by Kay Thompson
  9. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
  10. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston
  11. Christmas in London by Anita Hughes
  12. A Very Merry Princess by Susan Mallery
  13. A Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  14. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  15. A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz
  16. Let it Snow by John Green and Lauren Myracle
  17. My True Love Gave To Me by Stephanie Perkins
  18. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Know of any good Christmas books? I would love some recommendations!

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24 Books I Read This Year

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I work a lot of red eyes which means I have to figure out a way to stay awake. This means I read, quite a lot! Sometimes magazines, sometimes trashy romance and sometimes really good books I didn’t read as much as I wanted to, but I was able to read 24 books this year.

My current favorite genre is historical fiction, but I went through a huge non-fiction phase last year and I am a proud YA reader. The most interesting book I read this year was Salt to Sea, which is a story about the biggest WWII Naval tragedy that was never known very well. The other book was The Taster which is a story about a woman who becomes the taster for Adolf Hitler.

This is my list of the 24 Books I Read this year:

  1. Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict
  2. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  3. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  4. The Secrets of Flight by Maggie Leffler
  5. When It’s Real by Erin Watt
  6. Ike and Kay by James MacManus
  7. My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
  8. The Taster by V.S. Alexander
  9. The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
  10. The Vatican Princess by C.W. Gortner
  11. Maps of Fates by Maggie Hall
  12. The Romanov Empress by C.w. Gortner
  13. The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki
  14. The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  15. See How They Run by Ally Carter
  16. Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter
  17. Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter
  18. Bachelor Girl by Kim van Alkemade
  19. America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray
  20. The Prince with Amnesia by Emily Evans
  21. Still Me by JoJo Meyers
  22. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
  23. The Royal Nanny by Karen Harper
  24. The Heart Between Us by Lindsey Harrel

What is your favorite book you’ve read this year? Any good book recommendations for next year? Let me know in the comments below!

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