Many of you may be familiar with Piper Kerman’s story but I’ll give you a quick summary: in 1993, 24 year old Piper smuggled money for her then-girlfriend who was involved in an international drug ring. Following the money smuggling incident, she cut off all ties to the people involved and got started on a new life. However, her past caught up to her and Piper was indicted for her involvement in 1998. Six years later, in 2004, she was sent to Danbury, a minimum-security facility to serve 15 months.
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes is historical fiction at its very best! Set in 1939 Southern Kentucky, the lives of five strong female characters come together to form and operate the Packhorse Library, where they deliver by horseback, books, magazines and newspapers to those living in remote, rural areas.
The Buddha in the Attic is a short novel depicting the lives and struggles of Japanese mail-order brides arriving in America in the years leading up to World War II. It is not one central story that follows a single character--or even a few. Instead, the author uses the first person plural narrative style (through the use of "we" and "our") to tell the stories of countless, mostly nameless women.
Women in Clothes is a mélange of interviews, conversations, photos, illustrations, and other miscellanea on the subject of--you guessed it--women in clothes. While I don’t think it’s meant to be read cover-to-cover, that’s what I did. I was fascinated by what women had to say about their relationship to clothes, to dressing, to image, to practically all imaginable facets of the subject.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. This ubiquitous quote is what came to mind when I read Luckiest Girl Alive. Ani FaNelli has a seemingly perfect life – glamorous job, fit figure, dream wardrobe, dreamier fiancée. Yet, behind it all lurks a dark secret from her past.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a fast-paced murder mystery with lots of twists and turns throughout. It is July 2013 and Rachel, a middle-aged single woman, commutes by train to London every day. She has memorized everything about the trip, from the stops to the landscape, and has become particularly fascinated by a happy couple she sees almost everyday.
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Most people know that these words were said by Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the moon. Many books have been written and movies made about the early years of space travel and the first astronauts. Except for old articles in LIFE magazine, much less has been written about the wives of those astronauts. Lily Koppel has addressed this lack of information in her book The Astronaut Wives Club.
In The Book of Heaven, Patricia Storace creates the mythology of an alternate universe, but one the reader recognizes, as if through a veil, from its allusions to Greek legends and Old Testament stories. It is different from anything I’ve read and therefore hard to describe. Although the sections hinge on central themes, such as of the oppression of women and the nature of God and of love, they can be read in isolation. Each section presents the tale of a different woman, eulogized in the stars themselves in this world Storace creates.
This memoir explores the life of Waris Dirie, recognized by many for her work as a model, and by others for her advocacy for human rights and a battle against female genital mutilation. The reader follows her from her early life as a nomad in the deserts of Somalia, to her difficult and sometimes dangerous journey to Mogadishu and eventually London. Working there as an underappreciated maid for her own family, she is "discovered", and sets off on an equally nomadic life as a model. Throughout her journey, Waris has to face the world with her own wits and tenacity.
In The Husband's Secret the lives of three Australian women are intertwined in ways they would never have thought possible. For years, the tragedy of a teenage daughter’s death has haunted one of the women and unknowingly affected another. The third woman, faced with a marital earthquake, takes her young son to her hometown of Sydney.