Virtual Influential Women Book Club
Please join us as we meet on Zoom each first Wednesday evening of the month to discuss books about women who have helped to shape history. If you're interested in joining our group, please click on the link below to register so you can receive an invitation with a link to join the meetings. While you don't have to have read the book to take part, we would appreciate it if all purchases would be made either here through our website (scroll down for selections), or at our cash counter either in person or by phone.
REGISTER ONCE FOR ALL RECURRING MEETINGS HERE.
BOOK BUNGALOW INFLUENTIAL WOMEN BOOK CLUB PICKS for 2022:
JANUARY - “Ida: A Sword Among Lions” by Paula J. Giddings (3/3/2009) 832 pages; $19.99 - The definitive biography of Ida B. Wells--crusading journalist and pioneer in the fight for women's suffrage and against segregation and lynchings. Wells was born into slavery and raised in the Victorian age yet emerged--through her fierce political battles and progressive thinking--as the first "modern" black women in the nation's history.
FEBRUARY - “The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times” by Jane Goodall and Doug Adams (10/19/2021) 272 pages; $28 - The book touches on vital questions, including: How do we stay hopeful when everything seems hopeless? How do we cultivate hope in our children? What is the relationship between hope and action? While discussing the experiences that shaped her discoveries and beliefs, Jane tells the story of how she became a messenger of hope, from living through World War II to her years in Gombe to realizing she had to leave the forest to travel the world in her role as an advocate for environmental justice.
MARCH - “The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine” by Janice P. Nimura (1/18/2022) 352 pages; $16.95 - Elizabeth Blackwell believed from an early age that she was destined for a mission beyond the scope of ordinary womanhood. Though the world at first recoiled at the notion of a woman studying medicine, her intelligence and intensity ultimately won her the acceptance of the male medical establishment. In 1849, she became the first woman in America to receive an M.D. She was soon joined in her iconic achievement by her younger sister, Emily, who was actually the more brilliant physician.
APRIL - “The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice” by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (2/15/2022) 288 pages; $17.00 - The extraordinary story of the women who took on the Islamic State and won in northeastern Syria. In 2014, an all-female militia faced off against ISIS in a little town few had ever heard of. The Islamic State by then had swept across vast swaths of the country, taking town after town and spreading terror as the civil war burned all around it. From that unlikely showdown in the town of Kobani emerged a fighting force that would wage war against ISIS across northern Syria as partner of the United States.
MAY - “The Secret History of Wonder Woman” by Jill Lepore (7/7/2015) 464 pages; $17.95 - After years of sifting through unpublished letters and diaries, Lepore has written the authoritative work on William Moulton Marston, a Harvard-educated psychologist best known for two things: inventing the lie detector test and creating the world's most famous superheroine. The fullest and most fascinating portrait ever created about the complicated, unconventional family that inspired one of the most enduring feminist icons in pop culture.
JUNE - “Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR” by Lisa Napoli (4/13/2021) 288 pages; $28.00 - When a pioneering nonprofit called National Public Radio came along in the 1970s, and the door to serious journalism opened a crack, four remarkable women came along and blew it off the hinges. “Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie” is journalist Lisa Napoli's captivating account of these four women, their deep and enduring friendships, and the trail they blazed to becoming icons.
JULY - “Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China” by Jung Chang (9/9/2014) 464 pages; $18.95 - In 1852, at age sixteen, Cixi was chosen as one of Emperor Xianfeng's numerous concubines. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a coup against her son's regents and placed herself as the true source of power--governing through a silk screen that separated her from her male officials.
AUGUST - “Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House” by Elizabeth Keckley (8/11/2017) 166 pages; $4.99 - Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley, a former slave who became a successful seamstress, civil activist, and author in Washington, DC., was best known as the personal modiste and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln, the First Lady. Keckley had moved to Washington in 1860 after buying her freedom and that of her son in St. Louis. She created an independent business in the capital based on clients who were the wives of the government elite. [Her autobiography is both a slave narrative and a portrait of the Lincolns.]
SEPTEMBER - “My Own Words” by Ruth Bader Ginsburg (8/7/2015) 400 pages; $18.00 - The first book from Ruth Bader Ginsburg since becoming a Supreme Court Justice in 1993--a ... collection of writings and speeches from the woman who has had [an] ... influence on law, women's rights, and popular culture.
OCTOBER - “The Choice: Embrace the Possible” by Edith Eva Eger (9/4/2018) 320 pages; $18.00 - At the age of sixteen, Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Hours after her parents were killed, Edie was forced to dance for Nazi officer Dr. Josef Mengele for his amusement and her survival. She was pulled from a pile of corpses when the American troops liberated the camps in 1945. Over decades spent struggling with flashbacks and survivor's guilt, Edie was determined to stay silent and hide from the past. Finally, thirty-five years after the war ended, she returned to Auschwitz and was finally able to fully heal and forgive the one person she'd been unable to forgive—herself.
NOVEMBER - “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou (4/21/2009) 304 pages; $18.00 - Sent by their mother to live with their grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local "powhitetrash." At eight years old and back at her mother's side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age--and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.
DECEMBER - “The Child is the Teacher: A Life of Maria Montessori” by Cristina De Stefano (3/1/2022) 368 pages; $28.99 - A fresh, comprehensive biography of the pioneering educator and activist who changed the way we look at children's minds, from the author of Oriana Fallaci.
Alternate Titles to consider for 2023
“Marie Curie: A Life” by Susan Quinn (4/10/1996) 528 pages; $22.99 - One hundred years ago, Marie Curie discovered radioactivity, for which she won the Nobel Prize in physics. In 1911 she won an unprecedented second Nobel Prize, this time in chemistry, for isolating new radioactive elements. Despite these achievements, or perhaps because of her fame, she has remained a saintly, unapproachable genius. From family documents and a private journal only recently made available, Susan Quinn at last tells the full human story.
“The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Friedan (9/3/2019) 600 pages; $16.95 - A fiftieth anniversary edition of the trailblazing women's reference shares anecdotes and interviews that were originally collected in the early 1960s to inspire women to develop their intellectual capabilities and reclaim lives beyond period conventions.
“The Second Stage” by Betty Friedan (4/1/1998) 396 pages; $30.00 - First published in 1981, this book is eerily prescient and timely. Warning the women's movement against dissolving into factionalism, male-bashing, and preoccupation with sexual and identity politics rather than bottom-line political and economic inequalities, the problem Friedan identifies is as real now as it was years ago.
*Below, you will find purchase links to all these books on our 2022 list. If interested in past picks or other recommended titles, please see the attached PDF forms.