International Women’s Day has been celebrated for more than 100 years. The day has become a focal point to recognize efforts for women’s equality and to empower women around the globe. The library is home to hundreds of inspiring books that highlight the achievements of women in politics, the arts, revolutions, and more. We encourage you to read their stories and find inspiration in their lives.
Madame Fourcade’s Secret War, by Lynne Olson
Marie-Madeleine Fourcade was just 31 years old when the Nazis invaded and occupied France. Fourcade fearlessly became a member of the resistance, eventually organizing and leading the largest spy network in France during World War II. This book tells the story of Fourcade, who moved with her two children every few weeks, constantly staying ahead of the Germans while holding her spy network together.
Redefining Realness and Surpassing Certainty, by Janet Mock
Janet Mock is an inspirational voice in the transgender community. After working for People for several years, Mock came out as a trans woman in 2011. Her two books provide an honest, raw look at what it was like to grow up poor, multiracial, and trans, struggling with her identity before becoming one of the most respected media figures and equality advocates in the world.
My Life on the Road, by Gloria Steinem
Steinem is one of the most well-known and revered feminist advocates in history. Her autobiography details her time traveling the world and fighting for equality. From her first experience of social activism among women in India to the historical 1977 National Women’s Conference and more, Steinem explains how being open and observant guided her as part of a world-changing movement.
I Am Malala andWe are Displaced, by Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai just wanted to go to school. The Taliban forbade it, because Malala was a girl. When she decided to attend anyway, she was shot in the head at point-blank range on the bus. Yet, she survived, becoming an advocate for young women everywhere. Her two books explore what it’s like to have your life uprooted by terrorism and the hopes and dreams of displaced refuges across the globe.
Love, Life, and Elephants: an African Love Story, by Daphne Sheldrick
Born to a Scottish family that immigrated to Kenya, Sheldrick was a renowned conservationist who raised awareness about the dangers of poaching. She is best known for raising orphaned elephants and reintegrating them back into the wild. Her autobiography tells the story of her work in Africa with elephants named Bushy and Eleanor, as well as her loving relationship with her husband David.
Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell, by David Yaffe
Before the fame, the sold-out shows, and the screaming fans, Joni Mitchell was just a girl on the Canadian prairie. A creative mind that wanted to be an artist, Mitchell became known as one of the greatest songwriters ever. This biography draws on interviews with Mitchell, her friends, and her contemporaries to tell the heart-wrenching story of an indelible musician.
My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor
From a housing project in the Bronx to the federal bench, the journey of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is undoubtedly inspirational. In her book, she recounts her life with an alcoholic father, an overwhelmed mother, and the juvenile diabetes she cared for by herself. Shaped in her career by invaluable mentors, Sotomayor tells of the self-invention that guided her to the highest court in the land.
Marian Anderson: A Singer’s Journey, by Allan Keiler
Born in 1897, Marian Anderson became one of the first black musicians to become well-known across the country. She was the first African-American singer to perform at the White House, yet she was denied the use of a D.C. concert hall a year later. Keiler tells Anderson’s journey of battling racism and hate to become an important figure in the beginning stages of the Civil Rights movement.