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Book Recommendations For Women’s History Month

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Boston chapter.

This March, spend some time reading books written by incredible women and learn more about important topics impacting women throughout history and today!

[Always search trigger warnings before reading a book, especially as some of these contain sensitive topics.]

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez– From car crash test dummies to medical research, temperatures in offices to personal protective equipment, our world is designed by and for men. Throughout history, “male” has so often been synonymous with default, women merely being “other” and not half of the world’s population. This heavily researched book details all of the things in our daily lives that use men as the default and leave women out, and the very real dangers of this data bias. Women get left behind and hurt in the process of building and furthering our society. This is an incredibly eye-opening read into the world around us.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly– This book tells the untold story of the Black women who helped send us into space. These mathematicians created the calculations that fueled some of America’s greatest achievements – yet their story has gone untold for so many years. Facing double discrimination in the workplace due to their race and sex, these incredibly talented women should earn their rightful place among some of the most brilliant in our history – and not the white men who have taken the credit thus far. Remember their names: Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden. (See also the 2016 film by the same name.)

Know My Name by Chanel Miller– A memoir of reclaiming identity after trauma, Chanel Miller became and continues to be a voice of inspiration for so many after her victim impact statement as Emily Doe during the trial of Brock Turner. This novel is her reclaiming her name, and learning to heal in the process. A story that so many women have resonated with, it shows how harmful rape culture and victim blaming is – and also how strong women are when we come together. One of the best memoirs (and books) I have ever read.

Who Cooked the Last Supper? by Rosalind Miles– From prehistoric society all the way to the women’s rights movement, this highly readable women’s history book tells you what you never learned in school. Women have always had our place in history, have always contributed and fought and created – it’s just never been told. Men have held the pen when writing the pages of history, but this is a repossession of the truth. A great place to start in learning about the amazing women who came before us and in reclaiming our rightful place in the history books.

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn– While this is a historical fiction novel, The Alice Network is based on the real-life events and lives of female spies who played a significant and less-known role in World War II. This novel highlights the untold role that women played throughout the war, and the power of what women can do. Quinn’s books feature the women of history whose stories have not been told, The Rose Code is another favorite of hers about female codebreakers. Historical fiction is often a great staring place in learning more about our history.

Communion by bell hooks– One third of hooks’ Love Song to the Nation, this book details the female search for love, equality, and freedom. It challenges what we think we know about love and community, and urges us to do better for ourselves. The feminist movement changed our lives in so many ways, but hooks argues we need self-acceptance before we can find love. We need community in our lives, and to find joy in ourselves and prioritize female friendships. One of the most prolific writers on feminism, race, and class, all of hooks’ books are worth reading.

The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore– I am currently reading this book by Kate Moore about how forced institutionalization was used against women who went against the status quo – feminists, women who didn’t want kids, you name it. Elizabeth Packard was an activist who fought against this, advocated for the rights of women in the 1860’s and for those who were deemed ‘insane’. She freed countless in this process. As a psychology major and as someone who is passionate about women’s rights, how had I not heard about her before? Men fought tooth and nail to keep her quiet- but Elizabeth fought right back. Her legacy has long outlasted her lifetime, and she transformed the mental health system. At once infuriating and inspiring, this book won’t be one you forget.

This is just a small sample of the incredible books you can read this Women’s History Month to honor the women who came before us and who are working now for our future. We have always had a place in history – let’s reclaim it.

Caroline Breen

U Mass Boston '25

Caroline Breen is a writer with the UMass Boston chapter of Her Campus. She is currently a fourth-year psychology student with an interest in development. Outside of school, Caroline is an avid reader and loves Taylor Swift. She is passionate about women's rights and hopes to make a difference in her community.