March Staff Picks

Staff-recommended reading from the Alexandria Library Catalog. Check back each month for a new list. Need some recommended titles? Tell us five titles you have enjoyed and we'll send you a list of five more that we think you will like. Also check out our new Goodreads Group for reviews, online bookclubs, and more!



The secret history of Wonder Woman

By Jill Lepore

A cultural history of Wonder Woman traces the character's creation and enduring popularity, drawing on interviews and archival research to reveal the pivotal role of feminism in shaping her seven-decade story.



Girl Wait with Gun

By Amy Stewart

This delightful historical romp with Constance Kopp and her sisters is just the first of a new series. In 1914, the reclusive Kopp sisters are involved in an automobile accident with local businessman Henry Kaufman, which sets off a dangerous chain of events. Based on true events.



The last goodnight : a World War II story of espionage, adventure, and betrayal

By Howard Blum

Time magazine called her "the Mata Hari of Minnesota"; OSS Chief general "Wild Bill" Donovan called her "the greatest unsung heroine of the war." But for decades, the extent of Betty Pack's achievements as an agent during World War II, first for Britain's MI6 and then for America's OSS, remained classified. Now, the truth about this femme fatale--her dangerous liaisons and death-defying missions, the heartaches that haunted her life, her vital contributions to the Allied victory--forms a narrative more thrilling than fiction. Betty Pack was charming, beautiful, and extremely intelligent: these qualities would prove crucial to her success as a spy. It was a vocation she fell into almost by accident, but she turned out to be a consummate professional. 


The female of the species

By Mindy McGinnis

This book seems like teenage girl Dexter, and to some extent, it is. That is not the main purpose of this text however. This book destroys rape culture in the best way possible.


Notorious RBG: the life and times of Ruth Bader

By Irvin Carmon

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg never asked for fame -- she was just trying to make the world a little better and a little freer. But along the way, the feminist pioneer's searing dissents and steely strength have inspired millions. Notorious RBG takes you behind the myth for an intimate, irreverent look at the justice's life and work. As America struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stays fierce. And if you don't know, now you know.


A short history of women : a novel

By Kate Walbert

Inspired by a suffragist ancestor who starved herself to promote the integration of Cambridge University, Evie refuses to marry and Dorothy defies a ban on photographing the bodies of her dead Iraq War soldier sons, a choice that embarrasses Dorothy's daughters.



Headstrong : 52 women who changed science-- and the world

By Rachel Swaby

Covering Nobel Prize winners and major innovators, as well as lesser-known but hugely significant scientists who influence our every day, Rachel Swaby's ... profiles span centuries of courageous thinkers and illustrate how each one's ideas developed, from their first moment of scientific engagement through the research and discovery for which they're best known



Raymie nightingale

By Kate DiCamillo

Hoping that if she wins a local beauty pageant her father will come home, Raymie practices twirling a baton and performing good deeds as she is drawn into an unlikely friendship with a drama queen and a saboteur.


Perfect husbands (& other fairy tales) : demystifying marriage, men, and romance

By Regina Barreca

It may be easy to get the wrong idea about this book from its title, but, for those interested in witty and approachable gender analysis, Perfect Husbands (& Other Fairy Tales) is an engaging reflection. Published in the early 1990s, this book offers sociological insight into gender roles of the mid and late 20th-century America. With down-to-earth and entertaining prose, Barreca goes behind some of the stereotypes about men and women and asks whether these idealized roles are truly set in stone. It may surprise the 21st-century reader to see how much has remained the same, or in some cases how things have changed.


The invention of wings

By Sue Monk Kidd

The story follows Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. "The Invention of Wings" follows the next thirty-five years of their lives. Inspired in part by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke (a feminist, suffragist and, importantly, an abolitionist), Kidd allows herself to go beyond the record to flesh out the inner lives of all the characters, both real and imagined