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6 books about amazing women

Posted October 24

BOOK LAND — Want to infuse a little inspiration into your reading? This is the list! The women in these books—three real, three fictional—are incredible. They'll inspire you to learn more, work hard, be feminine and live to the fullest.

Nonfiction

1. "I am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban" by Malala Yousafzai

When the Taliban took over her home town in Pakistan, 15-year-old Malala fought for her right to an education. For speaking up, she was shot in the face. Not only did she survive, she also went on to be a global symbol of peace and education rights. At 17, she won the Nobel Peace Prize. Her story is unforgettable.

Content note: Some descriptions of Taliban violence and Malala's injuries and recovery process.

2. "At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life" by Jennifer L. Scott

In college, Jennifer Scott did a study-abroad to Paris. She went as a typical, causal American young adult, but living with her chic host family changed everything.

As she observed Madame Chic (her name for the mother of the host family), she learned how to live simply, but elegantly. When she returned home, she starting writing her popular blog, "The Daily Connoisseur," handing out advice on chic daily living, from wardrobe advice to cleaning tips. This book is a collection of that advice, delivered in a down-to-earth, simple tone.

Content note: Clean

3. "West With the Night" by Beryl Markham

Beryl Markham lived at the start of the 20th century. Born in England, she moved to Kenya at a young age. She spent her life defying all expectations of what a woman should be. She had a pet zebra, trained racehorses and was the first person to fly an airplane nonstop from Europe to America. She writes about her passion for life with beautiful prose.

Content note: Unknown

Fiction

4. "The Queen of the Tearling" by Erika Johansen

Kelsa spent her first 19 years living in a small cottage in the forest, exploring and reading and learning. On her 19th birthday, the queen's guard comes for her; it's time for her to take the throne as queen.

Kelsa is so fantastic—she's savvy, smart, loves books and believes in the power of learning. She fights off assassins, brings books back to the kingdom and stops a slave trade. Amazing read!

Content: Some mild sexual references, a few uses of foul language including one or two F-words and mild violence.

5. "The Velvet Hours" by Alyson Richman

This is such a lovely book! It's the story of two women, Marthe and Solange, grandmother and granddaughter. Martha raises herself from poverty to become an expert on art, beauty, fashion and love. She recounts her life to her granddaughter, who learns so much from Marthe's story, and tells her things that help her find love, face the coming of WWII and discover her mother's past. It's a beautifully written, evocative book of beauty and romance.

Content note: Marthe is a courtesan so her life centers on pleasure. However, there are no described sex scenes, only mild references.

6. "My Name is Mary Sutter" by Robin Oliveira

Mary Sutter is a talented midwife who dreams of becoming a surgeon. But it's America at the eve of the Civil War and women aren't allowed to be doctors. Against all odds, Mary pushes for her dream, learning everything she can and finally finding a doctor to mentor her. She travels to the frontline, saving soldiers. This book is dramatic and heartfelt — so good!

Content note: Lots of detailed descriptions of war injuries and surgical procedures.

What are your favorite books about inspiring women? Let us know in the comments.

Teri Harman, author and book enthusiast, writes a column for ksl.com and contributes book-related segments to "Studio 5 with Brooke Walker." Her novels, "Blood Moon," "Black Moon," and "Storm Moon" are now available. Visit her at teriharman.com.

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