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Recommended Reads for International Women’s Day

Our colleagues are celebrating International Women’s Day by picking out favorite books by or about inspiring women. Whether you’re looking for a nonfiction book about real-life pioneers, or a novel with a memorable heroine, we’ve got something for everyone.

  1. 1
    Blood Water Paint Book Cover Picture
    Blood Water Paint Book Cover Picture

    Blood Water Paint

    by Joy McCullough

    Based on the true story of Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the first women in history to take her sexual assault case to court, it is a book full of courage, ferocity and the determination to not be silenced. — Felicity, Penguin Young Readers,  Digital Marketing
    Blood Water Paint Book Cover Picture
    Blood Water Paint Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $10.99

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  2. 2
    A River of Stars Book Cover Picture
    A River of Stars Book Cover Picture

    A River of Stars

    by Vanessa Hua

    I think about this moving story of motherhood, immigration and identity, and its fierce and determined main characters, Scarlett and Daisy, at least once a week. — Abbe, Senior Editor, Read it Forward
    A River of Stars Book Cover Picture
    A River of Stars Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  3. 3
    The Women's Suffrage Movement Book Cover Picture
    The Women's Suffrage Movement Book Cover Picture

    The Women’s Suffrage Movement

    by

    This intersectional anthology was an inspired commission by our assistant editor Elizabeth Vogt to publish for the 2020 centennial of women’s right to vote. It is an illuminating look not just at well-known suffragists, but at the Native American and African American women who had been overlooked but were crucial to the history of the movement. — Elda, Penguin Classics
    The Women's Suffrage Movement Book Cover Picture
    The Women's Suffrage Movement Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  4. 4
    Back Talk Book Cover Picture
    Back Talk Book Cover Picture

    Back Talk

    by Danielle Lazarin

    Back Talk by Danielle Lazarin is an incredible collection of short stories about the kinds of women whom we all know intimately but who are rarely seen in fiction: women straining against the bounds society imposes on them and compelled by powerful desires, even and especially those that are quiet and hard to name. Getting to know these women on the page through Lazarin’s expert storytelling is bracing, galvanizing, electrifying. — Patrick, Penguin Books Editorial 
    Back Talk Book Cover Picture
    Back Talk Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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  5. 5
    Warcross Book Cover Picture
    Warcross Book Cover Picture

    Warcross

    by Marie Lu

    Emika Chen in Warcross is an incredible woman. She charges through adversity, proudly owns the skills she’s worked for years to master, and doesn’t compromise her beliefs in the face of hard choices. Emika is flawed and she makes mistakes but she’s stronger because of it and I think that’s beautiful. — Bree M., Publicity
    Warcross Book Cover Picture
    Warcross Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $11.99

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  6. 6
    Text Me When You Get Home Book Cover Picture
    Text Me When You Get Home Book Cover Picture

    Text Me When You Get Home

    by Kayleen Schaefer

    Schaefer has put together a sociological perspective on the way we see our friends today, and I found her celebration of female friendship inspiring and validating. — Maya Ziv, Editorial
    Text Me When You Get Home Book Cover Picture
    Text Me When You Get Home Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  7. 7
    The Afterward Book Cover Picture
    The Afterward Book Cover Picture

    The Afterward

    by E.K. Johnston

    Female knights! Enough said! But really The Afterward’s strong cast of female warriors save the world not once, but twice and if that’s not inspiration enough to go out there and conquer the world (my inbox), I don’t know what is! — Vanessa, PYR Publicity
    The Afterward Book Cover Picture
    The Afterward Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $10.99

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  8. 8
    Little Women Book Cover Picture
    Little Women Book Cover Picture

    Little Women

    by Louisa May Alcott

    Louisa May Alcott was ahead of her time in the way she portrayed strong female characters. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy are creative, strong and motivated to pursue their passions. — Hanna, Random House Children’s Books
    Little Women Book Cover Picture
    Little Women Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $16.00

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  9. 9
    Liberated Spirits Book Cover Picture
    Liberated Spirits Book Cover Picture

    Liberated Spirits

    by Hugh Ambrose and John Schuttler

    Liberated Spirits tells the little known, very true story of Mabel Willebrandt and Pauline Sabin. These two strong ladies played major roles in the history of Prohibition, a time that enabled women to redefine themselves and their place in society. This book made me feel proud of women’s roles in the history of this country and showed the difference individuals can make in changing the world. — Elisha, Berkley Marketing
    Liberated Spirits Book Cover Picture
    Liberated Spirits Book Cover Picture

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  10. 10
    The Mermaid Book Cover Picture
    The Mermaid Book Cover Picture

    The Mermaid

    by Christina Henry

    This beautifully written story about a mermaid who triumphs over P.T. Barnum’s attempts to exploit her may be set in the oppressive 1800s, but Amelia’s battle to forge the life she wants – and the way her friendship with other women helps her to do it – is utterly timeless. — Jessica, Berkley Marketing
    The Mermaid Book Cover Picture
    The Mermaid Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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  11. 11
    Park Avenue Summer Book Cover Picture
    Park Avenue Summer Book Cover Picture

    Park Avenue Summer

    by Renée Rosen

    Helen Gurley Brown was a dynamo—unafraid, whip-smart, and utterly inspiring. Her participation in the sexual revolution, and her journey to rebrand Cosmopolitan magazine, in the 1960s, is one women today will find more in common with than they think. — Fareeda, Marketing
    Park Avenue Summer Book Cover Picture
    Park Avenue Summer Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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  12. 12
    Milady Book Cover Picture
    Milady Book Cover Picture

    Milady

    by Laura L. Sullivan

    Everyone thinks they know the story of Milady de Winter and the Three Musketeers, but Laura L. Sullivan brings Milady’s story into a whole new light in her story. She’s not just this evil villainess—she is a woman who has had to live in a male-dominated society and play by their rules for too long and she refuses to become a victim of circumstance. I loved that about her and felt so empowered reading this book. — Jessica, Marketing
    Milady Book Cover Picture
    Milady Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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