Hello Book Friends!
Here at Old Town Books, the beginning of March means we’re celebrating Women’s History Month! We’ve got a fantastic selection of new books from women authors, books that celebrate women’s history, and also a lot of women’s history themed merchandise; come on down by the shop this month and check out our display - we’ve pictured it above but it will definitely be changing as the month continues! In this post, we’ll highlight some of the great books and gifts we’ll have on display.
First off, some new March releases from women authors that we’ve been eagerly anticipating! Helen Oyeyemi’s Gingerbread is a fairytale-inflected story of family ties and a mysterious inheritence. Oyeyemi is one of our favorite authors, and her other novels are also on display in our shop! We’re all especially excited to read Gingerbread though (possibly for our book club in the future...hint hint…). Likewise, Etaf Rum’s A Woman is No Man is another new release worth checking out. Set in Palestine and America, this is a multi-generational dual coming-of-age narrative chronicling the difficulties faced by women, especially immigrant women, in remaining true to their heritage while trying to make a new way in the world for themselves. Lastly, Zadie Smith’s Feel Free isn’t quite a new release, but it is a new paperback release! Smith, in her typically sharp and engaging prose, writes about the proliferation of social media and the profound changes, many of them negative, it has wrought on our collective psyche - an intense, but necessary read.
Next up, some books specifically about women’s history, many of them released just in time for this year’s celebration! Michelle Dean’s Sharp is a breezily-written collective biography of several women who weren’t afraid to stand up for themselves and voice their opinions. Women highlighted in the book include Hannah Arendt, Joan Didion, and Nora Ephron; it promises to be a very engrossing read! The Woman’s Hour by Elaine Weiss, another new release, focuses specifically on the American suffrage movement, on this the centennial of the 19th amendment which was its fruition. Similarly, Tina Cassidy’s Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait? Takes a more granular look at the correspondence between Woodrow Wilson and Alice Paul which proved to be a major factor in the passage of the 19th amendment. Both look like fantastic and much-needed additions to the American history canon. Finally, Svetlana Alexeievich’s Nobel Prize-Winning The Unwomanly Face of War, in a new English translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky is a wide-ranging look at the many women who fought in World War II, told as an oral history in those women’s own voices. If you haven’t seen this one before or heard these stories, it’s truly incredible stuff.
Last but certainly not least, our friends at Blackbird Letterpress have provided us with some truly excellent Women’s History month gifts! We have cards and notebooks which feature artistic renderings of luminary women throughout American history, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Susan B. Anthony, Shirley Chisholm, and Alice Paul. The piece de resistance is a tote bag which features all the women mentioned above and more, as well as Susan B. Anthony’s quote “Wherever women gather together, failure is impossible.” That’s as good a valediction for this post as any, so feel free to come and gather at our shop and peruse these and many other books by women!
Happy Reading, and hope to see you in the shop soon!