Must-read books for Women’s History Month

By Emma Patton, Online Content Editor 

Women’s History Month ends this week, but the discovery of world-changing women doesn’t have to.

Here are 16 book recommendations by OBU faculty to keep you learning all year long:

  1. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.

The Hiding Place

Recommended by Rachel Hawkins, Director of Library Collections.

“Though she went through unimaginable hardship, her trust in and obedience to God was steadfast, and He was able to work through her life to touch the lives of many people,” Hawkins said.




  1. Twenty Years at Hull-House by Jane Addams

2- Twenty Years at Hull House

Recommended by Dr. Carol Humphrey, Professor of History

“It is phenomenal how her work changed the lives of immigrants in Chicago,” Humphrey said.




  1. Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan

3- The Feminine Mystique

Recommended by Dr. Carol Humphrey

“This book really changed how Americans viewed women and it challenged women to try to make a difference,” Humphrey said.





  1. Women of Courage by Dorothy Nathan

3- Women of Courage

Recommended by Dr. Carol Humphrey

“This book looks at the lives of 5 women who were daring and made a difference in the world in a variety of ways (Susan B. Anthony, Jane Addams, Mary McLeod Bethune, Amelia Earhart, and Margaret Mead),” Humphrey said.




  1. Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg

5- Lean In

Recommended by Erin Gulesarian, Resident Director of WMU

“It is a great work on effective female leadership,” Gulesarian said.






  1. 7 Women and the Secret to Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas

6- seven women

Recommended by Erin Gulesarian

“Eric Metaxas gives us seven captivating portraits of some of history’s greatest women, each of whom changed the course of history by following God’s call upon their lives—as women,” one Amazon review read.






  1. She Reads Truth

Screenshot 2017-03-30 23.52.18Recommended by Erin Gulesarian

“As far as spiritual growth goes, it is an imperative to be a strong Christian leader…I love She Reads Truth and their devotionals and other books,” Gulesarian said.





  1. Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen

8- Nothing to Prove

Recommended by Erin Gulesarian

“I have been reading and growing a lot in this recently and would welcome any conversations that I would get to have with students through this,” Gulesarian said.





  1. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

9- Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Recommended by Anthropology Professor Elizabeth Sidler

“I know better my place in the natural world, and can better engage its beauty, for having read Dillard,” Sidler said.





  1. The Givenness of Things by Marilynn Robinson

10- The Givenness of Things

Recommended by Professor Sidler

“Both exceptional philosophers, these authors discuss the world within the mind and the world outside it in all its kaleidoscopic abundance,” Sidler said. “I am more alive to world of quantum physics, and the complexity of knowing for having read Robinson…  I recommend both for all wanderers whose minds are agile.”




  1. I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women who Changed America by Barbara Summers, Stewart, Tabori & Chang

11- I dream a world

Recommended by Marrisa Lightsey, Director of Career Development

“I Dream a World was a huge impact on me growing up,” Lightsey said. “This book profiled some of the most influential black women of our time.”





  1. O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, or My Antonia by Willa Cather


Recommended by Dr. Sid Watson, Professor of English

“The women in these novels are quite different in their circumstances and their talents, but they all face their situations with courage and resilience,” Watson said. “Cather writes some of the best strong women.”




  1. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

13- their eyes were watching god

Recommended by Dr. Watson

“This novel focuses on a young black woman’s journey to find her identity and voice, but it’s special to me because it helped me to understand more fully the racism I’d seen around me growing up in the Deep South,” Watson said.





  1. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

14- the house of mirth

Recommended by Dr. Watson

“Wharton’s depiction of Lily Barth, a woman who struggles under tremendous social and financial pressures, proves that ‘grace under pressure’ isn’t just an attribute of Hemingway’s men,” Watson said.






  1. Paradise by Toni Morrison

15- paradise

Recommended by Scot Loyd, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
Director of Forensics and Debate

“It’s a fictional account of battered women who end up taking refuge in a convent, and it deals with race relations as well,” Loyd said.




  1. Beloved by Toni Morrison

16- beloved

Recommended by Dr. Kaylene Barbe, Professor of Communication Studies

“The book had such an effect on me,” Barbe said. “Slavery effects the white psyche as well, slavery dehumanizes us too.”

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