From My Bookshelf: Girl Power!

I love to read and I am very old-fashioned about it. I like to have a physical book in my hand. None of this on-screen stuff for me!  I also tend to keep books.  Occasionally I will give some away, but there are some that I will just never part with.  As a result, I have a well-stocked book shelf!  

I am very inspired by independent, strong women, and I tend to buy books about them.  Today, I pulled a few recommendations from my bookshelf that are all about girl power!

Queen, Empress, Concubine by Claudia Gold

Queen, Empress, Concubine tells the story of 50 power full women throughout history, starting Hatshepsut, Queen of Egypt in 15th Century BC, and ending with Benazir Bhutto, the Prime Minister of Pakistan who was assassinated in 2007.  It sounds like a lot to sift through right?  It's actually not!  Author Claudia Gold dedicates only a few pages to each woman, describing the major events of their lives in an easy-to-read style.  

She also includes interesting details about each woman.  For instance, apparently the French owe their love of tobacco to Catherine de Medicis, Queen of France in the 1500s.  She took up the habit in 1560, and its use quickly spread throughout the court and the country.

If you are interested in history, or significant women throughout history, this is a super fun read!

The Gospel According to Coco Chanel by Karen Karbo

She is the epitome of elegance, sophistication, and good taste right?  Did you also know that Coco Chanel tended not to tell the truth?  She embellished just about everything from her poor and difficult childhood to create a new, more glamorous personal history.  You think of the Chanel brand as the finest of the fine right?  In the early 1920s, when wealth abounded and women draped themselves in fine jewelry, Coco Chanel decided that fake jewelry was more chic and designed a collection of costume jewelry dripping in obviously fake stones.  Women could not buy it fast enough!  Even though it was fake, it was timeless and elegant because it was Chanel.

If you ever wanted to read a story about a woman who truly designed a life that she wanted, this is it.  Her sense of invention was remarkable, not just in designs she created, but also the life she created for herself.  She trusted her instincts and opinions, and never apologized for either.  

The Gospel According to Coco Chanel is a quick read, but a good one.

Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer

Full disclosure, you might have to grab a box of tissues for this one, but trust me, it's worth it. Have you ever heard of Irena Sendler?  I hadn't until I came across this book.  Irena Sendler, was a Polish social worker who organized a network of fellow social workers to save 2,500 Jewish children from certain death in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II.   

The significance of Sendler's heroism has been largely unknown until recently.  Life in a Jar is the story of three high school girls from Kansas who came across mentions of Sendler's work, continued to research her story, and then created a historical play dedicated to telling her story. The project gained momentum and attention, helping garner Sendler the recognition that she deserved.

This is a truly inspiring story of courage, compassion, and love.  If you ever doubt that one person can change the world for the better, read this and remember that it's true. Put Life in a Jar at the top of your reading list!

Thanks for reading!

~Claire