I’ve come to discover a favorite sub-genre emerging: women going out into the world and being real life badasses. What follows are a few of my favorites!
It’s What I Do by Lynsey Addario
It was Lynsey’s memoir that first introduced me to the sub-genre of ordinary women doing extraordinary things, primarily in the Middle East. I fell in love with her book and carried it around with me like I would fall apart without it. Her photos interspersed with her stories of her travels are absolutely breathtaking. She’s directly responsible for my obsession with this particular subgenre.
In Extremis by Lindsey Hilsum
Marie Colvin took the top spot of hero to me last year when I read In Extremis. While self sacrifice is one of a hero’s less desirable traits, when it comes to doing so in an effort to share the plight of displaced people with the rest of the world, someone has to do it. Marie built her entire career on telling the stories of those who couldn’t do so themselves. Her willingness to sneak into Syria during the war meant that her last acts on this earth were to make sure that the world knew about the war crimes being committed by Assad’s regime.
Jet Girl by Caroline Johnson
I started reading Jet Girl one afternoon and just kept saying “wow.” I immediately felt like I was on the aircraft carrier with Caroline, scrambling as quickly as possible to get to her jet on the flight deck. I’ve always had a soft spot for female aviators so the fact that Caroline is a real life fighter pilot makes her a superhero to me!
Life Undercover by Amaryllis Fox
Amaryllis Fox’s memoir is a chronicle of her time in the CIA in the middle east and her experience growing up and experiencing loss. Turning her life and education to use for the CIA could be determined polarizing for some readers, but to me, anyone who risks life and limb in an effort to make the world a better place is a hero in some regard to me.
Coming Up in 2020
- On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist by Clarissa Ward
- Citizen Reporters: S. S. McClure, Ida Tarbell, and the Magazine That Rewrote America by Stephanie Gorton
- In the Land of Men by Adrienne Miller
- Fighting Words: The Bold American Journalists Who Brought the World Home Between the Wars by Nancy F. Cott
- The Unexpected Spy: From the CIA to the FBI, My Secret Life Taking Down Some of the World’s Most Notorious Terrorists by Tracy Walder with Jessica Anya Blau
- Wine Girl: The Obstacles, Humiliations, and Triumphs of America’s Youngest Sommelier by Victoria James
- Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener