Dear Maeve Binchy

Dear Maeve Binchy,

Upon reading the first couple of chapters of Minding Frankie, I feel compelled to stage a a dialogue intervention.

Americans do not “take posts.” We “get jobs.”

Also we do not “fancy” anyone. We might “like” someone, or “like like” someone, or one of us might be “in love with” someone, or be “hot for” someone. But we don’t send emails talking about “fancying” another person.

You’re great at the relationship between characters stuff, but  perhaps you should get some help for your American dialect problem.

That’s all for now.

People Do Still Read

Despite the predictions made ever since the advent of television, my observation is that people do still read books. I work in a library, so I’m in a position to see this. Our circulation numbers go up every year. Okay, part of those stats come from dvd check-outs. But our book circulation is going up, too.

One thing I’ve noticed is that movies don’t necessarily supplant books. It’s not an either/or question, whether to see the movie or read the book. A lot of people do both. With the recent release of the movie, True Grit, our library suddenly has a waiting list for the book. The same thing happened with Shutter Island. When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, P1 showed up in theaters, we were left with a couple of nearly empty shelves in the “R” area of children’s fiction, as patrons were interested in all of the books in the series.

My anecdotal evidence suggests we are not living in a post-literate society and are not going to be any time soon.

And the Winners Were…

2010 Award Books

A lot of awarding went on in 2010. The following is a by-no-means-comprehensive list of prize winners.

Anthony Awards (Mystery)

Novel:  The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny

First Novel:  A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield

Paperback Original:  Starvation Lake by Bryan Gruley

Caldecott Medal (Illustration in Children’s Books)

The Lion and the Mouse illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney

Coretta Scott King Awards (Children’s)

Author:  A Bad Day for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshall by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Illustrator:  My People illustrated by Charles R. Smith, Jr., written by Langston Hughes

Hugo Awards (Science Fiction)

Novel: The City & The City by China Mieville, and (tie)
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Novella:  Palimpsest by Charles Stross

There are a lot more categories. Check them out.

Lambda Literary Awards (LGBT)

Children’s/Young Adult:  Sprout by Dale Peck

Nonfiction:  The Greeks and Greek Love by James Davidson

Many, many more categories. Please check web site.

The Mann Booker Prize (Fiction)

The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson

Michael L. Printz Award (Young Adult Literature)

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

National Book Awards

Fiction:  Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon

Nonfiction:  Just Kids by Patti Smith (editorial comment: YAY!)

Poetry:  Lighthead by Terrance Hayes

Young People’s Literature: Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

National Outdoor Book Awards

Nature and the Environment:  Adventures Among Ants: A Global Safari With a Cast of Trillions by Mark W. Moffett

Natural History Literature:  An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World by Anders Halverson
&  The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

Children’s:  Camping With the President by Ginger Wadsworth; illustrated by Karen Dugan

They have more categories. Click the link above to see.

Newbery Medal (Children’s Literature)

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

PEN/Faulkner Awards (Fiction)

War Dances by Sherman Alexie

Pulitzer Prize

Fiction:  Tinkers by Paul Harding

History: Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed

Biography:  The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles

Poetry:  Versed by Rae Armantrout

Pura Belpre Awards (Latina/Latino author/illustrator)

Author:  Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez

Illustrator:  Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros , illustrated by Rafael López, written by Pat Mora

RITA Awards (Romance)

Young Adult Romance:  Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Inspirational Romance:  The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander

Novel with Strong Romantic Elements: The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O’Neal

Historical Romance:  Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas

First Book:  One Scream Away by Kate Brady

There are even more categories. Check out the website, linked above.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone

Toronto Book Awards

The Carnivore by Mark Sinnett

World Fantasy Awards

Novel:  The City & The City by China Mieville

Happy reading!

A Heartening Little Sign for Poetry

I was just renewing my library books on-line a few minutes ago, when something unprecedented happened. A book of poetry failed to renew because someone has a hold on it. Frequently, I find I can’t renew a title because of someone else’s hold. But it’s never happened before for poetry. And I check out poetry a lot. Also, I renew a lot.  (Oh shush. Working at a library doesn’t mean I’m any better than anyone else at returning materials on time.) So I have a feel for how uncommon this is.

In fact, I tried two more times to renew the book, thinking I’d somehow failed to click the correct box or something. Then I finally read the message about the item having holds, the message that informed me there are people in this city who care about poetry, who want to read it.

The book in question, in case anyone wonders, is Apocalyptic Swing by Gabrielle Calvocoressi.

Overused Book Titles

In addition to writing, I work in a public library. This gives me an opportunity to notice when certain book titles have been overused. Looking for a book called The Gift, because your friend recommended it, but you can’t remember the author? Okay, well, sure. No problem. None at all. Let’s spend the next twenty minutes reading through the descriptions of the sixteen different books we have with that title in an effort to figure out which one it is. Authors and publishers, consider yourselves put on notice. I will actively discourage readers from any new book titled The Gift.

Here are more titles on my list for recommended retirement:

Twilight – Did you know about a dozen authors thought of using this before Stephenie Meyer? Time to let it fade into darkness.

On Thin Ice – Don’t go there; too many writers already have.

Redemption – This title is beyond itself

Forever – Which is how long it will take to narrow down the search to the one you’re seeking, if you don’t remember the author’s name.

The Return – It keeps coming back into the publishing world.

Reunion – Publishers keep revisiting this title, too.

The Search – Didn’t go far enough for an original name.

The Secret – It’s enigmatic why you’d want to have your book confused with so many others of the same title.

Sanctuary – It can blend in with the crowd and never be found.

The Island – Where overused book titles go for sanctuary.

In Too Deep – But if you can find your way out, maybe you can build a new title for yourself.

Book List: Coming of Age Books

Update:  After reading The Hunger Games, I had to add it. Scroll down for a short description.

Here’s a list that could go on and on and on, kind of like adolescence for some people. I decided it was long enough when I got tired of finding new titles for it. Most are novels, but I’ve added some nonfiction titles, as well, mostly as an excuse to be able to included one of my favorites: Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt.


After Tupac and D Foster
Jaqueline Woodson, 2008
Young adult novel focusing on the lives of three girls bonding over the music of Tupac Shakur in 1990s New York.

Alice, I Think
Susan Juby, 2003
Fictional diary of Alice, a teen with  hippy parents. She is trying to find her place in the world, with the assistance of adults who seem to need a bit of help themselves.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Michael Chabon
Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Two cousins team up to create comic book adventures, fighting their own version of WWII on paper.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Judy Blume, 1970
Recently (April, 2010) re-released in its approximately 3,000th print run, Blume’s  book explores the age-old question: If there is a god, why doesn’t he or she give girls the breasts they want when they want them. Could it be so hard? Okay, it’s a little deeper than that.

Sharon Flake, 2005
In this YA title, an inner city boy is left in the woods to survive on his own, his father’s effort to toughen him up in hopes he’ll be able to survive the violent environment that has already claimed the life of his brother.

Beasts of No Nation
Uzodinma Iweala, 2005
The story of an African (no country is named) boy’s involvement with a group of guerilla fighters during his country’s civil war.

Bee Season
Myla Goldberg  , 2001
A girl’s unexpected spelling bee success causes equally unexpected consequences for her family.

Black Swan Green
David Mitchell, 2007
I’ve read this one and it’s quite well-written. The protagonist is a 13-year-old British boy who is struggling with a stutter, his parents’ dissolving marriage & the anguish of being 13. Mitchell captures perfectly the depth of the agony inherent in the every-minute decisions of adolescence that can make or break your standing with the peer group. The wrong choice of facial expressions, wrong choice of words, wrong poster on your wall, can lead to the worst sort of shunning and torment. But there is profound growth and insight as well.

Blind Sighted
Peter Moore, 2002
A high school misfit lands a job as a reader for a blind young woman. Insights ensue.

Blue Boy
Rakesh Satyal, 2009
12-year-old Indian-American, Kiran, is the 10th reincarnation of Krishnaji. Isn’t he? He believes he must be. Why else would his skin be turning blue?

The Bone Collector’s Son
Paul Yee, 2004
Set in early 20th-century Vancouver, Canada, the story of a boy who must deal with the facts of his father’s unpleasant profession, the ghosts who haunt his employer’s house, and the racism directed at Chinese immigrants.

Bringing the Boy Home
N.A. Nelson, 2008
Two boys from a fictional Amazonian tribe prepare for their coming 13th birthdays, and the accompanying ritual/survival test. One of the boys has been adopted and raised by an American.

The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger, 1951
You’ve probably heard of it. 16-year-old Holden Caulfield’s three days in New York.

The Chosen One
Carol Lynch Williams, 2009
Teenaged life in a polygamous cult. The protagonist is a 13-year-old girl chosen to marry her 60-year-old uncle. Eww.

Edenville Owls
Robert B. Parker, 2007
The noted crime writer turns to YA writing here. The Owls are a high school basketball team. Basketball, courtship, and a mystery surrounding a teacher, in post WWII America.

An Egg on Three Sticks
Jackie Fischer, 2004
San Francisco in the early 70s with a mentally ill mother.

Farewell Babylon: Coming of Age in Jewish Baghdad
Naim Kattan, trans. Sheila Fischman, 2005
Mid-19th-century Baghdad, that would be.

The Foretelling
Alice Hoffman, 2005
Coming of age in an all female tribe of Amazonian warriors.

Getting in Tune: A Novel
Roger L. Trott , 2008
Written by a former music critic, the story of a young rock band in the 1970s.

A Girl Made of Dust
Nathalie Abi-Ezzi, 2008
Coming of age near Beirut during Lebanon’s civil war.

Girls in Peril: A Novella
Karen Lee Boren, 2006
1970s Lake Michigan area, a group of girls, don’t know much more. If you’ve read it, maybe you can enlighten us.

Francine Prose , 2008
If you’re 13 years old and your older sister has recently died, it’s probably a bad idea to get involved with the sister’s boyfriend. But it sounds like a good idea for a novel.

Guitar Highway Rose
Brigid Lowry, 2003
Australian teens run away together. Poetry and guitars, hitchhiking and hippies.

Bethany Griffin, 2008
If you were inferring something from the title, you were right. A bit more risque than your average YA coming of age novel.

Have Space Suit – Will Travel
Robert A. Heinlein, 1958
I loved this book when I was about 13 (considerably later than 1958.) I wonder if I would now. I remember a boy winning a space suit in a contest , but I think there was something about a basket of money on the kitchen counter that really hooked me.

Holding My Breath
Sidura Ludwig, 2007
The story of a girl pursuing dreams of being an astronomer, while living with multiple generations of her Jewish family in Manitoba in the 1950s.

The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins, 2008
In a future dystopian North America, the one thing that remains from our culture is reality television. See, I told you it was dystopian. Two youths from each of the 12 “districts” are selected each year to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised battle to the death, with only one survivor. Participation and viewership are mandatory.  But the two teens from District 12, Katniss and Peeta, turn the games in an unprecedented direction. There are two more books in this extremely well-written trilogy: Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

In Search of Mockingbird
Loretta Ellsworth, 2007
After receiving her deceased mother’s diary, which reveals a passion for the book To Kill a Mockingbird, a 16-year-old girl hops a bus to go meet Harper Lee.

Intensely Alice
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, 2009
Part of the Alice series. She’s 17 here.

Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte, 1847
I can include this if I want. After all, Jane is 10 when the book begins; it’s not all her relationship with the mysterious Mr. Rochester.

Mal Peet, 2005
Fictitious interview with a fictitious world-famous goalkeeper for a World Cup championship soccer team. He recounts being taught the game by a spirit being in the rain forest.

Last Child
Michael Spooner, 2005
In 1830s North Dakota, a girl who is half Scottish, half Mandan struggles with identity, smallpox and war.

Last Dance at the Frosty Queen
Richard Allen Uhlig, 2007
A high school senior is desperate to escape his small Kansas town, circa 1988.

The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine
April Lurie, 2008
A 16-year-old boy copes with being the subject of a friend’s documentary while trying to help his falling-apart family to get a grip on itself.

Life at These Speeds
Jeremy Jackson, 2002
A high school track star copes with being the only surviving team member after his teammates die in an accident.

Lili: A Novel of Tianenmen
Annie Wang, 2001
Growing up in Beijing during the time of the famous events in Tianenmen Square.

Looking for Lucy Buick
Rita Murphy, 2005
Girl who has been raised by a family who found her in the back seat of a Buick sets off to find her biological parents.

The Lucky Place
Zu Vincent, 2008
Set in the 1950s & 60s. A girl finds her loyalties divided between her father and step-father.

Me, the Missing, and the Dead
Jenny Valentine, 2008
If you were a 16-year-old Londoner who has been accidentally left in charge of an urn of ashes, what would you think? What if your father had mysteriously disappeared? Would you start to think things, such as “The person who used to be these ashes is talking to me?” Quite possibly.

No Laughter Here
Rita Williams-Garcia, 2004
Female genital mutilation comes to Queens, New York. No laughter indeed.

On Rough Seas
Nancy Hull, 2008
In 1940, a 14-year-old British boy, feeling in need of redemption, involves himself at Dunkirk.

One Lonely Degree
C.K. Kelly Martin, 2009
Sexual assault and love triangles provide more than enough struggle for a teenager.

Roland Smith, 2008
A 14-year-old sets out to climb Mount Everest.

Sag Harbor
Colson Whitehead, 2009
Autobiographical novel. A teen spends his school year at a prep school and his summers in the African-American community of Sag Harbor.

The Sand Fish: A Novel From Dubai
Maha Gargash, 2009
In 1950s Dubai, a 17-year-old girl unsuccessfully tries to flee an arranged marriage.

Sonny’s House of Spies
George Ella Lyon, 2004
Set in post-WWII Alabama. A boy tries to solve the mystery of his father’s departure.

The Speed of Light
Ron Carlson, 2003
Two 12-year-old boys spend a summer performing scientific experiments. And if a few things get blow up in the process…

The Story Sisters: A Novel
Alice Hoffman, 2009
The three Story sisters lead tragic and magical lives. I haven’t read this, but since it’s written by Alice Hoffman, I will eventually.

Tell Me Lies
Patrick Cooper, 2007
Life in the counterculture in 1969 England.

Thicker Than Water: Coming-of-Age Stories by Irish and Irish-American Writers, 2001
12 writers, 12 stories. You know you want to read it. Who can resist Irish storytelling?

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee, 1960
Do I really need to give a synopsis? The perfect novel. That’s my summary.

Walk Away Home
Paul Many, 2002
A teen who loves to walk, walks across the state to live with his aunt, who lives in a commune.

The Wednesday Wars
Gary D. Schmidt, 2007
Set in 1967. On Wednesday afternoons, all of 11-year-old Holling’s classmates attend either Hebrew school or catechism class. As the sole Presbyterian, he’s left alone with the teacher.

The Winter People
Joseph Bruchac, 2002
The experiences of a 14-year-old Abenaki boy during the French and Indian Wars.

Wish You Well
David Baldacci, 2007
Not one of Baldacci’s usual legal thrillers. In 1940, two children move from New York City to their great-grandmother’s farm, following the deaths of their parents.

Odo Hirsch, 2004
A boy sets out on his coming of age journey only to find himself in slavery.


Angela’s Ashes
Frank McCourt, 1996
On the first page of his memoir Frank McCourt says “People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version.”  McCourt’s version contains almost unbearable heartbreak and misery, but very little martyrdom. When you get past the heartbreaking parts, keep your hanky handy for the tears of laughter. Often the two elements mingle. A brilliantly-written book. I said up-front it’s one of my favorites.

Bat Boy: My True Life Adventures Coming of Age With the New York Yankees
Matthew McGough, 2005
Talk about getting to live your dream.

The Bitter Sea: Coming of Age in a China Before Mao
Charles N. Li, 2008
May you live in interesting times. Li has.

The Cat With the Yellow Star: Coming of Age in Terezin
Susan Goldman Rubin, 2006
A book for younger readers – middle school ageish. The story of a Jewish girl who starred as the cat in the children’s opera Brundibar, performed by children in the Terezin concentration camp.

Coming of Age in Samoa
Margaret Mead, 1928
Did Margaret Mead know what she was talking about? People are still debating.

First Darling of the Morning: Selected Memories of an Indian Childhood
Thrity Umrigar, 2004
Coming of age in Bombay in the 60s and 70s, attending Catholic school amidst a largely Hindu population.

Freddie and Me: A Coming-of-Age (Bohemian) Rhapsody
Mike Dawson , 2008
Freddie Mercury as role model.  Hmmmm..

How I Learned to Snap: A Small-Town Coming-Out and Coming-of-Age Story
Kirk Read, 2003
The small town would be Lexington, VA.

The Last Gentleman Adventurer: Coming of Age in the Arctic
Edward Beauclerk Maurice, 2005
A 16-year-old British youth finds himself working among the Inuit in the 1930s.

Loon: A Marine Story
Jack McLean, 2009
Experiences of a teenaged Marine in Vietnam.

Miss American Pie: A Diary of Love, Secrets, and Growing Up in the 1970s
Margaret Sartor, 2006
Memoir based on diary entries kept during the author’s adolescence in the deep south.

Moon Mother, Moon Daughter: Rituals and Myths That Celebrate a Girl’s Coming of Age
Janet Lucy, 2002
Synopsis is in the subtitle.

My Little Red Book
Anthology, 2009
An anthology of stories about first periods.

Nylon Road: A Graphic Memoir of Coming of Age in Iran
Parsua Bashi

Once Upon a Quincanera: Coming of Age in the United States
Julia Alvarez, 2008
An examination of the Latina 15th birthday celebration.

An Open Book: Coming of Age in the Heartland
Michael Dirda, 2003
Coming of age through reading.

Point of Departure: Nineteen Stories of Youth and Discovery
Anthology, 2005

A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Survival, Learning, and Coming of Age in Prison
R. Dwayne Betts, 2009
Sentenced as an adult at age 16, Betts grew up in prison.

Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx
Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, 2003
Urban non-fiction.

Sixteen: Stories About That Sweet and Bitter Birthday
Anthology, 2004
I have this in my non-fiction list, but am not sure whether any of the stories are memoirs, or if they’re all fiction.

Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution
Moying Li, 2008
1960s China was not an easy place to grow up.

Thin Ice: Coming of Age in Canada
Bruce McCall, 1997
Sure, it’s easy to write a memoir if you grew up in the midst of the Cultural Revolution, or had to escape a polygamist cult. But Canadians who are bad at hockey can be interesting, too.

Things the Grandchildren Should Know
Mark Everett, 2008
What do you do if you lose your entire family in short period of time at a young age? Start an indie rock band, of course.

Writes of Passage: Coming of Age Stories and Memoirs From the Hudson Review
Anthology, 2008.
I have arbitrarily put all anthologies on my non-fiction list.

Book List: Women of Adventure


Ahab’s Wife, or, the Star-gazer: a Novel
by Sena Jeter Naslund;  1999
This is a hefty 668 pages, but having read it personally, I can tell you they go pretty quickly. Turns out the woman who married Moby Dick’s pursuer had been to sea herself, and other places, all full of adventure. Warning for the squeamish: intense scenes of cannibalism.

The Cage
by Audrey Schulman; 1994
A female wildlife photographer sets out with an otherwise all-male crew to photograph polar bears.

Grania: She-King of the Irish Seas
by Morgan Llywelyn; 1986
Historical fiction set in 16th century Ireland. Grania, aka Grace O’Malley, was a real Irish chieftain who clashed with Queen Elizabeth I.

I Was Amelia Earhart: a Novel
by Jane Mendelsohn; 1996
Earhart is the narrator of this story, which takes place after she and her navigator disappear.

The Little Balloonist: a Novel
by Linda Donn, 2006
Historical fiction, featuring Sophie Armant Blanchard, a female aeronaut in Napoleon’s France.

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd
by Jim Fergus, 1999
More historical fiction. This one addresses the “Brides for Indians” program instituted by Ulysses S. Grant.

Sacajawea: The Story of Bird Woman and the Lewis and Clark Expedition
by Joseph Bruchac, 2003
Want more historical fiction? This story alternates viewpoints of Sacajawea and Clark. Young adult.

Stone Heart: a Novel of Sacajawea
by Diane Glancy, 2004
The title explains it.


Ada Blackjack: a True Story of Survival in the Atlantic
by Jennifer Niven, 2004
The story of a young Inuit woman who managed to survive becoming stranded on an Arctic island with a group of ill-prepared explorers.

Adventure Divas: Searching the Globe for a New Kind of Heroine
by Holly Morris, 2006
Morris *and her mother* travel the world searching out women who are changing their corner of it.

Amelia Earhart: the Mystery Solved
by Elgen M.  & Marie K. Long, 2009
The Longs’ theory of what happened, backed up by extensive research.

Amelia Earhart’s Daughters: the Wild and Glorious Story of American Women Aviators from World War II to the Dawn of the Space Age, 2000
Leslie Haynsworth
Look! It’s both a title and a synopsis!

The Cowgirls
Joyce Gibson Roach, 1978
John Wayne didn’t have to hire little boys. The west was full of competent women.

Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia, 2005
by Janet Wallach
So she was the one who drew up those political boundaries…hmmmm.

East to the Dawn: the Life of Amelia Earhart
by Susan Butler
Another Earhart biography. Yeah, I know I have a lot of books about her on this list. So demand your money back if you don’t like it.

Eight Women, Two Model Ts and the American West
by Joanne Wilke, 2007
What could be more fun?

Facing the Extreme: One Woman’s Story of True Courage, Death-Defying Survival, and Her Quest for the Summit
by Ruth Ann Kocour, 1999
The one woman would be the author, who writes of her experiences on Mt. McKinley in 1992.

Finding Amelia: the True Story of the Earhart Disappearance
by Ric Gillespie, 2009
Yes, another one. Remember what I said before. Again, lots of documentation for the theories.

Four Years in Paradise
by Osa Johnson, originally published in 1941.
Johnson covers her four years in Kenya, filming wildlife documentaries.

Go Girl!; The Black Woman’s Book of Travel and Adventure
edited by Elaine Lee, 1997
Travel essays by Black women, including Gwendolyn Brooks and Alice Walker.

Gutsy Girls: Young Women Who Dare
by Tina Schwager, 1999
Written for the tween/teen audience. Stories of young (teens and early twenties) women who took of the challenge of pursuing a dream.

I Married Adventure
by Osa Johnson, first published 1940
Her marriage to adventure lead to the four years in paradise. African adventures with wildlife documentaries.

The Ice Cave: a Woman’s Adventures from the Mojave to the Antarctic
by Lucy Jane Bledsoe, 2006
11 travel/adventure essays about Bledsoe’s forays.

K2: One Woman’s Quest for the Summit
Heidi Howkins, 2000
Women climb mountains, too.

Ladies of the Grand Tour: British Women in Pursuit of Enlightenment and Adventure in Eighteenth-Century Europe
by Brian Dolan, 2001
What was a given for British men of a certain class at the time, was also seized by a handful of women.

Living With Cannibals and Other Women’s Adventures
by Michele B. Slung, 2001
Women adventurers from the 18th to the 21st centuries.

Maverick Women: 19th Century Women Who Kicked Over the Traces
by Frances Laurence, 1998
Couldn’t find a real description of this book. Be adventurous! Head into unknown territory! Read it without any more advance information than the title!

No Horizon is So Far: Two Women and Their Extraordinary Journey Across Antarctica
by Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen, 2003
In 2001, Bancroft and Arneson – two former school teachers – were the first women to cross the Antarctic on foot, at the ages of 46 and 50 respectively. Here they write about the experience.

Nobody Said Not to Go: The Lives, Loves and Adventures of Emily Hahn
by Ken Cuthbertson, 1998
Biography of the New Yorker writer who spent decades penning hundreds of articles about her globetrotting adventures.

Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark
by Jane Fletcher Geniesse, 1999
She traveled, she explored the Middle East, she made maps,  she worked against the Nazis. This book details all of that and more.

Sacagawea Speaks: Beyond the Shining Hills with Lewis and Clark
by Joyce Badgley Hunsaker, 2001
Drawing on extensive research, the author attempts to give insight into the famous trip from Sacagawea’s point of view.

They Went Whistling: Women Wayfarers, Warriors, Runaways, and Renegades
by Barbara Holland, 2001
Women who broke free of convention.

To the Heart of the Nile: Lady Florence Baker and the Exploration of Central Africa
by Pat Shipman, 2004
Who needs Victorian fiction when the non-fiction from that era provides so much adventure? Orphaned, raised in a harem, sold at auction, rescued from slavery and off to explore the Nile, all by the age of 15.

Uppity Women of the New World
by Vicki Leon, 2001
Profiles 200 women from North and South America and Australia.

Vanished Kingdoms: a Woman Explorer in Tibet, China and Mongolia, 1921-1925
by Mabel H. Cabot, 2003
The woman explorer was Janet Wulson.

Wild West Women: Travellers, Adventurers, and Rebels
by Rosemary Neering, 2000
Examines a variety of females experiences in the Wild West.

Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman
Alice Steinbach, 2002
The author shares her experience of learning to take chances.

The Woman Who Walked to Russia
by Cassandra Pybus, 2004
The author attempts to follow the footsteps of Lillian Alling, who in 1927 set out to walk from New York state to her original home in Siberia.

Women of Adventure
by Jacqueline A. Kolosov, 2003
For the young adult audience, profiles 7 women.

Women Were Pirates, Too
by C.T. Anthony, 2006
Yes, they were.

Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey
by Lillian Schlissel, 2004
We’re talking Oregon Trail here.

For Kids

Amelia Earhart: the Legend of the Lost Aviator
by Shelley Tanaka, 2008

Finding Where the Wind Goes: Moments From My Life
by Mae Jemison, 2001
Autobiography of an astronaut

Harriet Chalmers Adams: Explorer and Adventurer
by Durlynn Anema, 1997
Biography of an early 20th-century explorer and war correspondent.

How High Can We Climb ?The Story of Women Explorers
by Jeannine Atkins, 2005
Twelve women who pursued their adventures on land, sea and in the air.

Mae Jemison: The First African American Woman in Space
by Magdalena Alagna, 2004
Not even the sky is the limit for Mae Jemison .

Not One Damsel in Distress: World Folk Tales for Strong Girls
by Jane Yolen, 2000
Folk tales from around the world, starring strong female leads.

Outrageous Women of the Middle Ages
by Vicki Leon, 1998
Biographies of influential women of the Middle Ages. This is nice – she’s goes beyond Europe to Africa and Asia.

by Liselotte Erdrich, 2005
Picture book biography for young readers.

Sacagawea and the Bravest Deed
by Stephen Krensky, 2002
Another one for younger kids, this is a story of the child Sacagawea.

Women Explorers in North and South America: Nellie Cashman, Violet Cressy-Marcks, Ynes Mexica, Mary Blair Niles, Annie Peck
by Margo McLoone, 1997

Women of the Wild West: Biographies from Many Cultures
by Ruth Pelz, 1995
Imagine that! There were a variety of women in the old west.

Women of the World: Women Travelers and Explorers
by Rebecca Stefoff, 1992
Women explorers and discoverers throughout history

You Can’t Do That, Amelia
by Kimberly Klier, 2008
Picture book bio of Amelia Earhart


Titles suggested in the comments –

Tell Me a Story 3: Women of Wonder

West With the Night by Beryl Markham