A thirty year old journalist running late for an interview, ends up being raped at knife point. Afterwards, her assailant says he will find her. But years after his conviction and imprisonment, the author ends up finding him. In harrowing detail no newspaper would print, Connors confronts her ordeal and then uncovers the cycle of poverty, domestic violence and substance abuse that shaped her attacker’s life. I couldn’t put it down.
Fast Forward: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24) by Melanne Verveer and Kim K. Azzarelli looks at the lives of 70 women around the world who have achieved power in their respective fields while staying true to the purpose of their work. Verveer, the first ever Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the State Department—appointed by President Obama—and Azzarelli, a top executive at Avon, together have experience in politics, diplomacy, business, advocacy, and philanthropy and are both celebrated champions of women’s rights. Their book explores how women can leverage their growing economic power not only to succeed in their own fields but also to lead purposeful lives and change the world. Those profiled include famous women like Geena Davis and Diane von Furstenberg, as well as equally compelling if lesser known leaders like Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, and Dr. Hawa Abdi, who has provided 100,000 people refuge from violence in Somalia.
Spiritual Midwifery, by the famous pioneer of midwifery in the U.S., Ina May Gaskin, is one of the lesser known parenting guides. Though many may have heard of Gaskin's other famous works, such as Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Spiritual Midwifery is another classic that promotes a rare and beautiful celebration of womanhood in the spirit of home birth in particular. This book especially touches on logistics and procedures that might not be considered in typical family planning, offering well-rounded support and resources for those expecting or for interested midwives, nurses, doulas and more.