159. Bomb Girls- Jacky Hyams

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Title: Bomb Girls

Author: Jacky Hyams

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Non-fiction> Historical

They were the unsung heroines of World War II; the wives, mums, and teenage girls, all “doing their bit” for the war effort, clocking in daily to work in vast munitions factories, helping make the explosives, bullets, and war machines that would ensure victory for Britain. It was dangerous, dirty, and exhausting work. They worked round the clock, often exposed to toxic lethal chemicals. A factory accident could mean blindness, loss of limbs—or worse. Many went home with acid burns, yellow skin, or discolored hair. Others were forced to leave their loved one and move to live with total strangers in unfamiliar surroundings. Frequently, their male bosses were coarse and unsympathetic. Yet this hidden army of nearly two million women toiled on regardless through the worst years of the war, cheerfully ignoring the dangers and the exhaustion, as bombing, rationing, and the heartbreak of loss or separation took their toll on everyone in the country. Only now, all these years later, have they chosen to tell their remarkable stories. Here, in their own words, are the vivid wartime memories of the “secret army” of female munitions workers, whose resilience and sheer grit in the face of danger has only now started to emerge. These are the intimate and personal stories of an unforgettable group of women, whose hard work and quiet courage made a significant contribution to Britain’s war effort. They didn’t fire the bullets, but they filled them up with explosives. And in doing so, they helped Britain with the war. (Goodreads 2016)

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121. How to be a Woman- Caitlin Moran

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Title: How to be a Woman

Author: Caitlin Moran

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Non-fiction> memoir

 

Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven’t been burned as witches since 1727, life isn’t exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them?

Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women’s lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from the riot of adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother. With rapier wit, Moran slices right to the truth—whether it’s about the workplace, strip clubs, love, fat, abortion, popular entertainment, or children—to jump-start a new conversation about feminism. With humor, insight, and verve, How To Be a Woman lays bare the reasons female rights and empowerment are essential issues not only for women today but also for society itself” (Goodreads 2014)

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110. A Room of One’s Own- Virginia Woolf

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Title: A Room of One’s Own

Author: Virginia Woolf

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Non-Fiction> Classics

A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on 24 October 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women’s colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers of and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled “Women and Fiction”, and hence the essay, are considered non-fiction. The essay is generally seen as a feminist text, and is noted in its argument for both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy (Goodreads 2014)

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