Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. We’re continuing our Women’s History Month and today we’re featuring some incredible women and their stories. You may or may not have heard about these women but they have all made an impact on the world and in particular, me. I hope you will check these books out.
Laura Secord: Heroine of the War of 1812 by Peggy Dymond Leavey
2013 Speaker’s Book Award — Shortlisted Laura Secord is now famous for her singular feat of bravery during the War of 1812, but did she warn the British and help defeat the American invaders as her legend says? After dragging her injured husband off the battlefield during the War of 1812, Laura Secord (1775-1868) was forced to house American soldiers for financial support while she nursed him back to health. It was during this time that she overheard the American plan to ambush British troops at Beaver Dams. Through an outstanding act of perseverance and courage in 1813, Laura walked an astonishing 30 kilometers from her home to a British outpost to warn Lieutenant James FitzGibbon. Despite facing rough terrain, the ever-present danger of being caught by American troops, and rather delicate encounters with Native forces, Laura reached FitzGibbon just in time for the British to prepare and execute an ambush on American military nearby, forcing the U.S. general to surrender. Laura lived a very long time, dying at the age of 93. In her lifetime the government never formally recognized her singular feat of bravery, and much controversy still envelopes her legacy.
Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman, Olympic High-Jump Champion by Heather Lang (Author), Floyd Cooper (Illustrator)
Here is a story of perseverance and unwavering ambition that follows Alice Coachman on her journey from rural Georgia, where she overcame adversity both as a woman and as a black athlete, to her triumph in Wembly Stadium in the 1948 London Olympics.
When Alice Coachman was a girl, most white people wouldn't even shake her hand. Yet when the King of England placed an Olympic medal around her neck, he extended his hand to Alice in congratulations. Standing on a podium in London's Wembley Stadium, Alice was a long way from the fields of Georgia where she ran barefoot as a child. With a record-breaking leap, she had become the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal. This inspirational picture book is perfect to celebrate Women's History Month or to share any day of the year.
Sybil Rides: The True Story of Sybil Ludington the Female Paul Revere, the Burning of Danbury and Battle of Ridgefield by Larry a Maxwell
Sybil Rides tells the inspiring true story of events during the American Revolution which resulted in sixteen-year old Sybil Ludington becoming known as the Female Paul Revere. Her ride took place during a significant event in American History designed by the British Commanders to bring an end to the Revolution.
As a teenage female heroine Sybil Ludington is part of many school's history curriculum yet many people never heard of her. Even fewer know what led to Sybil's ride or the intense drama and events connected with it.
On a cold rainy night in the spring of 1777, the British Regular Army, along with a regiment of Loyalists, bent on revenge against their Rebel neighbors, plundered and burned Danbury, Connecticut. That raid was part of Lord William Howe's plan to end the Revolution. During the raid a messenger was sent to the home of Colonel Henry Ludington appealing for help. The Colonel's sixteen-year old daughter, Sybil, disregarded the danger and bravely rode forty miles on that cold rainy night throughout the Hudson Valley to call the Militia to action.
On her ride Sybil stopped quickly at each home, banged on the doors and windows, and yelled, "Call to arms! The Regulars and Tories are burning Danbury! The Militia is needed! Call to arms!" Families awoke. Men dressed quickly, grabbed their muskets, and headed out into the night to face a powerful foe. Sybil's courageous ride earned her the nickname, The Female Paul Revere.
This story starts at the beginning of the Revolutionary War with Paul Revere in a rowboat in Boston Harbor, two years before Sybil's ride. From there it goes to Lexington, Massachusetts, where we see the Militia who responded to Revere's call, facing the might of the British Army. We learn what really happened and are there as the shot heard round the world is fired and the Revolutionary War starts. We then watch the war shift with a vengeance to New York.
All the events and characters in this book are historical. Some of the dialogue in this book is verbatim. Some of the dialogue is conjecture but based on historical events.
This story not only tells the true compelling story of Sybil Ludington but also of her father, Colonel Henry Ludington, his family, and other unsung heroes.
In this book you meet British officers and their Loyalists allies and see the conflicts between them. You will see the brave, yet humorous way Sybil and her siblings foil the Loyalists attempt to capture their father, Colonel Henry Ludington. You will meet Enoch Crosby, a friend of the Ludingtons, who disregarded the danger and served as a spy in the struggle for independence. You will meet Jacob Angevine, a former slave who earned his freedom and that of his family, by serving in the French and Indian War. You will also meet Joseph, his teenage son who is a friend of Sybil Ludington and a brave member of the Colonel Ludington's Militia.
You will also meet John Gano the famous Fighting Preacher and his friend, Haym Salomon, a Jewish immigrant who helped secure funding for the Revolution. You will meet Daniel Nimham, Sachem (chief) of the Wappinger Indians and his son Abraham, true unsung American heroes who sacrificed everything during the war. You will see how Luther Holcomb, another brave young unsung hero, helped delay the entire British Army and its attack on Danbury.
One of the surprising characters you will meet is Benedict Arnold who later becomes America's most notorious traitor. He was once an admirable hero and played an inspiring important part in this story.
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
Her palace shimmered with onyx and gold but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first and poisoned the second; incest and assassination were family specialties. She had children by Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, two of the most prominent Romans of the day. With Antony she would attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled both their ends. Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Her supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order.
Autobiography, An by Agatha Christie
Millions of fans the world over got to know her beloved characters, Hercule Poirot, Miss Jane Marple, and the rest, yet for decades little was known about their creator. Dame Agatha Christie was a woman who scrupulously kept her private life hidden from view, dodging the press, granting no interviews, and even, for a brief time, famously disappearing. But shortly after the great lady's death, the silence was broken when An Autobiography was finally published.
The witty, insightful, and immensely entertaining reflections of a marvelous talent, An Autobiography is as compulsively readable as Christie's novels. In her own inimitable style, a brilliant eccentric whose life encapsulated her times sheds light on her past, including her childhood in Victorian England, her volunteer work during World War II, and, of course, her phenomenal career. Agatha Christie's An Autobiography brings into sharp focus a beloved and enduring literary icon whose imagination continues to mesmerize readers to this very day.
Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Do you ever suspect that everyone else has life figured out and you don’t have a clue? If so, Rachel Hollis has something to tell you: that’s a lie.
As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.
With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.
With unflinching faith and rock-hard tenacity, Girl, Wash Your Face shows you how to live with passion and hustle--and how to give yourself grace without giving up.
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MRS N, Book Addict