Archive for August, 2013

Still More Books About Courageous Women

Did you have a wonderful summer filled with great books? If you missed any of the following books, consider cuddling up to a nice fire with a cup of tea and one of these for thought provoking and exciting reading.

—  Berlinski, Claire, There is no Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters, (Basic Books, New York, 2011).

Margaret ThatcherEveryone who is interested in why our country is going down the drain-hole should read the biography of Margaret Thatcher. Our country does not have to decline as it is. If we had a leader with the moral courage of Margaret Thatcher our country would not be in the economic mess it is in, nor would we be risking the judgment of God which is surely to come because of the evil of our current leader.

If ever there was a time to learn from history this is it. Socialism does not work; Margaret Thatcher proved that we can turn the clock back. We can reform our country. She did it. Britain was the laughing stock of the world in the 1970’s. Margaret Thatcher turned all of that around.

This is an excellent biography of one of the greatest leaders who ever lived, male or female. Claire Berlinski tells the story of Margaret’s life from birth to old age in an engaging and thoughtful way.

—  Gibson, Karen Bush, Women Aviators: 26 Stories of Pioneer Flights, Daring Missions, and Record-Setting Journeys, (Chicago Review Press, Chicago, 2013).

Did you know that the second person ever to break the sound barrier after the famous Chuck Yeager was a woman? In 1953, Jackie Cochran broke the speed of sound in an F-86 Jacqueline_Cochran_in_P-40Sabre jet. This book was written for young people, but I found it very exciting. I’ll bet few people know that the first women pilots earned their licenses as long ago as 1910. Stories include the early daredevils, women during the “golden age” of flight such as Amelia Earhart, women who flew in wartime, stunt flyers, and bush pilots. This is a great book to share with your kids.

—  Jeffrey, Julie Roy, Converting the West: A Biography of Narcissa Whitman,  (University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1991).

“In 1851, Judge William Colvig set up camp in the beautiful Grande Ronde Valley, where plateau Indian tribes had come for hundreds of years to gather and prepare food for the winter months. When two Cayuse Indians wandered into his camp, he offered to share his own meal with them. To Colvig’s amazement, the Indians removed their hats and recited grace ‘in excellent English’ before they ate. They told Colvig that ‘they were members of Doctor Whitman’s church at Waiilatpu and though Dr. Whitman had been dead four years, they still gave thanks at their meals and tried to practice what Dr. and Mrs. Whitman had taught them.” (From the Preface)

Narcissa WhitmanIn this wonderful biography of Narcissa Whitman we learn the story of the first woman to travel West. She and her missionary husband were martyred in the Oregon Territory due to a misunderstanding. (You’ll have to read the book to get the rest of the story.)

Because of Narcissa’s courage, many women were brave enough to join the wagon trains in the next decades and settle the western part of the United States. Truly this is a book that will inspire women.

—  Lindley, Susan Hill, You Have Stept out of Your Place: A History of Women and Religion in America, (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 1996).

Here is another great book about pioneer minded women. Susan Hill Lindley covers the history of women in religion from Anne Hutchinson (arrived in America 1634) to the end of annehutchinson_historychannel-580x454the twentieth century. She follows the traditional track of history through Puritanism, the First and Second Great Awakenings, and Reform movements. She covers Catholics, Protestants, and Jewish women. She not only gives us biographies of the women in each period, but she also describes what life was like during those time periods. She does not “play favorites” but covers conservatives, liberals, and even some women from unusual groups such as the Shakers. Each of the women had a role to play in shaping the religions that we have inherited today. If you have had the experience of reading a church history book that only included men, you will welcome this well-researched and interesting book about the “rest of history”.

—  Symons, Sarah, This Is No Ordinary Joy: How the Courage of Survivors Transformed My Life, (Wallsend Press, 2013).

Sarah Symons bookReading this book has changed my thinking and my life. Sarah Symons discovered that the lives of millions of girls were being destroyed by slavery in the human trafficking market that exists worldwide. She chose to do something about it. Putting all that she had on the line (she and her husband had to sell their house) she traveled to some of the most horrible places on earth. She found a way to help the victims of human trafficking. She started a program called “Made by Survivors”. Women who are rescued from slavery live in safe houses and are taught a trade. The goal is to make as many women as possible self-sufficient.

You will be inspired as you read Sarah’s story and the stories of some of the survivors. Last year I purchased most of my Christmas presents for my family from Made By Survivors. You can go to madebysurvivors.com and do the same.

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