13 Must-Read Books If You Loved Hidden Figures
Hidden Figures is a devastatingly moving, hilarious and poignant film, and we’ve been taking everyone we know to see it. The movie is more than a girl-power flick. It highlights the lives of three incredibly talented female mathematicians and engineers, along with the racism and sexism they had to overcome in order to find success at NASA. In honor of this powerful movie, we’re sharing 13 more lady-driven stories that will have you laughing, crying and recommitting yourself to changing the world.
1. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly ($16): Of course we’re giving a shout-out to the book that started it all. Snag a copy to discover all the tiny details the movie left out. You won’t be disappointed.
2. We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge ($16): The Freeman family gets way more than they bargained for when they sign up to participate in a research experiment. Sure, it’s monkeys and not space, but the Freeman daughters’ experiences with science, growing up and rebelling in their nearly all-white town explores many of the themes within Hidden Figures.
3. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua ($29): If you’re looking for lighter fare, set aside the nonfiction tomes for this hilarious and sweet graphic novel, which explores the adventures of Ada Lovelace, the inventor of computer programming.
4. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky ($17): On the hunt for more ladies who’ve changed the world? Run straight to the bookstore, grab this book and revel in the girl power that exists within the lab.
5. Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt ($17): Discover even more about the women who made space travel possible, thanks to Nathalia Holt’s well-researched book. Once you start reading, good luck trying to do anything else!
6. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren ($16): Want to know what it’s like to be a scientist today? Hope Jahren’s powerful memoir gives us a tiny peek into a lab, revealing her research successes and failures, her personal relationships and how she found herself drawn to the exciting world of science.
7. The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan ($17): While history has an unfortunate tendency to give all the glory to men, Denise Kiernan’s book is working hard to undo that damage. Grab a copy to discover the incredible research contributions that women made during World War II.
8. The Mercury 13 by Martha Ackmann ($17): Before any man stepped foot in space, ladies were lining up for the job. The Mercury 13 tells the story of the brave women who gave up everything to become astronauts, only to be rejected for the boys. Don’t think they let the rejection rule their lives. This book is packed with happy endings.
9. The Ditchdigger’s Daughters by Yvonne S. Thorton ($15): This book is the true story of two uneducated black parents who decided their five daughters would grow up to become doctors, no matter what. Through an insane amount of hard work, dedication and creative financial finagling (family band, anyone?), these parents raised five supremely successful women, including two doctors.
10. Black Ice by Lorene Cary ($15): Lorene Cary’s memoir about growing up as a scholarship student at an elite, all-white boarding school in New Hampshire will change the way you think about everything from those awkward teenage years to race and sexism. It’s a can’t-miss read.
11. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver ($17): Barbara Kingsolver is the queen of blending science and literary fiction, and she’s back at it with Flight Behavior, which tackles missed opportunities, small town dreams and how science can transform even the most seemingly ordinary of lives.
12. Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis by Kim Todd ($16): You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we would let it slide with this one. Kim Todd’s book reveals the fascinating life of Maria Sibylla Merian, an important pioneer in insect research. It’s way more interesting than it sounds, we promise.
13. The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel ($30): Forget the world. Who runs the universe? Girls! This book explores the rich history of the female “computers,” AKA mathematicians of Harvard, along with their lasting contributions to science. Don’t let these ladies’ stories stay hidden.
What’s on your to-read list? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!
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(Featured photo via 20th Century Fox)