Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America

You?ve come a long way, baby, as this illustrated timeline highlighting the achievements of women in America demonstrates. The book, which grew out of a traveling exhibit of the same name, consists of brief descriptions of more than 900 women, both famous and forgotten, who have impacted the nation, mostly through politics, academe, business, technology, or the arts. The most stirring entries involve those who dared to defy the gender norms of their day, like the women who took up arms in the Revolutionary War, spoke out against slavery, and marched for suffrage. A number of entries provide interesting trivia, including the fact that women invented paper grocery bags (Margaret Knight, 1870) and Kevlar (Stephanie Kwolek, 1965). Many describe females who were firsts in their fields, and some of these are more momentous than others -- I appreciated reading that Edith Wharton was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, for The Age of Innocence, but can?t say I felt edified upon learning that Margaret Petherbridge Farrar was the first woman to create a crossword puzzle book. While this unabashedly celebratory book is feminism at its softest and fuzziest, it?s enjoyable to flip through and would make a fine Mother?s Day gift, certainly sparking more interesting conversation than another bouquet of flowers.

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.