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.

July 22: On this day in 1941, on his twelfth wedding anniversary, Eugene O'Neill presented the just-finished manuscript of Long Day's Journey into Night to his wife, Carlotta.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.

Landline

What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.