*Image and book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book is a collection of mini-biographies of women who did amazing things, against incredible odds, but were almost never acknowledged for any of it. Covering women who contributed to science, exploration, medicine, espionage, and innovation the reader gets an interesting trip through history. Complete with Q&A sessions with contemporary women in these fields.
I'm always happy to read more books about influential women of history. Generally I stick to the sciences, but I found myself completely enthralled by all of the stories I read. The Women of Espionage section was particularly interesting because of the varied types of personalities encountered (who'd have thought that a party girl would make for a brilliant double agent?) It's actually really delightful to see the varied personalities represented in this book. Some of the women are the born-tough types, others grew into their strength. Some of the women are pure tomboys, others still enjoyed their femininity. Some were brainy geeks, others were physical activity geeks. Some were extroverts, others were introverts. This all adds up to the overall message of this book: you can do whatever you set your mind to.
Yes, it seems like an overly optimistic message, and usually I end up just feeling bad about myself for not living up to the standards these women have set. This time, however, a couple hours after finishing the book, I found myself thinking more positively about myself and my abilities. I started looking at things I could do to use more of my potential so that I actually could follow in these women's footsteps.
The tone of the book is rather casual. It reads like someone was talking to me over drinks, complete with snarky comments in parentheses. If I had known girl talk could be so informative, I may have partaken in it more growing up.
Personally, I plan on buying this book for myself and a copy for my Mom, who could've used the message of the book when she was younger, but can still be inspired by it. If you've ever been shot down or told you can't do something because of who or what you are, I think this will be a good book for you. Like with me, it may not hit you right away, but this is an inspiring book that can help you see that everyone can do something great. 5 Hoots!