From Memoirs to Novels to Non-Fiction – Here are the top 5 books on WE Magazine for Women’s reading list for May 2021 


"The Red Kitchen by Barbara Clarke"The Red Kitchen: A Memoir by Barbara Clarke
At the age of seven, Barbara witnesses a frightening incident between her parents. She goes on to spend much of her childhood toggling between the happy family she longs for and the unhappy one she’s in but can’t repair. Disturbed by the smell of rotting leaves and an uneasy feeling about her father, she will spend half her life trying to get to the bottom of the reasons why.

As an adult, a summer in Africa allows Barbara to live without labels—wife, mother, daughter, sister—and become the woman she wants to be: funny, compassionate, complex, and often flawed. The Red Kitchen is the story of both Barbara and her mother, who, like many women, both spend much of their lives surrendering to society’s expectation to be one thing while yearning to be another. Ultimately, both women—in very different ways—come of age, find the loving parts of their mother-daughter relationship, and start living their best lives.


Anarchy in High Heels: A Memoir by Deinise Larson

Anarchy in High Heels is not a state of dress; it’s a state of mind.

anarchy in high heelsA San Francisco porno theater might be the last place you’d expect to plant the seed of a feminist troupe, but truth is stranger than fiction.

In 1972, access to birth control and a burn-your-bra ethos were leading young women to repudiate their 1950s conservative upbringing and embrace a new liberation. Denise Larson was a timid twenty-four-year-old actress wannabe when, at an after-hours countercultural event, The People’s Nickelodeon, she accidentally created Les Nickelettes. This banding together of ¬¬like-minded women with an anything-goes spirit unlocked a deeply hidden female humor. For the first time, Denise allowed the suppressed satirical thoughts dancing through her head to come out in the open. Together with Les Nickelettes, which quickly became a brazen women’s lib troupe, she presented a series of feminist skits, stunts, and musical comedy plays. In 1980, The Bay Guardian described the group as “nutty, messy, flashy, trashy, and very funny.”

With sisterhood providing the moxie, Denise took on leadership positions not common for women at the time: playwright, stage director, producer, and administrative/artistic director. But, in the end, the most important thing she learned was the power of female friendship.


Split-Level: A Novel by Sande Boritz Berger

"split level a novel"In Split-Level, set as the nation recoils from Nixon, Alex Pearl is about to commit the first major transgression of her life. But why shouldn’t she remain an officially contented, soon-to-turn- thirty wife? She’s got a lovely home in an upscale Jersey suburb, two precocious daughters, and a charming husband, Donny. But Alex can no longer deny she craves more—some infusion of passion into the cul-de-sac world she inhabits. After she receives a phone call from her babysitter’s mother reporting Donny took the teen for a midnight ride, promising he’d teach her how to drive, Alex urges they visit Marriage Mountain, the quintessential 1970s “healing couples’ sanctuary.”

Though Donny accedes, he becomes obsessed with the manifesto: A Different Proposition—and its vision of how multiple couples can live together in spouse-swapping bliss. At first Alex scoffs, but soon she gives Donny much more than he bargained for. After he targets the perfect couple to collude in his fantasy, Alex discovers her desire for love escalating to new heights—along with a willingness to risk everything. Split-Level evokes a pivotal moment in the story of American matrimony, when it seemed as if an open marriage might open hearts as well.


Inspiring Words for Sky and Space Women – Advice from Historic and Contemporary Trailblazers by Penny Rafferty Hamilton, Ph.D.

"Advice from Historic and Contemporary Trailblazers"This new book is packed with powerful words from women whose aviation and space exploits have made them “household names” in air and aerospace history. But the book also includes inspiring stories about brave women aviators and female aircrew members about whom not enough has been written. Famous or forgotten, their stories are collected in easy-to-read vignettes or quotations from which future generations of young women will find inspiration to chart their own course into the skies and even into outer space.

This book is full of practical career and life tips from trailblazing women in all of the many careers in aviation and aerospace. These are “her stories” about women who possessed not only flying or executive talent but also true grit to take their place in an industry in which women were not always welcome. These are authentic stories that will inspire women to take to the skies via any number of aviation and space-related careers. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Women in Aviation International to inspire a new generation of Sky Stars. Dr. Penny Rafferty Hamilton is a world record-setting aviator and award-winning writer and photographer.


The Decision to Scale: 25 Tips for Women-Owned Businesses Looking to Grow by Nancy G. Allen

"The Decision to Scale"You’ve spent the last few years building your business, and now you have a decision to make. Do you maintain your company at its current size, or do you scale it up to create more business, more jobs and more revenue? If you’re thinking about growth, The Decision to Scale will help you:•Affirm you are personally ready for the challenges ahead.•Look at hurdles you might face and how to get past them.•Find people who can offer support, promotion and insight.•Widen your influence to engage more potential customers.•Create a marketing strategy tailored to your company.•Cultivate relationships that lead to larger business contracts.•Put key elements in place to prepare for company growth.•Set metrics to track progress so you can pivot as needed.•Celebrate victories you’ll experience on your journey.

Keep this book as a reference as you scale your company today — and use it again and again as you continue to grow into a larger enterprise in the years to come.