¡Adelante! Book of the Month Reading List Archive

Many AAUW members share a love of reading, and that love, partnered with a desire to seek out books written from diverse perspectives, launched a component of AAUW’s diversity outreach program in 1996 — AAUW’s ¡Adelante! Book of the Month Club. Members, branches, and states submit titles for the club. Use this document to explore our selections from 1998 to the present.

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2014–15 ¡Adelante! Book Club List

Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug

September 2014
National Hispanic Heritage Month

Latinnovating: Green American Jobs and the Latinos Creating ThemLatinnovating: Green American Jobs and the Latinos Creating Them
By Graciela Tiscareño-Sato

Profiling 10 different career paths to becoming an environmental entrepreneur, this is the first book showcasing Latino-led innovation and entrepreneurship in the green economy. These 10 case studies across 10 sectors of our economy will inspire people to follow in these innovators’ successful footsteps and emulate these highly educated, courageous Latino leaders as they create sustainable, industrial, and social justice solutions to benefit all Americans.

Available in print and Kindle formats.


October 2014
National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The Women Who Changed Her BrainThe Woman Who Changed Her Brain: And Other Inspiring Stories of Pioneering Brain Transformation
By Barbara Arrowsmith-Young and Norman Doidge, M.D.

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young was born with severe learning disabilities that caused teachers to label her slow, stubborn — or worse. As a child, she read and wrote everything backward, struggled to process concepts in language, continually got lost, and was physically uncoordinated. But by relying on her formidable memory and iron will, she made her way to graduate school, where she chanced upon research that inspired her to invent cognitive exercises to “fix” her own brain. The Woman Who Changed Her Brain interweaves her personal tale with riveting case histories from her more than 30 years of working with both children and adults.

The Woman Who Changed Her Brain powerfully and poignantly illustrates how the lives of children and adults struggling with learning disorders can be dramatically transformed. This remarkable book by a brilliant pathbreaker deepens our understanding of how the brain works and of the brain’s profound impact on how we participate in the world. Our brains shape us, but this book offers clear and hopeful evidence of the corollary: We can shape our brains.

Available in print, Kindle, NOOK Book, and audiobook formats.

November 2014
Native American Heritage Month

The Round House: A NovelThe Round House: A Novel
By Louise Erdrich

One of the most revered novelists of our time and a brilliant chronicler of Native American life, Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family.

Riveting and suspenseful, arguably the most accessible novel to date from the creator of Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, and The Bingo Palace, Erdrich’s The Round House is a page-turning masterpiece of literary fiction — at once a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture.

The Round House won the National Book Award for fiction.

Available in print, Kindle, NOOK Book, and audiobook formats.
Submitted by Karen Rudiger, AAUW Huntsville (AL) Branch

December 2014

Calla LiliesCalla Lilies: A True Story of Four Sisters and Their Struggle to Survive Abuse, Addiction, and Poverty in America
By Kay Corbett (AAUW Member)

Calla Lilies recounts the story of four young Southern sisters living life with courage and determination despite an alcoholic birth mother who deserted them and a maternal grandmother who left them at the Salvation Army. Through all their adversities the four sisters show an amazing inner strength and resiliency. Conversations from 1994–2002 between the sisters and their stepmother reveal surprising events in real-time; their lively and impassioned personal conversations read like a novel but are absolutely true.

This book also addresses the unfairness of our legal system and its failure to rehabilitate offenders with the story of one sister who has served time in Chowchilla Women’s Prison in California after life on the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles. At the heart of this memoir is a touching love story of five women, four sisters, and their stepmother, who support each other with uncompromising loyalty and devotion.

Available in print and Kindle formats.
Submitted by Kay Corbett, AAUW Fairfax City (VA) Branch

January 2015
National Mentoring Month

What Works for WomenWhat Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know
By Joan C. Williams and Rachel Dempsey, with a forward by Anne-Marie Slaughter

An essential resource for any working woman, What Works for Women at Work is a comprehensive and insightful guide for mastering office politics as a woman. Authored by Joan C. Williams, one of the nation’s most-cited experts on women and work, and her daughter, writer Rachel Dempsey, this unique book offers a multi-generational perspective into the realities of today’s workplace. Often women receive messages that they have only themselves to blame for failing to get ahead: Negotiate more! Stop being such a wimp! Stop being such a witch! What Works for Women at Work tells women it’s not their fault. The simple fact is that office politics often benefit men over women.

Based on interviews with 127 successful working women, over half of them women of color, What Works for Women at Work presents a tool kit for getting ahead in today’s workplace.

Williams and Dempsey’s analysis of working women is nuanced and in-depth, going far beyond the traditional cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approaches of most career guides for women. Throughout the book, they weave real-life anecdotes from the women they interviewed, along with quick kernels of advice like a “New Girl Action Plan,” ways to “Take Care of Yourself,” and even “Comeback Lines” for dealing with sexual harassment and other difficult situations.

Available in print and Kindle formats.
Submitted by: Anita Greene, AAUW Wooster (OH) Branch

February 2015
Black History Month

Ebony and IvyEbony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities
By Craig Steven Wilder

A 2006 report commissioned by Brown University revealed that institution’s complex and contested involvement in slavery, setting off a controversy that leapt from the ivory tower to make headlines across the country. But Brown’s troubling past was far from unique. In Ebony and Ivy, Craig Steven Wilder, a rising star in the profession of history, lays bare uncomfortable truths about race, slavery, and the American academy.

Many of America’s revered colleges and universities — from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to Rutgers, Williams College, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill — were soaked in the sweat, the tears, and sometimes the blood of people of color. The earliest academies proclaimed their mission to Christianize the savages of North America and played a key role in white conquest. Later, the slave economy and higher education grew up together, each nurturing the other. Slavery funded colleges, built campuses, and paid the wages of professors. Enslaved Americans waited on faculty and students; academic leaders aggressively courted the support of slave owners and slave traders. Significantly, as Wilder shows, our leading universities, dependent on human bondage, became breeding grounds for the racist ideas that sustained them.

Available in print, Kindle, NOOK Book, and audiobook formats.
Submitted by Rebecca Horahan, AAUW McLean Area (VA) Branch

March 2015
Women’s History Month

My Beloved WorldMy Beloved World
By Sonia Sotomayor

The first Hispanic person and the third woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon. Now, with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting justice, she recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself.

With only television characters for her professional role models and little understanding of what was involved, she was determined to become a lawyer, a dream that would sustain her on an unlikely course, from valedictorian of her high school class to the highest honors at Princeton, Yale Law School, the New York County District Attorney’s office, private practice, and appointment to federal district court before the age of 40. Along the way we see how she was shaped by her invaluable mentors, a failed marriage, and the modern version of extended family she has created from cherished friends and their children. Through her still-astonished eyes, America’s infinite possibilities are envisioned anew in this warm and honest book, destined to become a classic of self-invention and self-discovery.

Available in print, Kindle, NOOK Book, and audiobook formats.
Submitted by Angela Love, AAUW Palm Springs (CA) Branch

April 2015
Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Crazy LoveCrazy Love
By Leslie Morgan Steiner

At 22, Leslie Morgan Steiner seemed to have it all: good looks, a Harvard diploma, a glamorous job in New York City. Plus a handsome, funny boyfriend who adored her. But behind her façade of success, this golden girl hid a dark secret. She’d made a mistake shared by millions: She fell in love with the wrong person.

At first, Leslie and Conor seemed perfect together. Then came the fights she tried to ignore: He pushed her down the stairs, choked her during an argument, and threatened her with a gun. Several times, he came close to making good on his threat to kill her. With each attack, Leslie lost another piece of herself. Why didn’t she leave? She stayed because she loved him. Gripping and utterly compelling, Crazy Love takes you inside the violent, devastating world of abusive love and makes you feel the power and powerlessness of abuse that can take place anywhere and to anyone. Crazy Love draws you in — and never lets you go.

Available in print, Kindle, NOOK Book, and audiobook formats.
Submitted by Lynne Roney, AAUW Kirkwood-Webster Groves (MO) Branch

May 2015
Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

Yellow: Race in America beyond Black and WhiteYellow: Race in America beyond Black and White
By Frank Wu

Writing in the tradition of W. E. B. Du Bois, Cornel West, and others who confronted the “color line” of the 20th century, journalist, scholar, and activist Frank H. Wu offers a unique perspective on how changing ideas of racial identity will affect race relations in the 21st century. Wu examines affirmative action, globalization, immigration, and other controversial contemporary issues through the lens of the Asian American experience. Mixing personal anecdotes, legal cases, and journalistic reporting, Wu confronts damaging Asian American stereotypes such as “the model minority” and “the perpetual foreigner.” By offering new ways of thinking about race in American society, Wu’s work dares us to make good on our great democratic experiment.

Available in print, Kindle, NOOK Book, and audiobook formats.
Submitted by Janice McKenzie, AAUW Colorado Springs (CO) Branch

June 2015
LGBT Pride Month

Redefining RealnessRedefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love, and So Much More
By Janet Mock

In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Those 2,300 words were life-altering for the People.com editor, turning her into an influential and outspoken public figure and a desperately needed voice for an often voiceless community. In these pages, she offers a bold and inspiring perspective on being young, multicultural, economically challenged, and transgender in America.

This powerful memoir follows Mock’s quest for identity, from an early, unwavering conviction about her gender to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that saw her transitioning during the tender years of high school, self-medicating with hormones at 15, and flying across the world alone for sex reassignment surgery at just 18. With unflinching honesty, Mock uses her own experience to impart vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of trans youth and brave women like herself.

Available in print, Kindle, NOOK Book, and audiobook formats.
Submitted by Laura Ruderman, AAUW Kirkland-Redmond (WA) Branch

July 2015

Daring GreatlyDaring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
By Brené Brown

Researcher and thought leader Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.

Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on 12 years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. The book that Brown’s many fans have been waiting for, Daring Greatly will spark a new spirit of truth — and trust — in our organizations, families, schools, and communities.

Available in print, Kindle, NOOK Book, and audiobook formats.
Submitted by Suzan Herskowitz, AAUW Winchester (VA) Branch

August 2015

Rocket GirlRocket Girl: The Story of Mary Sherman Morgan, America’s First Female Rocket Scientist
By George Morgan, with forward by Ashley Stroupe

In 1938, a young German rocket enthusiast named Wernher von Braun had dreams of building a rocket that could fly him to the moon. In Ray, North Dakota, a young farm girl named Mary Sherman was attending high school. In an age when girls rarely dreamed of a career in science, Mary wanted to be a chemist. A decade later the dreams of these two disparate individuals would coalesce in ways neither could have imagined.

World War II and the Cold War space race with the Russians changed the fates of both von Braun and Mary Sherman Morgan. When von Braun and other top engineers could not find a solution to the repeated failures that plagued the nascent U.S. rocket program, North American Aviation, where Sherman Morgan then worked, was given the challenge. Recognizing her talent for chemistry, company management turned the assignment over to young Mary.

While von Braun went on to become a high-profile figure in NASA’s manned space flight, Mary Sherman Morgan and her contributions fell into obscurity — until now.

Available in print, Kindle, NOOK Book, and audiobook formats.
Submitted by Pauleta Tervern, AAUW Colorado Springs (CO) Branch