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10 Alberta Books by Women to Read This Month

The Read Alberta team has put together a list of ten Alberta books by women to read for Women’s History Month—but make no mistake, these books deserve to be read year-round! Featuring memoirs, novels, anthologies, history books, and cultural explorations, all of these titles celebrate women’s lived experiences and impact on our past and present. Head to your local independent bookstore or public library to pick up the titles on this list and maybe a few others as well—we succumb to impulse purchases as well! 

Pourin’ Down Rain

by Cheryl Foggo

In this beautiful, moving thirtieth anniversary edition of Cheryl Foggo’s landmark work about growing up Black on the Canadian prairies, she celebrates the Black experience and Black resiliency on the prairies. Pourin’ Down Rain: A Black Woman Claims Her Place in the Canadian West is a previous Alberta Reads Book Club pick, and we can’t recommend it enough.

Pourin’ Down Rain: A Black Woman Claims Her Place in the Canadian West

Cheryl Foggo (CA)

Published: Jan 24, 2020 by Brush Education
ISBN: 9781550598339

Taken by the Muse

by Anne Wheeler

Laced with humour and revelation, Anne Wheeler’s creative non-fiction stories tell of her serendipitous journey in the seventies, when she broke with tradition and found her own way to becoming a filmmaker and raconteur. Anne Wheeler is a guest at Star Fest— view the full lineup of the virtual festival here.

Taken by the Muse: On the Path to Becoming a Filmmaker

Anne Wheeler (CA)

Published: Oct 15, 2020 by NeWest Press
ISBN: 9781774390016

One Madder Woman

by Dede Crane

This novel explores the life and times of Berthe Morisot, the sole woman in the group of Parisian artists who first became known as the Impressionists. At a time when art was a space completely dominated by men, Morisot upends all expectations of what a “proper woman” should be. This title has received high praise, including the Lois Hole Award for Editorial Excellence at the 2021 Alberta Book Publishing Awards!

One Madder Woman

Dede Crane (CA)

Published: Sep 15, 2020 by Freehand Books
ISBN: 9781988298689

Mother Earth Plants for Health & Beauty

by Carrie Armstrong

The recipes and traditions found in this book reflect the culture and the knowledge of the Medicine Wheel and are based on Carrie’s grandmother’s deep understanding of traditional plants and their use. For an in-depth look at how this book became a great success, read our case study. 

Mother Earth Plants for Health & Beauty

Carrie Armstrong

Published: Dec 01, 2020 by Eschia Books
ISBN: 9781926696645

Be Free

by Angela deJong

This collection of personal travel essays takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride across Africa as seen through the eyes of a solo female backpacker. With each uncomfortable circumstance and every mistake the author encounters, there is growth.

Be Free: Mountains, Mishaps, and Miracles in Africa

Angela deJong (CA)

Published: Sep 27, 2021 by RMB | Rocky Mountain Books
ISBN: 9781771605175

Stories of Métis Women

edited by Bailey Oster & Marilyn Lizee 

Stories of Métis Women: Tales My Kookum Told Me is a collection of stories about culture, history, and nationhood as told by Métis women. In this era of reconciliation, this title explains the story of the Métis Nation from the women’s own perspective. Since its release, Stories of Métis Women has regularly featured on the Alberta and Edmonton bestseller lists!

Stories of Métis Women: Tales My Kookum Told Me

Bailey Oster (CA)

Published: Aug 15, 2021 by Durvile Publications
ISBN: 9781988824215

You Look Good for Your Age

edited by Rona Altrows

Through essays, short stories, and poetry, twenty-nine contributing writers share their distinct opinions, impressions, and speculations on aging and ageism and their own growth as people. Read Alberta interviewed Rona Altrows, the editor of this collection— read it here.

You Look Good for Your Age: An Anthology

Published: May 03, 2021 by The University of Alberta Press
ISBN: 9781772125320

Censorettes

by Elizabeth Bales Frank

Censorettes is a novel about a young group of British women who read and monitored postal correspondence for hidden Nazi influences. This impactful book featuring strong female friendships is a deep dive into a little-known piece of our feminist history. 

Censorettes

Elizabeth Frank

Published: Nov 05, 2020 by Stonehouse Publishing
ISBN: 9781988754321

Meena’s Story: Flight to Freedom

by Swapna Gupta

Based on true events around the India-Pakistan partition in 1947, Swapna Gupta’s debut novel traces the life of a young English woman and her Muslim husband. From the husband’s death in Pakistan, the story becomes her daughter Meena’s recollection of the traumatic death and her own personal struggles and challenges in India and finally in Canada.

Meena’s Story: Flight to Freedom

Published: Oct 15, 2020 by Bayeux Arts, Inc.
ISBN: 9781988440507

Ranching Women in Southern Alberta

by Rachel Herbert

Women have always played an integral part in the cattle industry, often working without recognition or support to meet the challenge of the frontier. In Ranching Women in Southern Alberta, author Rachel Herbert examines the realities of women’s lives on family ranches.

Ranching Women in Southern Alberta

Rachel Herbert (CA)

Published: Sep 29, 2017 by University of Calgary Press
ISBN: 9781552389119