Women’s Reading Book List
Complied by Presbyterian Women, a new list each year of high quality fiction and non-fiction books is available in the FHPC library. These books are added to the library collection when funds are available. Donations are always welcome. The library serves all of the church family.
Librarian: Barbara Oakeson &
Vivian Virden


The criteria for the selection of the books were: to enlighten our minds, to
nourish our spirits, to challenge our consciences, to entertain us. As you
choose which ones you will read, we hope we have met these goals, not
all of them in one book, but in the whole of them.


Still Life Louise Penny. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du
Quebec and his investigators are called to the scene of a murder in Three Pines,
a mystical rural village south of Montreal. People of many diverse personalities
populate Three Pines. They live in serenity while at the same time help in
various degrees to solve murders. Still Life and the books that follow are
delightful, refreshing, and inspiring.

The Personal History of Rachel DuPree Ann Weisgarber tells the

little-known history of African American homesteaders in the Badlands of

South Dakota. Rachel, while working in a boarding house in Chicago, falls in

love with the owner’s son. He promises to marry her if she will claim the

160 acres from the Homestead Act and give it to him to double

their share. As homesteads begin to fail Rachel’s husband demands

great sacrifice from her.

Flight of the Sparrow Ann Belding Brown. Based on the true
story of Mary Rowlandson, the novel takes place in early America. With her
home destroyed and her children lost, Mary is sold into slavery to a woman
tribal leader. Mary had sometimes found herself in conflict with her rigid
Puritan community. Living and suffering with the tribes, she finds a way of
life that is more loving and joyful than her former life.
Small Great Things Jodi Picoult. Ruth Jefferson, an experienced labor and
delivery nurse, begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few
minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another infant. The parents of the
baby are white supremacist who don’ want a black woman to touch their baby.
The hospital complies with their orders. When the baby goes into cardiac
arrest Ruth is blamed.
Before We Were Yours Lisa Wingate. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four
younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shanty
boat. When their father must rush their mother to the hospital one story night,
Rill is left in charge. Before long officials arrive and take them to a Tennessee
Children’s Home Society orphanage. The facility’s director is cruel and dishonest
so Rill has to fight to keep her sisters and brother together. The novel is based
on one of America’ most notorious real-life scandals.
The Practice House Laura McNeal. Nineteen-year-old Aldine McKenna lives
with her sister and aunt in a Scottish village in 1929 when two Mormon
missionaries ring the doorbell. Aldine’s sister marries one of them and moves
to America. Aldine follows, hoping to find the life she’s meant to lead and the
person she’s meant to love. In New York, Aldine answers an ad soliciting a
teacher for a one room school house in a place she cannot possible
imagine in drought-stricken Kansas. With no money and too much pride to
turn back, she lives uneasily with the family Ansel Price, the
charming, optimistic man who placed the ad.


The Knitting Circle Ann Hood After the sudden loss of her only child,
Mary Baxter joins a knitting circle as a way to fill the empty hours and lonely days.
The women welcome her, each teaching Mary a new knitting technique and,
as they do, revealing their own personal stories of loss, love, and
hope. Eventually Mary is able to tell her own story of grief
and in so doing reclaims her love for her husband.





The Nazi Officer’s Wife Edith Hahn Beer. Edith was a young
Jewish woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into
a slave labor camp. After her release she went into hiding where she met and
married a Nazi officer. Despite the risk it posed to her life, Edith created a
remarkable record of survival saving every document and the photographs
she took inside labor camps. These documents are now part of the permanent collection at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C..
Several of them are included in this book.
Five Presidents Clint Hill. Secret Service agent Clint ill brings history to life
as he reflects on his seventeen years protecting five presidents of the United
States. Hill sheds new light on the character and personality of these five
presidents, revealing their humanity in the face of grave decisions.
Sipping from the Nile Jean Naggar. Naggar describes her life as a
privileged, protected child in 1950’s Egypt. The nationalizing of the Suez Canal
changed her life forever. Her family is quickly scattered far and wide. Naggar
traces her personal journey through lost worlds and difficult transitions.
I Was Told to Come Alone Souad Mekhennet. For her whole life Souad, born
and educated in Germany, had to balance the two sides of her upbringing – Muslim and Western. We accompany her, a reporter for the Washing Post, as she journeys behind the lines of jihad. In her travels across the Middle East and North Africa, she documents her chilling run-ins with various intelligence services.
Dream Land Sam Quinones. The author weaves together the stories of young
men from Mexico, who sell black tar heroin in America and the story of Purdue
Pharma, a company determined to corner the market on pain with its new and expensive miracle drug, Oxycontin. Embroiled alongside the suppliers and buyers
are DEA agents, local, small-town sheriffs, and the US attorney from eastern
Virginia who brought the case against Purdue Pharma and Oxycontin.
Clementine Sonia Purnell. “Clementine” tells the fascinating story of a
complex woman struggling to maintain her own identity while serving as the conscience and principal adviser to one of the most important figures in history.
By Winston Churchill’s own admission, victory in the Second World War would
have been impossible without her. Born into impecunious aristocracy, the young Clementine was the target of cruel snobbery. Many wondered why Winston
married her, but their marriage proved to be an exceptional partnership.

Mozart’s Starling Lyanda Lynn Haupt. On May 27, 1784, as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart walked past a pet store he heard a bird singing the melody from

his Piano Concerto Number 17 in G. He bought the starling who became

a member of the Mozart family for three years. In 2013, Haupt rescued

her own starling, Carmen. In this book Haupt explores the unlikely bond

between one of history’s most controversial characters and one of

history’s most notoriously disliked birds.