aftereliza's review against another edition

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5.0

This was such an easy read/listen, telling the stories of 50 exceptional women in history from across the globe, how they overcame personal struggles, societal limitations, and flourished within their field so that we may remember them today. I liked the final paragraphs at the end of each chapter, relating their stories to ones of our own, modern day scenarios. This is a book that I will revisit regularly and might purchase the full paperback soon!

crescentpages's review against another edition

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3.0

3 stars

This anthology taught me about women that I had never heard of before, so I’m very grateful for that. Ranging throughout history and encompassing a variety of different sectors, the book highlighted the achievements of many different powerful women.

The writing style wasn’t to my personal taste. It was full of cliches and text abbreviations, where I would have preferred a more subtle and less ‘in your face’ one. Despite having this younger writing style, it talked about mature topics explicitly- I felt as if the content didn’t quite fit the vibe of the writing.

I enjoyed learning about women both well-known and not so well-known, of different nationalities, races and sexualities. I recommend if you want an easy and informative read.

annayahp's review

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2.0

The key concept of reading about women in history was really good, and I learnt about a lot of women I had never heard of. But like other reviewers say this book is very much #girlboss feminism, and oversimplified and condescended throughout. Simplifying the complicated legacy of some very brutal women into a lesson for the 21st century not only undermined the story but also patronised the reader. It's pitched at a working woman audience, but it reads more like teens discovering feminism for the first time. So, if you've studied feminism more this book will likely frustrate you. I had to slog through it to finish.

If you take the book with a pinch of salt, you can get through it and learn something new. But I wouldn't seek it out. I also just finished The Philosopher Queens, which felt like it was a more mature version of this book. I'd really recommend that instead.

hajewil's review against another edition

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2.0

This book was giving me "2016 'Relatable' Quirky Hipster who unironically uses #GirlBoss when referring to any Woman in Power (even when she's problematic)" vibes

The curation of this book was incredibly diverse and I applaud the authors for it, but the life lessons which were chosen to be the takeaway were oftentimes weak or even dismissive of the featured journey and life. This would've been a richer read if the authors promoted a lesson that was more indicative of who the figure was/what the figure stood for, rather than opting for a surface-level takeaway. For example:
• For Emily Dickinson's feature, the takeaway was that one should want to be like Emily Dickinson because she was a combatant of FOMO due to how she produced many works as a result of her mental illness and grief. I had a problem with this one because there are literally more venerable traits to her than how she defeated FOMO?? This was terribly dismissive of the fact that she likely had no choice but to stay inside and ignore her "FOMO" BECAUSE OF HER MENTAL STATE. So, that's literally not even a viable takeaway without completely ignoring mental illness because FOMO implies that she stayed instead for the purpose of writing -- when in reality (lemme say this louder for the people in the back) SHE WAS HOLED IN HER HOME BECAUSE OF MENTAL ILLNESSSSSS. Maybe I'm being dramatic, but this really irked me.

• For Mekatilili Wa Menza's, the authors mentioned the personal weight of dance as her method of organizing her activist movement and the cultural weight of dance as one of the pillars of community. Even after mentioning how dance was held highly not as entertainment but as a centripetal force in community, the takeaway for Mekatilili Wa Menza's feature wasn't something like "bring people together! Stick to your beliefs! Believe in yourself," but to literally dance like "everyone's watching." It eroded the emphasis on dance from being the pillar of activism for independence and into something done for entertainment.

• Fe del Mundo's rise within a male-dominated industry plus being a pioneer in pediatrics and maternal health was simply written off as a life lesson for acknowledging that womanhood is sisterhood -- not "listen to your heart and persevere" but sisterhood because her late sister was the reason she went on the path for health and medicine.

There are more but these are the top 3 examples

zarin2007's review

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funny informative inspiring lighthearted fast-paced

3.5

booksnsocks's review against another edition

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3.0

3,5 stars

I really liked the idea behind this book, advice based on the lives of strong women, but I wasn't impressed with the execution. It's really cool that they chose both well-known and lesser-known women (and also not just women), I'll give them that, and it was also cool that they sometimes mentioned that the women weren't all that great and inspiring, but that there were some problematic aspects to their lives as well. (I do wish they'd also mentioned Coco Chanel's anti-semitic outbursts and Queen Victoria's being against feminism.) What bothered me most was the writing style. The authors tried a bit too hard to be cool and hip with their language use, which made some passages a bit awkward and uncomfortable to read. I got kind of used to the language after a while, but I believe a mention of Five Shades of Grey shook me out of it again. If I remember correctly, that book even got mentioned twice. For no good reason, really. Anyways, I also thought that some of the advice was a bit silly, like how Queen Victoria is an inspiration on how to get over loss. I mean, she dressed in black for the rest of her life after her husband died. It's all very romantic, I guess, but it might not be a very healthy way of grieving? I don't even know. Some of the advice was just a bit far-fetched. While I probably won't take this book out again for its advice, I might read some chapters again for the description of the women's lives, because some lives really interesting and inspiring.

annakr5's review against another edition

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funny informative inspiring medium-paced

4.0

hayleysreads's review

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funny lighthearted reflective slow-paced

3.0

Good selection of women throughout history so informative & a good ligh hearted read . But this book had a very shot bibiliography & I would have liked more details on each one . Also some of the ‘lessons’ you can take from the women are a bit weird, for example one chapter title is “George Elliot and Not Being Hot” 

dunneniamh's review

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4.0

There's been a trend recently of books that celebrate women of history and write little excerpts about them that reveal their place in history that's more often than not been glossed over. From 'Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls' to '21 Women of British History', the genre is starting to become vastly oversaturated- enough that it's difficult to have any kind of differentiation between these books. This one is different.
Rather than just talking about different women, this one gives you reasons why they're badass, reasons why they stood out amongst others in their fields and during the periods of time they were alive. For example- 'Mae West and body positivity' is one of my personal favourites, purely because I've done a lot of work on females in film and how they work against stereotype. This book will make you feel better about the world. It'll make you look at everyone from Coco Chanel to Frida Kahlo and examine what made those women great and how much they have in common with women of today. I think it's an excellent read for ladies of any age. It'll teach you how to win at life- but generally, just make you feel a little better about the state of the world.