A Handful of So-So Women

Last night for FHE, Murray and I headed to Borders to pick up a book about great women. We figure it's a nice thing to have on hand, but we also need it for a more immediate project we'd both like to be working on. Anyway, we figured it would be easy. Find a book called "50 Great Women" or "The 50 Greatest Women of the Twentieth Century" or something. Just anything about great women, really---as long as it had lots of pictures.

At Borders, we asked a guy for help. He checked the computer and said that they didn't have anything like that, but directed us to the Women's Studies section. There, we found some classics like The Vagina Monologues, and a book whose title was simply the C-word... not really books that had pictures (thankfully!) and not books that talked about great women.

We then headed to the history section and that was a bust. We would have hit up the biography section, but they didn't have one. Then we looked through every coffee table book section and still found nothing.

We were sure, however, that Borders was an anomaly, so we headed to Barnes & Noble, who surely would have a book on great women.

At Barnes & Noble, the employee we asked for help was very eager to help and very optimistic. "Oh yeah," he said. "I've definitely seen something like that recently."

Ten minutes later, we were still standing at the help desk as he entered in search after search. He was coming up with nothing. I finally told him that instead of 50 great women, I'd settle for a handful of so-so women. Still nothing. Murray and I decided that maybe we should just write the book since apparently it doesn't actually exist.

Our helper took us through every possible section of the store it could be in. We found a coffee table book of pin-up girls. We found a Play Boy Bunny coffee table book. We found a book called Amazing Men with a picture of Ben Kingsley on it. Great women? Nowhere to be found. Murray, at this point, was on the verge of becoming a raging feminist.

We finally found a book called something like They Changed History. It's a collection of 200 great and influential people. We figure we can possibly find about 50 good women in its pages. In the meantime, I guess we'll have to get started on our 50 Great Women book idea since apparently no one else has done it. And maybe I'll throw myself into the mix and see if anyone notices.


AzĂșcar said...

I'm so sorry that the booksellers failed you. I worked at both places and I loved it (though I loved Borders more.) If they'd paid me more, the hours weren't terrible, and it didn't have all the retail downsides, I would have worked there a long time (don't tell my parents.) I loved matching book to person, so here you go:

The 100 Greatest Women. It's a paperback.
How to be like Women of Influence: Life Lessons from 20 of the Greatest
Women Warriors, a children's book, but might do the trick anyway.
100 Greatest Women. It's a hardcover and different from the first one.
The World's Greatest Notorious Women.

I know you wanted to pick one up right then and I would have found you one. Silly inexperienced booksellers!

Don't let my efficient searching deter you from your dream. Maybe you can have the book out by next Mother's Day? I'll be first in line.

TheMoncurs said...

I saw Enchanted this weekend and Patrick Dempsey's character gives his daughter a book about great women. I don't remember the exact title..it may be that 100 Greatest Women hardback from azucar's comment. But it's kind of funny that you posted about this right after I saw that movie and thought, "I bet that book is awesome.."

Too bad it's apparently impossible to find in regular bookstores.

TheMoncurs said...

Oh, and also I'm assuming the book is real. Because Hollywood never lies or makes things up.

Cicada said...

Thanks AzĂșcar! We still are interested in finding exactly what we wanted in the first place, so those books are great places to start!

The Moncurs, we actually saw Enchanted last week and that book was partly what inspired us to go out and find one. We figured that it had to exist because it was in the movie! And we really liked the idea of sharing it with our daughter(s) some day.

Laura said...

so you comment about the Vagina Monologs. it's real!! I know you are somewhere close to me, and I think you should really take advantage of it. It plays at UVSC around Valentines. I took my husband to it last year. My sister in law has been going for years. And I myself am going to make it a tradition. We laughed, we were dumb founded, and at times we were embarrassed. But over all it's freaking amazing!! you should take Murray to it and all the women you can think of. it may be a bit over the top, or descriptive, but I was raised very LDS and I was not offended, it's just the truth, and how it really is in women lives. anyway you should partake of it, if you already haven't. and Yes I am a lurker.

FoxyJ said...

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich just published a book called "Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History" that's pretty good. It doesn't have 100 women, but it has a few that are pretty interesting.

The Holyoaks said...

I saw Enchanted, too, and was going to mention it but it looks like someone beat me to the punch. Did you like that movie? I loved it.

Bone Junior said...

Did you get the one that has all the pictures of eyes all over the front & back cover? I liked it because it has Elvis in it.

The Holyoaks said...

p.s. The book in the movie was called, "Important Women of the World." I don't think it exists because I had the same idea of getting one for my daughter and haven't been able to find it. I guess I will have to wait and purchase a special edition of your's when it's published. Will you sign it? I can get JT to autograph a napkin for you or something in return.

Aoi Sakura said...

Ooh! If you really write a book, can I help! I've always wanted to write a book about famous women (and maybe I still will; after all, it is in my blood. The book foxyj mentioned, Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History, was written by my great-aunt).

But in any case, best of luck in your search! Tell us if you find any really good ones!

natali said...

the problem is that men have been doing most of the documenting of history and they sort of forget to write about women. take scriptures for example. there are almost no women. and if there are women they are usually harlots or servants. what i am trying to say is i blame men for the lack of records of great women.