first image


Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

March is a Great Month to Read about...


March - In like a lion out like a lamb. It fits for the winter we’ve had. This month we’ll celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and many of us will begin Lent. Let’s think spring and hopefully see some green as we contemplate the winter thaw. March is a great month to read books written by women.

Here are a few books to keep you focused and ready for warmer things. In honor of Women’s History Month, I’m featuring some important books written by women and a few great books about women who were trailblazers and innovators.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen - Jessica is looking to make some quick cash by participating in a psychological study about ethics and morality. What happens when the experiment seems to spill over into her life and the lines between hypothetical situations and real life occurrences become hopelessly blurred?

The Spring Girls: A Modern-Day Retelling of Little Women by Anna Todd – The Spring sisters like the March sisters must deal with love, war, social expectations, teenaged angst and family, but they do so on a military base in New Orleans in the 21st Century. I wonder what Louisa May Alcott would think.

The Girls of Ennismore by Patricia Falvey – set during the years leading up to the Great War and through the Irish Rebellion, Falvey weaves a tale about two girls who defy convention and the rules of a rigidly classified social order and become lifelong friends.

Himself by Jess Kidd – Mahoney was an infant when he was left on the steps of an orphanage in Ireland. He grew up assuming his mother abandoned him until he heard a rumor in a bar that his mother had met with foul play. Determined to discover the truth he returns to the tiny village of his birth and enlists the help of some unexpected citizens some from beyond the grave.



Women Warriors: An Unexpected History by Pamela d. Toler – Tomyris, Boudica, The Trang Sisters, Amina of Hausa, the Joshigun, Lakshmi Bai, Maria Bochkareva, Buffalo Calf Road Woman, and Juana Azurduy de Padilla… how many of these names do you know? Toler has carefully researched world history to uncover the stories of these women who defied tradition and laws to face their enemies on the battlefield often disguised as men. Toler tells their stories…why they battled and how they managed to fool their fellow soldiers.

The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore – Using historical documents and the private papers by William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman, Lepore traces Marston’s inspiration for the character through his admiration for female suffragists and presents a unique history of the women’s movement.

The Book of Awesome Women: Boundary Breakers, Freedom Fighters, Sheroes and Female Firsts b Becca Anderson – read about women whose “super powers” aren’t always recognized in the history books and a few that are.


Silent Spring by Rachel Carson – read the groundbreaking work that was instrumental in creating the environmental movement.

Political Fictions by Joan Didion – Didion looks at the American political process through three presidential campaigns, an impeachment and a major sex scandal.

The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou by Maya Angelou – this work contains six of her books, I Know why the Caged Bird Sings, Gather Together in my Name, Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry like Christmas, The Heart of a Woman, All God’s Children Ned Traveling Shoes, and A Song Flung up to Heaven.

Travels with Myself and Another: A Memoir by Martha Gellhorn – Gellhorn was a war correspondent when women were expected to stay home, clean the house and have dinner on the table when their husband came home from work. She lived for a time in the White House with Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, bewitched Ernest Hemingway and became his wife for a time. She and Hemingway lived as ex-pats in Cuba. A fascinating woman with equally fascinating stories

Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray - A Review by Fran Joyce

March Reads for Kids and Young Adults