Summer is in full swing, which means it’s time for vacation, travel, pool time, and hopefully a little bit of rest and relaxation. If you’re looking for a good book to get you through the rest of the summer, here are some recommendations from the B.A. Rudolph Foundation. This is a compilation of suggested reads by past scholars, as well as things we liked too!

A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren

An unlikely political star tells the inspiring story of the two-decade journey that taught her how Washington really works—and really doesn’t. In this passionate, funny, rabble-rousing book, Warren shows why she has chosen to fight tooth and nail for the middle class—and why she has become a hero to all those who believe that America’s government can and must do better for working families.

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Now a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.

Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong by Jessica Bacal

In Mistakes I Made at Work, Jessica Bacal interviews twenty-five successful women about their toughest on-the-job moments. These innovators across a variety of fields – from the arts to finance to tech – reveal that they’re more thoughtful, purposeful and assertive as leaders because they learned from their mistakes, not because they never made any.

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg never asked for fame—she was just trying to make the world a little better and a little freer. But along the way, the feminist pioneer’s searing dissents and steely strength have inspired millions. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, created by the young lawyer who began the Internet sensation and an award-winning journalist, takes you behind the myth for an intimate, irreverent look at the justice’s life and work. As America struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stays fierce.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love. The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

The Spy by Paulo Coelho

In his new novel, Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of The Alchemist and Adultery, brings to life one of history’s most enigmatic women: Mata Hari. When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Within months she was the most celebrated woman in the city.  As a dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she bewitched the era’s richest and most powerful men.  But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari’s lifestyle brought her under suspicion. In 1917, she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees, and accused of espionage. Told in Mata Hari’s voice through her final letter, The Spy is the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to defy convention and who paid the ultimate price.

Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders by Alice H. Eagly, Linda L. Carli

Despite real progress, women remain are rare enough in elite positions of power that their presence still evokes a sense of wonder. In Through the Labyrinth, Alice Eagly and Linda Carli examine why women’s paths to power remain difficult to traverse and addresses such critical questions as: “How far have women actually come as leaders? Do stereotypes and prejudices still limit women’s opportunities? Do people resist women’s leadership more than men’s? And, do organisations create obstacles to women who would be leaders?”

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Abraham Verghese

For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question, “What makes a life worth living? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away?” These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Women Will Save the World by Caroline A. Shearer et. al

Women Will Save the World features dozens of essays from prominent, modern-day women (an Olympian, Billboard-topping musician, visionary media professionals, artists, authors, and more!); profiles of historical women, such as Mother Teresa, Harriet Tubman, and Anne Frank, each who contributed to saving the world; and a historical timeline demonstrating how women already have saved the world in myriad ways.

For more books, visit to our bookshelf on GoodReads.

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