Savage Summit: The Life and Death of the First Women of K2 by Jennifer Jordan (2005). Wanda Rutkiewicz. Alison Hargreaves. Chantal Mauduit. Julie Tullis. Liliane Barrard. Deeply different women who entered the male-dominated world of the 8,000-meter mountaineers and died while pursuing their passion. Jordan does a nice job of discussing their lives in and outside of climbing.
Wynn in Doubt by Emily Hemmer (2014). Wynn isn’t living the life she expected, at all, which is only highlighted when her high-school crush, now a famous musician, returns to their hometown. Family obligations always seemed to keep Wynn from pursuing her own dreams. Now that her beloved grandma is dead, Wynn discovers that her great-grandmother didn’t die when Grandma was little, like Wynn always believed. No, Wynn’s great-grandmother had a life beyond the one with her child and husband. While exploring the mystery of what happened to her great-grandmother, does Wynn find a way to live her own life, too?
The Lover by Marguerite Duras (1984). I return to this book every few years for the dream-like quality of Duras’ writing in this semi-autobiographical story of a young French girl in 1930s Indochina (later Vietnam) in an affair with a Chinese millionaire’s son. I think my harsh judgment of her mother, particularly her tolerant support of the affair between her fifteen-year-old daughter and a twenty-seven-year-old man, only increases each time I read the book. The story was made into a movie in 1992.