Favorite Fridays highlight media the HCDL staff recommend. Find your next favorite book, audiobook, movie, TV show, magazine, etc., here every Friday—and share your own favorites in the weekly posts’ comments!

To celebrate our country’s anniversary of national women’s suffrage, this week we’re sharing some of our librarians’ favorite books by or about fantastic females. If you’ve read any of these, share your thoughts in the comments along with your own favorite books written by female authors or featuring a strong female main character!

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

Call# Scifi Kowal

What if a meteorite hit the ocean near Washington, DC and created an extinction event that forced humankind to reach for the stars—in 1952? This excellent book by one of my personal favorite authors tells this alternate history. The space colonies now necessary to the survival of humanity require women to sustain the population, overcoming the gender hurdle faced by women at that time in our own history, and so we get the story of the “Lady Astronauts” and their journey to space. The author did her homework on female astronauts and life in space, sharing in-depth info with her fans, for this cracking read that starts off the series (HCDL Catalog, Overdrive/Libby). Want more space and social history? Read Hidden Figures, the true story of the Black female computers that got us into space in our own timeline (or check out the movie adaptation).

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

Call# Scifi Taylor

Jodi Taylor’s The Chronicles of St. Mary’s series follows the St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research and its disaster-prone historians who investigate major historical events in contemporary time— they prefer not to label their work as “time travel,” though that is in essence what they’re doing. The first book follows new recruit Madeleine Maxwell, who goes by Max, as she discovers the consequences of meddling with the timeline—even accidentally. Max, the series’ main character, is a short ginger historian who is interested in ancient civilizations, is incredibly hotheaded, and has an addiction to chocolate. Max’s unfamiliarity with the strange workings of St. Mary’s helps ease the reader into figuring out just what the heck is going on at that institute. Spoiler: most of the historians employed at the Institute don’t know the answer to that either.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Call# Fiction Ng

Welcome to Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland where everything feels planned and perfect. Elena Richardson, the matriarch of her little suburban family, is thriving in this environment and making absolutely certain her teenage children do too (whether they want to or not). Until Mia Warren moves in. Mia is an artist and single mother with very different principles. Following these two strong opinionated women and their families as a controversial custody battle divides the town was enthralling. Little Fires Everywhere has also been turned into a miniseries, starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, and is streaming on Hulu (subscription required to watch).