Here are five of the latest and greatest books published with female readers in mind. Four of these books are short, fewer than 200 pages. "Sisters of the Earth" is a little longer, but it, like the others, is worth the time it takes to read.HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT; by Whitney Otto; Random House; $18.
This is an intricately crafted novel. Whitney Otto creates fascinating fiction out of scraps of history, some quilting directions, and bits and pieces of the lives of eight women in a small-town quilting circle.Stories of sorrow, joy, loss and recovery are stitched together beautifully under Otto's sure hand.GIVING AWAY SUCCESS: WHY WOMEN GET STUCK AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT; by Susan Schen-kel; Random House; $17.95.
Clinical psychologist Susan Schen-kel gives us a clearly written summary of pop psychology as it applies to women in business.
Schenkel explains how we women learn to be helpless, fear success, fear failure and in general have quite a bit going against us.
However, there's hope. In the second half of her book she details how we can get unstuck.
Change isn't that difficult, Schenkel says. Our behaviors are like a line of dominoes. Once we slap down one bad habit, the others fall quite easily.101 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR CHILD FEEL SPECIAL; by Vicki Lansky; Contemporary Books; $5.95.
Stumped for a new way to tell your child, "I love you"?
Try pushing your child in a swing for as long as she wants to ride (or at least longer than you really feel like doing it).
Or dance with him while he stands on top of your feet. Or help your child write a story, then bind it into a permanent book with stiff covers.
Or buy a tree, bush or perennial and plant it to celebrate a special occasion.
Vicki Lansky's book is simple, uplifting and full of concrete ideas.ARE WE WINNING YET? HOW WOMEN ARE CHANGING SPORTS AND SPORTS ARE CHANGING WOMEN; by Mariah Burton Nelson; Random House; $20.
Mariah Burton Nelson, who now writes for the Washington Post, played college basketball at Stanford and professional basketball in Europe. She gives us exactly what we might expect from someone who is both an athlete and a journalist: A well-written, insider's view of women's sports.
"Are We Winning Yet?" raises some excellent questions. Like, "Why do the best female athletes have male coaches?" and "Why aren't there any women holding the top posts in athletic administration in American universities?" and "What are the strengths of female coaches and athletes?" and "Why don't we demand more humane and supportive coaches for our sons and daughters?"SISTERS OF THE EARTH; edited by Lorraine Anderson; Vintage Books-Random House; in paperback, $13.
Poems, short stories, essays and excerpts from novels - celebrations of nature, all written by women - are brought together for the first time by Lorraine Anderson. Works by Willa Cather, Alice Walker, Rachel Carson, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Emily Dickenson, Terry Tempest Williams, May Swenson and many others remind us of who we are, where we came from and how we are healed.
Writes Susan Griffin, "The earth is my sister. I love her daily grace, her silent daring. And how loved I am . . . ."