Celebrating Women’s History Month with HPB’s Leading Ladies

Since March is Women’s History Month, we thought it would be a great time to check in with some of our fearless female leaders here at Half Price Books. They spoke with us about the women who’ve inspired them in literature, music and their personal lives.

Sharon Anderson Wright, President and CEO

SharonAWright2Favorite female authorBarbara Kingsolver

Dream book club guest – My mother, Pat Anderson (and co-founder of Half Price Books)

Favorite female musician – I can’t pick just one, so I’ll say Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt and Carole King.

Which woman has inspired you the most in your personal life? Kathy Doyle Thomas, HPB’s Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer.

Ellen O’Neal, Chairperson of the Board

Ellen O'Neal2Favorite female author – My favorite author is Alice Munro. Her characters are historical, but she never implies that. There is a short story about ice skating on a barren pond that makes me feel the cold and loneliness she is conveying in her writing. But I also like other Alices – Adams, Hoffman and Walker.

Favorite female musicianJoni Mitchell, of course. An episode of Parenthood referred to the 9th song on the Blue album. I just started singing Case of You. I also love Adele because of her wisecracking and normal looks/ clothing.

Which woman has inspired you the most in your personal life? My mom, Pat Anderson, is my favorite woman. We laughed together so much when I was an adult. I remember things she said like “Men are like buses, when you miss one, another comes along.” I know she didn’t write it, but when she said it when you were feeling heartbroken, it just made you laugh and fall in love again.

Kathy Doyle Thomas, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer

Kathy Doyle Thomas2Favorite female author – I’d have to say J.K. Rowling because she influenced so many new readers, both young and old.

Dream book club guestCoco Chanel. She is a fashion icon, and, at the time, her new refreshing style liberated women from wearing corsets.  She lived a fun, wild life full of romance and intrigue. Plus, she was a great businesswoman who achieved success in the 1920s when women usually stayed home and cared for their families.

Favorite quote – I have a few.
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” –Ayn Rand
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

Favorite female musician – I’d say Tina Turner and Loretta Lynn. They remind me of high school and make me smile.

Which woman has inspired you the most in your personal life? My mom – not because she was a career woman, but because she always pushed me to push myself.

Crystal Reyes, Director of Sales & Wholesale Operations, Texas Bookman

0Favorite female author – I’m going to say J.K. Rowling.  Sure, she created an entire universe with Harry Potter that has transcended beyond books, but the real reason is because she never gave up her dream of writing that first book even after being told no multiple times.  It just proves that you don’t give up if it’s something you really want to do.

Dream book club guest – I have no idea!  As long as they are entertaining and fun to be around, they can always come to my book club.

Favorite quote – “A well-read woman is a dangerous creature.” – Lisa Kleypas

Favorite female musician – I absolutely cannot pick one, so I’ll say Chrissie Hynde, Patti Smith and Kim Deal.  If you have to even ask why these are on my list you should just go and buy some records right this moment.

Which woman has inspired you the most in your personal life? She’s not a woman yet, but my daughter.  In just a few short years of being with us, she’s taught me how to love unconditionally, how to be kind both to all animals and people you cross paths with in life, how to find the humor in nearly every situation and how incredibly exciting seeing a fire truck can actually be.  She’s taught me to find joy in the little things we tend to overlook in our busy lives.  I’m eternally grateful for her personality and spirit.

Monica Schultz, Texas Regional Manager

Monica Schultz2Favorite female author – It’s a three way tie between Gertrude Stein, Margaret Atwood and Jeanette Winterson. I guess Gertrude. I love her writing style.

Dream book club guestJane Goodall. Her life work inspires me and she seems to possess such wisdom. She is my hero.

Favorite quote – “The day may be approaching when the whole world will recognize woman as the equal of man.” Susan B. Anthony

Favorite female musician – It’s a tie between Joan Armatrading and Aimee Mann.

Which woman has inspired you the most in your personal life? My Aunts Susan and Molly continue to inspire me to this day, even as they are in their 80s. They inspire me to live adventurously, with lots of humor and not to take yourself too seriously. One day I hope to realize it.

Nancy Woeste – Northeast Regional Manager

Nancy Woeste2Favorite female authorTemple Grandin – Animals in Translation

Dream book club guest – I am truly torn about this, as there are so many amazing women throughout history.  In the end, I would invite Nellie Bly. She led a phenomenal life defying the constraints put on women during her time, and even in today’s society she would be a stand out individual. I would love to hear the tales she could tell.

Favorite quote – “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” – Katherine Hepburn

Favorite female musician – If I have to choose just one, then it would be Adele.

Which woman has inspired you the most in your personal life? My mother. The strength and courage she possessed to raise 9 successful children by herself after the death of my father has always amazed me.

Allyson Bradley, Vice President of Marketing, Visual Merchandising and Creative

Allyson BradleyFavorite female authorBarbara Kingsolver

Dream book club guestNora Ephron, to have a good laugh.

Favorite quote – “In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman.” Margaret Thatcher

Favorite female musicianPatsy Cline

Which woman has inspired you the most in your personal life? My mother.

What about you? Let us know some of your favorite leading ladies in books and music in the comments!

One thought on “Celebrating Women’s History Month with HPB’s Leading Ladies

  1. M. Marshall, regular HPB customer:
    Favorite Female Author: James Tiptree Jr., A.K.A. Alice Sheldon. Before and after her identity was revealed, she challenged people’s perceptions of how men and women write with her blend of soft and hard science fiction.
    Dream Book Club Guest: Pamela Sargent because she made an effort to prove that women write/read science fiction with her wonderful “Women of Wonder” series.
    Favorite Quote: “There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. Might as well speak of a female liver.” – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
    Favorite Female Musician: Janis Joplin and The Runaways
    Which woman has inspired you the most in your personal life: “Strong girls come from families with strong mothers.” – Dr. Mary Pipher “Reviving Ophelia”

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