8 Non-Fiction Books About Women, by Women

Women are AMAZING!! 

Unfortunately, women’s stories and her-story (as opposed to his-tory) have been overlooked, dismissed as unimportant, and all too often simply never written down and/or told. It is well past time for us to delve into the lives, stories, and her-story of over half the population of the world!!

The women featured in the following book list range in time, class, geographic location, socio-economic status, culture, ethnicity, and power…all are ABSOLUTELY worth reading. I have read every one of the books on this list and have rated each one at either 4 or 5 stars. 




In this brilliantly researched book, Hallie Rubenhold brings to life the women who were daughters, mothers, wives, and friends in late Victorian England…women who were so much more than simply ‘victims of Jack the Ripper.’ 



This book blew me away! Henrietta’s story is phenomenal and Skloot goes to great lengths to honor her true story, Henrietta’s sacrifice, and the many sacrifices of her family in the years since her death.  



This book tells the her-story of the women who worked in dial factories and were daily exposed to dangerous radiation. The lives, deaths, and battles these women fought lead to many of the laws now in place that protect workers from unsafe and hazardous work places. 



Blain’s brilliantly researched and written prose bring Fannie Lou Hamer’s story to life while illuminating aspects of the Civil Rights Movement in America that oft get overlooked…the essential role of women and the importance of grass roots activism.    




Olivia Campbell delves into the brilliant, messy, and revolutionary lives of the first women in the western world to become medical doctors. The challenges these women faced came from all sides and this is their story of perseverance.  



Elizabeth Packard was placed into a state insane asylum by her husband who was displeased that her opinions did not align with his own. This book utilizes Mrs. Packard’s own writings, journals, and notes from her time in Illinois State Hospital at Jacksonville, IL to illuminate the patriarchal inequalities of American society in the mid-19th century, as well as the mistreatment of women residing in the state asylum.  



While royal women in medieval Europe are perceived as simple pawns used by men in political alliances and wars, but they also had intelligence, creativity, and ambition all their own. The daughters of the Winter Queen (Elizabeth Stuart, goddaughter of Queen Elizabeth I) had these attributes in spades and Nancy Goldstone tells us their stories!  



A royal Mughal woman who can hunt and kill tigers, serve as diplomat, issue edicts in her own name…enter Empress Nur Jahan. Ruby Lal recounts the Empress’ remarkable and legendary life in Mughal India and reminds us of the wisdom, intelligence, and compassion of powerful women.  

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