It’s no secret that I read a lot of nonfiction. And one thing I’ve been trying to read more of is nonfiction written by women. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of great nonfiction out there written by men, including some amazing biographies of women or books that tackle feminist issues (looking at you, Catch & Kill). But female writers deserve their fair share of the pie, and I’m an equal opportunity reader. So, in honor of Women’s History Month, I thought I’d recommend some nonficiton books I love that were written by women, about women.
The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates. The second I came up with the idea for this post, I knew this book had to be included. It’s absolutely brilliant, and I think everyone should read it. Through her experience in helping women around the world, Gates has learned just how big an impact empowering women has not just on women, but on all people. This book proves just how making women’s lives better makes the entire world a better place. It’s absolutely worth reading, especially if women’s issues are something you’re interested in learning more about.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. If you read one book off this list, make it this one. It’s a very short book (I think I read it in about half an hour) all about how important feminism is. It’s literally the idea that women should be equal to men. Which is not that hard, people. It illustrates how society is still skewed towards men, and why feminism and equality is still something we need to work towards. We really all should be feminists. Period.
Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory by Lydia Reeder. This book is a little bit out of my comfort zone, because I am not a sports person. At all. But I’m glad I picked it up, because it was an interesting look at how women’s basketball really began. It’s kind of like A League of Their Own, but not baseball. While I’m not too invested in sports, I did like the discussion of feminist issues that arose when women started playing “a man’s sport”. Like if they should be allowed to wear shorts. If you’re a basketball fan, I would definitely recommend this one.
Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon. I’ve read a lot of great biographies of women (still obsessed with Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie). But when I look back on the biographies I’ve read about female figures, written by women, this one stands out. I love both Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley. I mean, they’re literally the mother of feminism and the inventor of science fiction, respectively. What is not to love? Naturally, I really loved learning all about their lives (which were even more interesting than Frankenstein). I thought this book did a great job of showing how the lives of mother and daughter intersected, despite them never really knowing each other.
Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir. Are reality shows a guilty pleasure of yours? (Don’t worry, I’m not judging – I just binge-watched Love is Blind, too.) Then let me introduce you to The Real (Royal) Housewives of Medieval England! Seriously, the stories in this book are so batshit-crazy entertaining, you won’t believe this is a history book. If anyone tells me history is boring, this is the book I would throw in their face (along with the aforementioned biography of Catherine the Great, because she was one badass lady). I guess when TV hasn’t been invented, you have to invent real drama, and these women had that going in spades. This is the first in a series about England’s Medieval Queens, and I have never been so excited for the release of a history book (the second one is scheduled for release later this year, and I need it).
Have you read any great nonfiction books about women, written by women? Leave your recommendations in the comments! I could always use more books to add to my TBR.
Also check out: Female Authors I’m Currently Obsessed With