Women in History: Nonfiction November

Nonfiction November Week 3

I have an affiliate relationship with Bookshop.org and Malaprop's Bookstore in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site. Read more on my affiliate page.
Nonfiction November Week 3

Welcome to Nonfiction November! Our hosts–Rennie at What’s Nonfiction?, Katie at Doing Dewey, Veronica at The Thousand Book Project, Christopher at Plucked from the Stacks, and Jaymi at The OC Book Girl–have five weeks of fun topics for us to explore. I’m writing about women in history for Veronica’s prompt:

“Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).”

I’m not a real expert by any means, but these are books I’ve read and recommend about women in history. Some are major figures, some are more obscure, but they’re all fascinating. I incidentally listed three titles in last week’s fiction/nonfiction pairings that would work for this topic too but I decided not to write about them two weeks in a row. I haven’t written reviews for many of these books but I do recommend them all.

Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights by Mikki Kendall, illustrated by A. D’Amico

The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt by Kara Cooney

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott

Adventures in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella Lucy Bird (There is some problematic language/views about Native Americans in this memoir, first published in 1879. I decided to include it because Mrs. Bird was a pioneer in travel and exploration, ultimately becoming the first woman allowed to join the Royal Geographic Society.)

Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic by Jennifer Niven

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

Becoming by Michelle Obama

That’s what I have! Which books would you add to my topic? Be sure to write your own “expert” post and link up at The Thousand Book Project!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:


  1. I love reading about women in history! The book about women undercover in the Civil War sounds awesome. I’ll echo the suggestions for A Woman of No Importance, and also Code Girls. My Beloved World is a fantastic memoir by Sonia Sotomayor. The Secret History of Wonder Woman is fascinating, and so was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

  2. I have a lot of non-fiction readers in my group of friends. I’m passing this list onto them–in fact, I’ll use it as a Christmas list guide this year. Thanks.

    I’ve read The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt, and really enjoyed it. Glad to see it on the list.

  3. I love to read stories about strong women. Many of my favorites are children’s books, including Wilma Unlimited. Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World is another good collection of stories. I’d love to read Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights.

  4. I was obsessed with Child of the Morning, Pauline Gedge’s historical novel about Hatshepsut. Back when I was a teenager, maybe even a little younger. I would love to revisit it with The Woman who would be King!

  5. I love reading about women in history and can’t believe most of the ones on your list are ones I haven’t read already! I’m reading Kate Moore’s new one (agree about Radium Girls), The Woman They Could Not Silence about Elizabeth Packard and it’s AMAZING. Highly recommend. I also recently enjoyed Ethel Rosenberg by Anne Sebba – she’s another author that does a great job telling stories about women in history.

I love to hear from you! Please contact me (menu bar, above) if you're having trouble commenting.