Books Celebrating Women by Women

Best books by women
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Books Celebrating Women by Women

For  Womens History Month and International Womens Day, grab a book and learn about women past and present. Written by women about women, learn about history makers, pioneers, explorers and more in this guide of the best books by women about women.

Memoirs by Women 

Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948  by Madeleine Albright

Learn about the early history of Madeleine Albright, the former U.S. Secretary of State and first female Secretary of State in the U.S. Her family immigrated to the U.S.  from Yugoslavia after WWII. In this personal account, learn about WWII and Yugoslavian history before and during the war.

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Things I Learned from Falling: A Memoir  by Claire Nelson

Imagine taking a solo hike in Southern California then slipping, falling and shattering your pelvis. It happened to Claire Nelson and she tells the tale of her time lying on her back immobile in Joshua Tree National Park in the sun for days.

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Out of Africa (Modern Library 100 Best Nonfiction Books) by Isak Dinesen

In the 1920s Karen Blixen owned a coffee plantation in British East Africa (now Kenya). Learn about the people who lived with her on the farm as well as life in Africa in the 1920s. Many consider this book the best of life in Africa.

Travels with Myself and Another: A Memoir  by Martha Gellhorn

Read the autobiographic account detailing Gellhorn’s travels during her Ernest Hemingway years. As his travel companion and third wife, Martha Gellhorn was a notable wartime travel journalist during and after their marriage. 

Learn about the power character who walked away from one of the most notable writers of the 20th century.

All Over the Map: A Memoir by Laura Fraser 

At a crossroads in life and love, Fraser navigates the ups and downs of her life. Walk with her through the seasons and on her trips as a professional writer. Revel in her metamorphosis in a new land with a new start.

Women You Should Know More About

Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan by Shrabani Basu

Learn bout Noor Inayat Khan, or Madeleine as she was called in France.  Born in Moscow to an Indian spiritual leader father and an American mother she lived the majority of her life in France. She moved to Britain during WWII and was trained to be a British Secret Agent. She is her life.

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Books about Female Explorers

The Girl Explorers: The Untold Story of the Globetrotting Women Who Trekked, Flew, and Fought Their Way Around the World by Jayne Zanglein

Romp through history as a group of trailblazing women created their destiny over a century ago. In the 1920s a group of women set out to create a home for female adventurers and explorers.

With a professional network, the group created a  support system for members of the Society of Woman Geographers. Blair Niles, a world traveler, took the lead along with other founding members. Learn about Margaret Mead, Te Ata, Annie Smith Peck, and Amelia Earhart with detailed accounts of their accomplishments  in and outside of the society.

Queen of the Mountaineers: The Trailblazing Life of Fanny Bullock Workman by Cathryn J. Prince

Learn about Fanny Bullock Workman, a Victorian woman who climbed in heeled boots and long culottes through the Himalayas.

She defied stringent stereotypes while mapping the tallest mountain peaks. Get all the details of mountain climbing in the Victorian era, like guides, tents and what she ate.

Llama Drama: A two-woman, 5,500-mile cycling adventure through South America  by Anna McNuff

Grab your bike shorts and saddle up your road bike with your best girlfriend as you cycle across South America. Or if that sounds like a bit too much, read this book instead.

Packed with quirky details along with life lessons abound, it’s an upbeat read without the uphill cycling. Read by the author.

Top Historical Fiction about Women 

Circling the Sun: A Novel by Paula McLain 

Born in Africa, Beryl Markham worked as a horse trainer then became an pioneer aviator. Author McLain illustrates Markham’s complicated life in historical fiction book. 

Markham is also credited as the first woman to fly across the Atlantic from east-to-west. She also became entangled with Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen who wrote Out of Africa in this captivating read.

Love and Ruin: A Novel by Paula McLain

Another historical fiction book by Paula McLain detailing the life of Martha Gellhorn, famed wartime journalist and Ernest Hemingway’s third wife. From the start of their relationship at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War to their time in Cuba. Visit exotic locales like Spain and Cuba as their careers ebb and flow. 

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

It’s the story of the iconic Scarlet O’Hara as she survives the ravages of the American Civil War in the South. Met Rhett Bulter along with Melanie Wilkes as she stays one step ahead in the game of survival. It’s an iconic book that’s captivating as it is long.

Top Female Fiction Writers

Outlander: A Novel (Outlander, Book 1) by Diana Gabaldon

Set over several centuries, WWII nurse Claire Randall falls through a hole in time to 18th-century Scotland at a pivotal time its history. She falls in with the Frazier clan and eventually marries Jamie Frazier in the first of eight novels. 

Imperial Woman by Pearl S. Buck 

Author Pearl Buck lived in China for years when her parents worked at missionaries. After returning to the U.S., she wrote books that illustrated the rich cultural heritage of China. She was also a member of the Society of Woman Geographers. 

In Imperial Woman walk through the life of Empress Dowager Cixi, the fictional last Empress of China. Starting her royal life as a concubine, she used cunning to become and stay the Empress through a turbulent time in China’s history.

Play It as It Lays (FSG Classics) by Joan Didion

Divorced and living in Los Angeles, Maria Wyeth describes her life with a knife-sharp realism. From a Nevada ghost town to a NYC model to a LA actress ride along with Wyeth on the freeways of Southern California as she unravels. 

It’s a hard book to set down. A New York Times Best Seller and Time Magazine’s 100 Best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005.

More Book Lists 

Best Books about France 
Best Books about the U.S. National Parks
Books for the Hemingway Lover 
Books to Inspire Travel 

This post contains affiliate links. Some books were received for review purposes.

Read a book by women about women for Women's History Month. Learn about aviators, mountain climbers, explorers and more. Find fiction, historical fiction, autobiographies and nonfiction written by women. Also find classics, top sellers and more in this list of the Best Books by Women. Best Nonfiction by Women | Best female autobiographies | Books to read for Women's History Month #FemaleAuthors #Books
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Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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