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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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