Are you looking for the best books that all women should read? Our list includes stories about those that have changed the world, became spies, and fought for women’s rights.
You will also find some page turning memoirs, investing tips, and other topics related to women.
Make sure to add these 45 to your reading list!
Written by: Jules Archer
Published: June 23rd, 2015
Jules Archer's book, Empowering Women in American History, is a great book that gives readers an insight into the lives of women who have made significant contributions to our country. The author focuses on women like Harriet Tubman, Susan B Anthony, and Elizabeth Blackwell.
This book tells the story of these genuinely revolutionary women who fought for equality despite adversity. It is inspiring to read about how they helped shape history through their strength and determination. A must-read for everyone!
>> Great books about women in history
Written by: Caroline Criado Pérez
Published: March 12th, 2019
We live in a world designed for men, and the consequences of this should not be underestimated. This isn't just a feminist issue or an equality issue - it's a human rights issue that affects everyone.
In order to fully understand how we can fix this problem, though, it's essential to first look at why it exists in the first place.
It often comes down to data bias: from transport infrastructure to technology, society has been built around male preferences and habits as opposed to those of women, resulting in gender inequality across every industry imaginable.
Written by: Cordelia Fine
Published: August 30th, 2010
Cordelia Fine's Delusions of Gender is a revealing book about the differences between biological sex and gender. Fine uses thorough research to show how society has shaped our minds into believing that men and women are inherently different.
They only seem that way due to social conditioning. This book can help people better understand what it means to be male or female by showing them that we are not as different as we think.
It also helps us realize how much power we have over ourselves and others because of society's expectations.
Written by: Malala Yousafzai
Published: October 8th, 2013
This memoir was written by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and now famous advocate for female education, Malala Yousafzai. In 2009, when she was only fifteen years old, she survived an assassination attempt from the Taliban on her way home from school.
This book is about how Malala's life was changed forever because of a blog post that she had written in response to the Taliban closing down girls' schools in Pakistan.
Since then, she has received worldwide attention and recognition as a symbol of courage and hope for women everywhere. Her story is inspiring to everyone.
>> More books about Muslim women
Written by: Maya Angelou
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a memoir telling Maya Angelou's life from her brutal childhood to adulthood. It tells of a time in America where black people were treated as second-class citizens, how she overcame those obstacles and continues to do so.
This book can teach us lessons about overcoming adversity, being brave enough to speak up against injustice, and staying true to ourselves no matter what happens.
>> More books about amazing and inspirational women
>> A list of books about social justice
Written by: Kate Moore
Published: May 2nd, 2017
In the early 1900s, there was a radium craze sweeping across America. Radium was used to make luminous paint for dials and hands-on watches, and other consumer products like lipstick, hair dye, and even a cure for diseases.
The women who worked in these factories started "glowing" because of it. Later, it was discovered radium could cause cancer because it emits radiation that destroys cells in the body.
This book focuses on the women who contracted illnesses from working with radium-based products every day for years, including those who died from cancer.
Written by: Jeanne Theoharis
Published: January 29th, 2013
Most people know of Rosa Parks because she was a civil rights activist before refusing to give up her seat on the bus. In reality, she was so much more than that, and the protest was planned, and she was specifically chosen to do it.
She was an active member of the NAACP and worked with other activists like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. it wasn't commonly known how important her role as an activist was before she refused to give up her seat on the bus.
This is a must-read for anyone that wants to see how the civil rights era in the USA.
>> More books about Martin Luther King Jr.
Written by: Liza Mundy
Published: October 10th, 2017
In a time when women were not necessarily viewed as capable of doing the same work as men, thousands of American women broke through that barrier and became code breakers during World War II.
They worked in secret within the United States government, their very existence unknown to many who worked around them at the time. This book tells their story for all to read about these women who helped the Allies win the war.
Written by: Emily Nagoski
Pages: March 3rd, 2015
In her New York Times Bestseller, Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life, Emily Nagoski discusses sex from a new perspective. She takes the reader on a journey through understanding sexuality and how it is not just a physical act but a mental one as well.
As she explains these concepts, readers will find themselves enlightened to the science behind what makes us tick regarding our sexual interests and desires. This book is an eye-opener for those misinformed about their sexualities, of all genders, and gives them valuable tools to be more fulfilled.
Written by: Rachel Ignotofsky
Published: July 26th, 2016
This book showcases fifty women who have made incredible contributions to science. It profiles women from all different backgrounds and time periods, such as Jane Goodall, Rosalind Franklin, Marie Curie, and many lesser-known women who have changed the world.
It highlights their contributions to scientific discovery as well as some of the struggles they had to overcome throughout their career. And, in addition to learning about the amazing women, there are also beautiful illustrations throughout it.
>> Find a full list of books on women scientists
Written by: Angela Saini
Published: May 30th, 2017
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, written by Angela Saini, is a book that discusses the history of science and how it has treated women.
It covers topics such as biology and evolution, neuroscience and psychology, economics and business, politics, and law. The author uses her expertise in science and journalism to give readers an unbiased look at why these sciences treat women differently than men.
She takes on some very controversial ideas about sex differences with facts from research studies to decide for yourself what makes sense to you.
Written by: Kate Harding
Published: June 27th, 2015
Rape culture is a term that refers to the normalization of sexual violence in society. Sexual assault and rape are not isolated incidents but rather pervasive and everyday expressions of male power and dominance over women.
Rape culture has been present throughout human history, but it has only recently become recognized as an important social issue.
Even as we think we've advanced in our society to treat women with more respect, Kate Harding looks at how this isn't true. An example of this is every 7 minutes is raped in the USA. Meanwhile, it also examines how the victims are often blamed instead of the rapist.
Written by: Patricia Hill Collins
Published: June 1st, 1991
In her book, Patricia Hill Collins discusses how knowledge and consciousness are essential for people to create an equal society. She looks at how racism, sexism, homophobia, and classism have been made to keep people from being empowered. In the post, she will discuss some of these topics in detail.
Using information from African American women, such as Angela Davis, Alice Walker, and others, she shows how important women are to our society and their contributions past, present, and future.
Written by: Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey
Published: September 10th, 2019
In October of 2017, the New York Times writers Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published a story about Harvey Weinstein. The article detailed how Harvey Weinstein had been sexually assaulting women for decades and could get away with it because there were no consequences.
In response, many brave women, and men, came forward about their own experiences with sexual harassment from other powerful men in Hollywood. However, it wasn't just Weinstein; it included Kevin Spacey, R. Kelly, and others.
These stories have shown the men can use their power to harass and abuse people, for years, with few repercussions.
Written by: Chanel Miller
Published: September 24th, 2019
"I want to tell you my story. I want you to know my name." This is the opening line of Know My Name, an essay written by Chanel Miller, a woman raped in college and has since become one of the most influential activists against sexual violence.
Her powerful piece details her experience with reporting her rape and how it affected her life years after.
It's an essential read that will get you thinking about your own experiences with sexual violence and what can be done to stop it from happening even more than it already does today.
Written by: Janice Kaplan
Published: February 18th, 2020
The title of this book says it all since there are so many women, who are geniuses, yet their contributions are overlooked and underappreciated. Kaplan gives examples such as when asked about people who were considered geniuses, it is almost always men, with Marie Curie being about the only woman mentioned.
Looking back through history and conversations with women such as the Nobel Prize winner Frances Arnold and others from today's world, she shows that genius from all genders needs to be recognized and respected.
Written by: Gloria Steinem
Published: October 27th, 2015
In this firsthand account, Gloria Steinem, the voice of feminism and a pioneer for women's rights, shares her life as an activist. Her memoir is full of stories, from when she was just a child to traveling around the world to meet with feminist leaders and activists, founding "Ms" magazine, and so much more.
This book gives readers insight into what it was like to live as a woman before we had political power and experienced discrimination firsthand. Her work and willingness to fight no matter who stood against her will inspire readers to do the same.
Written by: Ann Dowsett Johnston
Published: October 1st, 2013
When you think of a woman drinking alcohol, what comes to mind? If you're like most people, it's the stereotypical bachelorette parties or girls' nights out. However, there is a very different effect between women and alcohol by corporations. This has been going on for decades with devastating consequences.
Women now have been drinking as much as men, corporations are explicitly marketing to them, and there are devastating consequences. Johnston also writes about her own experiences with abusive relationships and her life in addition to the other issues.
Written by: Mikki Kendall
Published: March 3rd, 2020
A few years ago, Mikki Kendall tweeted a hashtag that would eventually become the rallying cry for many feminists across the country: #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen. The tweet was in response to white feminist writers and activists who had largely ignored issues of race and intersectionality when discussing feminism.
This is just one example of how women of color are often left out of conversations about gender equality. In her new book Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot, Mikki Kendall explores how Black women have been silenced by both society and mainstream feminism alike. She speaks to what it means to be a woman living in America today with "a brown skin" - from being hyper-sexualized by men on television shows like Empire to experiencing other issues in daily life.
Written by: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Published: July 29th, 2014
This book is not just about the idea of feminism, but rather how it affects our daily lives. The author speaks on gender inequality and violence against women in society. She discusses the need for people to stand up for justice, both locally and globally, and other topics such as race, culture, economic class, and sexuality.
With this book, you will learn what it means to be a feminist today and why feminists are fighting back worldwide. Also, how power structures operate, how patriarchy harms men, and what we can do to challenge sexism.
Written by: Lori Gottlieb
Published: April 2nd, 2019
Have you ever wondered if talking to someone about your life might help? Then this is the perfect book for you. Lori Gottlieb, a licensed psychotherapist, has done extensive research on the benefits of therapy, and while talking about patients, she also shares her journey in this memoir.
Even though she is tackling a sometimes-challenging number of issues, she still uses humor and positive help for anyone. These are just some of the reasons we’ve recommended it as one of the books women should read.
>> More books about mental illness
Written by: Adeline Bird
Published: August 27th, 2016
This is a must-read for anyone looking to take control of their happiness and not let the world dictate how they feel. It tackles topics such as self-care, emotional intelligence, relationships, careers, family dynamics, and more, emphasizing what it means to be a woman of color in today's society.
The book also shares stories from other women about their journey through life; these anecdotes are motivating and inspirational. Even though this focuses on African American women, you will see that it is okay for any woman to "be fierce!"
Written by: Jen Sincero
Published: October 17th, 2017
Jen Sincero's book is broken up into 27 small chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories that will help you get what you want. She also dishes out sage advice and easy exercises for anyone who wants to make changes in their lives but doesn't know how or where to start.
Not only does this book contain humorous swearing (as evidenced by the title), but there's also real talk on all things related: relationships with family members, friends, and others. Jen shares personal experiences while giving them an edgy twist, so they're comical yet informative at times.
Written by: Gary John Bishop
Published: August 1st, 2017
If you question yourself too much, this book is for you. It's time to stop being your own worst enemy and start living the life that you want. You can't change everything about your circumstances, but some things are within your control. All it takes is to become more self-aware, and some hard work on yourself before anything else will be possible!
This book provides practical advice on how to get out of our heads and create the best versions of ourselves. It also discusses why we might need an unf*cked up attitude, what helps us become more aware, how we can stop comparing ourselves with others
Written by: Brené Brown
Published: October 9th, 2018
Have you ever felt like you're the only one who cares about something? That nobody else will join in with your campaign or help with a project? Have you ever pushed yourself too far because someone told you to "be brave" and "dare to lead"?
This is all so common. This book helps readers understand their personal leadership style while also helping them learn how to step into their power as leaders by reflecting on other people they've known who have done it well.
She includes certain tenants that you can use as you dare to lead in your style.
Written by: James Clear
Published: October 16th, 2018
In this book, James Clear walks you through the process of changing your habits. He breaks down his research into a simple framework that will help you identify and change bad habits, create new ones quickly, and stick to them for good. This is an excellent place if you want to get healthy, wealthy, and happy but don't know where to start!
Atomic Habits by James Clear is an easy-to-read guide on breaking bad habits and forming new ones that stick with readers throughout their lives. In this book, Clear explains how small changes can lead to significant results over time using his "tiny habit" method.
This method has transformed many people's lives already, so check it out today!
Written by: Jordan Lee Dooley
Published: May 14th, 2019
The pressure to be perfect, prove yourself, and show up can often overwhelm us. It's easy to get caught up in the idea that we need to do it all or that people are waiting for our next move. What if you're wrong about what they want? What if you're not good enough? We've all felt these feelings of uncertainty at one point or another, but there is a way out!
The beauty of this book is that Dooley can use the existence of her own ups and downs in her life. It helps to see that others all make their own mistakes and how to overcome them.
Written by: Amy Poehler
Published: October 28th, 2014
Amy Poehler is one of the funniest people on earth. She is known for Saturday Night Live, Parks and Recs, and other shows. Not nearly as well known is that she's also a best-selling author, actress, producer, and director.
In it, Amy offers advice on everything from dealing with haters to avoiding eye contact during sex. She shares other embarrassing and hilarious events and ideas. If you're looking for tips on how to make your life more awesome, you'll find them in this book.
Written by: Dee Dee Myers
Published: February 26th, 2008
In Why Women Should Rule the World, former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers, who was the first White House Press Secretary, discusses her experience serving in a male-dominated profession and offers advice to women considering entering politics. She believes that women would make better leaders than men because of their patience and attention to detail.
Although she acknowledges that there have been examples of male politicians with these qualities, she points out that they often lack the same strength of character necessary for effective leadership.
Written by: Shellye Archambeau
Published: October 6th, 2020
It's not about what you do but how you do it that sets Shellye Archambeau apart. "I'm the type of person who doesn't know how to sit still" is one of her favorite sayings. As former CEO of the global food company General Mills, she was named one of Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Women in Business and is currently ranked #3 on Forbes' list of America's Richest Self-Made Women.
She has led companies for decades, including stints at Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo before her tenure at General Mills. With over 30 years of experience leading international corporations - Shellye shares insights, especially since she is an African American woman, into taking risks, breaking barriers, and achieving success as an unapologetically ambitious woman.
Written by: Linda Babcock, Sara Laschever
Published: February 26th, 2008
If you want to get what you deserve, ask for it. Women are taught from a young age that asking for too much can be considered pushy or aggressive. Linda Babcock, author of the book Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation, says that's not true at all.
She believes women should use negotiation skills to their advantage in order to succeed in whatever field they choose. Babcock explains how women can use this skill more effectively and why it is so important to do so.
Written by: Christiane Northrup
Published: October 31st, 2006
Menopause is a naturally occurring phenomenon that many women experience. It can be a confusing process, but Dr. Northrup has written this book to help the reader understand what the wisdom of menopause means and how it can change your life for the better.
She discusses topics such as low libido, mood swings, weight gain, hot flashes, and night sweats in order to give readers some understanding of what they are going through so they may find more peace with their transition into menopause.
This guide also provides tips on how to care for yourself during this time period while still living your life fully!
Written by: Tara Westover
Published: February 20th, 2018
Tara Westover was born in the mountains of Idaho, one of seven children. Tara's memoir is about growing up with survivalist parents who didn't believe in education, doctors, or hospitals since prayer would cure illness and utter isolation. At seventeen, she entered Brigham Young University as a freshman and received her Ph.D. from Cambridge University by the age of twenty-seven.
The beauty of this book is that it isn't just about how Tara survived on her own until she made it into college. It's also about how this experience turned into the amazing person she is now.
Written by: Ariel Levy
Published: March 14th, 2017
Ariel Levy tells the story of her life as a female writer and discusses what it was like to be a woman in modern society. In this candid book, she talks about how she grew up with no actual rules or guidelines for who or what women should be. She also details her relationships with men and the problems that arise from being a part-time lover and full-time mother.
Readers will enjoy reading about how one woman navigates through life without any advice on how to go about it. It is an exciting look into everyday life as a woman that readers can relate to because everyone has been faced with tough decisions at some point in their lives.
Written by: Amanda Ripley
Published: April 6th, 2021
Are you in a problematic relationship? Do you get into fights with your partner, parents, children, or friends that leave you feeling drained and confused about what happened? If so, then this book is for you. Amanda Ripley takes readers through the science of conflict resolution by explaining why we get trapped in high-conflict situations and how we can get out of them. She provides practical tools to apply to our daily lives so that we can begin resolving conflicts immediately.
She writes about working with a gang leader in Chicago who learns how to deal with a former enemy, work with groups to reduce conflict, and more. It can help anyone in any situation.
Written by: Ethan Kross
Published: January 26th, 2021
What is that voice in your head? It's what you hear when you're by yourself. It could be the only sound in the room, or it might just seem like a whisper to overpowering silence. This voice has an encouraging tone and tells some people they can do anything they set their minds to.
Other times, it may be harsh and loud with criticism of every move we make - even if we didn't mess up at all! But no matter how much time you spend talking back, what does it mean for us humans? Why do so many people struggle with inner chatter?
And what are ways that we can harness it instead of letting it run our lives?
Written by: Barbara Oakley & Olav Schewe
Published: June 1st, 2021
Do you want to be successful? Do you want to become better at anything? Take a look at some of the science-based tools Barbara Oakley uses; these tools are based on neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to adapt and change its structure and function.
Using her tools means that with practice, anyone can improve their abilities. These include learning how to use essential skills like time management, critical thinking, concentration techniques, working memory training, motivation strategies that are the key to long-term success, emotional regulation strategies, and much more.
Written by: Chris Voss, Tahl Raz
Published: May 17th, 2016
Negotiating is the language of diplomacy, yet many people shy away from it. They may not think they can do it or don't have what it takes to become a negotiator.
Chris Voss advises his readers to take a different approach and be more open-minded when negotiating with others by applying basic principles of human behavior to get what they want without compromising their integrity.
Being that Voss became one of the top hostage negotiators in the FBI, he speaks from experience.
Written by: Morgan Housel
Published: March 2nd, 2021
We all have a certain amount of money. Some people have a lot, some people have a little, and others don't have any at all. But what does this mean?
How is it possible to determine the value of someone's life based on how much money they make or their net worth?
In his book, instead of data, spreadsheets, he looks at how we learn to think of money as a personal thing, no matter who you are from being a child to adulthood.
Written by: John C. Bogle
Published: March 1st, 2007
The stock market is an essential aspect of financial planning for many people. It's one thing to know you need to invest, but it can be daunting when you don't know where to start. There are so many options and opinions on which ones will give you the best return on your investment.
This book by John C. Bogle will help guide you through the process and show how much more successful investing in stocks can be than any other strategy if done correctly.
Written by: Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez
Published: September 1st, 1992
This book's central question is that you have to make choices about what your life will be like by making trade-offs with either time or money. If you want more time, then you might need to spend less on material things. If you want more money, maybe you'll have to work overtime and sacrifice some of your free time.
The point of this book is to help people find their "enoughness." What are they looking for in life? They will need enough income so that they can afford the lifestyle that makes them happy and live within their means while still saving for retirement if they're not already retired (and even if they are).
Even though this was first written in 1992, the later versions offer updated materials with the same basic principles thousands have used over the years.
Written by: David J. Schwartz
Published: October 6th, 2015
The Magic of Thinking Big is a book written by David J. Schwartz, detailing the importance of thinking big and improving one's life. This book has sold over 4 million copies worldwide since its debut in 1959, making it an international bestseller! Since then, multiple authors have expanded upon his ideas for success.
The Magic of Thinking Big is not just limited to business practices; people have used the concepts outlined within this book to be more successful in their personal lives. This is the perfect book for anyone who wants to improve the options in their life.
Written by: Kenneth J. Martz
Published: August 30th, 2020
Most people believe that there are only three emotions; however, these can be used for positive reasons. Fear is also a natural emotion that keeps us away from dangerous things. Love is when you care for someone or something without expecting anything back in return.
Martz will give you ways to understand these and other emotions to help you control your life. Using proven methods, you can put these into motion right from the beginning.
Written by: Anita Diamant
Published: May 25th, 2021
It's not often that we see new work on how menstruation affects women, but it's long overdue and needed. The author discusses how periods are viewed differently depending on where you live, including them being a curse or a blessing.
It also takes readers on her journey through history from ancient times to today, exploring all aspects of menstruation along the way.
She writes about everything from shame around periods to attitudes about sex during your period. she also shares stories about women who can't afford sanitary products and other issues from around the world that women deal with every day.