Sunday, January 03, 2010

Non-Fiction Books Every Woman Should Read

I was so pleased with the comments I received on my post, "Ten non-fiction books that help us understand the world," I began searching the web for additional book recommendations; preferably a list of non-fiction books every woman should read. I must say, I was disappointed with my non-fiction findings. I found several lists of “fiction” books every woman should read. My favorite is:
75 Books Every Woman Should Read: The Complete List
Unable to find an adequate list of non-fiction books for women, I decided to come up with my own. I discussed my new project with the reference librarian at my local library who offered to provide a list to get me started.

Here is what she came up with:

Women Don't Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation--and Positive Strategies for Change by Linda Babcock

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era by Boston Women's Health Collective

I Feel Bad about My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron

How She Does It: How Women Entrepreneurs Are Changing the Rules of Business Success by Margaret Heffernan

If They Only Listened to Us: What Women Voters Want Politicians to Hear by Melinda Henneberger

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof

In the Name of Honor: A Memoir by Mukhtar Mai

Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce

Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?: Bodies, Behavior, and Brains--The Science Behind Sex, Love, & Attraction by Jena Pincott

Millionaire Women Next Door: The Many Journeys of Successful American Businesswomen by Thomas Stanley

On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance by Manisha Thakor

Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber

A History of the Wife by Marilyn Yalom

I am pleased with the above selections, most of which I haven't read previously and was happy to see Men are from Mars not on the list. Prior to receiving this list, I had read a review of:

 - Bibliotherapy: The Girl's Guide to Books for Every Phase of Our Lives on Celia's Goodread's account where she wrote:
 I don't think Men from Mars, etc, should be included in anyone's must-read book list (at least, not someone whom I want to take book recommendations from).
I was also pleased to see Eat, Pray, Love (Gilbert lost me with all the crying) and Nickel and Dimed (I still haven't forgiven Ehrenreich for Bait and Switch) were not on the list. Plus, it was interesting to see On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance by Manisha Thak was recommended instead of Suse Orman's Women and Money. One book that needs to be added to the list is:

Natalie Angier’s Woman: An Intimate Geography Eva at A Striped Armchair writes this is the one book every single woman should read.

So, this is my project for 2010; I am going to read all of the books on the above list, plus the books I’ve selected to read for the Women Unbound Challenge with the intention of coming up with a final list of non-fiction books every woman should read at the end of the year.

Do you have any non-fiction suggestions I should consider for my list? If so, please write them in the comments.

Also, it you have a list of non-fiction books on your site you would like to share, I'd be happy to include the link below:

Other non-fiction book lists to consider:
The Business Women's Social Club: 20 Business Books They Expect You Have Read

Please Note, I am an Amazon Affiliate


  1. A Wise (young) Woman gave me Kindle credits for Christmas, so I think I will invest them in some of these. Looks like an interesting list and a neat challenge (you almost made) to read them all this year. Thanks!

  2. I just read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and it was excellent. It documents her year long journey to only eat local in-season foods. It interweaves her family's journey with facts and information about the food supply chain.

    I like the challenge that you've come up with and I think I will try to join.

  3. Oh, and similar to Half the Sky but also excellent:

    1. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
    2. Mountains beyond Mountains by Tracey Kidder

  4. It's a bit expensive to purchase for one's own use, but if you request to have your public library buy it, Jessica Zellers's new reference book "Women's Nonfiction: A Guide to Reading Interests" lists a ton of nonfiction that women might really enjoy. I'd heartily recommend it!

  5. Webb,
    If you do read any of the books let me know if you think they are list worthy and thanks for stopping in.

    Single Gal,
    Thanks for the suggestions; I will add them to my list. I would love to have you partake in my informal challenge keep me informed of any new suggestions.

    You are correct I need to get my hands on Jessica’s book. I will check with my library to see if they will order it.