31 Nonfiction Books for 31 Days of Women's History Month

A selection of nonfiction books chronicling women throughout history, their accomplishments, and their legacies in society today.

Updated January 11, 2024
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The light of days : the untold story of women resistance fighters in Hitler's ghettos
Batalion, Judith
Paper Book
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! Also on the USA Today, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Globe and Mail, Publishers Weekly, and Indie bestseller lists. One of the most important stories of World War II, already optioned by Steven Spielberg for a major motion picture: a...
The Barbizon : the hotel that set women free
Bren, Paulina
Paper Book
A "captivating portrait" (The Wall Street Journal), both "poignant and intriguing" (The New Republic): from award-winning author Paulina Bren comes the remarkable history of New York's most famous residential hotel and the women who stayed there, including Grace Kelly, Sylvia...
Women in white coats : how the first women doctors changed the world of medicine
Campbell, Olivia
Paper Book
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! For fans of Hidden Figures and Radium Girls comes the remarkable story of three Victorian women who broke down barriers in the medical field to become the first women doctors, revolutionizing the way women receive health care. ...
In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women Are Still on Trial
Chollet, Mona
Paper Book
Mona Chollet's In Defense of Witches is a "brilliant, well-documented" celebration (Le Monde) by an acclaimed French feminist of the witch as a symbol of female rebellion and independence in the face of misogyny and persecution. Centuries after the infamous witch...
The secret history of home economics : how trailblazing women harnessed the power of home and changed the way we live
Dreilinger, Danielle
Paper Book
The term "home economics" may conjure traumatic memories of lopsided hand-sewn pillows or sunken muffins. But common conception obscures the story of the revolutionary science of better living. The field exploded opportunities for women in the twentieth century by reducing domestic work and...
Let's Get Physical: How Women Discovered Exercise and Reshaped the World
Friedman, Danielle
Paper Book
A captivating blend of reportage and personal narrative that explores the untold history of women's exercise culture--from jogging and Jazzercise to Jane Fonda--and how women have parlayed physical strength into other forms of power. For American women today, working out is as...
18 tiny deaths : the untold story of Frances Glessner Lee and the invention of modern forensics
Goldfarb, Bruce
Paper Book
A captivating blend of history, women in science, and true crime, 18 Tiny Deaths tells the story of how one woman changed the face of forensics forever. Frances Glessner Lee, born a socialite to a wealthy and influential Chicago family in the 1870s, was never meant to have a career, let...
Brave Hearted: The Women of the American West
Hickman, Katie
Paper Book
*WINNER OF THE WOMEN WRITING THE WEST 2023 WILLA LITERARY AWARD* Brave Hearted is not just history, it is an incredibly intense page-turning experience. To read what these women endured is to be transported into another universe of courage, loss, pain, and occasionally victory. This book...
The queens of animation : the untold story of the women who transformed the world of Disney and made cinematic history
Holt, Nathalia
Paper Book
From the bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls, the untold, "richly detailed" story of the women of Walt Disney Studios, who shaped the iconic films that have enthralled generations (Margot Lee Shetterly, New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Figures...
Proving Ground: The Untold Story of the Six Women Who Programmed the World's First Modern Computer
Kleiman, Kathy
Paper Book
Discover a fascinating look into the lives of six historic trailblazers in this World War II-era story of the American women who programmed the world's first modern computer. After the end of World War II, the race for technological supremacy sped on. Top-secret...
Hidden figures : the American dream and the untold story of the Black women mathematicians who helped win the space race
Lee Shetterly, Margot
Paper Book
The #1 New York Times bestseller -WINNER OF ANISFIELD-WOLF AWARD FOR NONFICTION -WINNER BLACK CAUCUS OF AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION BEST NONFICTION BOOK -WINNER NAACP IMAGE AWARD BEST NONFICTION BOOK -WINNER NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES,...
Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America
Lithwick, Dahlia
Paper Book
Winner of the LA TimesBook Prize in Current Interest An instant New York TimesBestseller! "Stirring . . . Lithwick's approach, interweaving interviews with legal commentary, allows her subjects to shine...Inspiring." -New York Times Book Review
Out of the shadows : six visionary Victorian women in search of a public voice
Midorikawa, Emily
Paper Book
Queen Victoria's reign was an era of breathtaking social change, but it did little to create a platform for women to express themselves. But not so within the social sphere of the seance--a mysterious, lamp-lit world on both sides of the Atlantic, in which women who craved a public voice could...
The radium girls : the dark story of America's shining women
Moore, Kate (Writer and editor)
Paper Book
A New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon Charts Bestseller! "The glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still." --NPR Books  Discover the gripping and inspiring true story of The Radium Girls, a groundbreaking work by acclaimed author Kate Moore....
The woman they could not silence : one woman, her incredible fight for freedom, and the men who tried to make her disappear
Moore, Kate (Writer and editor)
Paper Book
From the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Radium Girls comes another dark and dramatic but ultimately uplifting tale of a forgotten woman hero whose inspirational journey sparked lasting change for women's rights and exposed injustices that still...
Code girls : the untold story of the American women code breakers of World War II
Mundy, Liza
Paper Book
The award-winning New York Times bestseller about the American women who secretly served as codebreakers during World War II--a "prodigiously researched and engrossing" (New York Times) book that "shines a light on a hidden chapter of American history" (Denver Post).
The doctors Blackwell : how two pioneering sisters brought medicine to women--and women to medicine
Nimura, Janice P.
Paper Book
Elizabeth Blackwell believed from an early age that she was destined for a mission beyond the scope of "ordinary" womanhood. Though the world at first recoiled at the notion of a woman studying medicine, her intelligence and intensity ultimately won her the acceptance of the male medical...
On the Line: A Story of Class, Solidarity, and Two Women's Epic Fight to Build a Union
Pitkin, Daisy
Paper Book
"Riveting and intimate. It is hard to imagine a more humanizing portrait of the American labor movement. A remarkable debut."  --Francisco Cantú, New York Times bestselling author of The Line Becomes a River  ...
Femina: A New History of the Middle Ages, Through the Women Written Out of It (Original)
Ramirez, Janina
Paper Book
THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER LONGLISTED FOR THE 2023 CUNDIL HISTORY PRIZE A "Next Big Idea Book Club" Must Read? A groundbreaking reappraisal of medieval femininity, revealing why women have been written out of history and why it matters ...
The five : the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper
Rubenhold, Hallie
Paper Book
Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London--the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper. Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine...
The white devil's daughters : the fight against slavery in San Francisco's Chinatown
Siler, Julia Flynn
Paper Book
During the first hundred years of Chinese immigration--from 1848 to 1943--San Francisco was home to a shockingly extensive underground slave trade in Asian women, who were exploited as prostitutes and indentured servants. In this gripping, necessary book, bestselling author Julia Flynn Siler shines...
Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop
Smith, Danyel
Paper Book
American pop music is arguably this country's greatest cultural contribution to the world, and its singular voice and virtuosity were created by a shining thread of Black women geniuses stretching back to the country's founding. This is their surprising, heartbreaking, soaring story--from ...
The woman's hour : the great fight to win the vote
Weiss, Elaine F.
Paper Book
"Both a page-turning drama and an inspiration for every reader"--Hillary Rodham Clinton Soon to Be a Major Television Event The nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political battles in American history: the ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted...
The agitators : three friends who fought for abolition and women's rights
Wickenden, Dorothy
Paper Book
An LA Times Best Book of the Year "Engrossing... examines the major events of the mid 19th century through the lives of three key figures in the abolitionist and women's rights movements." --Smithsonian From the executive editor of ...
I am Malala : the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban
Yousafzai, Malala
Paper Book
A MEMOIR BY THE YOUNGEST RECIPIENT OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE As seen on Netflix with David Letterman "I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday." When the Taliban took control of the Swat...

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