Historical Fiction or Nonfiction about Women's History

Participating in the Books & Bites Bingo Reading Challenge? Try these books for the prompt, historical fiction or nonfiction about women's history.

Updated February 7, 2024
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The radium girls : the dark story of America's shining women
Moore, Kate (Writer and editor)
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 house of Eve : a novel
Johnson, Sadeqa
"Amazing...I was completely surprised by the ending of this beautifully told and written book." --Reese Witherspoon "A triumph of historical fiction" (The Washington Post), an instant New York Times bestseller, and a Reese's Book Club pick, set in 1950s...
Eve : how the female body drove 200 million years of human evolution
Bohannon, Cat
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION FINALIST * THE REAL ORIGIN OF OUR SPECIES: a myth-busting, eye-opening landmark account of how humans evolved, offering a paradigm shift in our thinking about what the female body is, how it came to be, and how this evolution...
The Night Witches
Ennis, Garth
As the German Army smashes deep into the Soviet Union and the defenders of the Motherland retreat in disarray, a new squadron arrives at a Russian forward airbase. Like all night bomber units, they will risk fiery death flying obsolete biplanes against the invader-but unlike the rest, these...
The picture bride
Yi, Kŭm-i
Winner of the Nautilus Award for Historical Fiction "Lee Geum-yi has a gift for taking little-known embers of history and transforming them into moving, compelling, and uplifting stories. The Picture Bride is the ultimate story of the power of friendship--a must read...
The Alice Network
Quinn, Kate
A USA Today BestsellerA #1 Globe and Mail Historical Fiction BestsellerA Reese Witherspoon Book Club Summer Reading PickAn Amazon Best BookA Goodreads Best BookA Summer Book Pick from Good Housekeeping, Parade, Library Journal, Goodreads, Liz and Lisa, and BookBubIn an enthralling new historical...
The dark queens : the bloody rivalry that forged the medieval world
Puhak, Shelley
"A well-researched and well-told epic history. The Dark Queens brings these courageous, flawed, and ruthless rulers and their distant times back to life."--Margot Lee Shetterly, New York Times-bestselling author of Hidden Figures The remarkable, little...
Outlawed : a novel
North, Anna
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK A BELLETRIST BOOK CLUB PICK AMAZON BEST OF THE YEAR "A masterpiece." - R.O. Kwon The Crucible meets True Grit in this riveting...
A Ghost in the Throat
Ni Ghriofa, Doireann.
An Post Irish Book Awards Nonfiction Book of the Year * A Guardian Best Book of 2020 * Shortlisted for the 2021 Rathbones Folio Prize * Longlisted for the 2021 Republic of Consciousness Prize * Winner of the James Tait Black Biography Prize * A New York Times New & Noteworthy Title * Longlisted...
The dictionary of lost words : a novel
Williams, Pip
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK * "Delightful . . . [a] captivating and slyly subversive fictional paean to the real women whose work on the Oxford English Dictionary went largely unheralded."--The New York Times Book Review "A marvelous...
Lone women : a novel
LaValle, Victor
NATIONAL BESTSELLER * Blue skies, empty land--and enough wide-open space to hide a horrifying secret. A woman with a past, a mysterious trunk, a town on the edge of nowhere, and an "absorbing, powerful" (BuzzFeed) new vision of the American West, from the award-winning author of...
The bookbinder : a novel
Williams, Pip
A young British woman working in a book bindery gets a chance to pursue knowledge and love when World War I upends her life in this new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Reese's Book Club pick The Dictionary of Lost Words. "Williams spins an...
Without children : the long history of not being a mother
O'Donnell Heffington, Peggy
A historian explores the complicated relationship between womanhood and motherhood in this "timely, refreshingly open-hearted study of the choices women make and the cards they're dealt" (Ada Calhoun, author of Why We Can't Sleep). In an...
Sister mother warrior : a novel
Riley, Vanessa
ONE OF USA TODAY'S "BEST BOOKS OF SUMMER!" Acclaimed author of Island Queen Vanessa Riley brings readers a vivid, sweeping novel of the Haitian Revolution based on the true-life stories of two extraordinary women: the first Empress of Haiti, Marie-Claire Bonheur, and Gran...
Lady Tan's circle of women : a novel
See, Lisa
*NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!* From "one of those special writers capable of delivering both poetry and plot" (The New York Times Book Review) an immersive historical novel inspired by the true story of a woman physician in 15th-century China--perfect for fans of...
Hidden figures : the untold true story of four African-American women who helped launch our nation into space
Shetterly, Margot Lee
The uplifting, amazing true story--a New York Times bestseller! This edition of Margot Lee Shetterly's acclaimed book is perfect for young readers. It's the powerful story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space...
The beekeeper's apprentice : or, On the segregation of the queen
King, Laurie R.
The Twentieth-Anniversary Edition of the First Novel of the Acclaimed Mary Russell Series by Edgar Award-Winning Author Laurie R. King. An Agatha Award Best Novel Nominee * Named One of the Century's Best 100 Mysteries by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association...
Irrepressible : the Jazz Age life of Henrietta Bingham
Bingham, Emily.
Raised like a princess in one of the most powerful families in the American South, Henrietta Bingham was offered the helm of a publishing empire. Instead, she ripped through the Jazz Age like an F. Scott Fitzgerald character: intoxicating and intoxicated, selfish and shameless, seductive and...
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk: a Novel
Rooney, Kathleen.
NOW A NATIONAL INDIE BESTSELLER A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS...
All that she carried : the journey of Ashley's sack, a Black family keepsake
Miles, Tiya
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER · A renowned historian traces the life of a single object handed down through three generations of Black women to craft an extraordinary testament to people who are left out of the archives. In 1850s South Carolina, an enslaved woman named...
The woman's hour : the great fight to win the vote
Weiss, Elaine F.
"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...
Dust bowl girls : the inspiring story of the team that barnstormed its way to basketball glory
Reeder, Lydia
"A thrilling, cinematic story. I loved every minute I spent with these bold, daring women whose remarkable journey is the stuff of American legend." --Karen Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy The Boys in the Boat meets A...
Call the midwife : a memoir of birth, joy, and hard times
Worth, Jennifer
The highest-rated drama in BBC history, Call the Midwife will delight fans of Downton Abbey Viewers everywhere have fallen in love with this candid look at post-war London. In the 1950s, twenty-two-year-old Jenny Lee leaves her comfortable home to move into a...
The color purple
Walker, Alice
Now a Broadway musical featuring Jennifer Hudson Winner of the Pulitzer Prize Winner of the National Book Award   Published to unprecedented acclaim, The Color Purple established Alice...
Vanguard : how black women broke barriers, won the vote, and insisted on equality for all
Jones, Martha S.
The epic history of African American women's pursuit of political power -- and how it transformed America. In the standard story, the suffrage crusade began in Seneca Falls in 1848 and ended with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. But this...
The dressmakers of Prospect Heights : a novel
Zeldis, Kitty
"A haunting meditation on the bonds between mothers and daughters. Zeldis offers a fascinating look into historic New York City and New Orleans, and her skill as a storyteller is matched by her compassion for her characters. What a beautiful read."--Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author...
Miss Del Río : a novel
Mujica, Bárbara Louise
"Dolores del Río bursts to life in this vivid, well-researched portrayal. Her iconic feline elegance and brash spirit dominates every page, but it's her defiance to live life on her own terms that sets her apart--and what an extraordinary life she led."--C.W. Gortner, bestselling author of ...
On the rooftop
Sexton, Margaret Wilkerson
A Reese's Book Club Pick "An utterly original and brilliant story." -Reese Witherspoon A stunning novel about a mother whose dream of musical stardom for her three daughters collides with the daughters' ambitions for their own lives--set against the backdrop of gentrifying 1950s San...
Weyward : a novel
Hart, Emilia
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF TWO GOODREADS CHOICE AWARDS (Best Debut Novel & Best Historical Fiction) An Indie Next March 2023 Pick * A LibraryReads March 2023 Pick * An Amazon "Best Books of the Year So Far" 2023 Pick
Godmersham Park : a novel of the Austen family
Hornby, Gill
A richly imagined novel inspired by the true story of Anne Sharp, a governess who became very close with Jane Austen and her family by the #1 International bestselling-author of Miss Austen. On January 21, 1804, Anne Sharpe arrives at Godmersham Park in Kent to...
Traces: A Novel
Hudson, Patricia L.
An early American adage proclaimed, "The frontier was heaven for men and dogs--hell for women and mules." Since the 1700s, when his name first appeared in print, Daniel Boone has been synonymous with America's westward expansion and life on the frontier. Traces is a retelling of Boone's...

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