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Feminist Nonfiction

Feminist Nonfiction

From the unsung heroines of history to feminist theory and manifestos, this playlist represents some of our favorite nonfiction books about women, by women.

Playlist Tags: Friendly City Books genre: Nonfiction mood: thankful topic: history mood: insightful mood: motivational topic: staff recommends topic: feminism audience: educators topic: womens rights topic: staff picks audience: women

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Come Fly the World

The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am

By Julia Cooke
Narrated by: Andi Arndt
Length: 7 hours 32 minutes

Come Fly the World

Come Fly the World is just the book my wander loving heart needed during this time when we haven’t been able to travel anywhere. I absolutely cannot recommend it enough for all my travel loving friends, aviation fans, and history buffs.”

Garden District Book Shop image Rayna, Garden District Book Shop
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Hidden Figures

The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

By Margot Lee Shetterly
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 10 hours 47 minutes

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the...

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Hood Feminism

Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot

By Mikki Kendall
Narrated by: Mikki Kendall
Length: 6 hours 57 minutes

Hood Feminism

“Powerful. Important. Compulsively readable. Kendall’s narrative style is top notch - riveting and un-put-down-able. Not only is this a must read, it's a must pay attention. It's a must revisit and keep learning kind of book. Kendall dives deep and doesn't pull punches, but she doesn't seek to shame either. This is necessary reading for anyone who considers themselves a feminist. Because solidarity needs to be for ALL.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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The Secret History of Home Economics

How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live

By Danielle Dreilinger
Narrated by: Rachel Perry
Length: 11 hours 18 minutes

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 providing jobs as professors, engineers, chemists, and... Read more »

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Maiden Voyages

Magnificent Ocean Liners and the Women Who Traveled and Worked Aboard Them

By Siân Evans
Narrated by: Jilly Bond
Length: 10 hours 45 minutes

In an engaging and anecdotal social history, Siân Evans's Maiden Voyages explores how women’s lives were transformed by the Golden Age of ocean liner travel between Europe and North America.

During the early twentieth century, transatlantic travel was the province of the great ocean liners. It was an extraordinary undertaking made by many women,...

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Mother of Invention

How Good Ideas Get Ignored in an Economy Built for Men

By Katrine Marcal
Narrated by: Sofia Engstrand
Length: 7 hours 5 minutes

An illuminating and maddening examination of how gender bias has skewed innovation, technology, history and work.

It all starts with a rolling suitcase.

The wheel was invented some 5,000 years ago, and the modern suitcase in the mid-nineteenth century, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that someone successfully married the two. What was the hold up?... Read more »

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Vanguard

How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All

By Martha S. Jones
Narrated by: Mela Lee
Length: 10 hours 42 minutes

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 overwhelmingly white women's movement did not win the vote for most black women. Securing... Read more »

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Women in White Coats

How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine

By Olivia Campbell
Narrated by: Jean Ann Douglass
Length: 11 hours 29 minutes

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 the early 1800s, women were dying in large numbers from treatable diseases because they avoided receiving medical... Read more »

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Invisible Women

Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

By Caroline Criado Perez
Narrated by: Caroline Criado Perez
Length: 9 hours 25 minutes

Invisible Women

“This book is as utterly fascinating as it is frustrating and eye-opening. I blew through it in a day and a half because I simply could not stop listening to it and appreciating with rising vexation Perez's breakdown of the data at every level of the world we live in today. This is a book I wish I could share with everyone and talk about to get the ball rolling on change.”

Rediscovered Books image Jane, Rediscovered Books
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

By Rebecca Skloot
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell & Bahni Turpin
Length: 12 hours 30 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The story of modern medicine and bioethics—and, indeed, race relations—is refracted beautifully, and movingly.”—Entertainment Weekly

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM HBO® STARRING OPRAH WINFREY AND ROSE BYRNE • ONE OF THE “MOST INFLUENTIAL” (CNN), “DEFINING” (LITHUB), AND “BEST” (THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER) BOOKS OF... Read more »

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The Women with Silver Wings

The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II

By Katherine Sharp Landdeck
Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
Length: 10 hours 53 minutes

“With the fate of the free world hanging in the balance, women pilots went aloft to serve their nation. . . . A soaring tale in which, at long last, these daring World War II pilots gain the credit they deserve.”—Liza Mundy, New York Times bestselling author of Code Girls

“A powerful story of reinvention, community and ingenuity born out of... Read more »

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Good and Mad

The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger

By Rebecca Traister
Narrated by: Rebecca Traister
Length: 9 hours 56 minutes

Journalist Rebecca Traister’s New York Times bestselling exploration of the transformative power of female anger and its ability to transcend into a political movement is “a hopeful, maddening compendium of righteous feminine anger, and the good it can do when wielded efficiently—and collectively” (Vanity Fair).

Long before Pantsuit Nation,... Read more »

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Wordslut

A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language

By Amanda Montell
Narrated by: Amanda Montell
Length: 6 hours 56 minutes

A brash, enlightening, and wildly entertaining feminist look at gendered language and the way it shapes us, written with humor and playfulness that challenges words and phrases and how we use them.

“I get so jazzed about the future of feminism knowing that Amanda Montell’s brilliance is rising up and about to explode worldwide.”—Jill Soloway

The...

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A Black Women's History of the United States

REVISIONING HISTORY: Book #5

By Daina Ramey Berry & Kali Nicole Gross
Narrated by: Janina Edwards
Length: 10 hours 2 minutes

2021 NAACP Image Award Nominee: Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction

Honorable Mention for the 2021 Organization of American Historians Darlene Clark Hine Award

A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show how they are—and have always been—instrumental in shaping our country

In... Read more »

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Code Girls

The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

By Liza Mundy
Narrated by: Erin Bennett
Length: 14 hours 4 minutes

Code Girls

“There is so much arguing these days over the existence of women in STEM fields and whether they should be allowed to be there. 'Oh honey,' says Code Girls, wrapping an arm around your shoulder, 'we never left.' In riveting prose, Mundy shows the presence of these women from the very beginning -and then how they were almost forcibly forgotten after the war was over. Women who once had only a life of school-teaching to look forward to (even with a PhD) became people who saved lives and sunk ships. This book exists to remind us that women have always been in these stories, even if they're not shown.”

Water Street Bookstore image Alice Ahn, Water Street Bookstore
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The Light of Days

The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos

By Judy Batalion
Narrated by: Mozhan Marno
Length: 14 hours 22 minutes

One of the most important stories of World War II, already optioned by Steven Spielberg for a major motion picture: a spectacular, searing history that brings to light the extraordinary accomplishments of brave Jewish women who became resistance fighters—a group of unknown heroes whose exploits have never been chronicled in full, until...

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Ain't I a Woman

Black Women and Feminism 2nd Edition

By Bell Hooks
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
Length: 8 hours 55 minutes

A classic work of feminist scholarship, Ain't I a Woman has become a must–read for all those interested in the nature of black womanhood. Examining the impact of sexism on black women during slavery, the devaluation of black womanhood, black male sexism, racism among feminists, and the black woman's involvement with feminism, Hooks attempts to... Read more »

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All the Single Ladies

Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation

By Rebecca Traister
Narrated by: Candace Thaxton
Length: 11 hours 39 minutes

* NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2016 SELECTION * BEST BOOKS OF 2016 SELECTION BY THE BOSTON GLOBE * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY * NPR * CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY *

The New York Times bestselling investigation into the sexual, economic, and emotional lives of women is “an informative and thought-provoking book for anyone—not just the single ladies—who...
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Colonize This!

Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism
Live Girls

By Bushra Rehman & Daisy Hernández
Narrated by: Ariana Delawari, Sharmila Devar, Kyla Garcia, Almarie Guerra, Greta Jung, Staci Mitchell & Kristyl Dawn Tift
Length: 13 hours 1 minutes

Newly revised and updated, this landmark anthology offers gripping portraits of American life as seen through the eyes of young women of color
It has been decades since women of color first turned feminism upside down, exposing the feminist movement as exclusive, white, and unaware of the concerns and issues of women of color from around the... Read more »

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The Heroine with 1001 Faces

By Maria Tatar
Narrated by: Julie McKay
Length: 12 hours 9 minutes

World-renowned folklorist Maria Tatar reveals an astonishing but long buried history of heroines, taking us from Cassandra and Scheherazade to Nancy Drew and Wonder Woman.

How do we explain our newfound cultural investment in empathy and social justice? For decades, Joseph Campbell had defined our cultural aspirations in The Hero with a... Read more »

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