Thoughts #49: Favourite Non-Fiction Books Written By Women


As the title suggests, today I wanted to discuss my favourite non-fiction books written by women, as part of Women Writer’s Month. Non-fiction is a topic that’s not often included in the book blogging community when we gush over books, as I have discussed before. I’d love to hear whether you’ve read any of these or have any recommendations; let me know in the comments.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Yes Please

Yes Please is Amy Poehler‘s autobiography, or rather anecdotal memoir. Amy is one of my comedy queens and I absolutely love her, a love which began when I first watched Parks & Recreation, where Amy appears as Leslie Knope. It is one of my favourite series ever, one that I can watch again and again and again. This book is typical of her sense of humour and is pretty perfect for any fan of hers – or fan of Parks & Rec.

Bossypants by Tina Fey


The second of my comedy queens, and often seen on screen with Amy Poehler, Tina Fey has also written a memoir: Bossypants. I read this one more recently, and I’d also recommend it if you’re a big fan of either Saturday Night Live or 30 Rock, as Tina discusses various events that went on behind the scenes of those two shows.

A Ride in the Neon Sun by Josie Dew

A Ride in the Neon Sun by Josie Dew

If you enjoy travel writing, then Josie Dew‘s A Ride in the Neon Sun is definitely for you – particularly if you’re a fan of Bill Bryson, because Josie has that same wonderful wit. However, all of her books are about travelling a new country by bicycle. I’ve read a couple of her other travel memoirs and they’ve all been wonderful, but this one was definitely my favourite.

Love and Louis XIV: Women in the Life of the Sun King by Antonia Fraser

Love and Louis XIV by Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser is very well-known for writing historical non-fiction, and Love and Louis XIV: Women in the Life of the Sun King is one of the few that I’ve read, although I plan on reading many of her other works. I first read it when I was 18, whilst studying Louis XIV as part of my A Level History course. I’ve been trying to find more books about female historical figures that are also written by women – and if you’re looking for the same, this is a good place to start.

Pompeii by Mary Beard

Pompeii by Mary Beard

Mary Beard is one of my absolute favourite historians – she is so enthusiastic and passionate, I love it. Pompeii is my favourite of all her books so far. Instead of looking at the elite of the town, she takes a look at the life of the ordinary citizen. There is also an accompanying television show if you are interested!

What are some of your favourite non-fiction books written by women?


12 thoughts on “Thoughts #49: Favourite Non-Fiction Books Written By Women”

  1. Nice list, Rinn! I’ll have to check some of these out. πŸ™‚ I love The Creation of Anne Boleyn by Susan Bordo, which discusses our representation of Anne throughout the ages rather than the history of Anne herself, and Samantha Ellis’s How To Be a Heroine is a fantastic memoir meets literary criticism. I also really enjoyed Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked by Catherine Orenstein, which looks at how Little Red Riding Hood has been told and retold throughout the ages, from 16th/17th century France through to the modern day.

    1. Thanks πŸ™‚ Oh that Susan Bordo book sounds interesting, a different perspective! Actually, all 3 of the books you’ve listed sound fascinating πŸ˜€

  2. I absolutely love Lucy Worsley as a historian. She is informative, engaging and there is always a lot of humour in her delivery. While the 17th Century is ‘her’ period, she has done a lot of other really fascinating documentaries, such as If Walls Could Talk: A History Of The Home – which talks about how our homes have evolved to have the designated rooms they now have over time. I have finally got my first book by her (Courtiers) which I am really looking forward to reading.

    1. You know I’ve somehow never really sat down and watched any of her series, even though I’ve always been aware when they’ve been on. I read her ‘A Very British Murder’, but I feel I might enjoy some of her other titles a bit more.

  3. I finished the audiobook for Bossypants a few weeks ago and I have to say that it was my absolute fave. Hilarious from start to finish and I just love Tina Fey’s narration.

    I didn’t really enjoy Yes Please as much as I had hoped. But I think that was because I was reading it and I find I enjoy the audiobooks more when it comes to comedic autobiographies.

    Mindy Kaling is also a favourite of mine. I’m super excited to start Why Not in the next few weeks πŸ™‚

    1. Ahh I bet it’s even more amazing with her narration! I’d definitely check out the Yes Please audiobook then, if that’s how you tend to prefer those kinds of books.

      I want to read Mindy Kaling’s book too πŸ˜€

  4. I can not say enough about Mary Roach’s writings! If I could have any skill as a writer, I would want hers.

    She is a science writer with a great sense of humor when it comes to the awkward or icky topics. I found Packing for Mars fascinating as it deals with human physiology in microgravity. Eating, drinking, vomiting, and pooping, Ms. Roach is not afraid to ask the impolite questions that everyone is thinking. I have also read Stiff (dead bodies), Bonk (sex) and Gulp (gastrointestinal tract).

    P.S. I read Bossypants and adore Tina Fey.

  5. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction (I need to read more because I pretty much always enjoy it!), but Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is definitely a winner!

  6. I LOVE Self-Inflicted Wounds by Aisha Tyler. Like Bossypants, it’s an often humorous and interesting collection of Aisha’s stories. But there are some very good moments where she gets deep and real, and that’s why I super enjoy it. πŸ˜€

    Also Mamrie Hart’s book, which is my latest review (at time of writing). πŸ˜›

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