5 Feminist Nonfiction Books You Can’t Miss

It’s that beautiful time of year when you get to read all of the books you want: summer! There are few things more powerful than women sharing stories about events that shaped their lives or women doing research to give advice to other women.

This is what you will find in this list of feminist nonfiction summer reads. If you are in search of some great nonfiction feminist books for your outdoor reading pleasure, look no further.

Photo Credit: Zach Welty

A Wedding in Haiti” is feminist novelist and poet Julia Alvarez’s newest book. In her characteristically minimalist prose, Alvarez tells the true story of four of the most transformative relationships of her life: with her husband, with her parents, with a young man named Piti whom she meets when she starts a coffee farm in the Dominican Republic, and with Haiti. She first visits Haiti when Piti calls to cash in her promise that she would be at his wedding. Almost a year later, she goes back to witness the destruction of the 2010 earthquake first-hand. The story is beautiful, heartbreaking and hilarious all at once. This is one book you will not want to put down.

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

Female friendships are not only important, they are vital to the success of some of our favorite historical women. “As Always, Julia” is a collection of the written correspondence between Julia Child and Avis DeVoto and edited by Joan Reardon. Avis was integral in the publication of Julia’s first cookbook, and her subsequent television show and, surprisingly, the two women didn’t even meet in person until well into their friendship. These letters will not only illuminate the life of one of our favorite chefs, it will teach you much about the merits of female friendships and the power of the written word.

Book Cover Image Credit: Amazon.com


How to Be a Woman” is British columnist Caitlin Moran’s autobiography. In it, she chronicles her entire life as she discovers what it means to be a woman. From urging her audience to get on a chair and scream “I AM A FEMINIST!” at the top of their lungs to telling stories about her very first undergarments, Moran’s depiction of what it means to grow up as a woman is not only hilarious, it is almost universally true.

Book Cover Image Credit: Amazon.com

Mother-daughter team Barbara and Shannon Kelley have noticed that many of the women they encounter have trouble deciding what they want to do with their lives. Should they have this job or that one? Should they have kids now or later or not at all? Should they cut their hair short or leave it long? The authors set out to do some research and interview women who were all “Undecided.” This book is invaluable to any woman who has ever had “analysis paralysis” and worried that the road not taken was, in fact, the better road.

Book Cover Image Credit: Amazon.com

Feminist icon Susie Bright has just released her memoir “Big Sex Little Death.” In it, she chronicles her own coming-of-age story and shows us exactly how she got from teenage radical to co-founder of an erotic magazine. This book is exactly as I would imagine Susie Bright to be in person: honest, open, skillful and bold. If you don’t know much about Susie Bright, or if you are familiar with her work and want to learn more, this book will open your eyes about the radical waves of feminism on a personal level.

What feminist nonfiction are you reading this summer? Tell us in the comments.


Related Stories:

Becoming a Feminist. When Did it Happen to You?
The Feminist Summer Reading List
Equal Writes: An LGBT Summer Reading List

Book Cover Image Credit: sealpress.com


Clare O'Beara
Clare O1 months ago

Pity a woman chooses to focus on sex in the title of her memoir

Clare O
Clare O1 months ago

should take a look

Clare O
Clare O1 months ago


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

i plan to read a couple. i got the titles down. thanks!

Angela N.
Angela N5 years ago

thank you :D

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim5 years ago


Heather G.
Heather G5 years ago

re: feminist wedding: They can get rid of the part of the vows where the bride promises to obey the groom, and at the end they can pronounce the newly married couple "husband and wife" rather than "man and wife."

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

How can a wedding be feminist?

Harshiita Sharma
Harshita Sharma5 years ago

Thank You.

Carole R.
Carole R5 years ago

Thanks for the post.