Best Non-Fiction Books Featuring Fearless Women

Upon entering and exiting this freight train headed for female empowerment, be sure to mind the gender gap. Featuring fearless women like Maha in Pakistan and the iconic Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this list of best non-fiction books almost makes us want to break out in song. 

But these stories sing their praises themselves. Make sure you’re listening closely. The experts at Literati have curated this list knowing the impact, beauty, and importance borne by these words. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life

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Hold onto your pearls and buckle up for a wildly inspiring ride through the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With meticulous detail, Jane Sherron De Hart brings readers closer to Ginsburg’s relationship with her mother, her Holocaust-era childhood as a Jewish girl, and beyond. 

This is R.B.G.’s full story, a resounding cry that will breathe a spirit of fearlessness into American lives for years to come. 

Here’s what’s to love about this book

  • It’s more than just a highlight reel. Copious amounts of research, done in cooperation with the justice herself, take readers far past Ginsburg’s noteworthy contributions to the justice system. 
  • Accessible language. Don’t worry—you won’t need to consult a translator to decipher through any sort of legal jargon here. 
  • The black and white photos of R.B.G. from age three to summer camp at Camp Che-Na-Wah make you feel like you’ve been invited over to the Ginsburg house for an afternoon of tea and family photo albums.

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

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Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped With the Space Race is a neologism that occurs when four brilliant, Black minds come together to help launch rockets into space. 

In World War II, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were all teaching math in public schools in the South when they were called up to aid an aeronautical industry that was understaffed and badly in need of extra brain power. 

Here’s what’s to love about this book:

  • Reading the back cover alone will give you goosebumps. Now, imagine what the 368 pages inside will do to you. 
  • The story told is profound, moving, and undeniably powerful. 
  • Its close examination of the Jim Crow Era in the United States from the perspective of Black women who took on the role of dismantling its injustices, piece by piece. 

The Dancing Girls of Lahore: Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan’s Pleasure District

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From the Shalamar Garden to the Badshahi Mosque, Lahore is a city rich in history and beauty. 

But that’s not the only story it tells. 

Louise Brown, a sociologist who spent four years living in this Pakistini city, studies a family of women entrenched in a generations-long fight against prostitution. The Dancing Girls of Lahore, one of the Luminary picks from Malala’s Fearless Book Club, gets to the heart of what it means to be a fighter. 

Here’s what’s to love about this book:

  • Louise Brown’s expertise in human society blends academic insight with novel-like narration. 
  • It mixes the vibrance of food markets and religious festivals with the darker depths of Pakistani society which gives readers a complete, unfiltered view of life in Lahore. 
  • Although it tackles tough topics, this story is outlined with hope. It is a grim yet empowering narrative about women making a life for themselves against all odds. 

The Only Pirate at the Party

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A creative mind and a classically trained musician, Lindsey Stirling paved her own pathway to success and made us all consider taking violin lessons while doing so. 

Although Stirling is the walking definition of unconventional, her biography is not entirely unfamiliar to the average human. Readers will likely find common ground with Stirling as she explores her humble childhood, her struggles with body image, and her boldness in the face of opposition. 

Here’s what’s to love about this book:

  • Lindsey Stirling encourages readers to wear your weird loudly and proudly. And let’s just say, self-acceptance looks great on everyone.  
  • A reminder to channel your inner pirate, when necessary. As Stirling writes, “pirates don’t take orders or ask permission.” 
  • It will, inevitably, culminate in a post-reading dance party led by the violinist herself. There’s a three-hour long playlist on YouTube for you to listen to. 

Fearless Females Unite

Whether you’re a fearless female yourself, or you want to be part of the conversation around them, you’ve come to the right place. We hope these inspiring reads leave you feeling more fearless than they might have found you. 

For more stories spotlighting women, check out Malala’s Fearless Book Club or any of her Luminary counterparts here at Literati


Harper Collins Publishers. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

Simon & Schuster. The Only Pirate at the Party.

The New York Times. The Dancing Girls of Lahore: Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan’s Ancient Pleasure District.

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