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Women's Issues Non-Fiction Books

From Personal Issues to Pop Culture, Try These Recommended Books for Women


The problem with locating worthwhile women's issues non-fiction books is that titles are scattered throughout dozens of subject areas. This makes browsing in a bookstore, library, or on a bookseller's website a real challenge. Want some recommendations? Covering a wide range of topics from contemporary concerns to historical accounts of women's lives, the following recommended books are all good reads.

"Just Like Family" by Tasha Blaine

Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
What may seem like an easy job to some -- caring for someone else's children -- is made more complex by the relationships between nannies and parents who don't quite know how to treat each other. A former nanny herself, Tasha Blaine goes inside the lives of nannies, the parents they work for, and the children they love. By focusing on three nannies from very different backgrounds, she tells their individual stories with such accuracy and detail that the book unfolds more like a novel than a non-fiction work. A must-read for families contemplating hiring a nanny, and recommended for anyone with young children in their lives.
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"American Eve" by Paula Uruburu

© Courtesy Riverhead Books
Our national obsession with celebrity news and the lives of the rich and famous have turned supermarket tabloids and online sites into big business. But when did our fixation on celebrity, youth, beauty, money, and scandal begin? Author Paula Uruburu travels back in time to reintroduce us to "American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, the Birth of the "It" Girl, and the Crime of the Century." At the young age of 16, Evelyn Nesbit entered pop culture history as the nation's first pin-up girl; but her rags-to-riches story ended in a trial that involved madness and murder.
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"The Mighty Queens of Freeville" by Amy Dickinson

Courtesy of Hyperion
Advice columnist "Ask Amy" may seem to have all the answers for her readers, but her private life is another story. "The Mighty Queens of Freeville" is that story, the memoir of a single parent raising a daughter alone while moving back and forth between the world's biggest cities and her tiny hometown of Freeville, NY, where generations of female relatives -- like her -- find it hard to stay married. A paean to small-town life, the book also tells how Dickinson landed the advice column job, stepping into the shoe of the legendary Ann Landers.
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"Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters" by Courtney E. Martin

Courtesy Simon & Schuster
Are teenagers and young women feeling more and more pressure about their weight, what they eat, and how they compare to other females? In "Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body," twentysomething author Courtney E. Martin tells it like it is from the front lines of body obsession and the drive for perfection. In stories gleaned from peers, the students she teaches, and interviews with women who've battled eating disorders and low self-esteem, Martin pieces together an engrossing narrative that not only identifies the problem but offers solutions. An ideal choice for teens, young adults, and the women (mothers, relatives, teachers) who love them.
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"Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon" by Sheila Weller

Photo courtesy of Atria Books
For many of us, their music was the soundtrack of our lives. Journalist Sheila Weller provides a well-sourced, painstakingly detailed biography of three of rock music's most influential female singer/songwriters in "Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon - and the Journey of a Generation." Writing and performing songs that range from pop, folk, rock, and jazz, all three women pursued different musical paths yet found their lives intersecting again and again. Each one learned that love was harder to capture in her life than in her music, and all three struggled with marriage, divorce, and balancing family and career. In many ways, Weller's book proves that even these iconic women are ultimately 'girls like us.'
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"Still Hot: The Uncensored Guide to Divorce" by Sue Mittenthal & Linda Reing

© Running Press
With headline news breaking every other day about politicians cheating on their wives, how can anyone find anything funny about infidelity and divorce? Leave it to two wisecracking women who've been there, done that, to mine a painful topic and come up with gems significantly bigger than what your ex is giving to his latest girlfriend. "Still Hot: The Uncensored Guide to Divorce, Dating, Sex, Spite, and Happily Ever After" isn't going to solve your custody battles or settle your financial affairs equitably, but it will have you smiling and nodding over the stupid things cheating husbands do and the slightly less stupid things we do to get them out of our hearts and our lives. A short, humorous look at divorce and what comes after.
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