95 books like In Pursuit of Disobedient Women

By Dionne Searcey,

Here are 95 books that In Pursuit of Disobedient Women fans have personally recommended if you like In Pursuit of Disobedient Women. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War

Karen Sherman Author Of Brick by Brick: Building Hope and Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere

From my list on women driving change around the world.

Who am I?

I’ve been driven to help advance women and girls around the world for years, shining a light on their stories of resilience and strength, even in the most dire of circumstances. My thirty-plus-year career in global development has introduced me to hundreds of inspirational women who are changing their own lives, investing in their families, and building their communities. I am a woman for women because of them. The recommended authors are inspirational women in their own right who have used their writing to amplify the voices of other women. I hope you enjoy these books and can identify with the personal stories found in their pages. 

Karen's book list on women driving change around the world

Karen Sherman Why did Karen love this book?

It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War is the memoir of Lynsey Addario, a photojournalist who is called to cover multiple wars in the Middle East and Africa. This book not only spans Addario’s professional journey to capture the utter devastation of life in the midst of war, but also her struggles to find a reasonable balance between her dangerous yet fulfilling career and the personal relationships in her life - something many women face! If you want an absorbing read and to be inspired, I cannot recommend this book enough.

By Lynsey Addario,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked It's What I Do as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“An unflinching memoir . . . [that] offers insight into international events and the challenges faced by the journalists who capture them.” —The Washington Post

War photographer Lynsey Addario’s memoir is the story of how the relentless pursuit of truth, in virtually every major theater of war in the twenty-first century, has shaped her life. What she does, with clarity, beauty, and candor, is to document, often in their most extreme moments, the complex lives of others. It’s her work, but it’s much more than that: it’s her singular calling.

Lynsey Addario was just finding her way as a young…


Book cover of The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice

Jessica Scott Author Of A Soldier's Promise: A Coming Home Anthology

From my list on the Iraq War that go beyond bullets.

Who am I?

I’m a soldier, an author, and an army wife – the last fifteen years of my life have revolved around dealing with the fallout of the Iraq war, not only for my family but also as a soldier and a veteran. I write books because I wanted to read about people who stayed in the military after the war started. The best writing advice I ever got came from Robyn Carr who said, write the book that only you can tell. Wrestling with the legacy of a war that we as soldiers did not choose as we return home was something I deeply wanted to understand, both as an army officer and a novelist.

Jessica's book list on the Iraq War that go beyond bullets

Jessica Scott Why did Jessica love this book?

Lemmon’s book is about the reality of war for female soldiers (so obviously I’m biased)– when losing means not just going home to lick your wounds, but not having a home to go back to.

The Iraq War was a war of choice – the wars that the Daughters of Kobani are fighting are wars of necessity and survival. It’s not about dogma of saying women are just as good as men – it’s a powerful story about women who carry the same obligations of citizenship as the men around them and the drive and purpose to defend their home, their rights, and their families through violence if necessary.

It sits at the intersection of war and feminism in a way that everyone who cares about women’s rights absolutely must read. 

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Daughters of Kobani as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The extraordinary story of the women who took on the Islamic State and won

"The Daughters of Kobani is an unforgettable and nearly mythic tale of women's power and courage. The young women profiled in this book fought a fearsome war against brutal men in impossible circumstances-and proved in the process what girls and women can accomplish when given the chance to lead. Brilliantly researched and respectfully reported, this book is a lesson in heroism, sacrifice, and the real meaning of sisterhood. I am so grateful that this story has been told." -Elizabeth Gilbert, author…


Book cover of The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World

Karen Sherman Author Of Brick by Brick: Building Hope and Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere

From my list on women driving change around the world.

Who am I?

I’ve been driven to help advance women and girls around the world for years, shining a light on their stories of resilience and strength, even in the most dire of circumstances. My thirty-plus-year career in global development has introduced me to hundreds of inspirational women who are changing their own lives, investing in their families, and building their communities. I am a woman for women because of them. The recommended authors are inspirational women in their own right who have used their writing to amplify the voices of other women. I hope you enjoy these books and can identify with the personal stories found in their pages. 

Karen's book list on women driving change around the world

Karen Sherman Why did Karen love this book?

“When you lift up women, you lift up humanity." These words from Melinda Gates’ book resonate deeply with my own story and experiences. Melinda gives several examples of women driving change on different levels in their families, communities, and societies. Similar to the pages in my book, Melinda shares heart-rending conversations she’s had with women all over the world and offers practical solutions for how we can get involved to make the world a better place.

By Melinda Gates,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Moment of Lift as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings―and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.

For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift society up, you need to stop keeping women down.

In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares lessons she’s learned from the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels…


Book cover of Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol

Karen Sherman Author Of Brick by Brick: Building Hope and Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere

From my list on women driving change around the world.

Who am I?

I’ve been driven to help advance women and girls around the world for years, shining a light on their stories of resilience and strength, even in the most dire of circumstances. My thirty-plus-year career in global development has introduced me to hundreds of inspirational women who are changing their own lives, investing in their families, and building their communities. I am a woman for women because of them. The recommended authors are inspirational women in their own right who have used their writing to amplify the voices of other women. I hope you enjoy these books and can identify with the personal stories found in their pages. 

Karen's book list on women driving change around the world

Karen Sherman Why did Karen love this book?

Mallory O’Meara’s book, Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol, has become my new bible.

I spent years working to advance women around the world before taking on a new challenge – starting a new craft distillery in Rwanda! You might be wondering how women's rights and alcohol intersect, but O’Meara sums it up best in her book: “If you want to know how a society treats its women, all you have to do is look into the bottom of a glass.”

For an amusing and eye-opening look at the history of women alcohol producers and drinkers around the world, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Girly Drinks. Best enjoyed with your favorite beverage in hand.

By Mallory O'Meara,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Girly Drinks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2022 James Beard Book Award

Nominated for the 2022 Spirited Awards

This is the forgotten history of women making, serving and drinking alcohol. Drink has always been at the centre of social rituals and cultures worldwide-and women have been at the heart of its production and consumption. So when did drinking become gendered? How have patriarchies tried to erase and exclude women from industries they've always led, and how have women fought back? And why are things from bars to whiskey considered 'masculine', when, without women, they might not exist?

With whip-smart insight and boundless curiosity, Girly…


Book cover of The Great Reporters

Tony Harcup Author Of Journalism: Principles and Practice

From my list on journalists as heroes.

Who am I?

I’ve worked in and around journalism long enough to know that not all journalists are heroes. Few even aspire to be. But there is something quietly heroic about the daily task of holding the powerful to account, even in democracies where the risk of imprisonment or assassination is less than in more authoritarian states. Here is my selection of books to remind all of us about some of these more heroic aspects of the journalism trade. I hope you find reading them enjoyable and maybe even inspiring.

Tony's book list on journalists as heroes

Tony Harcup Why did Tony love this book?

This hugely enjoyable book introduced me to the work of Nellie Bly, and for that alone I will forever be in debt to David Randall. Nellie Bly is just one of 13 great reporters discussed – others include William Howard Russell and James Cameron – but it was her exploits that most captured my imagination. She specialised in going undercover to expose wrongdoing, and her targets included those in positions of power responsible for everything from unsafe factory conditions to the inhumane asylums in which women were locked up for suspected insanity. Her stories were written in straightforward language but were genuinely sensational, raising awareness and helping to change social conditions for the better. As Randall concludes: "Nellie Bly was the very antithesis of cynicism."

By David Randall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great Reporters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Who are the greatest reporters in history? This unique book is the first to try and answer this question. Author David Randall searched nearly two centuries of newspapers and magazines, consulted editors and journalism experts worldwide, and the result is The Great Reporters - 13 in-depth profiles of the best journalists who ever lived.

Each profile tells of the reporter's life and his or her major stories, how they were obtained, and their impact. Packed with anecdotes, and inspiring accounts of difficulties overcome, the book quotes extensively from each reporter's work. It also includes an essay on the history of…


Book cover of Yesterday's News

Thomas Kies Author Of Random Road

From my list on by and about journalists.

Who am I?

I’m the author of the critically acclaimed Geneva Chase Crime Reporter series. I live and write on a barrier island on the coast of North Carolina with my wife, Cindy, and Annie, our Shih-Tzu. I’ve had a long career working for newspapers and magazines, primarily in New England and New York, and I’m currently working on my next novel. 

Thomas' book list on by and about journalists

Thomas Kies Why did Thomas love this book?

Mr. Belsky’s media background is in newspapers, magazines, and TV/digital news. Yesterday’s News is the first in his series featuring Clare Carlson, the hard-driving and tenacious news director for Channel 10 in New York City. When eleven-year-old Lucy Devlin disappeared on her way to school more than a decade ago, it became one of the most famous missing child cases in history. The story turned reporter Clare Carlson into a media superstar overnight.

Now Clare once again plunges back into this sensational story. With new evidence, new victims, and new suspects—too many suspects. Everyone from members of a motorcycle gang to a prominent politician running for a US Senate seat seems to have secrets they’re hiding about what really might have happened to Lucy Devlin. 

I love Mr. Belsky’s Clare Carlson series because they’re fast-paced and thought out and the protagonist is easy to identify with.

By R.G. Belsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Yesterday's News as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Tell me what happened to my daughter?” For fifteen years this anguished plea has haunted reporter Clare Carlson

When eleven-year-old Lucy Devlin disappeared on her way to school more than a decade ago, it became one of the most famous missing child cases in history.

The story turned reporter Clare Carlson into a media superstar overnight. Clare broke exclusive after exclusive. She had unprecedented access to the Devlin family as she wrote about the heartbreaking search for their young daughter. She later won a Pulitzer Prize for her extraordinary coverage of the case.

Now Clare once again plunges back into…


Book cover of The Wicked Girls

Alexia Casale Author Of The Best Way to Bury Your Husband

From my list on a historic crime driving the current story.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved books where something in the past of the main storyline surges into its present, demanding that an old wrong be righted or an old mystery solved. It’s why my first degree was in Social and Political Sciences (Psychology major) instead of English Literature or Creative Writing: I knew that learning how to write would be useless if I didn’t understand the things I wanted to write about. The role of the past in shaping our present – our behaviours, sense of self, relationships – is endlessly fascinating, and stories that unpick this are often the ones that surprise me the most with their insight into the human condition.

Alexia's book list on a historic crime driving the current story

Alexia Casale Why did Alexia love this book?

Vivid, surprising, and psychologically astute, The Wicked Girls stands out among a plethora of books with a similar premise.

There are no easy answers or pat solutions here. This is a book that asks interesting questions and offers a range of answers, through the characters, for readers to ponder. On the police procedural side, Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories treads a similar line, but Marwood’s protagonist is a journalist, which offers a less common ‘way in’ to the investigation along with a less familiar set of challenges.
[If you love Children’s fiction, check out the phenomenal Diana Wynne Jones’ Eight Days of Luke to match this theme (then, if you love it, Charmed Life and Howl’s Moving Castle), plus Jenny Nimmo’s The Rinaldi Ring and Berlie Doherty’s White Peak Farm.]

By Alex Marwood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wicked Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The suspense keeps the pages flying, but what sets this one apart is the palpable sense of onrushing doom.” —Stephen King, “The Best Books I Read This Year”

The Edgar Award-winning psychological thriller that asks the question: how well can you truly know anyone?

On a fateful summer morning in 1986, two eleven-year-old girls meet for the first time. By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside vacation town when her investigation leads her…


Book cover of Speedboat

John Howard Matthews Author Of This Is Where It Gets Interesting

From my list on characters who encounter the extraordinary.

Who am I?

I’m a fiction and humor writer whose imagination was initially sparked by superheroes and comic books. The idea of an otherwise average person who could turn themselves into a superbeing was transformative and powerful. As a teenager, these early heroes faded, and I became fascinated by The Twilight Zone’s compact and poignant storytelling that contained moral messages. This eventually led me to the fiction of Stephen King where the idea of average people encountering the supernatural and overcoming obstacles was a recurring theme. In my own work, I have tried to carry forward the idea that our everyday lives are more absurd, complex, and magical than they appear.

John's book list on characters who encounter the extraordinary

John Howard Matthews Why did John love this book?

Adler’s book depicts a woman’s life through a series of moments, incidents, bits of speech that come at the journalist narrator. The short passages perfectly capture the neurotic energy, humor, and horror of New York City. When I first read it, I was blown away. It showed there is great latitude in ways to approach writing. The short, choppy format is the closest a book has come to mirror my experience as a writer who seeks to find meaning and/or humor in everyday life. It’s a jagged mosaic of a book when put together is a delightful treasure.

By Renata Adler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Speedboat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Speedboat burst on the scene in the late ’70s it was like nothing readers had encountered before. It seemed to disregard the rules of the novel, but it wore its unconventionality with ease. Reading it was a pleasure of a new, unexpected kind. Above all, there was its voice, ambivalent, curious, wry, the voice of Jen Fain, a journalist negotiating the fraught landscape of contemporary urban America. Party guests, taxi drivers, brownstone dwellers, professors, journalists, presidents, and debutantes fill these dispatches from the world as Jen finds it.
       
A touchstone over the years for writers as different as David…


Book cover of Beautiful Thing: Inside the Secret World of Bombay's Dance Bars

Andrew Otis Author Of Hicky's Bengal Gazette: The Untold Story of India's First Newspaper

From my list on non-fiction journalism and history in India.

Who am I?

As the author of Hicky's Bengal Gazette: The Untold Story of India's First Newspaper I have great interest in journalism and history in the Indian subcontinent. There are relatively few books that explore these topics in a narrative nonfiction way. It is my hope that this shortlist will help readers find a few good books to start with.

Andrew's book list on non-fiction journalism and history in India

Andrew Otis Why did Andrew love this book?

Faleiro’s book is an impressive piece of investigative journalism. She followed the life of one woman, a teenage girl who worked as an exotic dancer in Mumbai. Faleiro paints a sobering image of Mumbai’s sex industry, especially dealing with government corruption and mafia-like figures. Her writing will keep you engrossed from start to finish.

By Sonia Faleiro,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beautiful Thing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Already published in India to great acclaim and named a Time Out Subcontinental Book of the Year and an Observer Book of the Year, Beautiful Thing is a stunning piece of reportage that offers a rare firsthand glimpse into Bombay’s notorious sex industry.

Sonia Faleiro was a reporter in search of a story when she met nineteen-year-old Leela, a charismatic exotic dancer with a story to tell. Leela introduced Sonia to the underworld of Bombay’s dance bars: a world of glamorous women; of fierce love, sex, and violence; of gangsters, police, prostitutes, and pimps. When an ambitious politician cashed in…


Book cover of A House in the Sky

Susan Pohlman Author Of Halfway to Each Other: How a Year in Italy Brought Our Family Home

From my list on travel memoir for women on women (and men) who travel.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by the transformational power of travel ever since my husband and I unexpectedly signed a lease to an apartment on the Italian Riviera instead of divorce papers. The power of that year abroad saved our marriage, united our family of four in a sacred way, and introduced us to the many cultures of Europe. I learned the crucial difference between taking a trip and embarking on a journey. Capturing a travel experience on the page for those who can’t journey to a destination themselves is a joy and a privilege I don’t take lightly. Publishing this memoir allowed me to pivot in my career to a full-time writer and writing coach/editor.

Susan's book list on travel memoir for women on women (and men) who travel

Susan Pohlman Why did Susan love this book?

There have been only a handful of books that I have been unable to put down.

This memoir is one of them. In 2008, Amanda Lindhout began her career as a reporter by traveling to Somalia. On her fourth day, she and another journalist were abducted and held for ransom.

She recounts her harrowing experience in captivity (460 days) in vivid, and heart-wrenching detail. When she is most desperate, she travels in her mind to A House in the Sky enabling her to block out her dire circumstances and let in a ray of hope.

This is a true story you will never forget.

By Amanda Lindhout, Sara Corbett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A House in the Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BREAKING NEWS: Amanda Lindhout’s lead kidnapper, Ali Omar Ader, has been caught.

Amanda Lindhout wrote about her fifteen month abduction in Somalia in A House in the Sky. It is the New York Times bestselling memoir of a woman whose curiosity led her to the world’s most remote places and then into captivity: “Exquisitely told…A young woman’s harrowing coming-of-age story and an extraordinary narrative of forgiveness and spiritual triumph” (The New York Times Book Review).

As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself visiting its exotic locales. At the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in journalists, reporters, and West Africa?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about journalists, reporters, and West Africa.

Journalists Explore 185 books about journalists
Reporters Explore 11 books about reporters
West Africa Explore 27 books about West Africa