68 books like Last Flight - Amelia Earhart's Flying Adventures

By Amelia Earhart,

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Book cover of A Spitfire Girl: One of the World's Greatest Female Ata Ferry Pilots Tells Her Story

Clare Mulley Author Of The Women Who Flew for Hitler: A True Story of Soaring Ambition and Searing Rivalry

From my list on female pilots.

Why am I passionate about this?

Clare Mulley is the award-winning author of three books re-examining the history of the First and Second World War through the lives of remarkable women. The Woman Who Saved the Children, about child rights pioneer Eglantyne Jebb, won the Daily Mail Biographers' Club Prize and is now under option. Polish-born Second World War special agent Krystyna Skarbek, aka Christine Granville, is the subject of the Spy Who Loved, a book that led to Clare being decorated with Poland’s national honour, the Bene Merito. Clare's third book, The Women Who Flew for Hitler, long-listed for the Historical Writers Association prize, tells the extraordinary story of Nazi Germany’s only two female test pilots, whose choices and actions put them on opposite sides of history. Clare reviews for the Telegraph, Spectator, and History Today. A popular public speaker, she has given a TEDx talk at Stormont, and recent TV includes news appearances for the BBC, Sky, and Channel 5 as well as various Second World War history series.

Clare's book list on female pilots

Clare Mulley Why did Clare love this book?

There are several fascinating memoirs by ATA pilots including those by Diana Barnato Walker and the fittingly named Nancy Bird, but I was lucky enough to know Mary Ellis so her words speak most directly to me. A life recounted in sensible tones, reading this book it is easy to imagine you are settled into an armchair across from Mary, while at the same time realising that she would be much more comfortable in the cockpit of a Spitfire. By the end of the war she had delivered 400 Spitfires and flown 72 different types of aircraft. ‘Who needs love’, Ellis wrote, ‘when there is the ultimate thrill of speed, the sky, and the orgasmic experience of piloting the best fighter aircraft in the world?’ Enough said.

By Mary Ellis, Melody Foreman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

We visualise dashing and daring young men as the epitome of the pilots of the Second World War, yet amongst that elite corps was one person who flew no less than 400 Spitfires and seventy-six different types of aircraft and that person was Mary Wilkins.

Her story is one of the most remarkable and endearing of the war, as this young woman, serving as a ferry pilot with the Air Transport Auxiliary, transported aircraft for the RAF, including fast fighter planes and huge four-engine bombers. On one occasion Mary delivered a Wellington bomber to an airfield, and as she climbed…


Book cover of Spitfire Women Of World War II

Nicholas Harvey Author Of Deadly Sommer

From my list on kick-ass females of sea and sky.

Why am I passionate about this?

My wife is a beautiful, intelligent, and determined woman. She took up rock climbing in her forties. She rides a motorcycle on and off-road. She scuba dives with sharks, she’s jumped out of an airplane, and she strapped crampons on her feet when I said we’re climbing a snow-covered mountain. One of my best friends in the world is from Finland. Typical of Finns, and Scandinavians in general, he has a dry wit and keen observations and thoughts which he delivers matter-of-factly in few words. Combining these two with a sprinkling of my own imagination produced Nora Sommer.

Nicholas' book list on kick-ass females of sea and sky

Nicholas Harvey Why did Nicholas love this book?

I have an obsession with WWII, submarines of the era, and especially the Battle of Britain. As women in dangerous and often traditionally masculine roles also appeal, it makes sense that true stories of these gallant pilots are right in my wheelhouse. Or cockpit…

During the war, female pilots were recruited to ferry planes for the Air Transport Auxiliary to RAF bases, freeing up male combat pilots.

Unarmed, without instruments or radios, the women often flew over the hostile skies of southern England in new or repaired aircraft, flight testing them on the way. Navigation was done by compass headings and visual references on the ground.

This book does a wonderful job of shining a light on the relatively small group of brave souls who did their part during dark times.

By Giles Whittell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Spitfire Women Of World War II as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of the unsung heroines who flew the newest, fastest, aeroplanes in World War II - mostly in southern England where the RAF was desperately short of pilots.

Why would the well-bred daughter of a New England factory-owner brave the U-boat blockades of the North Atlantic in the bitter winter of 1941? What made a South African diamond heiress give up her life of house parties and London balls to spend the war in a freezing barracks on the Solent? And why did young Margaret Frost start lying to her father during the Battle of Britain?

They - and…


Book cover of Defending the Motherland: The Soviet Women Who Fought Hitler''s Aces

Clare Mulley Author Of The Women Who Flew for Hitler: A True Story of Soaring Ambition and Searing Rivalry

From my list on female pilots.

Why am I passionate about this?

Clare Mulley is the award-winning author of three books re-examining the history of the First and Second World War through the lives of remarkable women. The Woman Who Saved the Children, about child rights pioneer Eglantyne Jebb, won the Daily Mail Biographers' Club Prize and is now under option. Polish-born Second World War special agent Krystyna Skarbek, aka Christine Granville, is the subject of the Spy Who Loved, a book that led to Clare being decorated with Poland’s national honour, the Bene Merito. Clare's third book, The Women Who Flew for Hitler, long-listed for the Historical Writers Association prize, tells the extraordinary story of Nazi Germany’s only two female test pilots, whose choices and actions put them on opposite sides of history. Clare reviews for the Telegraph, Spectator, and History Today. A popular public speaker, she has given a TEDx talk at Stormont, and recent TV includes news appearances for the BBC, Sky, and Channel 5 as well as various Second World War history series.

Clare's book list on female pilots

Clare Mulley Why did Clare love this book?

This is a gripping history of the Soviet female fighter, bomber and night bomber squadron pilots told through their interwoven biographies. These were the women who fought and died in the skies above Stalingrad and Kursk, and whose skills, as well as courage, astounded and terrified the Luftwaffe. Although invited to train and serve alongside their male comrades, the women were of course given uniforms and equipment designed for men, plenty of hostility, and a place, for those who survived, only at the back of the victory parades.

By Lyuba Vinogradova,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Plucked from every background and led by an NKVD Major, the new recruits who boarded a train in Moscow on October 16, 1941, to go to war had much in common with millions of others across the world. What made the members of the 586th Fighter Regiment, the 587th Heavy-Bomber Regiment, and the 588th Regiment of light night-bombers unique was their gender: the Soviet Union was creating the first all-female active combat units in modern history.

Drawing on original interviews with surviving airwomen, Lyuba Vinogradova weaves together the untold stories of the female Soviet fighter pilots of the Second World…


Book cover of Women Who Fly: Goddesses, Witches, Mystics, and Other Airborne Females

Clare Mulley Author Of The Women Who Flew for Hitler: A True Story of Soaring Ambition and Searing Rivalry

From my list on female pilots.

Why am I passionate about this?

Clare Mulley is the award-winning author of three books re-examining the history of the First and Second World War through the lives of remarkable women. The Woman Who Saved the Children, about child rights pioneer Eglantyne Jebb, won the Daily Mail Biographers' Club Prize and is now under option. Polish-born Second World War special agent Krystyna Skarbek, aka Christine Granville, is the subject of the Spy Who Loved, a book that led to Clare being decorated with Poland’s national honour, the Bene Merito. Clare's third book, The Women Who Flew for Hitler, long-listed for the Historical Writers Association prize, tells the extraordinary story of Nazi Germany’s only two female test pilots, whose choices and actions put them on opposite sides of history. Clare reviews for the Telegraph, Spectator, and History Today. A popular public speaker, she has given a TEDx talk at Stormont, and recent TV includes news appearances for the BBC, Sky, and Channel 5 as well as various Second World War history series.

Clare's book list on female pilots

Clare Mulley Why did Clare love this book?

This is a left-of-field choice, but when thinking about female fliers it is worth remembering the cultural baggage they inevitably carry with them. Historically, female flight whether by broom, wing, mental transcendence or in the cockpit of a Spitfire, has threatened the patriarchy while liberating women. Even today, ‘flighty’ women are still considered in negative terms. This book explores the power and prejudice around aerial females.

By Serenity Young,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the asparas of Hindu myth to the swan maidens of European fairy tales, tales of flying women-some with wings, others with clouds, rainbows, floating scarves, or flying horses-reveal both fascination with and ambivalence about female power and sexuality. In Women Who Fly, Serinity Young examines the motif of flying women as it appears in a wide variety of cultures and historical periods, expressed in legends, myths, rituals, sacred narratives, and
artistic productions. She covers a wide range of themes, including supernatural women, like the Valkyries, who transport men to immortality; winged goddesses like Iris and the Greek goddess Nike;…


Book cover of Letters to Amelia

Amy Tector Author Of The Foulest Things

From my list on quirky archivists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an archivist at Canada’s national archives for more than twenty years. I love my job. Archives are, by their very nature, a collection of miscellany that weren’t created to be preserved or remembered. They are the scraps of paper and hurriedly sent emails produced while the world is out making history. As a result, they offer unselfconscious glimpses into the past. Archives are poorly understood, which means that the folks who decide to devote their professional lives to them are often a little quirky and a bit odd. This makes books featuring archivists celebrations of the off-kilter, the overlooked, and the frankly strange. 

Amy's book list on quirky archivists

Amy Tector Why did Amy love this book?

This story is centred around Grace, a recently dumped library technician who is assigned to catalogue a previously “lost” trove of letters from Amelia Earhart. It’s a wonderful back-and-forth through Grace’s attempts to recover from her grief and move on with life while learning valuable lessons in courage and staying true to yourself from her immersion in the life of Amelia Earhart. 

By Lindsay Zier-Vogel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Grace Porter is reeling from grief after her partner of seven years unexpectedly leaves. Amidst her heartache, the 30 year-old library tech is tasked with reading newly discovered letters that Amelia Earhart wrote to her lover, Gene Vidal. She becomes captivated by the famous pilot who disappeared in 1937. Letter by letter, she understands more about the aviation hero while piecing her own life back together. When Grace discovers she is pregnant, her life becomes more intertwined with the mysterious pilot and Grace begins to write her own letters to Amelia. While navigating her third trimester, amidst new conspiracy theories…


Book cover of Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride

Nina Nolan Author Of Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens

From my list on women who shaped history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a picture-book author who wrote about Mahalia Jackson so more people would feel the sense of awe about her that I do. When I first read how she was treated by our own country, I was furious. But her amazing grace allowed me to focus on the positive aspects of her life, like she did.

Nina's book list on women who shaped history

Nina Nolan Why did Nina love this book?

This heart-warming picture book celebrates the real-life friendship of two great women, reminding us that greatness doesn’t happen in a vacuum. And their adventure, while unprecedented in history, feels very relatable since it’s essentially a sleepover. At the White House! (With the bonus of the freedom of flying and driving.) The illustrations, while reflecting the time in history, also feel timeless.

By Pam Muñoz Ryan, Brian Selznick (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

An extraordinary picture book from Newbery Honoree Pam Muñoz Ryan and Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick about two heroines, national treasures, and close friends, Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt!

Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt were birds of a feather. Not only were they two of the most admired and respected women of all time, they were also good friends. Illuminated here for the first time in picture book form is the true story of a thrilling night when they made history together!On a brisk and cloudless evening in April 1933, Amelia and Eleanor did the unprecedented: They stole away from a…


Book cover of The Aviator's Wife

Susan Sage Author Of Dancing in the Ring

From my list on the ‘herstory’ of women of the 1920s.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been intrigued by the Roaring 20s, and specifically in how the lives of women truly began to change during this time. My grandmother loved to boast about how she had been a flapper as a young woman. Her sister-in-law was one of the first female attorneys in Detroit in the mid-20s. The era brought about opportunities and freedoms previously unknown to women. Many women suddenly had options, both in terms of careers and lifestyles. Goals of first wave feminists were beginning to be reached. The research I did for my book furthered my understanding of society at the time, particularly in America. 

Susan's book list on the ‘herstory’ of women of the 1920s

Susan Sage Why did Susan love this book?

Read this fascinating historical fiction novel to find out how it was possible for Lindbergh’s wife to wind up intact and capable of love, despite the tragedies that beset her.

Few people realize that she was the first female glider pilot! She became not only his co-pilot, but the pilot of her own life as she got older and pursued her own interests. Anne Morrow proved herself to be—in many ways—more heroic than her husband.

By Melanie Benjamin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the spirit of Loving Frank and The Paris Wife, acclaimed novelist Melanie Benjamin pulls back the curtain on the marriage of one of America’s most extraordinary couples: Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
 
“The history [is] exhilarating. . . . The Aviator’s Wife soars.”—USA Today
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

For much of her life, Anne Morrow, the shy daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has stood in the shadows of those around her, including her millionaire father and vibrant older sister, who often steals the spotlight. Then Anne, a college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico…


Book cover of Henry's Sisters

Lynda Wolters Author Of Voices of Cancer: What We Really Want, What We Really Need

From my list on how relationships are affected by cancer.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being diagnosed with an incurable cancer and told I may only live 5-years forced me to become an expert in the misconceptions of how to behave and what to say to cancer patients. It’s all bunk! What I know: (1) Don’t tell me “Call if you need anything.” I’m the one who’s sick, you need to call me. (2) Please don’t patronize me; I live in reality, not the land of rainbows, unicorns, and miracles. (3) It’s okay not to know what to say; I’m as blown away as you are. What patients need is honesty, present and available support, and laughter – a lot of it.

Lynda's book list on how relationships are affected by cancer

Lynda Wolters Why did Lynda love this book?

Can I please give this book an extra star? I cried, I laughed, and wow, did I smile while reading Henry’s Sisters.

Henry is a special needs person, glue of the family, and the youngest child. The sisters are a famous photographer and professional one-night stander, Isabelle, her angry, food addicted, kindergarten teaching twin, Cecilia, and Janie, an OCD best-selling crime novelist who invents twisted ways to kill her characters. The cast is rounded out by stripper mom, and Amelia Earhart (grandma has dementia).

Rife for disaster with sharp wit and heartache, the family is busy navigating their tortuous past when Henry is diagnosed with terminal cancer. The dialogue shifts leaving the reader begging for Henry to live and applauding his choice to die. This book is how cancer affects a family.

By Cathy Lamb,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An emergency homecoming forces three sisters to deal with issues they’d rather ignore in this touching novel by the author of All About Evie.

Ever since the Bommarito sisters were little girls, their mother, River, has written them a letter on pink paper when she has something especially important to impart. This time, the message is urgent—River requires open-heart surgery, and Isabelle and her sisters are needed at home to run the family bakery and care for their brother and ailing grandmother.

Isabelle has worked hard to leave Trillium River, Oregon, behind as she travels the globe taking award-winning photographs.…


Book cover of The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller: A True Story of Murder, Adventure, Danger, Romance, and Derring-Do

Samantha Battams Author Of The Secret Art of Poisoning: The True Crimes of Martha Needle, the Richmond Poisoner

From my list on Australian women in history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Samantha Battams is an Associate Professor and has been a university lecturer, researcher, policy professional, community development worker, advocate, health service administrator, and management consultant. Samantha resides in Adelaide, South Australia, is widely travelled, and has lived and worked in Switzerland in global health. She has published academic articles and book chapters in the fields of public health and global health, social policy, and sociology. She has a passion for history and writing and has written a self-published family history and three non-fiction books.

Samantha's book list on Australian women in history

Samantha Battams Why did Samantha love this book?

I was amazed to read about the adventures of Mrs ‘Chubbie’ Miller, whom I had never heard about previously. She was an Australian woman aviator who competed in the US National Women’s Air Race (the so-called ‘Powder Puff Derby’) and other Women’s Air Derbys with Amelia Earhart and others. Why had I not heard of her before? Because she was embroiled in a scandalous love triangle that saw the end of one life?

By Carol Baxter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The remarkable true story of a beguiling Melbourne housewife who in the 1920s seeks international fame, fortune, and adventure as an aviator and finds herself as the central figure in a sensational American murder trial.

'Mrs Keith Miller, internationally known aviatrix, was taken to the county jail here today and held for investigation by State Attorney's investigators. Jail attendants said they understood she was held in connection with the shooting of an airline pilot.'

Petite, glamorous, and beguiling, Jessie 'Chubbie' Miller was one remarkable woman ... flyer, thrill seeker, heartbreaker. No adventure was too wild for her, no danger too…


Book cover of Amy Johnson

Tracey Curtis-Taylor Author Of Bird

From my list on pioneering aviation.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for flying old aeroplanes led me to the pilots who flew them in history, and my particular fascination is with the interwar period and the ‘Golden Age of Aviation’, which saw the establishment of the early commercial air routes and the historic solo flights by pilots flying basic machines and pushing themselves and their aircraft to the very limits of endurance to prove that it could be done. I was absolutely mesmerised by the stories of their bravery and obsession. My recommended books all share the theme of pioneering aviation as this has been a consuming interest for much of my adult life, both in and out of the cockpit. 

Tracey's book list on pioneering aviation

Tracey Curtis-Taylor Why did Tracey love this book?

Originally released in 1967, a new edition of this book was published by Daredevil in 2021. 

Amy Johnson’s story has great personal resonance for me and I was very honoured to write a preface for the book. With less than a hundred hours in her logbook, Amy set out to Australia to break the world record for the fastest time in 1930 and what would become one of the most outstanding solo achievements in history. 

My own flight to Australia in 2015/16 re-tracing Amy’s route was done in homage.  

By Constance Babington Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Amy Johnson became a household name after her solo flight to Australia in 1930 which thrust her, ill-prepared and exhausted, into the limelight and almost constant media attention for the rest of her short life. She was to die in mysterious circumstances in 1941 crashing into the sea off Herne Bay. Lauded at the time as 'Amy, wonderful Amy', her achievements have captivated us ever since.


Constance Babington Smith was given access to all of Amy Johnson's private papers by the Johnson family and asked to write a posthumous account of the life of this most enigmatic heroine. Babington Smith's…


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