100 books like Mrs. P's Journey

By Sarah Hartley,

Here are 100 books that Mrs. P's Journey fans have personally recommended if you like Mrs. P's Journey. 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 The Business of Beauty: Gender and the Body in Modern London

Lucy Jane Santos Author Of Half Lives: The Unlikely History of Radium

From my list on jobs for women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer interested in the odd areas where science and consumerism touch – particularly where this intersects with women workers. My debut book Half Lives: The Unlikely History of Radium tells the history of radioactivity through the eyes of the people who made, bought, and sold products laced with radium in the 20th century. The follow-up title will explore the deadly element Uranium.

Lucy's book list on jobs for women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Lucy Jane Santos Why did Lucy love this book?

Am starting with a tiny cheat as this book isn’t just about women – although it is about the beauty industry which is usually associated with women. What this book is -however – is an exploration about the history of beauty, consumption and gender in Victorian and Edwardian London. It is packed with stories of women beauty salon owners like Sarah “Madame” Rachel Leverson, Helen Rubinstein and Anna Ruppert. I’ve been working on a book that features Anna Rupert and Clark’s book has been an invaluable resource and a great in depth study on the subject.

By Jessica P. Clark,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Business of Beauty is a unique exploration of the history of beauty, consumption, and business in Victorian and Edwardian London. Illuminating national and cultural contingencies specific to London as a global metropolis, it makes an important intervention by challenging the view of those who-like their historical contemporaries-perceive the 19th and early 20th centuries as devoid of beauty praxis, let alone a commercial beauty culture.

Contrary to this perception, The Business of Beauty reveals that Victorian and Edwardian women and men developed a number of tacit strategies to transform their looks including the purchase of new goods and services from…


Book cover of Radiant: The Dancer, the Scientist, and a Friendship Forged in Light

Lucy Jane Santos Author Of Half Lives: The Unlikely History of Radium

From my list on jobs for women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer interested in the odd areas where science and consumerism touch – particularly where this intersects with women workers. My debut book Half Lives: The Unlikely History of Radium tells the history of radioactivity through the eyes of the people who made, bought, and sold products laced with radium in the 20th century. The follow-up title will explore the deadly element Uranium.

Lucy's book list on jobs for women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Lucy Jane Santos Why did Lucy love this book?

This fantastic creative non fiction book tells the story of two unlikely friends – the dancer Loïe Fuller and the scientist Marie Curie. Through my research for Half Lives I have read a lot about both of these women – Marie Curie isolated the element and Loïe Fuller developed a fascination with it as she wanted to incorporate its glow in the dark properties into her stage costumes. Heinecke does an amazing job of bringing the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries alive with this book and shines a light on two fascinating women pioneers.

By Liz Heinecke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Part hidden history, part love letter to creative innovation, this is the "imaginative and immersive" (The Star Tribune) true story of an unlikely friendship between a dancer, Loie Fuller, and a scientist, Marie Curie, brought together by an illuminating discovery.
 

At the turn of the century, Paris was a hotbed of creativity. Technology boomed, delivering to the world electric light, the automobile, and new ways to treat disease, while imagination blossomed, creating Art Nouveau, motion pictures, and modernist literature. A pivotal figure during this time, yet largely forgotten today, Loie Fuller was an American performance artist who became a living…


Book cover of A Lab of One's Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War

Kersten T. Hall Author Of The Man in the Monkeynut Coat: William Astbury and How Wool Wove a Forgotten Road to the Double-Helix

From my list on to think differently about the history of science.

Why am I passionate about this?

The discovery of the structure of DNA, the genetic material was one of the biggest milestones in science–but few people realise that a crucial unsung hero in this story was the humble wool fibre. But the Covid pandemic has changed all that and as a result we’ve all become acutely away of both the impact of science on our lives and our need to be more informed about it. Having long ago hung up my white coat and swapped the lab for the library to be a historian of science, I think we need a more honest, authentic understanding of scientific progress rather than the over-simplified accounts so often found in textbooks. 

Kersten's book list on to think differently about the history of science

Kersten T. Hall Why did Kersten love this book?

When, in the course of my research for my book, I first came across a newspaper article from 1939 reporting on the work of physicist Florence Bell with the stunned headline "Woman Scientist Explains," I think it took me about 5 minutes to recover from laughing. It’s a pity that the local press were more interested in the fact that Bell was a woman rather than her actual science, because only a year earlier she had shown for the first time how X-rays could reveal the regular, ordered structure of DNA. And as an undergraduate of Girton College, Cambridge, Bell’s talents as a physicist should have come as no surprise. For as historian Patricia Fara shows, Girton and the other all-female college, Newnham, were both intellectual crucibles from which emerged a generation of distinguished scientists such as physicist Hertha Ayrton, campaigning chemists Ida Smedley and Martha Whiteley, to name but…

By Patricia Fara,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Lab of One's Own as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2018 marked a double centenary: peace was declared in war-wracked Europe, and women won the vote after decades of struggle. A Lab of One's Own commemorates both anniversaries by revealing the untold lives of female scientists, doctors, and engineers who undertook endeavours normally reserved for men. It tells fascinating and extraordinary stories featuring initiative, determination, and isolation, set against a backdrop of war, prejudice, and disease.
Patricia Fara investigates the enterprising careers of these pioneering women and their impact on science, medicine, and the First World War.

Suffrage campaigners aligned themselves with scientific and technological progress. Defying protests about their…


Book cover of The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

Hannah Wunsch Author Of The Autumn Ghost: How the Battle Against a Polio Epidemic Revolutionized Modern Medical Care

From my list on medical history that reads like fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a critical care doctor, I love pausing when taking care of patients in a modern ICU to reflect on how far we’ve come in the care we can provide. I want to be entertained while learning about the past, and so I seek out books on medical history that find the wonder and the beauty (and the bizarre and chilling) and make it come alive. I get excited when medical history can be shared in a way that isn’t dry, or academic. These books all do that for me and capture some part of that crazy journey through time. 

Hannah's book list on medical history that reads like fiction

Hannah Wunsch Why did Hannah love this book?

Kate Moore sucked me into the world of the radium girls, who literally glowed from the radium dust that covered them at work, and that they ultimately ingested, sickening them in horrific ways.

The book made me want to scream in anger at their treatment and cheer for those who were determined to defend them and deliver justice. The story is a huge eye-opener about the importance of industry oversight and occupational health regulations. 

By Kate Moore,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Radium Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf book club choice
New York Times bestseller

'Fascinating.' Sunday Times
'Thrilling.' Mail on Sunday

All they wanted was the chance to shine.

Be careful what you wish for...

'The first thing we asked was, "Does this stuff hurt you?" And they said, "No." The company said that it wasn't dangerous, that we didn't need to be afraid.'

As the First World War spread across the world, young American women flocked to work in factories, painting clocks, watches and military dials with a special luminous substance made from radium. It was a fun job, lucrative and…


Book cover of The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life's Work at 72

Jennifer Horne Author Of Odyssey of a Wandering Mind: The Strange Tale of Sara Mayfield, Author

From my list on nonfiction books on lesser-known but fascinating figures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved reading biographies: we only get one life, but through stories of others’ lives we get to absorb into our own imagination their experiences and what they learned, or didn’t, from them. Having written poetry since childhood, I have long been an observer of myself and those around me, with a great curiosity about how people live and what motivates them. I’ve come to see that, no matter what genre I’m writing in, I’m driven to understand the connection between identity and place–for me, in particular, women in the southern U.S., and how each of us makes meaning out of the materials at hand.

Jennifer's book list on nonfiction books on lesser-known but fascinating figures

Jennifer Horne Why did Jennifer love this book?

This book was on the bedside table at a friend’s house where I was staying. I picked it up, started it, and stayed up much later than I had planned!

I was so engaged with the idea of an eighteenth-century woman who began making these botanical paper cut-outs and achieved attention for her work in late life, and I was drawn along by Peacock’s clear, lyrical prose and how she wove in aspects of her own life as a poet.

I loved Mary Delaney’s creativity, spirit, and grit, and she now feels to me like a friend from 250 years ago. 

By Molly Peacock,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mary Delany was seventy-two years old when she noticed a petal drop from a geranium. In a flash of inspiration, she picked up her scissors and cut out a paper replica of the petal, inventing the art of collage. It was the summer of 1772, in England. During the next ten years she completed nearly a thousand cut-paper botanicals (which she called mosaicks) so accurate that botanists still refer to them. Poet-biographer Molly Peacock uses close-ups of these brilliant collages in The Paper Garden to track the extraordinary life of Delany, friend of Swift, Handel, Hogarth, and even Queen Charlotte…


Book cover of The Blazing World

Phoebe Hoban Author Of Alice Neel: The Art of Not Sitting Pretty

From my list on genre-bending artists: inside and out.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a creative family. My father was an illustrator before becoming a children’s book author and novelist. My mother, a trained dancer, became my father’s collaborator, illustrating their internationally-known Frances books. They inspired me and encouraged me to develop my own talent. I started writing at nine, and have never stopped since. I became a journalist, writing about culture and art for The New York times, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and Vogue, among others. I am also the author of three well-received artist biographies: Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art; Lucian Freud: Eyes Wide Open; and Alice Neel: The Art of Not Sitting Pretty.

Phoebe's book list on genre-bending artists: inside and out

Phoebe Hoban Why did Phoebe love this book?

Hustvedt creates a very compelling picture of the inner and outer life of a female artist in the contemporary art world, notorious for both its sexism and ageism. The protagonist comes up with a clever ploy for achieving the same success as a male artist: she takes on a male artist’s persona and name, and hires a male artist to impersonate her in public, a convoluted ploy with great potential to ultimately backfire. Don’t want to provide any plot spoilers!

By Siri Hustvedt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Named one of the New York Times Book Review’s 100 Notable Books of the Year ** Publishers Weekly’s Best Fiction Books of 2014 ** NPR Best Books of 2014 ** Kirkus Reviews Best Literary Fiction Books of 2014 ** Washington Post Top 50 Fiction Books of 2014 ** Boston Globe’s Best Fiction of 2014 ** The Telegraph’s Best Fiction to Read 2014 ** St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Best Books of 2014 ** The Independent Fiction Books of the Year 2014 ** One of Buzzfeed’s Best Books Written by Women in 2014 ** San Francisco Chronicle’s Best of 2014 ** A…


Book cover of Two Steps Forward

Sandy Barker Author Of A Sunrise Over Bali

From my list on personal growth and transformation.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sandy is a writer, traveller, and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover, and a coffee snob. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her partner, Ben, who she met while travelling in Greece. Their real-life love story inspired Sandy’s debut novel One Summer in Santorini, the first in the five-book Holiday Romance series. The series continues in Paris, Sydney, Bali, and Tuscany. Sandy's standalone novel The Christmas Swap celebrates her favourite time of the year, and her rom-com, The Dating Game, is set in the world of Reality TV.

Sandy's book list on personal growth and transformation

Sandy Barker Why did Sandy love this book?

This is such a fun read―a fictionalised account of the real-life husband and wife’s experience of walking the Camino de Santiago. I love how the two protagonists, who start as strangers, take turns to tell their stories, especially the hilarity in the ‘he said–she said’ of their relationship―they really are opposites but both bring out something remarkable in the other. Romantic in a very real way.

By Graeme Simsion, Anne Buist,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER*

'Charming and absorbing' Daily Mail 'Sleepless in Seattle meets Wild . . . A beautifully crafted tale of love, self-acceptance, and blisters' Sunday Express

A smart, funny novel of second chances and reinvention from the author of The Rosie Result - two misfits walk 2,000 km along the Camino to find themselves and, perhaps, each other.

Zoe, a sometime artist, is from California. Martin, an engineer, is from Yorkshire. Both have ended up in picturesque Cluny, in central France. Both are struggling to come to terms with their recent past - for Zoe, the death of her…


Book cover of Women In Art: 50 Fearless Creatives Who Inspired the World

Josh Funk Author Of Dear Unicorn

From my list on pictures to inspire the creative artistic spirit.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author, one of my goals is to encourage kids to fall in love with reading–but I’m not an illustrator. I wish I practiced art more as a kid. If I had, maybe I’d be illustrating my own books. If only these five books existed forty years ago, perhaps I wouldn’t have given up on art. So, in addition to falling in love with reading, I’d love to inspire those same kids to keep exploring their artistic sides. I’ve seen how these books invigorate the artistic spirit of creatives and I hope they do the same for you.

Josh's book list on pictures to inspire the creative artistic spirit

Josh Funk Why did Josh love this book?

Sometimes art is pretty to look at and sometimes art is powerful.

Ignotofsky shares short bios and gorgeous pictures of fifty female artists throughout history and across the globe, most of whom I wasn’t familiar with prior to reading the book. Not only will this book inspire young artists to create, but Women in Art will inspire them to research these artists further, as each one deserves her own picture book biography (some of which already exist!).

By Rachel Ignotofsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women In Art as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

THIS BEAUTIFUL BOOK WITH A GOLD FOIL COVER IS THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR YOUNG BUDDING ARTISTS.

Women in Art is an EMPOWERING and INSPIRATIONAL celebration of some of the most iconic and fearless women who paved the way for the next generation of artists.

From well-known figures such as Frida Kahlo and Dame Vivienne Westwood to lesser-known artists including Harriet Powers (the nineteenth-century African American quilter) and Yoyoi Kusama (a Japenese sculptor), this charmingly illustrated and inspiring book highlights the achievements of 50 notable women in the arts.

Covering a wide array of artistic mediums, this fascinating collection also…


Book cover of Daily Rituals: Women at Work

Lisa Currie Author Of Guidebook to the Unknown: A Journal for Anxious Minds

From my list on journeying into the unknown.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian author and artist who is quite cautious and introverted by nature, but very curious and playful at heart. I make books that help people untangle what’s on their mind today and shift their thinking in creative ways, often using visual metaphors. My latest book, Guidebook to the Unknown, was created during the long lockdowns we had in Melbourne (and all over the world of course) during the pandemic. It was my way of exploring how to calm an anxious mind and find meaning in my daily life, right here and now, without knowing what tomorrow will bring.

Lisa's book list on journeying into the unknown

Lisa Currie Why did Lisa love this book?

As it says on the packet, this is a collection of quick peeks into how 140 brilliant women lived (or are living) their version of a creative life. I loved reading a few pages each morning. It helped to soothe the perfectionist in me, being reminded of the endless ways a life can be lived, in both circumstance and choice. Also to read how the messiness of life is sort of ironed out with hindsight made me feel more welcoming to the current unknown of it all.

By Mason Currey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'That word, "vacation," makes me sweat.' Coco Chanel on taking a break
'You must do it irregardless, or it will eat its way out of you.' Zora Neale Hurston on writing
'One has to choose between the Life and the Project.' Susan Sontag on choosing art

From Vanessa Bell and Charlotte Bronte to Nina Simone and Jane Campion, here are over one hundred and forty female writers, painters, musicians, sculptors, poets, choreographers, and filmmakers on how they create and work.

Barbara Hepworth sculpted outdoors and Janet Frame wore earmuffs as she worked to block out noise. Kate Chopin wrote with…


Book cover of The Carriage House

Kelly Moran Author Of Ghost of A Promise

From my list on paranormal romances with a ghostly twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I adore all things ghostly, from TV shows to books to movies. I immerse myself. For me, I think it began as a young girl with poems from my grandmother’s favorite book and films or programs we’d watch together. The what-if factor and the vast unknown is addicting. It chronically makes us think or sit at the edge of our seats. I’ve even visited haunted locations before and had a couple of experiences. Romance ties into that for me. We all strive for it and hope to find it. It can be as elusive as fog. By combining the two genres, readers like me get the best of all worlds. 

Kelly's book list on paranormal romances with a ghostly twist

Kelly Moran Why did Kelly love this book?

Though this is a romantic suspense, it has that haunted house theme in the backdrop, and I was captivated. I’ve always been fascinated by a home’s history. Who lived there? What were they like? Did they die there? Do they still roam the halls? This took those elements, plus romance, and got me thinking about writing a similar book with that kind of twist. The setting is Boston’s north shore in a 19th-century carriage house, and wow. I wanted the place to be real, to go there and explore myself. There are more books in the series. Carla is a wonderfully warm and engaging author, also. She always responds to her readers.

By Carla Neggers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Revisit the Carriage House series with this classic tale of romantic suspense from New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers.

Fun and a little hard work. That’s all Tess Haviland has in mind when Ike Grantham pays her for her graphic design work on the run-down nineteenth-century carriage house on Boston’s North Shore.

Then Ike disappears and Tess finds herself with much more than a simple weekend project to get her out of the city. It’s not just the rumors that the carriage house is haunted—it’s the neighbors: six-year-old Dolly Thorne, her reclusive babysitter, Harley Beckett…and especially Dolly’s father, Andrew…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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