100 books like The Doctors Blackwell

By Janice P. Nimura,

Here are 100 books that The Doctors Blackwell fans have personally recommended if you like The Doctors Blackwell. 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 Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

Shohini Ghose Author Of Her Space, Her Time: How Trailblazing Women Scientists Decoded the Hidden Universe

From my list on amazing women scientists who will inspire you.

Who am I?

I am a curious optimist, which means I want to know how the universe works and use that knowledge to imagine and build a better future. That’s why I chose a career as a physicist. Along the way, I learned about the marvelous laws that govern our universe, but I also discovered the many unsung women who played a huge role in uncovering those laws. I love to share the inspiring stories of women scientists who persisted in the face of many challenges in fields dominated by men. I think they too were curious optimists.

Shohini's book list on amazing women scientists who will inspire you

Shohini Ghose Why did Shohini love this book?

As a physicist and a woman of color, Hidden Figures was absolutely unforgettable for me because it was the first book I read that celebrated women scientists of color.

This wonderful account of the remarkable African-American women who broke through societal and racial barriers and played critical roles at NASA during the space race, transformed the way I thought about the history of science. Interlacing history with personal narratives, Shetterly powerfully brings these women to life.

Not only does the book draw these long-forgotten women out of the shadows, but it also shines a light on the biases and challenges they faced which still persist today. This is a must-read for anyone interested in science, history, and achievement in the face of adversity.

By Margot Lee Shetterly,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Hidden Figures as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Golden Globe-winner Taraji P. Henson and Academy Award-winners Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner Set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow South and the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA's African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America's space program-and whose contributions have been unheralded, until now. Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as "Human Computers," calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American…

Book cover of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Mary Shanklin Author Of American Castle: One Hundred Years of Mar-a-Lago

From my list on nonfiction with fantastic storytelling.

Who am I?

As a lifelong journalist, I’m riveted by stories that dissect actual events. Nonfiction is my wheelhouse and I’m fortunate to have a related body of distinguished work. Over the decades, I’ve written for exceptional newspaper and magazine editors who taught me the craft of making reality not only engaging – but also meaningful. Instead of ignoring the not-so-convenient truths – details that might be swept away by a historical fiction writer – I hunt for them. My coverage of inequities, hurricanes, and real estate scams has taught me: show, don’t tell. Any author who can take a mountain of interviews, details, facts and color and transform it into a thought-provoking story, they have my attention. 

Mary's book list on nonfiction with fantastic storytelling

Mary Shanklin Why did Mary love this book?

Only dogged research could unearth the story of how one Black woman’s death – and the harvesting of her cells – could change the course of medical research.

It is a story of how some innocuous biological matter could grow into a hothouse of excess. Pharma companies enriched themselves reproducing the cells of Henrietta Lacks but did little or nothing for the family who lost their matriarch.  

For me, this book unleashed the idea of shaping deep research into a story can change our view of society.

By Rebecca Skloot,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With an introduction by author of The Tidal Zone, Sarah Moss

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. Born a poor black tobacco farmer, her cancer cells - taken without her knowledge - became a multimillion-dollar industry and one of the most important tools in medicine. Yet Henrietta's family did not learn of her 'immortality' until more than twenty years after her death, with devastating consequences . . .

Rebecca Skloot's fascinating account is the story of the life, and afterlife, of one woman who changed the medical world for ever. Balancing the beauty and drama…

Book cover of The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

Kate Andersen Brower Author Of Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon

From my list on rule-breaking, risk-taking, bad a$# women.

Who am I?

When I covered the White House as a young reporter I was always more interested in understanding what was happening in the upstairs residence than in what briefings we were getting from the president’s advisers in the Roosevelt Room. I was raised with the understanding that in the end everyone is equal and that no one, no matter how powerful they are, gets out of the human experience. I think that’s what makes me interested in iconic women, from Elizabeth Taylor to Betty Ford. There’s nothing I like better than reading their letters and trying to understand what made them tick, and how they navigated their complicated and very public lives.

Kate's book list on rule-breaking, risk-taking, bad a$# women

Kate Andersen Brower Why did Kate love this book?

My friend Denise Kiernan shines a light on the thousands of women who worked on the Manhattan Project.

If you’ve seen Oppenheimer and you’re interested in the story behind the development of the atomic bomb, then this book will help you understand the hidden figures behind its creation. What I love the most about Denise’s writing is the way that she brings the mysterious origins of Oak Ridge, a Tennessee town created to house the people working on the bomb, to life. 

At a time when the stakes couldn’t have been higher, women were at the center of the story.

By Denise Kiernan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller, now available in paperback—an incredible true story of the top-secret World War II town of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the young women brought there unknowingly to help build the atomic bomb.

“The best kind of nonfiction: marvelously reported, fluidly written, and a remarkable story...As meticulous and brilliant as it is compulsively readable.” —Karen Abbott, author of Sin in the Second City

At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, and consumed more electricity than New York City, yet it was shrouded in such secrecy that it did not…

Book cover of Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

Robbyn Swan Author Of A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame and a Family’s Quest For Justice

From my list on American code-breaking in World War II.

Who are we?

Anthony Summers and I are the authors of several books that focus on the world of intelligence, including The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden- which was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. As we revealed in our most recent book, A Matter of Honor, U.S. code-breaking efforts in World War II began with a colossal failure – Pearl Harbor. According to the first official report on the disaster, the attack “had been clearly foreshadowed” in the Japanese diplomatic traffic the U.S had decoded. The story of how the Americans turned that initial failure into success came to fascinate me.

Robbyn's book list on American code-breaking in World War II

Robbyn Swan Why did Robbyn love this book?

Mundy’s unputdownable book tells the story of the women behind some of the most significant code-breaking triumphs of the war. The work of women like Elizabeth Friedman – who got her start unpicking the codes of Prohibition-era liquor smugglers – was one of the war’s best-kept secrets.

By Liza Mundy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An expert on East European politics and economics analyzes and evaluates Western policies toward the new East European democracies as they struggle to build stable political orders and functioning market economies. He argues that the West must give higher priority to assisting the region and reorient its strategies so as to emphasize the political and administrative dimensions of economic reconstruction. He reviews the economic legacy of past Western policies and of Eastern Europe's previous dependency on the Soviet Union, and then examines in detail the changing East-West trade patterns, the prospect for Western investment and technology transfer, the questions of…

Book cover of Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art

Miriam Schulman Author Of Artpreneur: The Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Sustainable Living from Your Creativity

From my list on artists monetizing their creativity.

Who am I?

With over 20 years of experience as a professional artist and a successful track record of earning six figures a year from my art, I know firsthand what it takes to build a thriving artistic career. As the host of the Inspiration Place podcast, and founder of the Artist Incubator program, I’ve dedicated my life’s work to helping artists everywhere achieve their full potential and reach their goals. When you overcome the common challenges and mindset blocks that hold so many artists back and learn the practical tools and strategies you need for selling your art, you too find the same success.

Miriam's book list on artists monetizing their creativity

Miriam Schulman Why did Miriam love this book?

This is an in-depth and well-researched exploration of the abstract expressionist movement, with a particular focus on the female artists who played a crucial role in shaping the movement. This book offers a fresh perspective on a significant period in the history of modern art and provides readers with a deeper understanding of the contributions made by women artists during this time. What I liked most about this book was the spotlight it shines on the critical role of key female artists in the abstract expressionist movement, who often get overlooked in traditional art historical narratives. Overall, Ninth Street Women is a must-read for anyone interested in learning about the groundbreaking contributions of female artists in the 20th century, and the impact of the abstract expressionist movement on contemporary art.

By Mary Gabriel,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Ninth Street Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NINTH STREET WOMEN is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, always exhilarating story of five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting--not as muses but as artists. From their cold-water lofts, where they painted, drank, fought, and loved, these pioneers burst open the door to the art world for themselves and groundbreaking artists to come.

They include Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning, whose careers were at times overshadowed by the fame of their husbands, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, but who emerged as stunning talents in their own right, as well as a younger…

Book cover of You Don't Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War

Janet Somerville Author Of Yours, for Probably Always: Martha Gellhorn's Letters of Love and War 1930-1949

From my list on women war correspondents.

Who am I?

Janet Somerville taught literature for 25 years in Toronto. She served on the PEN Canada Board and chaired many benefits that featured writers including Diana Athill, Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle, Stephen King, Alice Munro, Azar Nafisi, and Ian Rankin. She contributes frequently to the Toronto Star Book Pages, and has been handwriting a #LetterADay for 8 years. Since 2015 she has been immersed in Martha Gellhorn’s life and words, with ongoing access to Gellhorn’s restricted papers in Boston. Yours, for Probably Always: Martha Gellhorn’s Letters of Love & War 1930-1949 is her first book, now also available from Penguin Random House Audio, read by the Tony Award-winning Ellen Barkin. 

Janet's book list on women war correspondents

Janet Somerville Why did Janet love this book?

Becker writes vibrantly about three intrepid journalists who covered the Vietnam War and the U.S. invasion of Cambodia: Pulitzer Prize-winning magazine writer Frances Fitzgerald, photojournalist Catherine Leroy, and combat reporter Kate Webb, whose insistence on getting close to the action led to her capture. Their individual stories, including traumas and injuries are set in relief against wider history.

By Elizabeth Becker,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked You Don't Belong Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The long buried story of three extraordinary female journalists who permanently shattered the official and cultural barriers to women covering war.

Kate Webb, an Australian iconoclast, Catherine Leroy, a French dare devil photographer, and Frances FitzGerald, a blue-blood American intellectual, arrived in Vietnam with starkly different life experiences but one shared purpose: to report on the most consequential story of the decade.

At a time when women were considered unfit to be foreign reporters, Frankie, Catherine and Kate paid their own way to war, arrived without jobs, challenged the rules imposed on them by the military, ignored the belittlement and…

Book cover of The Equivalents: A Story of Art, Female Friendship, and Liberation in the 1960s

Heather Clark Author Of Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath

From my list on group biographies of women.

Who am I?

Heather Clark is the author of Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath which was a finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography, and a Book of the Year at The Guardian, O the Oprah Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, The Times (London), Lit Hub, Good Morning America Book Club, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a new group biography about the Boston years of Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Adrienne Rich, and Maxine Kumin, under contract with Knopf. She is a professor of Contemporary Poetry at the University of Huddersfield in Yorkshire, England.

Heather's book list on group biographies of women

Heather Clark Why did Heather love this book?

Maggie Doherty tells the story of five women artists—Anne Sexton, Maxine Kumin, Barbara Swan, Tillie Olsen, and Marianna Pineda—who were among the first fellows at Radcliffe’s new Institute for Independent Study. The fellowship was originally designed for women who needed a room (and a paycheck) of their own to resume work interrupted by marriage and motherhood. Doherty weaves a history of Radcliffe’s pioneering venture with moving stories of the first fellows, whose friendships strengthened their resolve to pursue art in the face of male skepticism.

By Maggie Doherty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


In 1960, Harvard’s sister college, Radcliffe, announced the founding of an Institute for Independent Study, a “messy experiment” in women’s education that offered paid fellowships to those with a PhD or “the equivalent” in artistic achievement. Five of the women who received fellowships—poets Anne Sexton and Maxine Kumin, painter Barbara Swan, sculptor Marianna Pineda, and writer Tillie Olsen—quickly formed deep bonds with one another that would inspire and sustain their most ambitious work. They called themselves “the Equivalents.” Drawing from notebooks, letters, recordings, journals, poetry, and prose, Maggie Doherty weaves a moving…

Book cover of Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--And the Journey of a Generation

Liisa Kyle Author Of Be More Creative: 101 Activities to Unleash and Grow Your Creativity

From my list on the early lives of rock stars.

Who am I?

As a life coach and author of two dozen self-help books, I’ve spent the past twenty years helping people to be more creative. I love reading about the early lives of artists because it is an engaging way to learn about the creative process. Even rock stars have doubts, insecurities, regrets, and setbacks. Yet, fueled by their passions, they persist. They overcome their obstacles and pursue unique paths to success. These books are inspirational and informative for anyone with a creative dream.

Liisa's book list on the early lives of rock stars

Liisa Kyle Why did Liisa love this book?

This is a compelling, detailed history of three influential singer/songwriters – Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon. Their early careers were wildly different, yet intersected in unexpected ways as they each found their unique paths to success. What I love most about this deftly written account is that specific songs are set in their historical context, so you better understand what was happening with the artist at that time and gain new insights into the songs that still resonate today, fifty years later.

By Sheila Weller,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Girls Like Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking and irresistible biography of three of America’s most important musical artists—Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon—charts their lives as women at a magical moment in time.

Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important women in popular music. Each woman is distinct. Carole King is the product of outer-borough, middle-class New York City; Joni Mitchell is a granddaughter of Canadian farmers; and Carly Simon is a child of the Manhattan intellectual upper crust. They collectively represent, in their lives and their songs, a great swath of American girls who came of…

Book cover of The Trials of Madame Restell: Nineteenth-Century America's Most Infamous Female Physician and the Campaign to Make Abortion a Crime

Marcia Biederman Author Of The Disquieting Death of Emma Gill: Abortion, Death, and Concealment in Victorian New England

From my list on abortion flourishing even when criminalized.

Who am I?

Years ago, I wrote mystery novels featuring women investigators when that was new in the genre. Now, I discover stories of real-life women whose lives have a natural story arc that can engage the reader from start to finish. Like gambling and prostitution, abortion, when it was illegal in the US, as it is now again in many places, was simultaneously in your face and undercover. It was also largely practiced by women, which is why I’m fascinated by books about it.

Marcia's book list on abortion flourishing even when criminalized

Marcia Biederman Why did Marcia love this book?

I thought I had nothing left to learn about Madame Restell, the unapologetic 19th-century abortion provider until I saw how this book was organized. While keeping the narrative flowing, Syrett helpfully organizes Restell’s career into phases defined by changes in the law, her trials, and the emergence of one male adversary after another.

I loved learning that, even after Restell met her Waterloo, her loving grandchildren profited from her legacy. As told by Syrett, a gender-norm-defying woman who was literally hounded to death somehow managed to have the last laugh.

By Nicholas L. Syrett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The biography of one of the most famous abortionists of the nineteenth century-and a story that has unmistakable parallels to the current war on reproductive rights

For forty years in the mid-nineteenth century, "Madame Restell," the nom de guerre of the most successful female physician in America, sold birth control medication, attended women during their pregnancies, delivered their children, and performed abortions in a series of clinics run out of her home in New York City. It was the abortions that made her famous. "Restellism" became the term her detractors used to indict her.

Restell began practicing when abortion was…

Book cover of The Unsung Hero

Tina Wainscott Author Of Wild Lies

From my list on action/suspense romance with hot heroes and heart.

Who am I?

I love the combination of action and romance and suspense. It’s a real juggle as an author to balance the two main elements (suspense and romance mostly), give each depth and page time, and make us care about the people both in love and in peril. I’ve always been drawn to suspense, even as a kid. But I gotta have the relationships, too. I used to direct plays with my childhood friends, and there were always bad guys and the romance—and this was long before I was thinking of having a real romance!

Tina's book list on action/suspense romance with hot heroes and heart

Tina Wainscott Why did Tina love this book?

Suzanne was one of the early military romance superstars, at least for me. Her books aren’t always just a simple chronological storyline. Here we meet a few couples or couples-to-be, plus there’s a flashback story as well. This is the first of the Troubleshooters series, and it was great to see how it started with a SEAL hero whose sighting of a terrorist in his hometown wasn’t believed because he’d had a head injury in combat. Tracking him down, while finding himself around a lost love, makes for a satisfying read.

By Suzanne Brockmann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The new Suzanne Brockmann novel from Headline and the first book in the Troubleshooters series. Troubleshooters: Danger can be addictive. After a near-fatal head injury, US Navy SEAL Lieutenant Tom Paoletti is forced to take a leave of absence from his Seal team, the Troubleshooters. Being out of the action is so far out of character that he thinks a visit home to New England may be the answer. So much the better if that means he can see Dr Kelly Ashton again. Then the unthinkable happens as Tom catches a terrifying glimpse of an international terrorist in his hometown.…

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