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32 Books to Inspire Your Journey Through History

Welcome to an empowering exploration of women’s history! Many of you have reached out to me, asking for a curated list of books that delve into the fascinating narratives of women throughout time.

I'm thrilled to share with you a selection of my favorite books. I have found that these works remain relevant and impactful despite the passage of time, offering insights that continue to resonate today.

In my blogs and in my book, "The Hidden Camino," I often discuss how much of historical research still struggles with preconceived notions about women and gender.

By reading and exploring these books, I invite you to embark on a lifelong adventure of discovering our history in all its vibrant colors. This journey is not about finding an absolute truth, but about learning to see with fresh eyes, asking new questions, and deepening your understanding of who we are and where we come from.

Embracing the Journey

These books are more than just historical accounts; they are gateways to understanding the complex and rich tapestry of women's contributions to our world. As you delve into these stories, you'll find yourself on a journey that transcends time, offering new perspectives and inspiring questions about our collective past and future.

Reading about these remarkable women and their stories not only educates us but also empowers us to continue exploring and redefining our cultural and historical narratives. This journey is an invitation to develop a more mature and equal sense of identity, both individually and collectively. By understanding the diverse and dynamic roles women have played throughout history, we can better appreciate the potential for growth and equality in our own lives and communities.

As we embrace this adventure together, we foster a deeper connection to our heritage and cultivate a more inclusive and balanced understanding of history. This shared exploration encourages us to envision who we can become—alone and together—by drawing strength from the past and applying its lessons to build a more equitable future.

Let’s continue this journey with open minds and hearts, inspired by the courage, wisdom, and resilience of the women who came before us. May your exploration of these books be as enlightening and inspiring as mine has been.

Happy reading, and may your journey through these books enrich your understanding and empower your spirit.

Recommended Books

Classic Literature by Women

  1. Out of Africa by Karen Blixen (2011, Penguin Books)

  2. Babette’s Feast and Other Stories by Karen Blixen (Isaak Dinesen) (2013, Penguin Books)

  3. A Romance of Two Worlds by Marie Corelli (2021, Edinburgh University Press)

  4. The Wonderful Adventure of Nils Holgersson by Selma Lagerlöf (2018, Penguin Classics)

  5. Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren (2001, Penguin Putnam)

  6. Selective Writings of Gertrude Stein by Gertrude Stein (1990, Random House)

Historical Narratives and Biographies

  1. Elizabeth’s Women by Tracy Borman (2010, Vintage Publishing)

  2. When Women Ruled the World by Kara Cooney (2010, National Geographic Society)

  3. The Woman Who Would be King by Kara Cooney (2015, Crown Publishing Group)

  4. Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women by Kate Cooper (2013, Atlantic Books)

  5. Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda (2006, HarperCollins)

  6. Mistress of the Vatican by Eleanor Herman (2008, Harper Perennial)

  7. Tuscan Countess by Michele Spike (2004, Vendome)

  8. Marie Corelli: Shakespeare’s Companion by Jann Tracy (2017, Walking Stork Publications)

  9. Desert Queen by Janet Wallach (2004, Orion Books)

Fiction Inspired by History

  1. Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross (1996, Ballantine Books)

  2. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (2014, St. Martin’s Press)

  3. The Doorstep Society by Kate Thompson (2019, Penguin Books)

Women in Prehistory and Early History

  1. Invisible Women of Prehistory by Judy Foster and M. Derlet (2013, Spinifex)

  2. Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory by Joan M. Gero and Margaret W. Conkey (1991, Blackwell Publishers)

Women in Religion and Spirituality

  1. A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power by Jimmy Carter (2014, Simon & Schuster)

  2. Women of Sufism: A Hidden Treasure by Camille Helminski (2003, Shambhala)

  3. The Wisdom of the Beguines by Laura Swan (2014, Bluebridge)

  4. God as Mother by Victoria Jennings (2002, Inner Search Books)

  5. The Bible's Most Misunderstood Women by Mary Ann Beavis and Helen K. Bond (2021, Bloomsbury T&T Clark)

Exploring Gender and Culture

  1. Celtic Women by Peter B. Ellis (1995, Constable and Company Ltd)

  2. Wise Women of the Dreamtime by K. L. Parker (1993, Inner Traditions International)

  3. Old Mistresses: Women, Art, and Ideology by Rozsika Parker and Griselda Pollock (2013, I.B. Tauris)

  4. Warrior Women by Robin Cross and Rosalind Miles (2011, Quercus)

  5. Wild Women by Pamela Robson (2011, Murdoch Books)

  6. Bad Girls & Wicked Women by J. Stradling (2008, Murdoch Books)

  7. Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal edited by Norma Baumel Joseph and Dianne Ashton (2003, KTAV Publishing House)

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Louise Sommer is an Educational Psychological Consultant specializing in cultural psychology, multi-cultural communication, and cultural trauma. She is the author of the bestseller "The Hidden Camino," a profound exploration of historical and spiritual narratives. As a professional blogger, Louise delves into the intricate relationships between cultural narratives, identity, and spirituality, offering unique insights and fostering understanding in a multi-cultural world. Discover more about her work and writings at


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