10 Nonfiction Books Like "Wonder Woman" That Will Having You Feeling The Girl Power
If you saw the movie Wonder Woman in the last couple of weeks, you probably felt a very particular mix of emotions. Maybe you wept with joy, realizing you had never seen a super-powered woman on the big screen like this before. Maybe you were filled with a righteous anger, and punched the first man you saw after leaving the theater. And maybe, just maybe, you walked out the movie champing at the bit to read about some actual Wonder Women. So here are a few nonfiction books to read if you just can't get enough Amazon warriors in your life right now.
Of course, if you just want to read more about Diana and her justice-seeking adventures, there are a lot of Wonder Woman comics to check out. But if you're looking for something a little more factual, there are also quite a few nonfiction books on comic book ladies, woman warriors, and the history that led up to the very first Wonder Woman comic. I mean, did you know that the the legends about Amazons might have been based in fact? Or that quite a few women fought in World War I? Or that the writer who came up with Wonder Woman also invented the lie detector test?
Check out these books for more facts on wondrous women:
1. 'The Secret History of Wonder Woman' by Jill Lepore
Where did Wonder Woman come from, anyway? Jill Lepore's The Secret History of Wonder Woman is a fascinating look at Wonder Woman's creation, her enduring popularity, and the role of feminism in her rise to power. Plus, you get all the inside scoop on Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston, his inventions, and his wildly unconventional love life.
2. 'Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History' by Sam Maggs, illustrated by Sophia Foster-Dimino
We all love our fictional heroines, but sometimes we want to read about the real women who changed history. And cute illustrations don't hurt, either. Wonder Women profiles 25 incredible women who you might not have heard of—like rocket scientist Mary Sherman Morgan, inventor Huang Daopo, and WWII spy Noor Inayat Khan. Each one of them has a story worthy of a big budget, superhero treatment.
3. 'The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut's Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt' by Kara Cooney
Hippolyta is a pretty badass lady ruler. But ruling over a relatively small island of Amazons is one thing—ruling all of Ancient Egypt when a bunch of men are trying to keep you down is quite another. The Woman Who Would Be King is the incredible true story of Hatshepsut, the cross-dressing woman Pharaoh who led Egypt into one of its most prolific building periods.
4. 'Chicks Dig Comics: A Celebration of Comic Books by the Women Who Love Them' edited by Lynne M. Thomas
Let me just clear this up, for anyone who might still be confused: women like comics. Superheroes are not just for little boys or middle-aged men sitting in basements. Chicks Dig Comics is a collection of essays by the award-winning writers and artists who bring you your favorite comic books (while also being women), all about their favorite series, characters, and how they broke into the comic book industry.
5. 'Warrior Women: An Archaeologist's Search for History's Hidden Heroines' by Jeannine Davis-Kimball and Mona Behan
Don't be scared off by the word "archaeologist," because Warrior Women is a captivating look at ancient women on the battlefield through both science and myth. Jeannine Davis-Kimball has traveled all over the world, Indiana Jones style, to uncover the secret history of badass ladies from China to the Celtic lands.
6. 'We Also Served: The Forgotten Women of the First World War' by Vivien Newman
If your favorite part of Wonder Woman was the backdrop of World War I, then you need to read We Also Served. Vivien Newman dispels myths about WWI, and tells the true stories of courageous women who fought, spied, and worked to win the First World War. From knitting projects to serving in the Royal Navy, women's contributions have largely been left out of the history books, and Newman is here to set the record straight.
7. 'The Woman Warrior' by Maxine Hong Kingston
The Woman Warrior is one of the most classic memoirs of all time. Kingston weaves together myth, history, and her own childhood memories to bring us this beautiful meditation on her own Chinese American womanhood. True, the Mulan legends in this book aren't exactly nonfiction, but the overall memoir is a testament to how the stories of woman warriors filter into our real lives.
8. 'The Secret Loves of Geek Girls' edited by Hope Nicholson
Being a female superhero fan, or any other kind of geek girl, can be complicated. The Secret Loves of Geek Girls celebrates all the wonder and weirdness of being a female fan, with essays, stories, and comics from veteran creators like Margaret Atwood, Marjorie Liu, and Mariko Tamaki. It's hilarious, it's touching, and it's a must-read collection for sci-fi fans of every gender.
9. 'Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology' by Jennifer K. Stuller
A feminist critique of super-powered women in the media? Yes. Please. Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors takes a look at fictional women like Wonder Woman, Buffy, and Charlie's Angels, exploring where they exist in our modern mythology. Stuller argues that these superwomen do a lot more than just stand by their supermen, and that we're starting to see a dent in the boys' club of macho hero flicks.
10. 'The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World' by Adrienne Mayor
THE AMAZONS WERE REAL. OK, so that's an over-simplification, but The Amazons is one amazing look at the thrilling history behind the Amazon legends. Adrienne Mayor separates myths from undeniable fact, like the discovery of battle-scarred female skeletons buried with their weapons all throughout the ancient world. If you wish you could go live on Themyscira, this book is the next best thing.