Few things make me happier than books and empowering women so this post just might the best Venn diagram ever.

I am often asked by readers to recommend my favourite books for empowering women so I’ve decided to begin making a few book lists of my favourites to recommend.

First up are these ones: non-fiction favourites for ordinary women. These are the books accessible for almost anyone – you could read them with your book club at church or in your neighbourhood or with your bible study or on your own.

We all know that I could have probably listed 100 books easily but I’ve decided to keep this simple by focusing on accessible, easy-to-order, fairly recent non-fiction with a mostly Christian focus. Some of these are hilarious, others are sobering. Some are essays about being a woman and others are persuasive arguments.Some of them are written by church leaders, one is written by a best-selling tv-writer. One is releasing next week, a few others are old favourites. They are all inspiring, they are all challenging, they are all originators of good conversation, and I just plain liked them all.

And keep your eyes open: I’ll be publishing another list of fiction favourites to empower women, a list for empowering young girls, and another one for the more scholarly/theological/academic folks among us in the next week or two!

My hope is that there is something here or in one of those future lists for you or for the women in your life to read and talk about this winter.

The books we read shape who we are. If we are reading books that are reminding us that we are called, chosen, capable, strong, wise, empowered by the Holy Spirit…well, the dangerous thing is that we might just believe them. As the proverb says, when sleeping women wake, mountains move!

NIV Bible for Women with devotionals by Shauna Niequist, Sarah Bessey, Enuma Okoro and more

The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right Again by Lisa Sharon Harper*

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You Are Supposed to Be and Be Who You Are by Brene Brown

Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in Ministry by Tara Beth Leach*

Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life by Jen Hatmaker

Dear Ijeawele; or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie*

A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband ‘Master’ by Rachel Held Evans

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes*

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

A Woman’s Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World by Katelyn Beaty*

Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women by Carolyn Custis James

Shalom Sistas: Living Wholeheartedly in a Brokenhearted World by Osheta Moore

Why Not Women?: A Biblical Study of Women in Missions, Ministry, and Leadership by Loren Cunningham, David Joel Hamilton, and Janice Rogers

More Than Enchanting: Breaking Through Barriers to Influence Your World by Jo Saxton

50 Women Every Christian Should Know by Michelle DeRusha

Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle

Gifted to Lead: The Art of Leading as a Woman in the Church by Nancy Beach

And of course: Jesus Feminist by yours truly

*these titles are not pictured because they are either on my Kindle or loaned out at the moment.

P.S. Don’t forget – my annual Christmas Gift Guide to Empower Women is coming out soon! To get first-access sneak peek on November 20th, sign up for my e-newsletter Field Notes (and not to spoil the surprise but there will be an exclusive giveaway just for subscribers, too!). But don’t worry – The Gift Guide itself will be posted here on November 22. I’m busily putting that together at the moment and it is AMAZING this year. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Your turn: What non-fiction books would you recommend to empower women?

I love to talk about books! You can also check out:


Our Favourite Books of 2016

My Favourite Books of 2015

My 10 Favourite Books of 2014

10 books that changed my faith

10 books that influence my parenting

10 books by Canadians I wish the world would read

10 books for tinies and 10 books for older tinies (ages 4-7)

10 books I read over and over (and over)

10 spiritual memoirs

My daily books + 10 books of poetry

*affiliate links

Why you need to watch the new Anne series - yes, I'm talking to you, fellow purists
My Favourite Picture Books to Empower Girls
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