A lot of women face many challenges in their lives that men don’t have to face. It can be daunting to handle all of the pressures on your own, especially when you feel like giving up. So all it needs is some inspiration and motivation to keep you going. Luckily, plenty of excellent books can help us handle everything from career struggles to physical strength and mental toughness training to self-confidence issues. Here are 12 of the best books that will inspire you as a woman and help you reach your goals!
When you feel like there’s no hope and everything sucks, sometimes all you need is some inspiration and motivation to help you get through the day. It can be challenging for some women to find this in the hustle and bustle of daily life, especially when they have kids or are busy working or going to school. Luckily, tons of inspirational books are out there just waiting to be read! These 12 must-read books for women will inspire you and help you gain motivation when you need it most.
1. Women, Work, & the Art of Savoir Faire: Business Sense & Sensibility by Mireille Guiliano
Today, more than ever before, working women have to be agile and intelligent in their career planning and management approach. However, like any other, a business needs a well thought out strategy if you want it to succeed. That’s why Mireille Guiliano decided to write an advice book on business sense and sensibility from a woman’s perspective. It is an essential guide for all ambitious ladies who want to juggle their work with family life without compromising either one of them.
With solid advice on everything from networking and job seeking to be an effective manager, it’s no wonder that Mireille Guiliano became one of France’s leading businesswomen. It is worth picking up just for her list of Ten Rules of Business Savoir Faire, which includes a helpful reminder to be well-dressed (no runny mascara) at all times. It also explains why she believes strongly in maintaining positive energy. Just because you have a business doesn’t mean you need to wear your stress on your sleeve—or on your face, as it were.
2. In Spite Of Everything by Judith Thurman
Judith Thurman’s memoir is a phenomenal addition to any woman’s collection. Through her years of working for various publications, Thurman took copious notes on historical events and leaders. It allowed her to take several unexpected twists and turns in her career. All of these notes come together in a unique and insightful narrative that sheds light on some of history’s most fascinating people. No matter where you are standing in your life and what accomplishments you have under your belt, In Spite Of Everything is sure to inspire anyone who reads it.
Judith Thurman may have achieved success as a writer and an editor. Yet she never forgot that she was once a woman—with hopes, fears, and ambitions of her own. In her book, “In Spite of Everything”, Judith reflects on her life with honesty and humour; she recounts not only her accomplishments but also the challenges that inevitably come with being a woman in a male-dominated society. And Judith’s career certainly hasn’t been easy—the challenges were many. They stem from external factors (sexual harassment by her boss) and internal ones (complacency). Yet somehow, Judith has not only prevailed against these hurdles but become successful despite them.
3. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
When Elizabeth Gilbert was in her early thirties, she left behind her husband and a successful career as a writer to embark on an around-the-world journey of self-discovery. She travelled to Italy, India and Indonesia to explore faith, pleasure and love over six months. Eat Pray Love is her memoir about finding herself after divorce, losing weight, healing from depression and learning to live life again. Gilbert’s candid writing resonates with readers everywhere who have struggled with anything similar. Plus, she’s funny! Did I mention it’s a page-turner? Just keep time before starting it because it will be tough to put down once you start reading!
In addition to being an entertaining read, readers will find Eat Pray Love a good resource when they’re seeking inspiration and motivation. The book is filled with real-life experiences, insights and quotes that will motivate you to live your life on your own terms. The book also inspired a 2010 film starring Julia Roberts as Gilbert, for which she generally received positive reviews for. A cautionary note – Eat Pray Love could become addictive because it’s so easy to relate to Gilbert’s struggles and triumphs!
4. The 5-Second Rule by Mel Robbins
Mel Robbins, the New York Times best-selling author of The 5 Second Rule, shows you how to apply the super simple concepts to your life. He gives you confidence and lets you embrace failure as a step toward success. Whether in business or your personal life, learning to push past fear is critical. In The 5-Second Rule, Mel Robbins teaches readers how to change their perception about what’s holding them back. People who have had great success in their lives don’t do so because they are fearless; they become fearless because they’ve overcome their fears.
According to Robbins, using five simple words (five-four-three-two-one), we can reprogram our brains to believe anything is possible. By doing so, we can motivate ourselves to act more courageously in our personal and professional lives. Written with a conversational tone, it is a motivational book that will help change your life. So, you should consider giving it a chance.
5. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick
This book is a firsthand account of Malala Yousafzai’s extraordinary journey, giving voice to her courageous fight for every girl’s right to go to school. It is a celebration of bravery, resilience, hope, and proof that one young woman can genuinely change her world. Originally written in English by Patricia McCormick (author of Sold), the book is translated into more than 40 languages worldwide. This New York Times bestseller has over 300,000 copies in print worldwide.
Malala Yousafzai has become a global icon in her fight to ensure that all girls get an education. Her story is a lucid account of how a girl never let fear stand in her way to a brave young woman who continues to speak out for those who are silenced. Readers will also hear from family members, friends, classmates and teachers of Malala and world leaders such as President Barack Obama and Pakistani activist/politician Imran Khan. With its true account of one girl’s journey and images that capture the heart of Afghanistan. Here is an unforgettable testament to one girl’s strength and hope in a country whose history has been marked by violence.
6. Becoming by Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama’s bestselling memoir will inspire and motivate you to work toward your goals — even if it’s from behind closed doors in a small town or big city. Mrs Obama was raised on Chicago’s South Side, then went on to Princeton University and Harvard Law School (the first black woman in her graduating class). The former first lady wrote a moving account of what it was like to grow up on her side of Chicago. And the racial issues throughout America that she faced while living in the White House with President Barack Obama.
While her husband fought for his political life, Michelle Obama was busy becoming a powerful force in and of herself. If you’re wondering what it takes to step into your power, then you need to pick up a copy of Becoming. In short: It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication. But your hard work will be worth it! Becoming isn’t just about Michelle Obama, though; it’s about you taking control of your life journey and making something extraordinary happen.
7. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
It is a laugh-out-loud book filled with witty and intelligent humour. Amy Poehler discusses her life, how she got to where she is today, and more importantly, what she’s learned along the way. It will undoubtedly leave you feeling inspired and motivated to follow your dreams. This book is a perfect gift for any woman in your life.
A comedian, actress and writer take on a variety of topics important to women. This book is a revitalizing look at how girls can grow up and become powerful, successful individuals. Poehler is funny, intelligent and witty in all aspects of her life, so you’ll enjoy reading all about it in her first memoir. She shares what it was like starting as an unknown voice actor through to being one of Saturday Night Live’s biggest stars.
8. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is one of those books that pretty much everyone needs to read. It will not only teach you how to declutter your home, but it can also teach you how to take a step back and eliminate anything in your life that doesn’t bring you joy.
The book is more than just a guide to cleaning. Instead, the Japanese organizing consultant and tidying expert provide step-by-step instructions on creating order in your home and life using what she calls the magic of tidying up.
Kondo’s approach requires that you focus on discarding rather than organizing. The process can take years to complete, depending upon three fundamental questions: does it spark joy? Is it useful? Does it bring me joy? If an item doesn’t meet these criteria, you’ll be required to purge it. Kondo’s advice is helpful not only for living spaces but also for our physical and emotional selves.
9. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
I know what you’re thinking. Rachel Hollis? Isn’t she just a rich, mean girl who went bankrupt after cheating on her husband? Well, yes and no. This book is about so much more than that. It’s about inspiring and motivating yourself to get where you want to be in life. It’s full of personal stories from Hollis and other famous faces like Reese Witherspoon and Chrissy Teigen. It also contains little life hacks at points throughout every chapter. I sometimes feel like it drags on a bit, but generally, it’s a fantastic book that gives honest advice with wit and humour.
Rachel Hollis offers tough love in a funny, poignant and honest book about fear, faith and finding your voice. Rachel’s story resonates with anyone who has ever felt out of place or unworthy. She’ll explore how to build each other up rather than tearing each other down with hard-hitting wit and brutal honesty. So let’s encourage each other to wash our faces of all that holds us back. And let’s start right now.
10. I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi
It’s nearly impossible to write a list of must-read books and not include Luvvie Ajayi’s I’m Judging You. The book is funny and compelling—even if you don’t agree with everything Ajayi has to say. It will drive you to think more deeply about society’s ills. The 30 chapters focus on criticism, work culture, sexism, racism, gender bias and more; they’re broken up into short sections that make it easy to dip in and out when reading. In addition to humour, readers will find a fair bit of hard truth in I’m Judging You.
Luvvie Ajayi’s book is a funny and inspiring guide that helps you figure out who you are and what makes you unique. Her take on life, dating, success, and everything in between will have you doubling over with laughter one moment and coming to terms with your limitations in another. In addition, the book helps you set boundaries so that people can see your brand without making assumptions about it. It makes you realize that you should be taken for granted or dismissed as irrelevant by not clearly defining yourself.
11. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
If you haven’t read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, then you’re missing out on some precious business and life advice. The book covers topics ranging from negotiating a raise, creating a personal mission statement, redefining success, and unleashing your full potential. These are important issues for all women, not just those in professional roles. So start with Lean In if you want to learn more about what it means to be successful as a woman in our modern world.
Facebook COO and Lean In champion Sheryl Sandberg writes: One of its most important tenets is that if we all work together and lean in (both figuratively and literally) toward our jobs, families, and lives, we can achieve whatever we set out to do. Simply put: You are not standing in your way.
12. Mindset by Carol Dweck
In Mindset, Carol Dweck shows how success in school, work and sports relies on a growth mindset. The idea is that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Dweck explains why it’s so important to have a growth mindset—and how you can foster one in yourself, your children, and even your students. Mindset is great for those who haven’t started on their personal or professional development journeys.
Most people are accustomed to thinking of success in terms of innate ability. If you’re naturally smart, that’s great! But if you struggle with a subject, you’re probably just not good at it. In her research, Carol Dweck has shown that when children believe their brains can grow and change, they see new challenges as exciting opportunities to learn. Mindset shows us how great parents and teachers help kids develop a growth mindset—and how we can all encourage and nurture these traits in ourselves.
To conclude, whether you’re currently striving to achieve your next goal or are simply looking to expand your mind, these 12 books are some of our favourites. Each offers its unique voice and perspective, but they all have one thing in common: They’ll help you think differently. And maybe that’s why we believe every woman should take some time to devour them. We all need a little more inspiration and motivation in our lives—especially if it comes from a good book.
More importantly, knowledge is not enough; we must apply it. Willing is not enough; we must do it. That could not be more true than getting motivated and inspired to achieve your goals and dreams. If you desire to get a head start on your goal setting, these 12 motivation-inspiring books will help get you going! Happy reading!