Anyone can have good days and bad days, and when you are in much need of a perfect pick-me-up, some books about strong women will give you the incentive you need to push harder and be the best you can be. Drawing your inspiration from real-life examples is the ideal way to find the answers to the questions that might keep you from marching forward.
There are many beautiful books out there that document the journey – and success! – of just as many wonderful women. Here are some titles to get you started.
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Shonda Rhimes is a genuine example of a successful woman in the world we live in today. The genius behind the television series Grey’s Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder clearly must have known for a long time how to live a happy life. Or did she? Her book, Year of Yes, documents her decision to change her life for the better by saying ‘yes’ to everything for an entire year.
The book emerged as a soul-searching experiment when Shonda Rhimes realized, after a conversation with her sister, that her existence was plagued by anxiety and feelings of worthlessness. The important lesson she teaches in Year of Yes is that not even money and what people might see as a glamorous life can cure you of your problems that come from within.
One Thousand Wells by Jena Lee Nardella
Some strong women engage in soulful adventures that involve the spirit within and turn to reflection and meditation, while others grab the bull by the horns and decide to change the world one well at a time. That’s the story – the true story – behind One Thousand Wells by Jena Lee Nardella. Fresh out of college, the author decided to build one thousand wells across Africa, without considering any possible obstacle.
The lesson learned throughout her incredible African journey is a surprising one, and it’s hinted at by the subtitle on the cover: How An Audacious Goal Taught Me To Love The World Instead Of Save It. How did the author manage to reach that conclusion? You will have to read the book to find out.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
If you’re ever in need of a laugh mixed with lessons for life, you should pick up Bossypants written by no other than the Queen of Comedy. While the book is not precisely written like a biography, the witty humor, and real-life situations to which Tina Fey alludes to in the pages of her creation make you feel that you can relate.
From dealing with haters on the Internet to finding her place as a comedian in a landscape where women make a rare appearance, this author has plenty of things to share that will get you inspired.
In The Company Of Women by Grace Bonney
Do you seek inspiration and practical advice on how to become a female entrepreneur? This book offers you all that and no fewer than 100 real-life examples of women who have made it as leaders and entrepreneurs in the world today.
It doesn’t matter what your age is, or background, or experience. This book contains examples that you will find close to your heart, as well as a bunch of tips and recommendations on how to navigate the complex working environment today.
The Moment Of Lift by Melinda Gates
This book is a premiere of sorts since, never before, Melinda Gates has opened up about her life. She does so in the pages of this book that, while presenting her real-life experiences as a philanthropist that has traveled the world for the last 20 years, focuses on the most critical aspect of all.
What life taught Melinda Gates is an important lesson: society cannot advance without empowering women and supporting them to become the best they can be.
West With The Night by Beryl Markham
If you prefer reading a real-life adventure, one of the best recommendations is this autobiographical book written by Beryl Markham, a female bush pilot in Kenya in the 1900s. The book documents Markham’s growing up in Kenya at the start of the century and her experiences as a racehorse trainer and bush pilot.
In 1936, she decided to fly from Europe to North America, a dangerous endeavor that had already claimed many pilots’ lives. Setting off from Abingdon, England, she crash-landed in Nova Scotia, Canada, missing the finish line that was supposed to be in New York, USA. Still, her flight was considered a success, and a record-setter.
Lean In: Women, Work, And The Will To Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Are you the best that you can be? If this question clouds your mind more often than not, it’s time to break through and find the motivation to act rather than just fret over things that could be. If this is the situation you find yourself in, get yourself the needed push by reading this book written by Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg.
The book sparked the use of the term ‘lean in’ throughout the entire society, giving a new sense to the expression. Sandberg stresses the importance of creating a business persona for women, someone who is not afraid to grab opportunities, make herself heard, and take a seat at the table.
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
In a world where even the most successful supermodels have their pictures airbrushed to perfection, it is evident that the concept of beauty suffers from excess, exaggerations, and, to one point, unrealistic expectations. If you have ever felt frustrated by the images adorning fashion magazine covers, street billboards, or anything resembling a commercial, you must read this book.
Naomi Wolf takes on the fashion industry and not only cornered women, successful women, into feelings of self-worthlessness based on nothing but arbitrary and impossible beauty standards. There is an important lesson to be learned from this book, and that may be a truth you’ve been carrying with you for a long time: real beauty comes from inside, not a bottle of the latest skincare product.
You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
What better person to help you achieve success than a success coach? Jen Sincero is a fantastic source of advice for women – and not only – who struggle with the imposter syndrome, afraid of being all that they can be. The book is a blast, easy to read, funny, and witty, and you will learn from a strong woman why you should get rid of self-doubt and embrace your true self with all the love you have inside.
Note To Self by Gayle King
How many times have you wondered how your life would be if you could go back in time and tell yourself to do or not to do a certain thing? While it may seem like an exercise in futility, comparing your current self with who you were years ago or even just months ago can give you a powerful feeling of progression.
This interesting idea is explored at large by Gayle King in her book, Note To Self. The subheading reads Inspiring Words From Inspiring People, and on the list, there are names such as Oprah Winfrey, Kesha, and Jane Fonda. Are you curious to find out what these successful women could say to their previous selves in their letters? You will find new motivation and perspective on life by reading this title.
The Big Life by Ann Shoket
Who isn’t tired of living within the confines of a life drawn by others? All your life, parents, teachers, and many others tell you how to live your life. But while guidance may serve for a while and during your most vulnerable years, once you grow up, you may discover that there is more to life that you want to grab and call your own.
However, breaking through the boundaries imposed by others around you is no easy feat. Now, you have a friend and a companion in this book by Ann Shoket. The stories exposed between the covers belong to the author and other strong women who set an example worth following.
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Tina Fey is not the only SNL comedian to decide to go to print with an inspiring memoir. Her partner in many SNL sketches, Amy Poehler, is another example of how women can make it in a landscape traditionally dominated by men: comedy.
Not only will you find Poehler’s memoir inspiring, but also you will discover a fun read for the summer. The SNL star who later became a headliner for the successful Parks And Recreation series provides an enjoyable source of entertainment peppered abundantly with life lessons from which you will surely draw inspiration and motivation. As they say, nothing teaches you better what life is about than life itself, and Any Poehler is here to prove it.