Superb Books for Empowering Women in 2020
For many of us, the pandemic has kept us at home more than before. It can feel like a sanctuary and a prison in this place we live in. And it’s easy to spend this time stressed, bored, and worrying about things outside of our control.
We can breathe. Learn. And continue moving in the right direction. Even if it’s the tiniest step.
Reading is a way for me to expand my mind, open my eyes, and fill up my heart.”Oprah Winfrey
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So, I present to you a list of empowering books for women that will help you do that.
And, I specifically chose books written BY and FOR women. Because these books address the specific challenges that WE women face. Especially if you have kids, the obstacles that moms face are quite different than those of most men. It’s important to acknowledge that and dig a little deeper to grow.
So, here’s the list!
1. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
“Filled with hopeful messages . . . encourag[ing] women to reject the status quo and follow their intuition . . . This testament to female empowerment and self-love, with an endearing coming-out story at the center, will delight readers.”—Publishers Weekly
(Of all the empowering books for women, this one is at the top! I was BLOWN AWAY by her insightfulness. Doyle encourages readers to question what’s beautiful and true for them. In fact, I bought a second copy to lend out within hours of starting!)
2. The Confidence Code by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman
“Kay and Shipman shine a perceptive light on the crucial role that confidence plays in the ability of women to succeed. They offer women practical advice and the vision of a more hopeful future.” -Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and author of Lean In
3. The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates
“The Moment of Lift is an urgent call to courage. It changed how I think about myself, my family, my work, and what’s possible in the world. Melinda weaves together vulnerable, brave storytelling and compelling data to make this one of those rare books that you carry in your heart and mind long after the last page.”― Brené Brown, Ph.D., author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Dare to Lead
Related Post: How to Spread Positivity in Today’s World
4. Grit by Angela Duckworth
“If you have recently bumped into that word, grit, Duckworth is the reason…In education and parenting circles, her research has provided a much needed antipode to hovering, by which children are systematically deprived of the opportunity to experience setbacks, much less overcome them…What sticks with you [in Grit] are the testimonials, collected from sources as disparate as Will Smith, William James, and Jeff Bezos’s mom, that relentlessly deflate the myth of the natural.”
5. It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered by Lysa TerKeurst
“Have you ever struggled with the fact that your life doesn’t look the way you thought it would? Maybe you have this feeling that circumstances, relationships, and finances should be better than they are. And underneath it all, you’re disappointed. Yes, disappointment is a feeling we all have but few of us know how to process it or find God’s goodness in the midst of it.” -Lysa TerKeurst
6. Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts by Jennie Allen
“I know from personal experience just how easily our thoughts try to hijack our faith and throw us into a negative spiral. Get Out of Your Head will equip you with practical biblical tools to take control of your thoughts so they don’t control you.”—Christine Caine, best-selling author and founder of A21 and Propel Women
7. The Self Love Experiment by Shannon Keiser
“[A] profound book and a must-read for anyone that prioritizes happiness. . . . This is the playbook for making small changes and shifts that will yield you large results in your happiness.” — Kristine Carlson, author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women
8. Zen as F*ck by Monica Sweeney (A Journal)
“The road to serenity is ahead, and it’s paved with a f*ck-ton of profanity. When quiet meditation and peaceful mantras aren’t enough to cut through the bullsh*t and brighten your day―hold close the pages of this journal. On each and every page, you can give the good around you a warm hug and kick the bad on its ass. Journal your way through positive affirmations and cathartic-as-f*ck activities on your liberating journey toward something pretty close to happiness.” -Amazon
This pick is unusual but boasts THOUSANDS of glowing five-star reviews on amazing. If you’re good with profanity, it’s too sensational to pass up.
9. You Do You by Sarah Knight
“Hilarious, irreverent, and no-nonsense… You Do You is all about being yourself, putting your own happiness first, rejecting any social contracts that aren’t working for you, and living life from your own place of power. Get it girl.”―Bustle
10. Ask for it by Linda Babcock & Sara Laschever
“Combining sophisticated strategy with down-to-earth action, Ask for It gives women a groundbreaking gift: the means to ask for what they’re worth. Women learn how to change their fear of negotiating into confidence that they’ll gain more if they ask for more—more pay, more status, more resources, more equitable treatment. Required reading for working women.”—Evelyn Murphy, President, The WAGE Project, Inc.; author of Getting Even: Why Women Don’t Get Paid Like Men and What To Do About It
11. The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
“From stand-up comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish comes The Last Black Unicorn, a hilarious, edgy, and heart-wrenching collection of autobiographical essays that will leave you laughing through tears.” – Amazon
12. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love)
“Big Magic will resonate with writers and artists who find the process of producing work to be particularly painful…Through anecdotes about her creative failures and resourcefulness, as well as those other artists, Gilbert encourages readers to pursue a creative life ‘that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.” —Daily Beast
13. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
“Happiness is contagious. And so is The Happiness Project. Once you’ve read Gretchen Rubin’s tale of a year searching for satisfaction, you’ll want to start your own happiness project and get your friends and family to join you. This is the rare book that will make you both smile and think—often on the same page.” -Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind
Related Post: 9 Easy Habits to Become Happier
14. Only Love Today: Reminders to Breathe More, Stress Less, and Choose Love by Rachel Macy Stafford
“In these conversational essays, Stafford (Hands Free Mama) urges readers to set aside the world’s distractions and put love at the top of their to-do lists. Stafford, who describes herself as a “recovering perfectionist, reformed rusher, and multi-tasker,” admits this is no easy task. With a voice that is equal measures poetry and best-friend-over-coffee, she draws from her own life as a special education teacher and mother to encourage women to seek out a less stressful, more people-focused way of living…Broken into easy-to-read chunks, this book meets today’s busy moms where they live.” –Publishers Weekly
15. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
“Rhimes guides the reader through her transformative yearlong experiment, each chapter dealing with a different personal challenge for herself, and she lets us deep inside her brain, carefully laying out all of her fears and self-doubt…candid and friendly, almost as if the two of you were catching up over drinks.” — Slate.com
16. Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst
“TerKeurst doesn’t just share empathetic anecdotes for readers in a rut; she focuses on digging down to the roots of anxiety and providing tools for overcoming self-doubt and handling the pain of rejection.” – Publisher’s Weekly
17. The Big Life by Ann Shoket
“The Big Life is a guide for women in their 20s and 30s who are hungry for a job they love, a supportive network of friends, respect from their bosses, and partners who want all those things for them as badly as they do.” —The New York Times
Related Post: The Giant List of Habits to Change Your Life
18. Bare: A 7-Week Program to Transform Your Body, Get More Energy, Feel Amazing, and Become the Bravest, Most Unstoppable Version of You by Susan Hyatt
“Bare flips the broken cultural norm—we must starve ourselves to fit into a patriarchal norm of desirability—and focuses instead on strengthening the love, power, and beauty we have inside us. Susan will help you nurture and love the body you are in, choosing health on your terms and in your time.”—Pamela Slim, author of Body of Work
19. Women Who Think Too Much by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema
“A must-read for any woman who has ever felt stuck in her life, and any man who has been confused by why the women they love get so ‘caught up thinking’ they can’t enjoy life. Nolen-Hoeksema offers practical methods to self-diagnose and pathways toward greater emotional freedom.” ―William S. Pollack, Ph.D., author of Real Boys, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard University
20. Becoming: Michelle Obama
“In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.” – Amazon
“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.” –Michelle Obama
21. Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits by J.K. Rowling
“In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, VERY GOOD LIVES presents J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life. How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?” – Amazon
22. A Year of Positive Thinking by Cyndie Spiegel
“A Year of Positive Thinking is a beautiful, accessible book for engineering positivity. Cyndie’s voice is powerful because of its honesty and earnestness―she’s walked where I’ve walked, she’s stood where I stand. Full of inspiring wisdom and encouraging call to action, this book is more than simple comfort on a rough day―it’s a way to change your entire way of thinking.”―Meera Lee Patel, author of MADE OUT OF STARS: A Journal for Self-Realization
Related Post: 27 Glorious Morning Affirmations for Women
23. Dare Greatly by Brene Brown
“The brilliantly insightful Brené Brown draws upon extensive research and personal experience to explore the paradoxes of courage: we become strong by embracing vulnerability, we dare more greatly when we acknowledge our fear. I can’t stop thinking about this book.” —Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
24. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown
“This book is an invitation to join a wholehearted revolution. A small, quiet, grassroots movement that starts with each of us saying, ‘My story matters because I matter.’ Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance.” – Brene Brown
25. Own Your Everyday: Overcome the Pressure to Prove and Show Up for What You Were Made to Do by Jordan Lee Doodley
“As a struggling perfectionist myself, I related so much to the idea of the internal pressure we put on ourselves to perform and achieve. Own Your Everyday gave me the greatest encouragement to be myself.”—Lauren Scruggs Kennedy, in influencer, author, entrepreneur
Something to Consider With Self Help Books for Women
If you pick up just one of these books in the next few months, you may find that your perception of the world is not what it seems. So, give yourself the chance to grow and become a stronger, wiser, and more purposeful woman.
Finally, I’ll be adding several of these books to my self care kit for winter! Have you read any of these empowering books for women?
And are there other inspirational books you love for women? Let me know and I’ll add them to the list!
And if you’re looking for some incredible fiction books too, check out THIS LIST.
Other popular self help articles to enjoy….
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