Here are the top women’s leadership and life books (listed alphabetically) that I recommend for my private clients. Heads up, they range from business, leadership, and career-focused all the way to personal growth, creative, and spiritual titles. As many of you already know, I’m all about intersectionality. Some may resonate more for you than others – that’s okay! Choose your own adventure. In cases where I’ve interviewed the authors, I’ve included links to my conversations on the podcast, including those with NYT best-selling authors Isabel Allende, Esther Perel, Luvvie Ajayii, Jen Sincero, and Grace Bonney. Enjoy and let me know if you have any recommendations!
Why I like it: If you’re a creative woman who’s curious about expanding your hobby or side project into a full-on business, this is for you. Actionable tools for turning your passion into profit, if that’s the path you want to explore and take!
On The Podcast: “Are You An ‘Artist’? with Lisa Congdon”
Why I like it: See the range of incredible women carving their own paths and be fully inspired. There’s no one way.
On The Podcast: “Redefining Success with Grace Bonney”
Why I like it: Inspiring and beautiful, Elle’s words will touch your heart. She’ll help you see how you must choose a life of passion, and not obligation and expectations.
On The Podcast: “Bonus Episode with Elle Luna”
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
Why I like it: Though it isn’t gender specific, these authors were my professors at Stanford, and hugely inspired my belief in the power of design and design thinking to shape our careers and lives. Many practical tools, especially for self-discovery (as in, you’re not sure what you really want to do and/or you’re in a career pivot right now).
The Desire Map: A Guide for Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle Laporte
Why I like it: Understanding your core desired feelings will help you design a better career and lifestyle. Period.
Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu
Feminist Fight Club: A Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace by Jessica Bennett
Why I like it: The book offers practical tools, scripts, and frameworks for dealing with sexism in the workplace. It’s perfect if you work in a white male-dominated industry and you’re looking for ways to feel more empowered, while having a good sense of humor about the craziness of it all.
The House of The Spirits by Isabel Allende
Why I like it: I feel like we need to expand our minds beyond nonfiction and venture out to engage our imaginations. This is a classic book written by the most widely read Spanish speaking, Latin American authors in the world about the struggles of women in the patriarchy on a very deep level.
I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual with Luvvie Ajayii
Why I like it: Culture critic Luvvie is a truth-teller who calls out pretty much everybody, but especially white supremacy, materialism and unrealistic beauty standards. I love how she calls out feminism, and how it has historically been and still is very white.
On The Podcast: “Speak Up and Tell Your Truth – Luvvie Ajayii”
Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel
Why I like it: This book really helped my husband and I understand the difference between erotic energy (i.e., attraction) and intimacy. Game changer on many levels.
On The Podcast: “Esther Perel on Masculinity, Power, and Relationships at Work”
New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew
Why I like it: If you’re into practical tools that are implementable to your work life and career not someday, but today, you’ll like this book.
On The Podcast: “New Rules of Work with Alexandra Cavoulacos”
In Progress: See Inside a Lettering Artist’s Sketchbook and Process, from Pencil to Vector by Jessica Hische (for designers & creatives)
Why I like it: Jessica is real and will go into everything you need to know to succeed as a designer and creative, while being yourself and very much in progress and process.
On The Podcast: “In Progress with Jessica Hische”
Why I like it: Tara offers a lot of tools and journaling prompts for understanding your inner critic, and also getting to know your inner mentor.
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristen Neff
Why I like it: This book is a true gem. It’s research-backed and offers practical tools and meditations to enhance self-compassion (which virtually almost every woman I know could use).
Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Why I like it: A cult classic, this book will help you see your natural, wild, creative side by connecting you to old folk and fairy tales. It’s kind of my Bible!
Your Story is Your Power: Free Your Feminine Voice by Elle Luna & Susie Herrick
Why I like it: This book will help you rewrite your story and narrative (instead of having society do it for you) and understand more about your personality type (Enneagram) and how that relates to your story.
On The Podcast: “Your Story is Your Power with Elle Luna & Susie Herrick”
Why I like it: Jen has hilarious anecdotes that make this an easy read. She’ll also help you understand how your subconscious drives the show, and how it gets in the way.
On The Podcast: “You Are a Badass with Jen Sincero”
Photo by Monica Semergiu