It’s International Women’s Day!
To mark International Women’s Day, we wanted to share some of our favourite reads and favourite female authors – this is across, faith, business, career and life!
These women and their stories have encouraged us, challenged us, inspired us and made us feel less alone and WOMAN UP when we needed it most.
1. ‘Believe It’ by Jamie Kern Lima. For every girl who has felt like she didn’t belong, wasn’t good enough, or smart enough or had the right body or face. This one’s for you. Jamie Lee left a career in broadcasting to launch a makeup company when she struggled finding her own solution for rosacea. Through painful rejection, a nearly empty bank account and a ridiculous amount of self-doubt – she kept going. And ended up selling her business for over 1 billion dollars. Yep ONE BILLION DOLLARS. If you have a dream and need some real-talk encouragement to keep going – this is for you. Stand out Quote: ‘Champions aren’t made when the game is easy’. Amen to that!
2. Christine Caine's ‘Unexpected’. I love this woman. She is a spiritual rocket. And I love how in this book she pieces together her timeline to show how she went from driving a group of kids to youth group to running her global anti-trafficking non-for-profit A21. She does not hide the tragic stories from her past, but really wants you to see that every unexpected thing in life, God has a way of working out for us. It’s inspiring, it’s real and I could read her books all day.
3. Joyce Meyer ‘Battlefield of the Mind’. This book was huge when I was growing up, but I saw why, when I first read it as a teen and then as a professional working adult later in life. Everything starts and ends with your mind. And it honestly is so simple but so powerful. ‘You can not have a negative mind and a positive spirit’. We can literally discipline our minds to think positive, truthful and helpful thoughts, which will change our perspective, our words and our actions. It’s full of scriptural insight and very relatable stories from a woman who gets humanity and how we sabotage ourselves out of happiness constantly. A must read for any person challenged with their thought life.
4. Dr Caroline Leaf ‘Switch On Your Brain’. If you ever wondered what the connection was between science and faith and our health, you will want to read this, download her podcast and just take it all in. It’s all research based in science and literally proves what the Bible Scriptures have showed us for years: that our thought patterns can affect our health. It’s proven. See a theme here? When I really started to get that ‘business is a spiritual game’ (thank you Tony Robbins) it made me start seeking out material like this. You can detox your mind to a better life. Stand out quote: “If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.'
5. ‘From My Heart to yours’ by Robin McGraw. This book is like life lessons from your classy, southern aunt. Timeless wisdom about faith, family, marriage and just how to get through life with class and heart. We love Dr Phil and you can tell that his wife Robin in the backbone of their family and has so much goodness to share with women on doing life and family and marriage well.
6. JK Rowling's ‘Harry Potter’. What can I say? It’s HARRY POTTER. I was obsessed as anyone with these books, and then the films. It’s an amazing story. But what I find more obsessive is her story. Single Mum, living off government welfare, writing her idea for a child wizard on scraps of paper. Her first book was rejected 12 times before finally being picked up by a small publishing house. As well as becoming the first billionaire author, the woman is incredibly generous and frankly an inspiration to women all around the world. Stand out Harry Potter quote: "It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
7. Maya Angelou: ‘I know why the caged bird sings’. This woman, this book, the way she tells stories is just remarkable. She is truly an icon of women, someone who fought for us, just by being herself, for sharing her story, for sharing her authenticity. “Life is going to give you just what you put in it. Put your whole heart in everything you do, and pray, then you can wait.”
8. Dolly Parton 'Dream More'. Dolly advice never gets old: “The way I see it, if you want a rainbow you gotta put up with the rain”. The woman is unlike any other woman, truly incomparable. Growing up in the South, she was someone who we felt we could relate to, but never match at the same time. I believe her authenticity, amidst the glitz and high heels have kept her firmly grounded, successful and always having her audience come back for more. Dolly, can you please be my fairy Godmother?
9. Oprah ‘The Path Made Clear’ . Well it’s OPRAH after all. I wrote her a letter when I was 8 years old, saying how much she inspired me and I wanted to be just like her growing up. While I Am still anxiously awaiting Ms Winfrey’s response, it’s safe to say the woman has shattered through ceilings – for women, for African-Americans, for the media. One of my favourite quotes is: ‘There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honour your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive’
10. Play like a Man, Act like A lady – Gail Evans: This book is very special me. It was the first personal development book ever given to me, by a mentor when I was working in PR. This book has incredible timeless knowledge for women who are in the workplace. This book encouraged me to: ask for what I wanted, be strategic in everything, use every skill and gift I had to my advantage and to publicise myself - with authenticity. If you are a woman in any time of professional environment and work with men - you need this book. One stand out is for women to stop apologising all the time. Women are addicted to it - and in a business environment, a man hearing them infers a mistake has been made and it’s the woman’s because she apologized. This is one of those subtle ways we undermine our power and future opportunities. Amazing read, and advice you’ll take with you for years to come.
11. ‘Lean In’ – Sheryl Sandberg. Sheryl, I love your hustle. I think she is such a powerful woman who really wants to empower women to create success for themselves outside of the wife and mother roles. She gets real about the ‘balance’ - because there is none, but also the tough decisions and sacrifices women in the workplace have to make so their long-term career doesn’t suffer when they have families. My favorite advice was around mentors and how to get one. Never ask someone ‘directly’ to be a mentor. Just ask for coffee and advice around one area. It can naturally grow into a mentorship if it feels right, but busy people don’t take on such roles lightly.
12. Rachel Hollis ‘Girl Wash Your Face’. There has been so much controversy around Rachel, her brand and this book when it was first published. I read this as a new mama, and she dedicated an entire chapter to new mom’s. Wow I needed to hear what she had to say. Nothing filtered here, Rachel gets real like your girlfriend does at margherita night and shares some of her stuff - how she feels like a bad mom, how she feels like she’s nailing it and totally failing in the same day. I love a mom who gets real about the stuff. It makes me feel less alone and frankly, just for THAT authenticity alone, I salute you Rachel Hollis. Thank you for sharing your imperfect and unfiltered mom life with us. Stand out Quote: “Moms, you should parent in whatever way works for your family and spend less time worrying about other people’s perceptions of how you’re doing. We should stop being so hard on ourselves and instead focus on the good work we are doing, the results of which are evident in the awesome little people we’re raising.”
13. To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee. This classic is something I can never get away from. It is literally my all time favourite book. I find it fascinating and also kind of beautiful that Harper Lee only published this one book. Don’t get me started on the prequel / sequel that was published a few years ago. She had one story to tell and wow, did it change history. It literally started a conversation about race, and life, and justice and what innocence looks like. Atticus Finch is character that I literally based my dream man on. The ideals, the choices, the temperament. Written through a lens of innocence and remarkable sensitivity, it’s a story that will live for generations to come - and it inspired me as a young girl to start writing when I had little to say. As Harper showed, we all have a story - it just might take a while to tell it. Favourite Quote: “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”
14. Thrive by Arianna Huffington: I have always loved the Huffington Post - and my very first blog post was published by the Huffington Post when I started writing. But this book started me on a trajectory - I had just achieved my ‘manager by 30’ status, with a good paying job, good title, good salary, travel and lifestyle, but I couldn’ get away from the sense that something was missing. This book answered that question for me. It made me start questioning what ‘real and authentic success’ would look like for me. It’s such an honest and smart book about creating the career that will support the life you want. Stand out Quote “It’s not ‘What do I want to do?’, it’s ‘What kind of life do I want to have?’ ”
15. Girl Boss by Sophia Amoroso - When reading this book, I felt like I could bring a pitcher of margarita and just ask her any question at all about business and she would tell you straight. That’s what this book is. It’s full of hustle, humour, gritty-days and also the lessons you learn when you start a business from your bedroom just so you can pay the rent. Desperation can sometimes lead to incredible inspiration. Stand out quote: “If you’re frustrated because you’re not getting what you want, stop for a second: Have you actually flat-out asked for it? If you haven’t, stop complaining. You can’t expect the world to read your mind. You have to put it out there, and sometimes putting it out there is as simple as just saying, “Hey, can I have that?”
16. Women who run with wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. This book is pure poetry for the woman’s mind. I have never read anything like it. It’s wisdom, its ancient, it’s our ancestor’s speaking to us through myths. I love reading a chapter before going to sleep as it seems to awaken this creative nature in me I didn’t know existed. It really gets into the psychology of the ‘wild woman’ which we all have inside of us. It is all about getting back to your intuition. Because a woman’s intuition is everything. It’s the heartbeat of a family and at her most intuitive a woman is most powerful and intelligent. “Sometimes a woman is afraid to be without security or without certainty, for even a short time. She has more excuses than dogs have hairs. She must just simply dive in and stand not knowing what will happen next.”
There are so many more books and women we could put on this list, but wanted to share some highlights that will encourage you as you step out in life and business and honour the women who have told stories and overcome incredible challenges.
If you want more content like this, more inspiration and find out more about how to build your business and get your message out into the world - join my private facebook group 'Life On Her Terms' - where I share free strategies about publicising yourself, mastering your message and creating a life and business on your terms.
For transparency purposes, I am an amazon affiliate. Which means that I receive nothing to post this content - but if you decide to purchase a book from this page or link I may receive a very small compensation from Amazon. I only post books and resources that have helped me through the years and my goal is to share content and resources that will inspire, encourage and empower you to create a life and business on your terms. xx
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