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5 Books Written By Women to Read for Self Development

Like a lot of you, I love reading books! I spend most of my reading time on books that will help me be a better person or employee. Maybe I am a bit of a nerd, but these types of books motivate me to be better and try harder.

I particularly enjoy reading books written by accomplished women. No offense to male leaders, but there is something special about being a woman and reading advice given by a woman, in my opinion.

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Here are 5 books written by women to read for self development:

I Shouldn’t be Telling You This by Kate White

This is an amazing book to start with! Kate White, the former editor-in-chief of Cosmo Magazine, gives very practical and realistic advice to women on how to start and move up in your career.

Her sections are titled: Success: How to Get it, Success: How to Go Big with It, and Success: How to Savor it. I frequently go back to chapters in the book when I need quick advice on how to deal with something in my work life.

Buy this book — you will want to refer back to it time and time again.

5 Books Written By Women To Read For Self-Development

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Dr. Meg Jay

I have written an entire blog post about this book. It is a must read for everyone in their twenties.

Dr. Jay breaks her book into three sections: Work, Love & The Brain, and The Body. She is a psychiatrist, so she infuses real stories into her book which help to reiterate her points and often make them more relatable.

Throughout the book, it feels as much like a story as it does a ‘self-help’ book. There is always her TED Talk to watch, but as with anything else, the book is better.

5 Books Written By Women To Read For Self-Development

#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

This book is amazing! Amoruso is the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, an online boutique. She took Nasty Gal from a small production happening in a basement via eBay, to a multi-million dollar company.

Whether you are an entrepreneur or not, this book has a lot of lessons about hard work, determination, and how to get what you want. It’s a quick read, but extremely inspiring.

5 Books Written By Women to Read for Self Development

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Basic Black by Cathie Black

When she wrote the book, Cathy Black was the president of Hearst Magazines, which includes magazines like Cosmo and Harper’s Bazaar. This book is a fun read but has a very practical application.

Black teaches through stories and things she has seen. She also includes case studies after most chapters. Her chapters are Drive, People, Risk, Fear, Power, Attitude, and Leadership. The chapter titles alone got me excited to read this book. One of my favorite parts of this book is the end. She gives rapid fire advice on various topics.

It is similar to Kate White’s book in the sense that it gives practical advice but also similar to Meg Jay’s because Black tells stories. It is the perfect combination and a really great read.

5 Books Written By Women to Read for Self Development

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington

Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, writes about a new way to look at success. She challenges us to think about success in our whole life instead of compartmentalizing our success.

She talks a lot about sleep (which is so important), and unplugging from technology. Those are just two of the many lessons she teaches throughout her book. She has broken her book into 4 sections: Well-Being, Wisdom, Wonder, and Giving.

For me, her book was quite refreshing. It was so nice to have a CEO talk about the importance of a full life instead of encouraging young employees to work nonstop during this phase of our careers. I think is smart to read this book earlier in your career so that you can begin incorporating this way of life into your career track now instead of wishing you did later.

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington

Reading is important, but I would argue the content you read makes all the difference. All 5 of these books are phenomenal.

They are slightly different and teach different concepts, so I recommended reading all 5 in the order above.

The things that I learned from these 5 women have directly helped my career and will continue to make me a better person and employee. Take time to read and learn from these women. You don’t want to miss out on these amazing lessons!

Discussion: What are your favorite female-authored personal development books?

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About the Author

Jessica Sharp

Jessica Sharp is passionate about empowering underserved and minority communities, diverse representation, and brain education. Jessica is the Founder and Chief Educator of Sharp Brain Consulting which works with public service agencies to provide education about the brain and its effect on organizational outcomes. Additionally, she is on the leadership team of Meals on Wheels in her town of Greenville, SC. She is completing a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Missouri. Upon her completion, she will attend William James College to obtain a Doctorate of Psychology. Follow her on twitter at @sharpjes.