Two of my favorite genres to read are inspirational memoirs and nonfiction books written by women. There’s something about hearing successful women talk about their work, insecurities, experiences, and mistakes that makes me feel less worries or self conscious of my own. And even more than that, there’s something about how they never let their struggles or insecurities get in their way that is so inspiring. Books like these make me want to get stuff done and stop waiting around to be “good enough.” Sheryl Sandberg and Sophia Amoruso were never “good enough” either, but they did everything anyway.
So without further ado, here are 6 books for girls who get stuff done. And note that though some of these books are aimed at certain audiences or talk about certain experiences, they can be enjoyed by any girls who want to get stuff done.
Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean in or Lean in for Graduates
Lean in is an absolute classic when it comes to girlboss literature. Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook and has a really well known TED talk about the issues she discusses in her book. She talks about how the same characteristics that make men good leaders make women bossy and bitchy and unliked, and how it’s definitely possible to balance work and family. And of course, she talks about all the ways that women can lean in and take charge of their own careers, while speaking out against the men that don’t think they can. Check out Lean in for Graduates for additional essays geared towards young women.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic
This book is great for any girl in a creative field or anyone interested in embracing creative living. Elizabeth Gilbert discusses the immense fear and insecurity that is associated with being creative, and how to overcome the many obstacles, fears, and reservations that come with creating. This insightful book is great or anyone who needs a reminder that “done is better than perfect” and to stop planning and just start creating.
Heather Cabot and Samantha Walravens’ Geek Girl Rising
This book, while not focused on any single woman, includes dozens of inspiring stories and lessons from and about women in tech. From entrepreneurs playing the start-up game to the engineers of a feminist toy company to programs that encourage young girls to code, every cool woman who has done a cool thing has advice to give in this book. Whether you’re going into a tech field, are an aspiring entrepreneur, or secretly want to learn to code, you will enjoy this book.
Sophia Amoruso’s Girlboss
You’ve probably already heard of the phrase “girlboss,” but this book was where it started. Sophia Amoruso is the founder and CEO of the vintage clothing company Nasty Gal, but when she started the company on eBay she was a rule-breaking twenty-something who didn’t really know what she was doing. Girlboss, which has been called “Lean in for misfits” is part memoir and part business guide for any young person who’s looking to start something on her own.
Susan Cain’s Quiet
Quiet is a must-read for an introverts. Seriously. If you’ve ever felt inadequate, insecure, or just plain annoyed with yourself for struggling to make friends, network, or speak up you should read this book. Susan Cain discusses how, based on tons of interesting research, we live in a world biased towards extroverts when in reality introverts and extroverts are no better or worse than each other. This book is a great reminder that, even if it doesn’t always feel that way, there is power in being quiet and you shouldn’t be ashamed of it.
image via Kristen Bryant