Women play a pivotal role in society nowadays. From Corporate offices to homes, women are working hard to make a change. Here are ten inspiring books for women, to serve as reminders for women to find inspiration and reflect on their lives.
Lean In: Women, Work and the will to lead is a book written by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. This book grew out of a TED talk she gave in 2010 about women in the boardroom. She draws her on her own experience of working at various organisations such as Facebook, McKinsey etc. and addresses what women can do to change their lives and how can they make an impact on a global scale.
My fight/ Your fight is the autobiography of Olympic medalist and famous UFC fighter Ronda Rousey. In her first book, Ronda presents the story of her life and difficult path to stardom. It also has the account of her toughest fights, her life in and out of the octagonal arena. She reveals the secret of her success, her training as an Olympic medalist and her vulnerabilities and weaknesses. She recounts the loss of her father at a young age and delivers important lessons on how to be best at what you do, how to find fulfilment in sacrifices and how to be best on worst of days.
Brene Brown's latest book, Rising Strong talks about the science of vulnerability and examines several qualities, thinking patterns, habits of people who rise above upheavals of life. Brown reasons that we are currently living in "A Gilded Age of Failure", where we fantasize about recovery stories having a happy ending, ignoring all the gloom and struggle preceding success. She links risk taking, failure and success in an elegant way and narrates several real life stories of redemption.
Thrive is a book by Arianna Huffington, co-founder of Huffington Post. This book came after she suffered an injury due to exhaustion and lack of sleep. In the book, she makes a compelling case about defining a third metric for success, that is Thrive. She explains that the insistent chasing of traditional goals like money and power has led to a situation of burnout and stress-related maladies, that has led to declining in family life, relationships and careers too. She talks about her own life and a need to redefine success.
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Wild is Cheryl Strayed's memoir of her 1,100-mile hike from Mojave desert in California to Washington state in the north-western United States, along the Pacific Coast. At the age of twenty-two, Strayed thought she had lost everything in life. She lost her mother, her marriage was destroyed, was alienated by family members. She also started using drugs. In the search of inner peace and resolution of continuing grief and problems, she set out on her journey alone. The novel intertwines stories of her past and her journey, unfolding her physical challenges and spiritual realisations during the course of the journey.
Bossypants is an autobiographical comedy written by American comedian Tin Fey. It describes her journey from a socially awkward nerd to a popular TV show host, and the ups and downs of her life in a humorous way. Fey advises on several things like being a boss, leading people and balancing life between work and motherhood.
A tree grows in Brooklyn is an autobiographical work by Betty Smith. Set in early twentieth century, it is the story of an impoverished but aspirational adolescent girl and her family living in Brooklyn, New York City. In the course of the novel, we get to know more about the lives of people in that period and Francie's struggles and tenacity for a better life. This coming of the age story represents the hope of immigrants to rise above poverty through their children, whom they hope will receive education and take their place in society, fulfilling The American Dream. The story addresses several complex issues like poverty, lying, education, family etc. Yet, all these issues are seen through the eyes of a young girl in an emotional way.The metaphorical tree in suburb represents the Francie, growing against all odds in an unfavourable environment.
The second novel by Khaled Hosseini of The Kite Runner fame, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a work of art. It is a phenomenal tale of thirty years of Afghan history and the poignant story of family, friendship and love.Two women born a generation apart, having contrasting ideas about life are brought together by a twist of fate. As they endure the dangers and evils of war and terror, the two women form a bond that changes their lives.
Jeannette Walls's memoir The Glass Castle is an amazing story of resilience and deliverance.It is also a revealing look into a vibrant yet dysfunctional family. Jeannette tells about her alcoholic father who was good when sober but turned dishonest and destructive when he was drunk. Her mother was also not interested in raising a family. She recounts her experience of learning to take care of herself, how she and her siblings took care of each other and in due course ended up in New York City.
Maya Angelou's I know why the caged bird sings is an autobiographical account of her childhood. After separation of her parents, she was sent to live with her devout grandmother in the southern United States. Though not being affectionate, her grandmother teaches her a lot about life. She is also subjected to racial discrimination by the local whites. At the age of eight years, she returns to her mother, but there is no improvement in her situation and she is humiliated and abused. Years later, now living in San Francisco, she learns to respect herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit and the ideas of great authors like Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe allowed her to be free rather than imprisoned in her past.