I’ve been a notable bookworm since I came out of the womb, at least that’s what a handful of baby photos have led me to believe. Traveling to a far off place, full of adventure can be so exciting. Made up worlds with characters who are flawed and brave, awkward and desired, unique and empowered. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize I enjoy many non-fiction books equally to the made-up works. The problem with this is that there never seems to be quite enough time to get to them all and my to-be-read pile never gets smaller!
Regardless, here are are five must read books for every woman (and possibly a few men) on your list this holiday season.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle – This book ripped open a little bit of my soul and I occasionally had to wipe tears off the pages. I suppose that’s rather fitting for such a raw and honest memoir of sorts. This book is uncomfortable, riveting, and true. Never have I read something that induced every feeling imaginable. Her path in romance, self-discovery, and admitting that she still doesn’t have it all figured out is refreshing. You will discover things about yourself as you read this book. You will relate to this book. You will also realize there are so many more things to consider. While it is so easy to sit down and binge-read this work of art, I encourage you to pause, take a breath, maybe a note or two, and really let this one sink in a few chapters at a time.
Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy by Julie Holland, MD – I found this in my bookstore soulmate (The Strand in NYC), where I constantly have to set myself a budget before I walk in the door, otherwise I’d max out a credit card. So many gems, so little time!….This book, written by a psychologist, doesn’t just talk about feelings and hormones, how to work through them, and how to take perceptions with a grain of salt. She in fact takes a deep dive into our body chemistry, what role our medications play in how we feel, and how our bodies react. This was the first time I read anything about inflammation and the surprising things that cause it. (Say hello to the truth about sugar and all its substitutes!) We know communication, physical intimacies, rest and relaxation all play roles in how positive or negative our relationships are with people, but Dr. Holland actually digs into “why” these things are true, with science to back it up. Sometimes the explanations are a little heavy with big lingo, but stick with it. The power of understanding is worth it.
Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) by Eve Rodsky – Have you ever felt like a nag? Do you feel guilty when your partner is doing doing the dishes and you’re binge watching Netflix? Have you ever done every single thing on the “to-do” list, and yet you still feel unsatisfied when you lay your head on your pillow? I have five words for you: chore lists and unicorn space. Wait,….what? Through eight plus years of researching and writing, Eve has identified ALL. THE. THINGS. that make up the list of a functional household. I don’t just mean doing the dishes, taking out the trash, and making the beds. There’s helping with homework, taking Bobby to soccer practice, and making sure little Suzie’s leotard is clean for dance class. BUT THAT’S NOT IT! Sorry for the all caps, but you need to hear this: her list includes adult friend ships, self-care, and unicorn space. You might be thinking those aren’t things that “should” be on a “to-do” list; well, that and “what the hell is this unicorn space thing you keep mentioning?!” Whether you have a picture perfect relationship (ah hem…delusional…cough cough), or you know things need some work, pick up this book. It’s easy to read, full of witty, and often laugh out loud anecdotes. It will ease the workload, trash resentment, and make you feel more fulfilled. Even our pastor was writing this one down after we raved about using the Fair Play system in our house and what it’s done for our relationship.
Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis – I know, I know, I may sound like a broken record if you know me in person or follow me on social media, but I’m not going to stop talking about Rachel Hollis. If I were talking about Og Mandino, John Maxwell, or Zig Ziglar, you wouldn’t be rolling your eyes, so just stop it. She gives a roadmap to goal setting and the tools to make it possible. Now, I’ll admit the first time I read this book, I was disappointed, but after a second run through a few months later, I realized it wasn’t because of her writing or her topic. It was because I wasn’t yet in a place where the information could serve me. I was still swimming in the stages of grief and relating to stories in her first book: Girl, Wash Your Face. During the second read through, I was ready. Her business thrives on giving us “tactical tools” we can use and that’s exactly what this book does, while still showing us the pieces of her life, no matter how embarrassing along the way. If you have access to the study guide that goes along with the book, definitely use that to really dig into your own existence.
Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make that Sabotage Their Careers by Lois P. Frankel, PhD – This book certainly took me by surprise. I have to admit I read the title and automatically assumed it was going to be one of those super-feminist, stand your ground, be viewed as a total bitch to get anything done kind of a book. HOWEVER, that was not the case. Nice Girls shows 101 mistakes women tend to make in business situations, and while they may come naturally or are part of how we are raised, they aren’t necessarily a good thing in the board room. Not only does the author identify common problems, she gives solutions, as well as tasks and tips on how to develop an action plan to resolve them. A must read for every woman in business, whether you’re in a brick and mortar building or you work wherever your laptop may find you.