50 Contemporary Books Every Woman’s Gotta Read: Nonfiction

I resisted reading this for a year because it sounded so heavy: it's a personal meditation on aging, death, and dying. But Gawande, a surgeon by trade, tackles weighty issues by sharing lots of stories to go with the research, making this book eminently readable. Ultimately, this book is about what it means—medically and philosophically—to live a good life. I'm so glad I didn't wait longer to read this: this book gave me a much better understanding of the wants and needs of my own aging family members. I found all the superlatives I'd heard bandied about to hold true: it's riveting, absorbing, paradigm-shifting, life-changing.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble
From the publisher: "In her now-classic book, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D., shows how woman's vitality can be restored through what she calls "psychic archaeological digs" into the ruins of the female unconscious. Dr. Estés uses her families' ethnic tales, washed and rinsed in the blood of wars and survival, multicultural myths, her own lyric writing of those fairy tales, folk tales, and stories chosen from her life witness, and also research ongoing for twenty years… that help women reconnect with the healthy, instinctual, visionary attributes of the Wild Woman archetype. In Women Who Run With the Wolves, Dr. Estés has created a new lexicon for describing the female psyche. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D., is an internationally known poet, post-trauma recovery specialist, senior training psychoanalyst [Jungian], and cantadora [keeper of the old stories] in her mestizo Latina tradition."
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound
From the publisher: "When Linda Babcock asked why so many male graduate students were teaching their own courses and most female students were assigned as assistants, her dean said: 'More men ask. The women just don't ask.' It turns out that whether they want higher salaries or more help at home, women often find it hard to ask. Sometimes they don't know that change is possible--they don't know that they can ask. Sometimes they fear that asking may damage a relationship. By looking at the barriers holding women back and the social forces constraining them, Women Don't Ask shows women how to reframe their interactions and more accurately evaluate their opportunities. It teaches them how to ask for what they want in ways that feel comfortable and possible, taking into account the impact of asking on their relationships. Drawing on research in psychology, sociology, economics, and organizational behavior as well as dozens of interviews with men and women from all walks of life, Women Don't Ask tells women how to ask, and why they should."
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound
From the publisher: "The New York Times bestselling style guide from the cohost of What Not to Wear. It’s clear why Women's Wear Daily hails Stacy London as 'the Dr. Phil of fashion.' She's transformed hundreds of guests on TLC's hit show What Not to Wear. But London has more than just impeccable taste. She has a gift for seeing the core emotional issues behind a disastrous wardrobe. By sharing her own struggle with self-esteem, London illustrates how style develops con­fidence. Including invaluable fashion tips, advice, and a revelatory makeover section, ­The Truth About Style is for London's legion of fans—and everyone who longs to enhance and celebrate the body she has."
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound
From the publisher: "In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love."
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound
From the publisher: "What if conflicts at home, conflicts at work, and conflicts in the world stem from the same root cause? What if we systematically misunderstand that cause? And what if, as a result, we systematically perpetuate the very problems we think we are trying to solve? Every day. From the authors of Leadership and Self-Deception comes an international bestseller that instills hope and inspires reconciliation. Through a moving story of parents who are struggling with their own children and with problems that have come to consume their lives, we learn from once-bitter enemies the way to transform personal, professional, and global conflicts, even when war is upon us."
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound
This genre-defying narrative combines history, science, memoir, and biography. You’ve been affected by the HeLa cells derived from Maryland woman Henrietta Lacks, called “immortal” because they thrive in the lab: they’ve been used to develop the polio vaccine, cure cancer, and fight the flu. But her family didn’t discover anything about the cells until more than twenty years after her 1951 death. Skloot unearths the incredible story of how that happened, weaving the tale of the HeLa cells together with Lacks’ personal narrative.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Can a woman truly have it all? 168 Hours author Vanderkam explores what true balance looks like, meticulously upending the dominant culture narrative that presume a woman’s professional success comes only at great personal cost. In this data-driven narrative, based on hundreds of time logs from successful professionals, she shows how women who “have it all” succeed at work, enjoy their families, and make time for themselves. An important (and readable) contribution to the ongoing discussion of work/life balance, and I’m not saying this just because a post on this blog inspired the study.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Libro.fm
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound
You’ve heard the buzz; maybe you’ve read the reviews. What can I say? Read it. Using equal parts memoir, instruction guide, and manifesto, Sandberg tells her story of how she built a career that made it worth staying in the workplace, and she encourages other women to do the same. A timely read, for women and men.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound