Five Books for World Book Day, By Women and For Women
Posted by: Alex Linley
Today is World Book Day, and with International Women’s Day tomorrow, and Mother’s Day on Sunday, I thought I’d take the opportunity to look through a lens that applies to all three together.
As a result, I wanted to share with you five books, by women and for women, that have all made big, big differences in the lives of women.
1. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers – quite simply, this book has changed the lives of millions. In it, Susan Jeffers shows how to do just what it says on the cover – overcome your fears and develop your inner power, energy and enthusiasm, so that you can get back on track with striving towards the life you want to lead.
2. In a Different Voice, by Carol Gilligan – this is the book that changed the dialogue about men and women, helping give women their own voice by legitimizing the recognition that theirs was a ‘different voice’, in a cultural context that had been almost exclusively developed and defined by men. The repercussions of Carol Gilligan’s seminal ideas continue to resonate through the generations.
3. Mindset, by Carol Dweck – this book represents the culmination of Carol Dweck’s lifetime work to show us that our mindset determines our destiny far more than our genetics in so many ways. With a message that is equally powerful for men or women, Dweck highlights how a ‘growth mindset’ encourages us to work hard, persevere, learn and develop. In contrast, its opposite, a ‘fixed mindset’, can leave us fragile, vulnerable and defensive when things don’t go our way. If you want to work on being better in life, work on your mindset.
4. Strong Woman, by Karren Brady – “Karren Brady gave me the permission to know that it was alright to work and to be a mum – that you could do both, and do both well” was how one woman described this book to me. A role model to many women, Karren Brady makes my list for the inspiration she provides to modern women who are striving to find the balance and integration that allows them to have the best of all worlds.
5. Difficult Mothers, by Terri Apter – with a quirky counterpoint on Mother’s Day, this is a brilliant book for anyone who struggles with their relationship with their mother. Terri Apter does a stunning job of unpacking the relationship dynamics that can be created by difficult mothers, and what we can do to overcome them. For the record, this certainly was not my experience – anyone who has read Average to A+ might remember my mother, Hilary, being described as a paragon of the Unconditionality strength.
My list is personal and idiosyncratic, not definitive, so I very much welcome your views as well.
What are the major books that have influenced you, and why?
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