As women (and human beings in general), we have been conditioned to believe that we cannot have it all. We are given options and told to pick three. For those of us we who want it all, it can be a constant struggle to balance our expectation of what “all” is and how to achieve it.
Countless books have been written that explore this issue so I wanted to share five books that tackle each area, from parenting, to money management, to breaking the glass ceiling and ensuring we are living a life that is true to our purpose and calling.
VERY GOOD LIVES: THE FRINGE BENEFITS OF FAILURE AND THE IMPORTANCE OF IMAGINATION, J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling delivered the commencement speech for Harvard University in 2008 entitled, “Very Good Lives” This moving speech is packed with words of wisdom from the author who created Harry Potter.
In “Very Good Lives” Rowling explores how we can embrace failure and use our learnings to our benefit. She speaks on the importance of imagination and how we can use it to help ourselves and those around us.
The book also reinforces the point that we have control over our lives, and we decide the kind of life we want to live. This book is a timeless reminder that the “magic” is already inside of us…what are you waiting for?
LEAN IN: WOMEN, WORK AND THE WILL TO LEAD, Sheryl Sanberg
Sheryl Sandberg, at the time of writing this book, was Facebook’s COO and one of Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Business.
In Lean In she shares her experience on how she landed the role of COO at Facebook and offers advice on the small changes women can make that will have a major effect on their lives. I believe a lot can be gained by reading this book, especially if you are climbing the corporate ladder and striving for the career of your dreams.
Sandberg points out the ways we sometime miss opportunities. In Lean In Sandberg reinforces the point that ‘Done is better than perfect.’… an area I am still battling with.
WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE, Oprah Winfrey
I mean, it’s Oprah! She is undeniably a force to be reckoned with, her list of achievements is exhaustive, and in What I Know For Sure she gives advice on every area of life.
This book is a compilation of lessons and truths that Oprah learned from her many experiences. What I love most about this book is how relatable and practical the advice is. This is definitely a book you revisit yearly or when you need direction or answers for a particular problem.
In What I Know For Sure Oprah reinforces the point that “There is one irrefutable law of the universe: We are each responsible for our own life.”
This is the perfect book for a young woman who is trying to make sense of the world.
DARING GREATLY: HOW THE COURAGE TO BE VULNERABLE TRANSFORMS THE WAY WE LIVE, LOVE, PARENT, AND LEAD, Brené Brown
Brene Brown is famous for her TED Talk and her research on Shame. In Daring Greatly, Brown makes a case on why being vulnerable in every area of your life makes you more courageous and authentic.
I know I struggle with being vulnerable because there so many possible ways for it to end painfully.. After reading this book I understood how living wholeheartedly makes me more authentic and braver.
If you are struggling with shame of any kind, if you are not living wholeheartedly in every area of your life, this is the perfect book to pick up.
SELFISH, SHALLOW AND SELF-ABSORBED: SIXTEEN WRITERS ON THE DECISION NOT TO HAVE KIDS, Meghan Daum
Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed is an anthology, with sixteen writers, mostly women, expounding on their decisions to not have kids.
In an age where a lot is written about women “having it all” there is not a lot of focus on the women who believe not having children actually means “having it all”. This book is for the woman made a conscious, well-thought out decision to not have children but is constantly defending her choice because of societal expectations.
The essays in this collection are deeply personal and at its core, it is a great reminder that we can live life on our own terms
I highly recommend these five books. If you are struggling in any area of your life or need direction or advice, picking up anyone one of these five books will offer the guidance you need. If you are looking for one book that covers it all, I suggest picking up Oprah Winfrey’s “What I know For Sure”.
Cindy Allman is a Caribbean Girl Reading the World. A Jamaican living in Trinidad & Tobago, she is a top Goodreads reviewer and hopes to inspire you with her passion for books. Follow her at www.bookofcinz.com or @bookofcinz on Twitter and Instagram.