I chose these books based on their reviews and other information I’ve heard about them. I thought these books were specifically motivating for women to read, though I don’t mean to say men shouldn’t read them. I actually fear making gender-specific recommendations because I don’t want someone to be offended, so I apologize, but a lot of people ask for gender-specific recommendations, so here they are.

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be

I have seen this book talked about EVERYWHERE. It’s 2 months old and has over 1200 reviews on Amazon when most of the books under motivation never even get here. And it’s rated 5 stars. This book is on my reading list and I can’t wait to check it out.

I see people posting it on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, online personal development blogs – EVERYWHERE, I’m pretty sure it’s the breakout book of the year.

Here’s an overview from GoodReads

With wry wit and hard-earned wisdom, popular online personality and founder of TheChicSite.com founder Rachel Hollis helps readers break free from the lies keeping them from the joy-filled and exuberant life they are meant to have.

Here’s Rachel Hollis explaining why she wrote Girl, Wash Your Face.

You Are A Badass

Back in 2013, Jen Sincero burst on the scene with You Are A Badass, a book that has helped people to believe in themselves, overcome their limiting beliefs, and change their lives.

I haven’t read You Are A Badass. I just finished the follow-up book You Are A Badass At Making Money and LOVED it. I liked it more than Think & Grow Rich, so I was inspired to go to her site and read more from her.

While I don’t love swearing in any book, this was very toned down and the swearing was more about motivating than trying to be shocking.

You Are A Badass has over 3,400 reviews on Amazon since 2013, and Jen comes across as both loving and inspirational. It really made me feel like I could do this (BookProf) as long as I change my limiting beliefs. My group and club for the new book will be available shortly, I hope you will join me when it’s ready.

I love this quote from You Are A Badass: 

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end.

There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less.

You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.”

Get the First Chapter of You Are A Badass on Youtube:

Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World


Just last month, Jennifer Palmieri released this book to the women who will run the world, and hopefully to the first woman president. I have not read this yet, but it includes an empowering message to all of the females of the world. First, we can run the world, and Second everyday things are making it easier to do so.

I don’t look at this book as a political book in support of Hilary Clinton. While Jennifer Palmieri was her Director of Communications, let’s put that fact aside for a moment. Think about how much support she had for a woman president and what that meant to the team and this world. While Hilary didn’t make it, someone will, and hopefully soon.

We do not have to agree with someone’s beliefs to agree with some of their message in a book. Just think of the empowerment she is sharing with the world by writing this book.

This quote from Dear Madam President says it all for me: 

“People take their cue from you.” That’s it. If you act like you belong in the room, people will believe you do. If you act like your opinion matters, others will, too. Simple, true, empowering, and life-changing advice. It is applicable for all women in every endeavor we undertake.”

Here’s an interview with Jennifer Palmieri about Dear Madam President: 


Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia


One of the first few self-improvement books I’ve read was Eat, Pray, Love. And of course, I liked it immensely. After a few years I read it again just because I enjoyed the story so much.

I even followed up and read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book on marriage twice too, so I was sad to hear that she divorced. But, that doesn’t take away from this book. Elizabeth and I are so different. I always wanted kids, she didn’t, she’s traveled a ton, I like being home, but her book was still encouraging and motivating in helping be who I wanted to be.

She gave me the first feeling of finding peace outside of religion, through meditation (though I am not well practiced nor do I do it regularly) and taught me some things about love that equated it with a happiness I hadn’t felt before either.

I suppose this book and You Can Heal Your Life were catalysts for me in opening up to the feelings I have, and I would suggest Eat, Pray, Love as both motivational and fun because of the interesting story it shares.

I did watch the movie, I still liked the book more.

Here’s a quote I love from the book: 

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”

Here’s an interview from 2008 with Elizabeth about Eat, Pray, Love:


Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

Initially, I wasn’t sure I would want to read this book, but it is on my list. While I do like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, & How to Get Away with Murder, I thought it would be about being in the celebrity world, and that isn’t something that excites me.

However, this overview on Amazon makes it far more interesting to me (it’s about being your truest self): 

“So who would suspect that Shonda Rhimes is an introvert? That she hired a publicist so she could avoid public appearances? That she suffered panic attacks before media interviews? With three children at home and three hit television shows, it was easy for Shonda to say she was simply too busy. But in truth, she was also afraid.



And then, over Thanksgiving dinner, her sister muttered something that was both a wake up and a call to arms: You never say yes to anything. Shonda knew she had to embrace the challenge: for one year, she would say YES to everything that scared her. This poignant, intimate, and hilarious memoir explores Shondas life before her Year of Yes from her nerdy, book-loving childhood to her devotion to creating television characters who reflected the world she saw around her.



The book chronicles her life after her Year of Yes had begun when Shonda forced herself out of the house and onto the stage; when she learned to explore, empower, applaud, and love her truest self.”

I’m excited to read it now, as I hope BookProf will one day help me get over my No’s. I say No to video, for a while I said No to podcasts, I don’t even usually watch videos related to work because it’s loud and I have no control over when I’ll hear what I’m waiting to hear. A lot of times I say No to conferences, get-togethers with other business people in my area, and if I travel I don’t embrace the opportunity to meet with other business people.

So, I obviously say no to a lot of things, and I could use the encouragement to say YES!!  

Here’s a quote I love from the book: 

“I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”

Here’s the TED talk from Shonda Rhimes with a similar name: 


I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have/will. Each one will eventually be a group course here, all in an effort to help you take action on what you learn over a month of reminders, daily exercises, and insightful discussions with other people dedicated to improving their lives.

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