Summer Reading List: 15 hot reads you need in your bag this summer

With summer in full swing and many people gearing up to take their much-needed summer vacation break, we have curated 15 books to keep you relaxed and rejuvenated. Whether you’ve just started your career, seeking new opportunities, or simply learning how to balance it all – this list has you covered!

Here’s a list of 15 hot reads by amazing female writers to keep you inspired and enriched this season.

The Squiggly Career By Helen Tupper, Sarah Ellis, 2020

Synopsis: A practical and engaging guide to building a meaningful and successful career

Career ladders and jobs for life are a thing of the past.

In The Squiggly Career, you’ll learn how to: 

  • Play to your super strengths. 
  • Discover your values.
  • Overcome your confidence, gremlins.
  • Build better support networks.
  • Explore your future possibilities.

Packed with insights about the changing shape of work, exercises to fuel your growth and tips and inspiration from highly successful people, this book will help you be happier and ultimately more successful in your career.

Comments: A well-written and practical guide that gives you the boost and self-esteem you need to design your career in the future. Highly recommendable.

City of Girls By Elizabeth Gilbert, 2020

Synopsis: City of Girls is the story of Vivian Morris, who comes to New York City in 1940 as a 19-year-old Vassar dropout. Vivian is wealthy, WASPy, and sheltered, but when she moves in with her Aunt Peg, worlds open before her.

Comments: It’s a long read that takes you through one woman’s long and eccentric life as she progresses from her boring upbringing into the riotous world of New York showgirls. But it’s a very deep book with huge insights into people and how they try to live well or not. I was involved and did not want it to end.

The Handmaid’s Tale By Margaret Atwood, 1985

Synopsis: In The Handmaid’s Tale, environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to the Second American Civil War and the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women. Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead’s Commanders. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive.

Comments: This is a really good read. An extremely well-written book, which has already become a classic. A necessary reading that reminds us of how we must always stay alert not to accept even small privations of liberties that we take for granted, in order to “protect” society from a danger that almost every time is unreal or exaggerated.

Build Boldly By Bolanle Williams-Olley, 2021

Synopsis: Build Boldly provides a practical playbook to spark bold, courageous action for growth and leadership that inspires others to rise and be their best.
Comments: In this book, Bolane teaches us to be authentic, amplify our uniqueness and have the courage to be ourselves. It opens your mind to new ways of thinking and working, walking through new doors, and seizing opportunities. Leave limiting beliefs behind, bet on yourself and finally act on your career dreams. Develop relationships, be generous and lift others as you make your way to lead boldly, challenge the norm, and create a work environment that nurtures and retains great people.

Invisible Women By Caroline Criado Perez, 2019

Sypnosis: From government policy and medical research to technology, workplaces, and the media, Caroline Criado Perez’s bestselling book exposes the surprising ways the gender data gap impacts our everyday experiences.  

Comments: An impressively enlightening and well-researched book!  

Untamed By Glennon Doyle, 2020

Synopsis: Glennon Doyle’s Untamed is an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call for all women. It encourages women to uncover the voice of longing that is inside them. Untamed outlines how society tells us we are supposed to be good and to fit our gender roles 

Comments: Empowering, Liberating, and Revolutionary. Every woman should read this! 

Becoming By Michelle Obama, 2018

Synopsis: One of the most talked-about books of 2018, Michelle Obama’s powerful memoir has been praised for its warmth, wit and honesty – just like the First Lady herself.

Comments: It is a book that teaches us to own up to our stories and not be afraid of our voices. While doing this, the book also reminds us to give a lending hand to those who need us. The world is not as it is but as it should be.

The Authority Gap By Mary Ann Sieghart, 2021

Synopsis:  In The Authority Gap, journalist Mary Ann Sieghart provides a startling perspective on the gender bias at work in our everyday lives and reflected in the world around us, whether in pop culture, media, school classrooms, or politics. With precision and insight, Sieghart marshals a wealth of data from a variety of disciplines—including psychology, sociology, political science, and business.

Comments: The Authority Gap teaches us how we as individuals, partners, parents, and coworkers can together work to narrow the gap. An eye-opening account of the Authority Gap, detailing how much more we have to do to achieve some equality in society.

The Giver Of Stars By Jojo Moyes, 2019

Synopsis: The novel details the lives of five women who become traveling librarians, delivering books to the people of Kentucky, a small town in Depression-era America. The story follows Alice Wright, a British woman who moves after marrying the Kentucky native Bennett Van Cleve. 

Comments: Captures the tensions of the Depression, depicting rural poverty, domestic abuse, and the rise of feminine power. New attitudes towards race, feminism as well as marriage. A story of the strength and friendship of women. 

How To Own The Room By Viv Groskop, 2018

Synopsis: This is a powerful guide for every woman looking to find—or amplify—her voice. Most books about public speaking don’t tell you what to do when you open your mouth, and nothing comes out. Most books don’t tell you what to do in the moments when you are made, as a woman, to feel small. They don’t tell you how to own the room. This book does. And they don’t tell you how to overcome the performance anxiety that most people naturally have.
Comments: Practical step-by-step approach, with lots of relatable examples, of how to achieve executive presence and speak publically with confidence, authority and authenticity.

Black Milk By Elif Shafak, 2007

Synopsis: Elif Shafak’s intimate memoir on motherhood chronicles the struggle to overcome her postpartum depression – an illness that affects millions of new mothers every year – and how the process of writing about her experience helped her find her voice again. 

Comments: This one on motherhood is special. Brilliant; part memoir, part focussing on female authors’ experiences of writing and coping with life’s many responsibilities. 

The Power Of Many By Meg Whitman, 2010
Presence- Bringing Your Biggest Self To Your Biggest Challenges – Amy Cuddy, 2015

Synopsis: Have you ever left a nerve-racking challenge and immediately wished for a do-over? Maybe after a job interview, a performance, or a difficult conversation? The very moments that require us to be genuine and commanding can instead cause us to feel powerless. Often we approach our lives’ biggest hurdles with dread, execute them with anxiety, and leave them with regret. Brilliantly researched, impassioned, and accessible, Presence is filled with stories of individuals who learned how to flourish during the stressful moments that once terrified them.

Comments: This book is a well-written and researched book full of great advice and basic principles needed in life.  This book is highly recommended.

Connect By Carol Robin, 2021

Synopsis: In Connect, they show readers how to take their relationships from shallow to exceptional by cultivating authenticity, vulnerability, and honesty, while willing to ask for and offer help, share a commitment to growth, and deal productively with conflict. 

Comments: This book takes some of the most helpful concepts in leadership development, mental health training, and communication skills and reduces them into simple concepts with relatable stories that are approachable and easy to understand. 

Unstoppable Women By Griselda Togobo, 2022

Synopsis: Unstoppable Women by Griselda Togobo is an intellectual must-read. This book features twenty-six female entrepreneurs who reveal tips for starting up, scaling, and exiting their businesses. A must-have guide – filled with business, personal, and well-being information – for aspiring entrepreneurs, established entrepreneurs, and anyone looking for inspiration for their next venture!

Comments: Captures how to start your dream business, build and lead your dream team, cope with failure, the mindset of successful entrepreneurs, and many more tips and insights on how to grow your business.

Here are our top 15 summer books. What are your favourite books for this summer?  Let us know what you’ll be reading this summer by sharing and tagging us on our social media platforms; LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

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