The best books with captivating stories of women’s life journeys

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always gravitated towards women’s issues both in my writing and how I lead my life. I believe that women need to speak their truth to each other and gain the support of their friends who are likely going through the same thing. I have also spoken about and been on panels about women’s empowerment in midlife. I am a woman in the middle of her life, and I have lived through so many of the issues that I speak about.

I wrote...

The Stories We Cannot Tell

By Leslie A. Rasmussen,

Book cover of The Stories We Cannot Tell

What is my book about?

Rachel is a thirty-year-old married, Jewish woman who’s wanted a baby for a long time. Katie’s a thirty-two-year-old single, Catholic woman who has been trying to find a man who’ll stick around. We follow the women individually as they find themselves pregnant, Rachel happily, Katie, not. As they enter their second trimester, they’re shocked to hear that there’s something very wrong with the babies they’re carrying. The women meet in a support group and help each other through not only the excruciating decision they need to make, but through the issues that come with making that decision. They form a tight bond and uncover surprising connections. The Stories We Cannot Tell explores pregnancy, love, hope, and family.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Lessons in Chemistry

Leslie A. Rasmussen Why did I love this book?

This book stuck with me long after I read the last page.

Even though it takes place many years ago, Elizabeth, the main character deals with issues that women today still deal with. Elizabeth’s journey could be any of ours. She was a strong, smart woman who stood up to men and fought back when something seemed unfair.

I have changed over the years, and while I didn’t use my voice as much as this character does when I was younger, I now stand up for what I believe even if it’s an opinion that isn’t popular.

By Bonnie Garmus,

Why should I read it?

60 authors picked Lessons in Chemistry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK • Meet Elizabeth Zott: a “formidable, unapologetic and inspiring” (PARADE) scientist in 1960s California whose career takes a detour when she becomes the unlikely star of a beloved TV cooking show in this novel that is “irresistible, satisfying and full of fuel. It reminds you that change takes time and always requires heat” (The New York Times Book Review).

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Oprah Daily, Newsweek, GoodReads

"A unique heroine ... you'll find yourself wishing she wasn’t fictional." —Seattle Times…

Book cover of Wish You Were Here

Leslie A. Rasmussen Why did I love this book?

I enjoy a story where a woman rethinks her life and tries to decide if the path she is on is the right path.

Diana O’Toole is a woman who thinks she knows what she wants, but as the book goes on, she begins to rethink everything. I had a career that I loved but left it when I had my children. After my kids became more independent, I had to figure out the second chapter of my life and where I wanted my career to go.

Having choices in life is very important and sometimes we put ourselves into a corner and don’t realize we can make different decisions. 

By Jodi Picoult,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Wish You Were Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Small Great Things and The Book of Two Ways comes “a powerfully evocative story of resilience and the triumph of the human spirit” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six)

Rights sold to Netflix for adaptation as a feature film • Named one of the best books of the year by She Reads

Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all…

Book cover of It Starts with Us

Leslie A. Rasmussen Why did I love this book?

Sometimes a woman can get herself into a situation that she doesn’t see coming and is nervous about telling anyone.

In this book, the protagonist, Lily, is one of those women. I’m drawn to stories where you go on a journey with the main character as she finds her voice and begins to stand up for herself and realizes she’s worth much better in life, than the way she’s being treated.

Many women feel shame around getting themselves into these kinds of situations, but we are all human, and it can happen subtly, so subtly that you don’t see it coming. Lily becomes a strong woman, and that strength is something I admire.

By Colleen Hoover,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked It Starts with Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before It Ends with Us, it started with Atlas. Colleen Hoover tells fan favorite Atlas’s side of the story and shares what comes next in this long-anticipated sequel to the “glorious and touching” (USA TODAY) #1 New York Times bestseller It Ends with Us.

Lily and her ex-husband, Ryle, have just settled into a civil coparenting rhythm when she suddenly bumps into her first love, Atlas, again. After nearly two years separated, she is elated that for once, time is on their side, and she immediately says yes when Atlas asks her on a date.

But her excitement is quickly…

Book cover of Love Warrior: A Memoir

Leslie A. Rasmussen Why did I love this book?

This is about one woman’s journey from pain to discovering an identity she hadn’t considered.

You need to be vulnerable to make a big change. This book reminded me that sometimes you must break yourself down, to realize what you truly want. This book will make you think about whether you are living the life you want to live.

Glennon Doyle is forced on a journey to discover that, and as a reader, we go on that journey with her. I learned a lot about my own life and my own choices while reading about how she found her true self and the life that was right for her.

By Glennon Doyle Melton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Love Warrior as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?




... Just when Glennon Doyle was beginning to feel she had it all figured out - three happy children, a doting spouse, and a writing career so successful that her first book catapulted to the top of the New York Times bestseller list - her husband revealed his…

Book cover of I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being a Woman

Leslie A. Rasmussen Why did I love this book?

As women age, we often hide the things that are happening to our bodies.

We can be too embarrassed to talk about the new wrinkles that are spreading on our faces, or how going through menopause makes us sometimes think we are losing our minds. Women go through so many changes both physically and emotionally in their lives, and these changes are what this book is all about.

I read this book long before I was even close to Nora Ephron’s age, but hearing how she accepted this inevitable journey made me feel so much better about what would eventually happen to my body. Nora Ephron’s writing is frank and filled with wit and charm and absolute truth, and should be a must read for all women of a certain age.

By Nora Ephron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Feel Bad About My Neck as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A candid, hilarious look at women of a certain age and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself.

“Wickedly witty ... Crackling sharp ... Fireworks shoot out [of this collection].” —The Boston Globe

With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Nora Ephron chronicles her life as an obsessed cook, passionate city dweller, and hapless parent. But mostly she speaks frankly and uproariously about life as an older woman. Utterly courageous, uproariously funny, and unexpectedly moving in its truth telling, I Feel Bad About My Neck is…

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The Hunt for the Peggy C: A World War II Maritime Thriller

By John Winn Miller,

Book cover of The Hunt for the Peggy C: A World War II Maritime Thriller

John Winn Miller

New book alert!

What is my book about?

The Hunt for the Peggy C is best described as Casablanca meets Das Boot. It is about an American smuggler who struggles to rescue a Jewish family on his rusty cargo ship, outraging his mutinous crew of misfits and provoking a hair-raising chase by a brutal Nazi U-boat captain bent on revenge.

During the nerve-wracking 3,000-mile escape, Rogers falls in love with the family’s eldest daughter, Miriam, a sweet medical student with a militant streak. Everything seems hopeless when Jake is badly wounded, and Miriam must prove she’s as tough as her rhetoric to put down a mutiny by some of Jake’s fed-up crew–just as the U-boat closes in for the kill.

The Hunt for the Peggy C: A World War II Maritime Thriller

By John Winn Miller,

What is this book about?

John Winn Miller's THE HUNT FOR THE PEGGY C, a semifinalist in the Clive Cussler Adventure Writers Competition, captures the breathless suspense of early World War II in the North Atlantic. Captain Jake Rogers, experienced in running his tramp steamer through U-boat-infested waters to transport vital supplies and contraband to the highest bidder, takes on his most dangerous cargo yet after witnessing the oppression of Jews in Amsterdam: a Jewish family fleeing Nazi persecution.

The normally aloof Rogers finds himself drawn in by the family's warmth and faith, but he can't afford to let his guard down when Oberleutnant Viktor…

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