The best girl power books that made the leap from page to screen

Who am I?

I'm a publishing executive turned self-help expert who frequents national morning shows to talk about clutter. Full disclosure, I'm a recovering shopaholic with an obsessive need to tidy up people’s homes and offices. My philosophy is simple, I bring order to everything I do, because life shouldn’t be a mess. I've written non-fiction books based on my organizing expertise that has been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, and NPR. I learned that it's never really about the stuff but the journey of self-discovery, a journey that is made easier with a best friend at your side. This journey of the flawed and strong heroine in my latest book, a novel called Best Friend for Hire.


I wrote...

Best Friend for Hire

By Mary Carlomagno,

Book cover of Best Friend for Hire

What is my book about?

Jersey Girl Jessie DeSalvo has her dream job at one of New York’s top publishing companies. After ten years of hard work, the day of her big promotion has arrived. Unfortunately, her company has other ideas. Instead of a corner office, Jessie is handed her pink slip. 

Left with little more than her cell phone and an unusable contact list, Jessie retreats to less-than-fashionable Hoboken, New Jersey, to figure out her life—and deal with the attentions of her loving but inquisitive Italian-American family. Then she accidentally stumbles into a career as a professional best friend—by helping friends and strangers straighten out whatever is wrong with their lives. Her jobs include planning the New Jersey wedding of the year and saving a bankrupt rock club in town. Soon, things get complicated when she falls in love with the club manager—and promises an appearance by Bruce Springsteen. In the end, Jessie realizes that not even “The Boss” can make things right—and that she needs to become her own best friend to be truly happy.

The books I picked & why

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette

By Maria Semple,

Book cover of Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Why this book?

Razor-sharp wit and flawed characters populate this delightful novel focused on the creative life of a genius architect trying to balance home life with art. The book which includes an unlikely correspondence with a virtual assistant pokes fun at the main character’s need for connection which is often lost in the modern technological world which often estranges instead of connects.


Bridget Jones's Diary

By Helen Fielding,

Book cover of Bridget Jones's Diary

Why this book?

The classic tale of one average Londoner’s desire to find her modern-day Mr. Darcy amidst the manners and forays of present-day English Life. Always trying to better herself, the main character stumbles hilariously through career mishaps, office romances, and social gaffs, all on the road to self-help and true love.


Animal Husbandry

By Laura Zigman,

Book cover of Animal Husbandry

Why this book?

I would argue that this novel set up the formula for fresh funny self-deprecating women characters that become heroines of their own stories. Later made into a movie with Ashley Judd and titled Someone Like You, the heroine compares modern-day dating to the rituals of mating in the animal kingdom to hilarious results.  


In Her Shoes

By Jennifer Weiner,

Book cover of In Her Shoes

Why this book?

Taking the notion of the ugly stepsister to new lengths, Weiner gives a spunky voice to a character that is often overlooked by her prettier, if not dizzier sister. At turns, funny and heartbreaking, the fearless and flawed heroine creates a life with her own happily ever after.


The Devil Wears Prada

By Lauren Weisberger,

Book cover of The Devil Wears Prada

Why this book?

Even if you never worked in New York publishing, the main character’s career struggles are so relatable that you can help but love her. We watch with fascination as her dream of doing big important journalism is reduced to being the whipping girl of the most notorious woman in fashion. Both book and movie are popcorn-worthy for every delicious detail of the fashion magazine world. The Devil Wears Prada rings true for anyone who has ever had the job from hell.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in romantic love, New York State, and death?

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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