The best books to make you love being a woman

Leslie Morgan Steiner Author Of The Naked Truth: A Memoir
By Leslie Morgan Steiner

Who am I?

There is no place that I find more truth from women than in the books we write, especially memoirs. Starting with my mother, and continuing through my education at Harvard and Wharton, and workplaces including Johnson & Johnson and The Washington Post, women have always fascinated me. Women’s roles are changing rapidly, but not rapidly enough in many ways. From discovering our beauty and sexuality as adolescents to becoming mothers, to navigating the corporate or entrepreneurial climb, to aging while female…it’s all much richer and far more manageable when we tell the truth to each other rather than hiding behind a mask of perfectionism, false chumminess, or cattiness. 

I wrote...

The Naked Truth: A Memoir

By Leslie Morgan Steiner,

Book cover of The Naked Truth: A Memoir

What is my book about?

The Naked Truth explores the intersection of aging, sexuality, and self-confidence of women after age 50 through the eyes of author Leslie Morgan as she audaciously dates five younger boyfriends following the end of a long unhappy marriage. The intensity of marriage and motherhood, along with juggling work and family demands, can result in women (and men) losing touch with ourselves. This book is a road map on how to find your confidence and sexuality again at any age.

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The books I picked & why


By Glennon Doyle,

Book cover of Untamed

Why did I love this book?

Reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle was like having dinner with a combination of my best friend from childhood and the world’s best therapist. I felt seen, understood, and inspired. Her life experience and mottos invigorated me in lasting, exciting ways. The book made me feel great about being female – lucky to be female – and powerful inside myself. Her journey from a wife and mother who self-medicated with alcohol to her truest, strongest self helped me set my own sights for myself a bit higher, but with far more compassion for how hard it is to do “the right hard things.”

By Glennon Doyle,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Untamed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OVER TWO MILLION COPIES SOLD! “Packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today.”—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club Pick)

In her most revealing and powerful memoir yet, the activist, speaker, bestselling author, and “patron saint of female empowerment” (People) explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others’ expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • Cosmopolitan • Marie Claire • Bloomberg • Parade •…

Book cover of Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year

Why did I love this book?

I’ve read Operating Instructions at least five times. First as a new mother, most recently as a mother to three adult children. Every time I laugh out loud, cry a few tears, and get inspired to use my life experiences as fodder for my writing. Lamott’s diary reminds me that none of us has life figured out and that the friends and family we embrace deepen the intense experience of being female, and that great joy and great sadness often go together in a life well-lived.

By Anne Lamott,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Operating Instructions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the journal of the birth of Anne Lamott's son Sam, and their first year together. Coping with being a recovering alcoholic and a single mother, Anne had to face the fact that her best friend since childhood was dying of cancer.

Book cover of The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth about Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage

Why did I love this book?

Cathi Hanauer and I were editors together at Seventeen Magazine in New York City in our 20s. She tried, unsuccessfully, to convince me not to leave the magazine to marry an abusive man. I obviously regretted not listening to her – but I did get great material to write my memoir. I read The Bitch in the House one snowy Christmas Day lying in front of the fireplace as my three young children played with their presents around me. I recognized myself in the essays about the experience of being female in America, and the book inspired me to corral 26 moms in my own essay collection. I’m forever grateful to Cathi for assembling a group of badass truthtellers with great stories to tell.

By Cathi Hanauer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bitch in the House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Virginia Woolf introduced us to the “Angel in the House”, now prepare to meet... The Bitch In the House.

This e-book includes an exclusive excerpt from The Bitch is Back: Older, Wiser, and Getting Happier, a second collection of essays from nine of the contributors featured in The Bitch in the House and from sixteen captivating new voices.

Women today have more choices than at any time in history, yet many smart, ambitious, contemporary women are finding themselves angry, dissatisfied, stressed out. Why are they dissatisfied? And what do they really want? These questions form the premise of this passionate,…

The Mists of Avalon

By Marion Zimmer Bradley,

Book cover of The Mists of Avalon

Why did I love this book?

What an audacious book – a retelling of the King Arthur legend from the women’s point of view. Part history, part fantasy, this book rang true to me in its portrayal of the power of the divine feminine. The female characters own their sexuality and the strength inherent to being a woman. I loved getting deliciously lost in Bradley’s imagination of the mystical skills of our ancient mothers. To this day, I wonder if she might have been writing about reality, not fantasy, and it is our present generation that has lost touch with our astonishing female powers.

By Marion Zimmer Bradley,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Mists of Avalon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Here is the tragic tale of the rise and fall of Camelot - but seen through the eyes of Camelot's women: The devout Gwenhwyfar, Arthur's Queen; Vivane, High priestess of Avalon and the Lady of the Lake; above all, Morgaine, possessor of the sight, the wise, the wise-woman fated to bring ruin on them all...


By Michelle Obama,

Book cover of Becoming

Why did I love this book?

I grew up in Washington, DC with a front row view of politics. As a child and adult, I went to the East and West Wings of the White House many times as a personal guest of the people who lived and worked there. However, Michelle Obama’s book was the first time I understood what it truly feels like to live in the White House and to be the most powerful, most scrutinized “trailing spouse” ever. As I read her words, I felt like I knew her – a brilliant, grounded businesswoman, wife, and mother with an unexpected and extraordinary life. She helped me imagine what I might have been like if I had been married to a man who became president. She took me with her into her life – the most extraordinary accomplishment any memoir can achieve.

By Michelle Obama,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Becoming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir; 17 million copies sold worldwide





Now in paperback featuring a new introduction by Michelle Obama, a letter from the author to her younger self, and a book club guide with 20 discussion questions and a 5-question Q&A, the intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama…

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