Books That Inspire 2019: The 10 Most Inspirational Books for Women by 30Seconds Mom
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Looking for a book to inspire you? Parade put together a list of the 10 most inspirational books for women in 2019, and they range from humorous fantasy to career goals to heartbreaking memoirs to books about family. Something for everyone. Which book will be your first pick to read? Is there an inspirational book you feel deserves to be on this list? Share it in the comments section!
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How Sweet the Bitter Soup: A Memoir by Lori Qian $17
Her mom was working as a maid. Her dad’s Alzheimer’s was in high gear. And the rent on her parents’ small Chicago apartment had just gone up. Again. But Lori was holding it all together: helping care for her dad and pay her family’s bills, figuring out how to navigate graduate school and four jobs on top of her family responsibilities, and, somehow, continuing to believe that there was more to life than this ... Lori found herself in Guangzhou, China, where she fell in love with the culture and with a man from a tiny town in Hubei province. What followed was a transformative adventure – one that will inspire readers to use the bitter to make life even sweeter.
More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth $14
Throughout her life, Elaine Welteroth has climbed the ranks of media and fashion, shattering ceilings along the way. In this riveting and timely memoir, the groundbreaking journalist unpacks lessons on race, identity, and success through her own journey, from navigating her way as the unstoppable child of an unlikely interracial marriage in small-town California to finding herself on the frontlines of a modern movement for the next generation of change makers ... Welteroth moves beyond the headlines and highlight reels to share the profound lessons and struggles of being a barrier-breaker across so many intersections. As a young boss and often the only Black woman in the room, she’s had enough of the world telling her – and all women – they’re not enough.
Even If Your Heart Would Listen: Losing My Daughter to Heroin by Elise Schiller $17
In January 2014, Elise Schiller’s youngest child, 33-year-old Giana Natali, died of a heroin overdose while a resident in a treatment program in Boulder County, Colorado. Even if Your Heart Would Listen is about Giana’s life, which was full of accomplishments, and her mental illness, addiction and death. Using excerpts from the journals, planners and letters Giana left behind, as well as evidence from her medical records, Schiller dissects her daughter’s treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) at the five residential and several outpatient programs in eastern Pennsylvania where she tried to recover, taking a close look at the lack of continuity and solid medical foundations in the American substance-use treatment system even as she explores the deeply personal experience of her own loss.
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom $18
In 1961, Sarah M. Broom’s mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. It was the height of the Space Race and the neighborhood was home to a major NASA plant – the postwar optimism seemed assured. Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah’s father Simon Broom; their combined family would eventually number twelve children. But after Simon died, six months after Sarah’s birth, the Yellow House would become Ivory Mae’s 13th and most unruly child. A book of great ambition, it tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America’s most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother’s struggle against a house's entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina.
Leaving the Witness: Exiting a Religion and Finding a Life by Amber Scorah $17
A third-generation Jehovah's Witness, Amber Scorah had devoted her life to sounding God's warning of impending Armageddon. She volunteered to take the message to China, where the preaching she did was illegal and could result in her expulsion or worse. Here, she had some distance from her community for the first time. Immersion in a foreign language and culture –and a whole new way of thinking – turned her world upside down, and eventually led her to lose all that she had been sure was true. A riveting memoir of losing faith and finding freedom while a covert missionary in one of the world's most restrictive countries.
The Beautiful No: And Other Tales of Trial, Transcendence and Transformation by Sheri Salata $17
What happens when you realize you’ve had the career of your dreams, but you don’t have the life of your dreams? This was the stark reality facing Sheri Salata when she left her 20-year stint at "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Harpo Studios and the OWN network. She had dedicated decades to her dream job, and loved (almost) every minute of it, but had left the rest of her life gathering dust on the shelf. After years of telling other people’s makeover stories, Sheri decided to “produce” her own life transformation. And this meant revisiting her past, excavating its lessons and boldly reimagining her future. In these pages, she invites readers along for the ride — detoxing in the desert, braving humiliation at Hollywood’s favorite fitness studio, grappling with losses, reinventing friendships, baring her soul in sex therapy and more. Part cautionary tale, part middle-of-life rallying cry, Sheri’s stories offer profound inspiration for personal renewal.
Small Doses: Potent Truths for Everyday Use by Amanda Seales $18
Comedian, writer, actress and social media star Amanda Seales is a force of nature who has fearlessly and passionately charted her own course through life and career. Now, in her one-of-a-kind voice that blends academic intellectualism, Black American colloquialisms, and pop culture fanaticism, she’s bringing her life’s lessons and laughs to the page. This volume of essays, axioms, original illustrations and photos provides Seales’s trademark “self-help from the hip” style of commentary, fueled by ideology formed from her own victories, struggles, research, mistakes, risks and pay-offs. Unapologetic, fiercely funny and searingly honest, it engages, empowers and enlightens readers on how to find their truths while still finding the funny!
They Could Have Named Her Anything by Stephanie Jimenez $10
Every morning, 17-year-old Maria Anís Rosario takes the subway an hour from her boisterous and close-knit family in Queens to her private high school on the Upper East Side, where she struggles to fit in as one of the only Latina students – until Rocky welcomes her into this new life. White, rebellious and ignored by her wealthy parents, Rocky uses her money toward one goal: to get away with anything. To Maria, it’s a dazzling privilege. As a bond develops between these unlikely friends, neither can see what they share most – jealousy and the desire for each other’s lives. But crackling under the surface of their seemingly supportive alliance, the girls begin to commit little betrayals as they strive to get closer to their ideals regardless of the consequences. Told from the perspectives of Maria, Rocky, and their fathers, it explores the heartfelt expectation of what it means to live up to the name you’ve been given and the more rewarding discovery of what really matters.
In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado $21
Carmen Maria Machado’s engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. And it’s that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope – the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman – through which Machado holds the events up to the light and examines them from different angles. She looks back at her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations of the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships.
Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton $19
S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle's wild crows (those idiots) and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos. Then Big Jim's eyeball falls out of his head, and S.T. starts to feel like something isn't quite right. His most tried-and-true remedies – from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim's loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis – fail to cure Big Jim's debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he discovers that the neighbors are devouring each other and the local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators roaming Seattle. Humanity's extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a foul-mouthed crow whose knowledge of the world around him comes from his TV-watching education. A humorous, big-hearted, and boundlessly beautiful romp through the apocalypse and the world that comes after, where even a cowardly crow can become a hero.
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