Sometimes we all need a little inspiration.
And what better way to feel inspired than picking up a great biography. Not only will it help motivate you, but reading is a great way to relax and breakaway from the pressures of modern life.
But which Biography to choose? I’ve listed my top 12 books that I recommend you pick up. Have a read, and let me know if there are any missing off the list!
1. Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong by Jessica Bascal
The publication has been named by Fast Company as among the top ten books that are a must read for everyone this year. In this editorial, Jessica interviews 25 successful women about their hardest moments in their jobs. These women are from various fields and reveal what they learned from their mistakes, which nurtured them to become the successful innovators they are now.
2. Amelia Earhart (and more)
Aviation wasn’t that popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Those who flew them became icons in their own right. Pilots were seen as heroes who everybody praised for being brave. However, not all pilots received the same praise. That is evident in the case of five remarkable aviators who, despite risking their lives and overcoming many obstacles, were mocked, ridiculed, and faced prejudice because they were women.
The book focuses on the struggles of the five women who went against all the odds to prove themselves in the skies. O’Brien, the author, focuses on Florence Klingensmith, Amelia Earhart, Ruth Elder, Ruth Nichols, and Louise Thaden, who accomplished many aviation missions. These five women broke multiple records, and this book is a thrilling read from the first to the final chapter.
3. Bossypants By Tina Fey
The book specifically speaks about managing a team as a woman in a male-dominated world. It’s filled with one-liners, which are both hysterical and motivational. Many relevant issues are addressed in this publication. And it’ll be a good read for women seeking to be in a position of power in a cutthroat industry.
4. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth is a woman who relentlessly fought for gender equality. This biography, written by Jane De Hart, explains Ruth’s experiences that prompted her to pursue justice and fairness for a woman in a patriarch society. Read how she defeated all odds and the strategies she used to achieve her mission.
5. The Life and Times of Victoria Woodhull
Victoria is an often ignored figure in political realms, but she was a person who drastically shifted the political conversations in the United States. Her commitment to rabble-rousing and female activism fronted a significant shift to the way women suffrage was viewed. Victoria even ran for the presidency seat in 1872, just to promote activism.
However, there were those who opposed her views and did not shy off from publicly attacking her. Before she ran for the presidency, Woodhull had been divorced twice and held a series of different careers. Even the feminists of her time were intimidated by her confidence. Woodhull was an advocate of free love, birth control, and freedom of female sexuality long before the media publicly gave any of these ideas attention. There is much to learn from this book written by Marion Meade, and if you are a feminist, then she will be your inspiration.
6. What I Told my Daughter by Nina Tassler
The writer brings together a powerful and diverse group of women to share their best pieces of advice that they gave their daughters, either by example or in character. The book tells of counsel from four women. For instance, it tells a story of how an entertainer urges her child to embrace her truth. Nina being an award-winning writer, captures the counsel of these four women and presents them in a more entertaining and engaging manner.
7. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman
Catherine was born a German princess. She went to Russia, and at the age of 14, she became the country’s empress. Catherine was named the longest ever ruling female leader of Russia. However, her personal life was just as complex and challenging as her political one.
Since she came in power at a period that was considered the “Golden Age” in Russia, her leadership received much rebellion and warfare. She carried the burden of an unhappy marriage and an overbearing mother. All these things could have brought her down, and many expected her to give up. But, Catherine the Great dealt with her woes and managed foreign policy, cultural advancements, and economic tensions within the country. You’ll be greatly inspired by this book written by Robert K. Massie if you are aspiring for a leadership position.
8. Not that Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” By Lena Dunham
In this novel, Dunahm addresses her personal life and puts it in the open. This book is a collection of personal essays, and what makes it interesting is how carefully constructed the revelations are. Lenah uses this publication to explain to other women about some of the things she has learnt. And if you need fresh challenges, you’ll get a lot of them in this book.
9. Sojourner Truth
This is a famous narrative written by the popular and admired African American women in history. The publication explains why Truth is an inspirational figure. Truth was an advocate for the rights of black people, specifically black women in society. She travelled across the country, making her voice known by the relevant persons.
Truth took it upon herself to free those who were oppressed by a predominantly masculine society. The climax of her activism was the “Ain’t I a Woman” speech that up to today is being quoted. She gave the speech in 1851, which became heavily publicized in 1863 and which lead to her meeting President Lincoln in 1864. The book is not only inspiring but entertaining and is worth your read if you want to know one of the pioneers behind the black race freedom in the United States.
10. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Henrietta Lacks made a significant contribution to medicine in modern history- and she wasn’t even aware of it. This publication tells a story of a woman who was a tobacco farmer and whose cells were forcefully taken from her and used to develop the polio vaccine and other several scientific advancements.
Her story brings to light a dark history of medical experimentation on black Americans. Henrietta had been immortalized by “HeLa” or the cells of her cervical cancer without her knowing. HeLa cells are worth millions of money today, but unfortunately, their donor died without ever knowing.
11. Mother Jones: The Most Dangerous Woman in America
Elliot J. Gorn explains a story of an activist, community organizer, and a political agitator in the modern American labour movement. Mary Jones started as a teacher before taking her campaigns to the streets. She organized labour strikes particularly with miners and child labours, and later she created a union of labour workers called Mother Jones. There’s also a magazine named after her. This book takes you through her journey of activism and how she coordinated all these strikes to be successful at her mission.
12. Helen Keller
Helen’s story remains a motivational one up to this day. She inspired many, and her experiences have been transformed into stage and film adaptations. Despite losing her eyesight and hearing at a young age, Keller did not give up on her dreams. She was helped by her teacher and a friend to embark on a journey that changed her life forever.
Her endurance enabled her to become the first deaf and blind person to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree. The book testifies of the hardships she went through before meeting her devoted friend- Anne Sullivan. While it is a sad story, you can use it to motivate yourself and believe that whichever circumstance you’re in, you can still overcome and make your dreams a reality.
We are past the age of seeing biography books as regurgitated history textbooks. Whether you are looking for some motivation, entertainment, or information, you can read these real-life stories of incredible women who changed the world. They’ll keep you engaged, give you a laugh when you need and motivate you to do and be better.
I hope you enjoy reading at least some of these articles. If any of the recommended books inspire you to make a change in your life, get in touch and learn how you can Dump the Diet and get a life.
Love and hugs.