10 Must-Read Books for Women in Business

by Grace Bonney

All summer long I devoured business book after business book, looking for some last-minute inspiration and motivation as I hit the road to celebrate our new book, In the Company of Women. There are so many incredible business books on the market, but I really enjoyed focusing on books that were meant to address some of the unique issues facing women. Whether it was a firsthand account from a mother who had given birth and headed back to run her company the next week, or the stories of women who work to overcome and combat sexism in the workplace, their stories gave me the courage and strength to head out this fall and talk about all of these issues across the country with some of the most inspiring women I know in business.

So today I’m sharing 10 books I think any woman in business should have (whether you’re an established pro or are just hoping to launch one day) on their shelves or pick up at their local library. Here’s to more women in charge of their own amazing businesses! xo, grace

*Some of these books are older, some newer. Some are business-focused and others are more outside of the box, but I promise you’ll find inspiration in each one.

In the Company of Women (online, in store): I am so proud of this book that we are putting out into the world. It tells the stories of 107 incredible women who have overcome odds, blazed their own trails and inspired the next generation by following their dreams and starting their own businesses and creative practices. What means so much to me about this book is that we focused on women who are underrepresented in traditional books: women of color, LGBTQ women, differently abled women and women with greater life experience.
Bossypants (online, in store): This book really got me thinking about a lot of things I had been incorrectly taught, like that women have to be "cute" to be liked in business and that women are only competing against each other. It may not be a business book per se, but this book made me look at my life and work in a whole new way.
Year of Yes (online, in store): I am a Shonda devotee and her inspiring ode to embracing life, challenges and all of the opportunities that come your way is a must- must-read for anyone, regardless of your gender identity. Shonda always has something amazing to say that I can find inspiration in for life, work and everything else in between.
Creative, Inc. (online, in store): This is a (relative) oldie, but a major goodie. This series that Chronicle produced with people like Joy Cho, Meg Mateo Ilasco and Lisa Congdon is an incredible wealth of practical information for anyone looking to get their creative idea up off the ground.
Ladies Drawing Night (online, in store): This book is about a series of drawing nights that started between friends in Brooklyn and grew into new collaborations, new friendships and now a national series of meetups for women to join together in creative support. The book is a great inspiration tool if you've been looking to connect with other women who do what you do in your area -- and it's beautiful to boot.
Pick Me Up (online, in store): Adam JK is a part of our DS family here and he is one of the first places I turn when I need quick, easy-to-digest but still earth-shatteringly profound inspiration and ideas. His new book, Pick Me Up, is full of the sort of wisdom he shares here every month and will be a super handy tool for anyone who wants a little extra motivation.
The Confidence Code (online, in store): This book was suggested to me by a friend who just made it through Harvard Business School and who knows a thing or two about strong women in business. This book breaks down why confidence is such a crucial ingredient to success in business -- and how to build and nurture it in yourself naturally.
Rising Strong (online, in store): Anything Brené Brown does goes into my online or in-person shopping cart. She has the uncanny ability to break down incredibly complex, and emotionally challenging, topics into easy-to-understand lessons that hit you like a ton of bricks. If books were judged by "Ah-Ha" moments and knowing sighs, this one would be an instant winner. If you're running your own business and need some help harnessing your natural confidence, be sure to read this one.
You Are a Badass (online, in store): I loved this book so much because it -- with a great dose of humor -- helped me identify so many of the things I do to self-sabotage myself in life and business. It crosses over into self-help a bit, but in a way I really responded to and found helpful.
#Girlboss (online, in store): Sophia Amoruso started a business and then wrote a book that rocked the world of women in business and started a hashtag that swept social media instantly. Her bold, in-charge attitude continues to inspire women to stand up, take the lead and start their own businesses.

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