Reading has become one of my favorite pastimes. Few things are better than curling up on the couch with some herbal tea and a good book on your lap to make the day feel complete. Books are a great way to keep your learning endless and your imagination creative.
I’m excited to share with you a list of some of my favorite books to cross off your autumn reading list! (if you didn’t have one already, now you do, surprise!).
And in honor of celebrating International Day of the Girl on Wednesday, I included books written by inspiring female authors and true stories about courageous women. These books are all about overcoming life’s hardest moments and embracing change, which I find fitting for the changes of fall.
Without further ado, check out the autumn book line up!
The Gifts of Imperfection
By Brené Brown
Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are. Each day we face a flood of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we look perfect and lead perfect lives, we will no longer feel inadequate.
In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, Ph.D., who is a leading expert on authenticity, shame, and courage shares what she’s learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living. Wholehearted Living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.”
I Am Malala
By Christina Lamb + Malala Yousafzai
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday October 9, 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.
At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. I Am Malala is the remarkable story of a family uprooted by global terrorism and the fight for girls’ education. A true story that will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to change in the world.
By Elizabeth Smart
On Wednesday, March 12, 2003, Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her bedroom at knifepoint, dragged up a canyon, chained to a tree, and assaulted. Nine months of abuse, deprivation, and despair followed. In “My Story,’’ Elizabeth recounts her ordeal through a memoir that is as compelling as it is painful. Her resilient Mormon faith will both inspire and mystify readers.
Eventually, Smart helped persuade her kidnappers to return to Utah, where a cyclist spotted Smart, poorly disguised in a gray wig. After her rescue, Smart rejoined her family, served a Mormon mission in France, and entered a public life of advocacy and journalism. After her rescue, she emerged from her trauma much the same person, only stronger. “My Story” is a must read, influential account of suffering and survival.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
By Maya Angelou
A true story of a young African-American girl named Maya and her brother, Bailey. When Maya was three and her brother four, they were sent by their father from California to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. Experiences of abandonment, small-town life, discrimination and determination are all revealed in Maya’s childhood accounts.
When they finally do meet their mother and her new boyfriend, Mr. Freeman, things fall apart as he takes advantage of Maya by molesting and assaulting her. Maya is both physically and emotionally crushed. Because of this experience, Maya resolves to stop speaking, for 5 years. During this time Maya decides to read as many books as she can, from Shakespeare to various prominent black writers. Through this literature hobby, Maya forms a love for education and learning.
Through of her experiences as an African-American girl in a discriminatory age, her writing and autobiographies later shaped her into an American poet, memoirist, civil right activist, the receiver of dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.
Memoirs of a Geisha
In 1929, at the age of nine, Chiyo Sakamoto is taken from their poverty-stricken fishing village of Yoroido, Japan and sold to an Okiya (a geisha boarding house) in Gion. During this time, a renowned geisha, Mameha, takes Chiyo under her wing, teaches her the ways of being a poised geisha and later changes her name to Sayuri.
Trained in all the artistic and social skills a geisha must master in order to survive, Sayuri (Chiyo) becomes a notorious geisha and enters the high society of wealth, privilege, and political intrigue. During this time, a successful businessman named the Chairman captivates Sayuri and she secretly falls in love with him. Sadly, Sayuri is forced to keep her love hidden or it could ruin her career as a geisha.
Through all trials of adversity, Sayuri never strays from her one goal to be with the Chairman. Soon World War II devastates Japan and the geisha world is forever changed. An unforgettable story of a young girl becoming the most famous geisha of all time, forbidden love, and where appearance, dance and virtue is the ultimate standard.