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Not Your Mother's Self-Help Books: 12 Lifestyle Reads For Modern Women

These self-help books are written by badass women who give you the low down on careers, sex, and self-love.

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

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Without any of the cliches that fill the pages of typical self-help books, Sincero will have you kissing your fears and self-doubt goodbye and saying hello to confidence and change. In 27 short, hilarious, and downright inspiring chapters, Sincero captures her readers and leads them down a road that leads to self-love, big-time goal achievement and a life they can't help but love.

Sleep Your Way to the Top by Jane Miller

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No, not really. This book teaches you how to succeed in your quest for the corner office without the unnecessary mishaps. Miller offers advice and dispels common workplace myths in the same tone you might use over drinks with a girlfriend—she's captivating, engaging, and totally candid about the consequences of getting wasted at the office holiday party. If you're just starting out in your career (or even if you're not), this book is a must-read.

The Champagne Diet by Cara Alwill Leyba

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Eat, drink, be merry... and feel damn good about it. This book is all about health and body positivity without any of the fad diets to go along with it. When you finish this book you'll feel sexy and comfortable in your own skin, which is exactly how it should be.

Get a Life Not a Job by Paula Caligiuri

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No, they aren't actually the same thing. This book offers advise that helps you take control of your life and career so you can move in a positive direction with your life, your job, and your finances. You can have an amazing career you care about that also pays the bills and lets you have a life—and this book is your guide to making it happen.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight

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As far as self-help books go, this one is a gem. Written as a parody of Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Knight focuses on decluttering mentally, and not giving a f**k while you do it. Learn how to stop wasting your time on things that don't matter (hello, family drama and swimsuit season) and focus your time, money, and energy on things that are worth it.

I Am That Girl by Alexis Jones

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If you're feeling a little lost and aren't sure what your next move is, this book is for you. Jones reminds her readers of their self-worth and encourages them to dream big and say goodbye to negative opinions. You are powerful, and smart, and capable just as you are, so embrace it and be That Girl, every day and unforgivably.

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

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The founder of Nasty Gal takes readers on a ride as she details her journey from broke teen to bad ass millionaire girl boss. Regardless of who you were in high school or even who you were five minutes ago, Amoruso says the world is "entirely yours to discover and yours to create." This book is funny, honest, and empowering, and will leave you feeling like you can conquer the universe.

I Shouldn't Be Telling You This by Kate White

8 / 12


Cosmopolitan's last editor-in-chief shares her secrets to success and offers career advice that is helpful for any woman. Whether you're just starting out in the professional world, switching careers, or coming back from maternity leave, the woman who changed the game at Cosmo for years has plenty of advice for you. White's book is all about going big or going home—so pick a side, grab the book and learn how to dazzle and excel in any career setting.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

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Women who work hard deserve to have a seat at the table, and this book will have you ready to kick down the door and demand it. With research and personal anecdotes, Sandberg explores workplace culture and how women both affect and are effected by it—and how we have to act to make a change. Despite her position of privilege as COO of Facebook, a lot of her advice and experiences are super relatable. Come to the table ready to take notes, because Sandberg is throwing down the gauntlet in this self-help book, and you won't want to miss a word of it.

Women Who Think Too Much by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema

10 / 12


If you're a woman who can't stop thinking about that throwaway comment your partner made two days ago, this one's for you. Nolen-Hoeksema challenges the notion that constantly expressing and analyzing our emotions is a good thing. She gives practical strategies for avoiding overthinking and negative thoughts that could lead to anxiety, sadness, and depression. A combination of self-help and science, this book will help you silence your inner, unnecessary nagging voice, so you can focus on things you can actually change.

Rising Strong by Brené Brown

11 / 12


Fall down four times, get up five. That's the premise of Brown's book, which encourages embracing vulnerability and owning our failures and disappointments. According to Brown, our lowest, most vulnerable moments are what make us who we are—and what ultimately gives us the courage to strive for more. Vulnerability is power, and embracing it in a world that tells us to hide it might just be the best thing we can do.

What the Heck Am I Going to Do With My Life? by Margaret Feinburg

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It's a question that haunts twentysomethings as they find themselves tangled in a complicated web of job applications, college courses, and jobs they actually don't like doing all that much. PSA: Nobody has it all figured out; not even your friend who's had three amazing internships and is a shoe-in for the job at that exciting New York company. Some people are just better at faking it. If you're willing to ask yourself some hard questions, Feinburg can help you work toward an answer to that million-dollar question so you can stop spending so much time agonizing over what the heck you might be doing with your life.

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