The Southern C x Badass Women’s Book Club: April 2023

Apr 13 2023

by Katelyn Whelan

Books I Would Tell My 25-Year-Old Self to Read

by Gina Warner, founder of Badass Women’s Book Club


With my daughter’s graduation right around the corner, I’m finding myself thinking a lot about my life and career as I try to both guide her and let her fly (so hard!). When I was twenty-five, I was well into my second career change and still not sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. (#StillSearching!) I think reading these books at that point in my life would have helped me feel better about myself and what I was doing, feel more confident about what I could do, and talk about myself in terms that played up my value to those around me. I think they would have helped me understand how I could position myself for opportunities and – most importantly – I think they would have given me the courage to seize those opportunities once they came my way!
First up is this new release from our very own TSC community member, Lydia Fenet!

Claim Your Confidence: Unlock Your Superpower and Create the Life You Want a book by Lydia Fenet

Claim Your Confidence by Lydia Fenet

“How do I become more confident?” is the question Lydia Fenet hears almost every time she speaks to women across the country. Many of us have forgotten what it feels like to trust ourselves, if we ever knew at all. But that can all change today. From Lydia Fenet, the world’s leading charity auctioneer and author of The Most Powerful Woman in the Room Is You, Claim Your Confidence is a powerful guide to overcoming your fear and finding the confidence within. Navigating a two-decade career at the world’s leading auction house while raising three children, Lydia had her own journey of learning self-assurance. Through stories of overcoming challenges in both her work and personal lives, she demonstrates that confidence isn’t something that only some people are born with; rather, it’s inside every one of us, waiting to be claimed. Lydia provides powerful tools anyone at any phase of their life can use. 

Also be sure to check out Lydia’s Claim Your Confidence podcast for more inspiring stories and discussions!  You can check it out here

This next book was transformative for me (at an age way beyond 25!)…


You Are a Badass (Deluxe Edition): How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life (Special) a book by Jen Sincero

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want and create a life you totally love.  By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use that power and knowledge to create your best life. 

This next book is classic – there’s a reason it’s been around for a long time! 


Nice Girls (Still) Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois Frankel

Internationally recognized executive coach Lois P. Frankel reveals a distinctive set of behaviors (over 130 in all!) that women learn in girlhood that ultimately sabotage them as adults. She teaches you how to eliminate these unconscious mistakes that could be holding you back and offers invaluable coaching tips that can easily be incorporated into your social and business skills. The results for hundreds of thousands of women have been career opportunities they never thought possible-at every stage of their career, from entry-level to the corner office.

If you’ve seen me recommend this next book a few times it’s because I believe this a skill every woman – at any age – needs!


Brag Better: Master the Art of Fearless Self-Promotion a book by Meredith Fineman

Brag Better by Meredith Fineman

Does talking about your accomplishments feel scary or icky because you’re worried people will think you’re “obnoxious”? Does it feel more natural to “put your head down and do the work”? Are you tired of watching the loudest people in your industry get disproportionate praise and rewards? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you need to learn to Brag Better.  Meredith Fineman has built a career working with “The Qualified Quiet”: smart people who struggle to talk about themselves and thus go underestimated or unrecognized. Now, she shares the surefire and anxiety-proof strategies that have helped her clients effectively communicate their achievements and skillsets to others. Bragging Better doesn’t require false bravado, talking over people, or pretending to be more qualified than you are. Instead, Fineman advocates finding quiet confidence in your opinions, abilities, and background, and then turning up the volume. In this book, you will learn the career-changing tools she’s developed over the past decade that help you tell the truth about your accomplishments with grace and confidence. You can read more and get your copy here. 


Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life - Wade, Cleo

Heart Talk by Cleo Wade

A beautifully illustrated book from Cleo Wade—the artist, poet, and speaker who has been called “the Millennial Oprah” by New York Magazine—that offers creative inspiration and life lessons through poetry, mantras, and affirmations. True to her hugely popular Instagram account, Cleo Wade brings her moving life lessons to Heart Talk, an inspiring, accessible, and spiritual book of wisdom for the new generation. Featuring over one hundred and twenty of Cleo’s original poems, mantras, and affirmations, this book is a daily pep talk to keep you feeling empowered and motivated. 


You're Not Lost: An Inspired Action Plan for Finding Your Own Way - McCoy, Maxie

You’re Not Lost by Maxie McCoy

If there’s one phrase women’s leadership expert Maxie McCoy hears over and over again in talking to young women, it’s “I’m so lost.” Not only do they doubt the direction their lives are going—they don’t even know where to start making changes. This book provides a straight shot of encouragement to change that. You’re Not Lost is the manifesto for a generation of women who don’t have the self-confidence to trust their instincts and go for it. This compelling guide gets to the root of the problem, showing you how to drop the panic-inducing, big-picture obsession over “Where am I going with my life?” and instead shines a spotlight on the small yet impactful decisions that will take you from lost to found. With step-by-step advice, thought-provoking exercises, and real-life stories from Maxie and other inspirational women who have been there and succeeded, this book is an energizing action plan for getting to the amazing career and life you deserve.

What are some other badass books you recommend for the young women in your life? Shoot me an email at I’m always looking to recommend the best books FOR badass women, BY badass women!

Gina Warner is an expert on women’s leadership and female empowerment.  She is the Founder of the Badass Women’s Book Club, where she challenges women to live their best badass lives by sharing and celebrating the stories, advice and encouragement written by other badass women. For more recommendations about the best books for personal and professional development, visit


Katelyn Whelan View More Blog Posts from this Author

Katelyn is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a dual degree in Marketing & Visual Communication Design. Settling in her hometown of Savannah, GA, she has spent the past 5 years building a career working with female owned small businesses. From events to retail, she has learned the art of translating ideas into action. Specializing in digital marketing, she seeks to bring the passion of her clients to life through the power of social media & e-commerce. She is the digital arm of a design firm founded with her two sisters, The Whelan Girls.

When she is not working, you can find her at the beach. She loves spending time with her family and can whip up a killer batch of chocolate chip cookies.

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