The Southern C x Badass Women’s Book Club: January 2023
New Year, New You
by Gina Warner, founder of Badass Women’s Book Club
I know I’m not the only one who thinks writing New Year’s Resolutions is much easier than keeping them. I always start the year off with a lot (A LOT) of good intentions that are going to make me happier, thinner, kinder, bolder, more productive – the list goes on and on. If you do, too – check out these books to help you reach those goals and stay on track for success!
Year of YES
With three children at home and three hit television shows, it was easy for Shonda to say she was simply too busy. But in truth, she was also afraid. And then, over Thanksgiving dinner, her sister muttered something that was both a wake up and a call to arms: You never say yes to anything. Shonda knew she had to embrace the challenge: for one year, she would say YES to everything that scared her. This poignant, intimate, and hilarious memoir explores Shonda’s life before her Year of Yes—from her nerdy, book-loving childhood to her devotion to creating television characters who reflected the world she saw around her. The book chronicles her life after her Year of Yes had begun—when Shonda forced herself out of the house and onto the stage; when she learned to explore, empower, applaud, and love her truest self. Yes.
The author of the blockbuster New York Times best sellers The Happiness Project and Happier at Home tackles the critical question: How do we change? Gretchen Rubin’s answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives. So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits? Better Than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow listeners to understand their habits – and to change them for good. Infused with Rubin’s compelling voice, rigorous research, and easy humor, and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed, Better Than Before explains the (sometimes counterintuitive) core principles of habit formation.
The Art of Showing Up
If you’re having trouble connecting with those around you, know that you’re not the only one. Adult friendships are tricky!!! Part manifesto, part guide, The Art of Showing Up is soul medicine for our modern, tech-mediated age. Rachel Wilkerson Miller charts a course to kinder, more thoughtful, and more fulfilling relationships—and, crucially, she reminds us that “you can’t show up for others if you aren’t showing up for yourself first.”
Badass Habits is a eureka-sparking, easy-to-digest look at how our habits make us who we are, from the measly moments that happen in private to the resolutions we loudly broadcast (and, erm, often don’t keep) on social media. Habit busting and building goes way beyond becoming a dedicated flosser or never showing up late again–our habits reveal our unmet desires, the gaps in our boundaries, our level of self-awareness, and our unconscious beliefs and fears. Badass Habits features Jen’s trademark hilarious voice and offers a much-needed fresh take on the conventional wisdom and science that shape the optimism (or pessimism?) around the age-old topic of habits. The book includes enlightening interviews with people who’ve successfully strengthened their discipline backbones, new perspective on how to train our brains to become our best selves, and offers a simple, 21 day, step-by-step guide for ditching habits that don’t serve us and developing the habits we deem most important. Habits shouldn’t be impossible to reset–and with healthy boundaries, knowledge of–and permission to go after–our desires, and an easy to implement plan of action, we can make any new goal a joyful habit.
Set Boundaries, Find Peace
Healthy boundaries. We all know we should have them–in order to achieve work/life balance, cope with toxic people, and enjoy rewarding relationships with partners, friends, and family. But what do “healthy boundaries” really mean–and how can we successfully express our needs, say “no,” and be assertive without offending others? Licensed counselor, sought-after relationship expert, and one of the most influential therapists on Instagram Nedra Glover Tawwab demystifies this complex topic for today’s world. In a relatable and inclusive tone, Set Boundaries, Find Peace presents simple-yet-powerful ways to establish healthy boundaries in all aspects of life. Rooted in the latest research and best practices used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), these techniques help us identify and express our needs clearly and without apology–and unravel a root problem behind codependency, power struggles, anxiety, depression, burnout, and more.
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 might be self-sabotaging. 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. If you’re ready to begin Bragging Better–to telling the truth about your accomplishments with grace and confidence–this book is for you.
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 www.badasswomensbookclub.com.