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  • Writer's pictureHolly Corbett

Labor Day 2023 Reads: Best New Nonfiction Books By Women Authors

Woman reading a book overlooking a lake.
The best books have the power to inspire new perspectives and potentially even launch a cultural trend. GETTY

Labor Day celebrates the contributions of American workers with a day off. If you’re looking to relax today, why not do so with a good book? The best books have the power to inspire new perspectives and potentially even launch a cultural trend. Such was the case with Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s famous memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, which sparked women from around the globe to go on “their own Eat, Pray, Love journeys,” and use travel as a vehicle of self discovery.

Women’s stories matter. “For too long, the dreams of women have been demeaned and dismissed,’ writes Elizabeth Lesser, cofounder of the Omega Institute, in her book, Cassandra Speaks: When Women Are The Storytellers, The Human Story Changes. “Now those dreams may save us. Our dreams can be a bridge from an old world into a new one.”

If you’re looking for books that center women’s stories and experiences, here is a shortlist to get you started.

Get Rooted, by Robyn Moreno

The former editor in chief and media executive shares her journey of recovering from burnout as a working parent and going back to her Mexican American roots in this beautifully written memoir and manual for personal transformation. Robyn Moreno inspires us to intentionally create space in our lives in order to reconnect with our deepest values and redefine success for ourselves. By recounting her discovery of her grandmother practicing Curanderismo, or traditional healing traditions rooted in the varied earth-based healing practices of Latin America, she went on her own healing journey using the tools she learned that include energetic cleansings, herbs, sound healing, prayer, and more to help her find greater balance.

On Our Best Behavior, by Elise Loehen

Elise Loehen, host of the Pulling the Thread podcast, unpacks the question of why women equate self denial with being good against the framework of the Seven Deadly Sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. She weaves her own personal story with current cultural analysis and historical research to illustrate how self denial shows up in women’s lives, from the idea that sloth is sinful leading many women to deny themselves rest to a fear of gluttony prompting them to ignore their appetites. Loehen’s style of leveraging her journalism expertise with her uncanny ability to ask illuminating questions that help identify cultural patterns leads to some fascinating insights.

Brave-ish, by Lisa Niver

An award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents, Lisa Niver courageously opens up about her experience with intimate partner violence and divorce and the struggles she faced leading up to her 50th birthday. In a youth-obsessed culture where ageism has been called the “last acceptable bias,” she confronts her fears of being alone, supporting herself through travel, and starting over again in midlife. Upon her divorce, Niver embarked on 50 challenges she would take before she turned 50 to help her build her courage and get comfortable venturing outside of her comfort zone. Her story illustrates that we can blaze our own path, if we are brave enough to begin with small steps.

Reimagine Inclusion, by Mita Mallick

When it comes to saying all the quiet parts out loud about the top inclusion myths that are holding us back at work, Mita Mallick, co-host of the Brown Table Talk podcast and author of the upcoming book Reimagine Inclusion is keeping it real. Mallick opens up about how being bullied as a child led to her lifelong search for inclusion, and how to meet people with kindness and grace when they make mistakes (as long as they don’t make the same mistakes over again). She outlines the most common myths about inclusion we tell ourselves that stop us from making meaningful progress. For example, the myth “I’m all for diverse talent—as long as they are good,” shows an unconscious bias that we lower the bar for diverse talent because there aren’t enough Black and Brown candidates in the pipeline. What this reveals, Mallick says, is that you don’t know enough diverse candidates because you may not be intentionally diversifying your networks. A must-read for anyone who wants practical tips on how to create a more inclusive workplace culture.

This soon-to-be-published book chronicles how financial hardship resulting from a tragic car accident in 2012 left Ruby Taylor, a school social worker of more than 10 years, with a traumatic brain injury that kept her from being able to return to work, and to launch the Financial Joy School that educates people on how to build wealth to help close the racial wealth gap. Personal stories and practical tips weave together themes of resilience, financial transformation and finding joy in the face of obstacles.

*Article originally published in Forbes


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