Books Every Working Mom Should Read

After my recent post recommending the book ‘Darling You Can’t do Both’ by Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, I’ve gotten so many requests for more book recommendations.

Below are a few of my recent work/career favorites.

We’d love to hear yours!
Comment below and we’ll add them to the list.

Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message 

playing big tara mohr life love hustleI heard about this book at a networking event. A group of women I was with could not stop talking about how it had changed the way they approached tough conversations at work, presented their ideas and even dressed.

Of course, I immediately downloaded it from audible and proceeded to binge listen over the next 2 days.

And, just like the women that evening, I can say that this book has had a profound impact on my life. Specifically, an exercise of imagining my ideal self 20 years in the future has stuck with and continues to be something I rely on when I’m playing small.

Excerpt from publisher’s overview: Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In gave many women new awareness about what kinds of changes they need to make to become more successful; yet most women need help implementing them. In the tradition of Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, Playing Big provides real, practical tools to help women quiet self-doubt, identify their callings, “unhook” from praise and criticism, unlearn counterproductive good girl habits, and begin taking bold action.

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

Thrive Arrianna Huffington Life Love Hustle

If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends chasing your dream or climbing the corporate ladder and are physically and emotionally exhausted, this book is for you.

In her book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder, Arianna Huffington talks candidly about her wake up call, which came in the form of a broken cheekbone and a gash over her eye after a fall brought on by exhaustion.

Huffington explores the challenges that many of us face in juggling a busy career and our families. She also dishes up real talk about our society’s pursuit of power and money.

Excerpt from publisher’s overview: As more and more people are coming to realize, there is far more to living a truly successful life than just earning a bigger salary and capturing a corner office. Our relentless pursuit of the two traditional metrics of success–money and power–has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, and an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers. In being connected to the world 24/7, we’re losing our connection to what truly matters. Our current definition of success is, as Thrive shows, literally killing us. We need a new way forward.

Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People

Who hates small talk? 🙋 Networking in a room full of strangers? 🙋 I think that’s most of us, right?

captivate vanessa van edwards life love hustleVanessa Van Edwards, a self described recovering awkward person, has your back. In her book, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, Van Edwards explains the science behind social behavior, trust, storytelling, and popularity. She then outlines hacks that are scientifically proven (let me repeat s c i e n t i f i c a l l y proven) to help ‘improve your interpersonal intelligence, make a killer first impression, and build rapport quickly and authentically in any situation—negotiations, interviews, parties, and pitches.’

Excerpt from publisher’s overview: As a human behavior investigator, Vanessa Van Edwards studies the hidden forces that drive our behavior patterns in her lab—and she’s cracked the code. In Captivate she shares a wealth of valuable shortcuts, systems and behavior hacks for taking charge of their interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation. These aren’t the people skills you learned in school.

Feminist Fight Club: A Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace 

darling you can't do both life love hustle

Ever had a man take your idea and pitch it as his own? That would be what Jessica Bennett author of Feminist Fight Club calls ‘Bropropriating. How about a guy interrupting you to explain something you know far more about than he does? Yep, that would Mansplaining.

Excerpt from publisher’s overview: Part manual, part manifesto, Feminist Fight Club is a hilarious yet incisive guide to navigating subtle sexism at work, providing real-life career advice and humorous reinforcement for a new generation of professional women


Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration 

Creativity, Inc. is a fascinating look at how the most creative companies in the the world do what they do. Whether you work in a creative field or not, the thinking, processes and advice in this book can make our work better…and a lot more fun.

Also, the story behind the magic of Toy Story has made watching endless animated movies with the Littles much more entertaining.

Excerpt from publisher’s overview: Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”

Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth

See an overview of the book here. Tips for asking for (and getting) a raise compiled from the best advice in the book is here.