12 Books That Will Change Your Life

Jan 10, 2024 | Quick Takes

Whether I’m coaching, teaching, mentoring or networking, I’m often asked: What are you reading and what books do you recommend I read? 📖

Choosing what to read can be overwhelming. Where to begin with so many choices? (I have over 1000 in my collection!)

If you’re a reader, here’s your A-LIST. 🌟

If you’re NOT a reader, I implore you to read. It’s good for you! Your brain (and bank account) will thank you. 💡

To make it easier, I created a list of my favorites for aspiring women.

Here’s the process I used to get to my Top 12:

1. Scanned my shelves for the books I read more than once, dog-eared the pages, and underlined passages that impacted me then (and years later).

2. Reached out to EW collaborators for their top picks.

3. Made a final edit based on 3 questions:

🤔 Will this book expand your perspective?

🤔 Will this book inspire all aspects of your life?

🤔 Will this book give you simple tools to take action?

No matter your path or personal ambition, these books will help build a vital foundation to guide you – and raise your game – for decades to come. (I have no affiliations. The links are provided as a courtesy.)

My A-List to equip you at work and in life:


Make the most of your first 10 years 🎓

The Defining Decade underscores the importance of making the most of your 20s (and 30s). Bestselling author and psychologist Dr. Meg Jay shares stories and insights from two decades of helping young adults and professionals sort through the mental clutter to thrive. She offers a candid, compassionate, and motivating perspective for taking steps toward building the life you want.


Navigate the inevitable tricky conversation with your boss or co-workers 💬

Crucial Conversations is enlightening and instructional. No more fretting about or avoiding the tough stuff. This book arms you with practical tips (and scripts!) for common workplace conflicts and dilemmas. (Pro tip: if you have the opportunity to take one of their courses, do it!)


Avoid self-sabotage 🙅‍♀️

How Women Rise illuminates how we unknowingly hold ourselves back from making more money, getting promoted, and excelling at work and life. Learn the 12 common pitfalls to steer clear of and you’ll be on the road to a life you love.


Adopt the habits of great people 🙌

7 Habits of Highly Effective People is well known and expected in a list such as this one. Yet, it’s timeless, too, so it can’t be overlooked. What kind of human do you want to become? Steven R. Covey outlines the core principles that have shaped the lives of millions of people for over 30 years.


Make your habits stick ✅

Atomic Habits lays out the simple day-to-day processes needed to transform an intention into a habit. James Clear unlocks how our brain works and how we can take small actions to stay on track, increase our motivation, and kick bad habits to the curb.


Awaken to your undiscovered creativity ✨

The Artist Way is a life-changing book that shepherds personal transformation using provocative reflection prompts and thoughtful exercises such as “daily pages.” Julia Cameron demonstrates how creativity isn’t simply reserved for a subset of “artistic” people but resides in everyone – and simply needs to be unleashed. (Pro Tip: This is more than a book you read. It’s a book you do.)


Practice mindfulness to manage anxiety 🧘‍♂️

Wherever You Go There You Are is a practical introduction to the importance of mindfulness for reducing stress, resolving anger, and living more calmly. Who doesn’t need that these days?(!) Master teacher and thought leader Jon Kabat-Zinn provides an accessible approach for anyone who wants to be more present and less stressed.


Create a safe place to engage 🤝

The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety is a simple guide for helping others feel safe to unlock their potential and the collective innovation of teams. While this was written for managers, it’s an excellent primer for anyone who wants to constructively contribute to a culture of inclusion and belonging. (Pro tip: Prioritize working for leaders who understand psychological safety–you’ll be more energized and fulfilled.)


Earn what you deserve 💰

Pay Up shares tips, insights, and language for negotiating an offer, a raise, and a promotion. Don’t wait to be seen, valued, and paid fairly. This gem by Kate Dixon will ensure you confidently navigate money talks and never leave money on the table.


Choose courage over comfort 💪

Dare to Lead reminds us that expressing vulnerability is not weakness. It’s courageous and essential for effective communication and leadership, according to Brene Brown. This book will help you examine your level of self-awareness, authenticity, empathy, and whole-heartedness–the ingredients for increasing your impact on others.


Recognize that leadership is for everyone 💡

21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership was released 25 years ago and it’s still relevant today. Whether you aim to lead a team or a company or simply yourself as an individual contributor, John Maxwell reveals insights that apply to every aspiring professional–and underscores the attributes of leaders to learn from.


Learn from adversity 🌈

Lessons for Living imparts wisdom for embracing the ups and downs of life. As one of the world’s most notable therapists, Phil Stutz, combines psychology and psychiatry to help you deal with hardship, develop resilience, and embrace life more fully. (Pro tip: his techniques and insights come to life in the Netflix hit Stutz.)

We’re excited to give away one of these books each month to our newsletter subscribers! 🎁

This month, we will be giving away the empowering The Defining Decade by Meg Jay.

Want to enter? Here’s how:

1. Subscribe to our newsletter – receive tips, tools, and insights to advance your Work.Life!

2. Follow us on LinkedIn – we’d love to connect more!

3. Tag a friend in the comments of this LinkedIn post for extra entries – spread the word and share the wisdom!

Remember, most of these can also be found at local booksellers, half-price stores, or for FREE with a public library card using the Libby app.

Devour these books (one per month!) and you will be equipt with brilliance in 2024 and beyond. 🚀

Kelly Mooney Signature

Kelly Mooney
Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer

P.S. If you have a favorite that isn’t listed here, let us know and we’ll add it to our shelves. ✨

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