The Rejection That Changed My Life: 25+ Powerful Women on Being Let Down, Turning... by Jessica BacalWhat it's about: resilience in the face of professional rejection, explored through interviews with a diverse group of notable women who have since found career success.
Rejectees include: nonprofit CEO Angela Duckworth; author Keri Smith; entertainment executive Tara Schuster; academic and activist Loretta Ross.
Why you might like it: In addition to providing relatable narratives to encourage women who are early in their careers, The Rejection is well-organized and provides approachable, actionable advice gathered from each narrative.
Second Thoughts: On Having and Being a Second Child by Lynn BergerWhat it is: a candid and reflective exploration of the issues raised when considering whether to have a second child, and the thought-provoking information author Lynn Berger encountered when making the same decision for herself.
Why you might like it: Though grounded in scientific research into the topic, Berger deftly interweaves relevant observations about art, literature, pop culture, and her own experiences as a second child.
You might also like: The Sibling Effect by Jeffrey Kluger, which looks deeper at the research into sibling relationships and life outcomes.
Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting by Lisa GenovaWhat it's about: the ins and outs of human memory, including the different types of memory, common misconceptions, and relevant diseases.
Read it for: the engaging writing, which makes complex scientific concepts accessible to the general reader; the overview of the dementia risk factors we can control, like exercise and sleep.
About the author: Neuroscientist Lisa Genova is best known for her novel Still Alice, which was adapted into a film starring Julianne Moore as a character with Alzheimer's Disease.
After: A Doctor Explores What Near-Death Experiences Reveal About Life and Beyond by Bruce Greyson, M.D.What it is: an accessible and surprisingly upbeat look at near-death experiences and what implications they might have for ideas about life, death, and consciousness.
Is it for you? Although author Dr. Bruce Greyson's work is grounded in science, he does acknowledge the existence of alternative explanations to near-death experiences and their possible social and psychological significance for survivors.
Reviewers say: ”A bright, passionate journey through murky waters" (Kirkus Reviews).
Professional Troublemaker: The Fear Fighter Manual by Luvvie Ajayi JonesWhat it's about: confronting fear and your inner critic in order to pursue your goals and make empowered choices.
Read it for: the affectionate and humorous voice of the author's grandmother, the titular "professional troublemaker" whose advice inspired the book.
About the author: motivational speaker Luvvie Ajayi Jones hosts the podcast Rants and Randomness and previously published the essay collection I'm Judging You.
Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls and Women by Renee EngelnWhat it's about: the negative physical, mental, emotional, and financial effects that society's unrealistic beauty standards have on women and girls.
Read it for: the inspiring yet impassioned tone; the well-rounded approach, which explores the issues at hand through both scientific research and the voices of real young women.
Reviewers say: Beauty Sick is "thought-provoking and will be fascinating for all readers, especially those interested in psychology, cultural studies, media, or gender studies" (Booklist).
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane GayWhat it is: Bad Feminist author Roxane Gay's frank reflections on trauma, self-image, and her relationship with food.
Is it for you? While Gay's visceral writing is evocative, the intimacy of the topics might make Hunger a difficult read for some.
For fans of: Kiese Laymon's Heavy and Lindy West's Shrill, which both explore body image at its intersection with other social issues (race and gender respectively).
Feast: True Love In and Out of the Kitchen by Hannah HowardWhat it is: a candid and sobering story of addiction and disordered eating during the author's early career in both the high and low ends of the restaurant industry.
Reviewers say: "An inspirational memoir of food and finding oneself" (Kirkus Reviews).
You might also like: Susan Burton's Empty, another reflective and unreserved eating disorder memoir.
More Than a Body: Your Body Is an Instrument, Not an Ornament by Lindsay Kite PhD and Lexie Kite PhDWhat it's about: how to rebuild your relationship with your body by tuning out toxic media messages and learning to fight the socially ingrained habit of objectifying yourself and others.
About the authors: twin sisters Lexie and Lindsey Kite are the co-founders of Beauty Redefined, a nonprofit that provides research-based online education about body positivity and health literacy.
Don't miss: the discussion of how being identical twins affected the authors' relationships with their own bodies.
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