Celebrating women authors inspiring success and challenging world views

Guides to life: we all need them, but where can we find them?

And what are the views that need challenging - and who is challenging them?

Women are leading the way in writing uplifting memoirs, guidebooks, and research texts that seek to inspire and empower other women, and men, to fight social injustices and inequalities.

Find out about four very inspiring must-read non-fiction books written by women, about women, and often for women - revealing new narratives about womanhood.

The Moment of Lift - by Melinda Gates

The moment of lift Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates's best-selling debut The Moment of Lift encourages women to life one another up - because if we do, we lift up humanity.

Gates's book is inspired by her long-term mission to help those in need across the world, and a key lesson she's learnt: that women's empowerment is a much-needed progression for the progression of general society.

The Moment of Lift book shares the personal stories of remarkable women she's met during her humanitarian work, interwoven with facts and data about important inequality issues, from child marriage to contraceptives to the treatment of women in the workplace. As well as the stories of others, Gates gives an insight in her own life and journey towards equality - how she found her voice and her passion for activism, inspiring others to do the same.

Through her own lifted platform, Gates amplifies the voices of these women and brings them into the global conversation around equality.

"Melinda Gates has spent many years working with women around the world. This book charts her own evolution as a feminist and celebrates the stories of others who inspired her on her journey. It is an urgent manifesto for an equal society where women are valued and recognized in all spheres of life. Most of all, it is a call for unity, inclusion and connection. We need this message more than ever," says activist Malala Yousafzai.

If anything, the message in The Moment of Lift is urgent: equality can't wait, and it's up to us to bring it about.

 Becoming - by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

A woman who needs little introduction, Obama has gone beyond her role as 'wife of former President' to becoming a role model and iconic figure in her own right. She was also the first African American to serve in the role as First Lady and has played a part in creating the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful supporter for women and girls around the world. 

Obama's memoir is all about this journey. Starting with her formative childhood in Chiacago to balancing work and raising a family and her experience in the White House, she describes the highs and lows of her life so far - those both in the public eye and behind closed doors.

Most importantly, Obama uses her memoir to reclaim her own narrative. Always under media scrutiny, many parts of her life have not been her own. Now, she has the chance to tell her story as she lived in - while remaining honest, emotional, and authentic about what it means to be a women in modern politics.

In reclaiming her own narrative - that of a woman, that of an African American - Obama also breaks the traditional mould of a former first lady. Her husband published his own memoir - but so can she. Her force of character means she doesn't fall into his shadow, or into the role she would have been traditionally assigned, that of an assistant.

Obama's memoir sets a precedent for future First Ladies and a clear message that, however important your husband is, you as a woman can be just as, if not more, influential in your own right.

Becoming is truly Michelle Obama 'in her own words'.

Banish Your Inner Critic - by Denise Jaco

Banish your inner critic

We have all been victims of the Inner Critic. We can blame external barriers - time, money, and so on - but really it's often ourselves to blame for productivity. 

In Denise Jacobs's book, she explores the concept of the Inner Critic - one that pulls us into perfectionism and then fills us with self doubt - and how it stunts the growth of creative ideas. Of course, Jacob's also takes our hand and guides us out of the labyrinth of the Inner Critic. 

Both a manual, a toolkit, and a guidebook, Jacobs uses her professional experience a public speaker and Chief Creativity Evangelist of The Creative Dose to craft a book that is full of advice on how to increase your creativity and productivity.

Using personal anecdotes, neuroscience, psychology, and mindfulness, Banish Your Inner Critic covers some key points, such as trusting your own expertise and knowledge, overcoming comparisons, and self-sabotage.

This is an underburdening read. Jacobs gives people the long-lasting relief they need from the constraints of the Inner Critic and the much-needed freedom to explore their creativity, without hindrance.

Invisible Women - by Caroline Criado Perez

Invisible women

Termed 'a rallying cry to fight back' by the Sunday Times, author and campaigner Caroline Criado Perez's Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men has scooped up awards for its insightful analysis of modern society, such as the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize and Readers' Choice Books Are My Bag Award.

Invisible Women reveals a world mostly built for and by men, from urban planning to ergonomics, where women are ignored. It also highlights the worrying lack of knowledge we have about women, particularly medical research, that's rooted in discrimination and has a huge effect of women's lives.

Using case studies, stories and new research, Perez shows how even science and data can be bias, and how women are fighting against inequalities they can't even see. 

But Perez does make us see. With Invisible Women, she helps us view the world from a different perspective - and with this knowledge, comes power the power to fight back.

Learn something new from women who know

Women are often sources of knowledge, experience and expertise that society has for too long neglected. Now, women can pen their own pieces and tell their own stories thanks to the written word.

With these books, and more, women can start helping women become better informed and better equipped to make a difference.

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