Sometimes it’s hard for us BAUCES to find time to relax and indulge ourselves in a good read. We’re busy women. When is the last time you sat down and actually read something—a book, for that matter? I know for myself that’s it’s definitely been a while. The biggest challenge I have had is finding books that I would actually enjoy reading. But what I have come to realize is that there is power in the written word and sometimes the most powerful thing you can do for yourself is take a timeout and read a book that leaves you invigorated and renewed to implement change in your life.
Finding time for yourself is not always the easiest thing to do, but do it! Girl, your sanity and self-care are the key components towards achieving success. And since we know this, we’ve curated a dope list that helps transform you into the BAUCE woman you were created to be.
Career & Entrepreneurship
1) WERK 101 (2016) by Koereyelle DuBose
WERK 101 is for the modern-day woman who is looking to learn a few life lessons. Dubose gives the perfect advice that liberates and empowers all women.
2) Pretty & Educated (2016) by Jayla Koriyan
Pretty & Educated is the perfect guide for any college girl who is just starting on her journey. Jayla Koriyan, a YouTube vlogger who documents her life daily, gives you her two cents on what you should expect and prepare for in college. This includes time management, choosing a major, internships, dating, and more.
3) #GIRLBOSS (2015) by Sophia Amoruso
From hitchhiking to being broke beyond limits, Sophia Amoruso knows all too well what it means to be #selfmade. She took a nontraditional route to the top and with this book she doesn’t hold back from telling you how she got there.
4) The Little Back Book of Success (2010) by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, and Rhondda Joy McLean
These women, who are highly successful in their careers, have gotten together to give you the how-to on being successful at any stage in your career. They help you learn the ins and outs of the ‘power game’, making sure that you never lose.
5) Successful Women Think Differently (2012) by Valorie Burton
In this book, Valerie strives to help women change their thought processes. As an author and certified coach, she knows all too well the importance our mindsets can have on our outlook of life. She breaks it down and helps you change the way you see your failures, fears, and self-control.
6) All the Joy You Can Stand (2001) by Debrena Gandy
This book is perfect for any woman going through, what some would call, a ‘mid-life crisis’. This book will help you discover many little things about yourself that you may not have previously known. In her book, she guides you through different steps to assist in transforming your life.
7) Year of Yes (2015) by Shonda Rhimes
Shonda Rhimes, in simple terms, is a powerhouse. Olivia Pope, Christina Yang, and Annalise Keating wouldn’t be the BAUCE women they are if it was not for Rhimes. In Year of Yes, Rhimes gives you the tea on how simply saying ‘yes’ made change happen in her life.
8) I’m Judging You (2016) by Luvvie Ajayi
Luvvie is an adoring internet blogger who often gives her take on the latest pop culture and gossip. In this book, she gives you advice on the right way to do ‘internet etiquette’. She helps us get it all the way together when it comes to digital media in this day and age.
9) We Should All Be Feminists (2015) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
If you haven’t heard of her by now, this would be a good time to get acquainted with Ms. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Beyoncé quoted her in her hit song ‘Flawless’. We Should All Be Feminists is a rally to include everyone, including men, in the feminist movement.
10) Naked (2005) by Ayana Byrd and Akiba Solomon
Though it’s a little dated, these essays of what black women think about their bodies is compelling. This book tells the stories of several women from all walks of life including Iyanla Vanzant and Tracee Ellis Ross.
11) Freedom Is A Constant Struggle (2016) by Angela Y. Davis
For those of you who like a detailed reflection as well as comparison, this is a great read! Davis does a wonderful job of stressing the importance of feminism, race, and class, among several other things.
12) Black Lotus (2016) by Sil Lai Abrams
Black Lotus is a beautiful story of a woman, Sil Lai Abrams, and the finding of her true self. Sil Lai Abrams could always see the differences between her and her siblings, who all shared a Chinese immigrant mother and a white American father. She found when she was fourteen that the man she thought was her father, in all actuality, was not.
13) Milk and Honey (2015) by Rupi Kaur
Milk and Honey is a small but powerful book, divided into four distinct chapters. Each chapter uncovers a different pain and healing. It is a collection of poetry that delve into different common yet painful experiences.
14) Salt (2013) by Nayyirah Waheed
Much like Milk and Honey, Salt may have you racing through the first few pages or chapters. But, there is power in these short and sweet poems. Every BAUCE woman has experienced going through some sort of tragedy, Salt forces you to feel all of those emotions in an enlightening way.
15) Gentlewoman (2013) by Enitan O. Bereola II
This book is a little different from the rest, as it’s written by a man who teaches women how to be a ‘lady’. While some women may not want to take advice from a man on these types of things, Mr. Bereola II does a phenomenal job exploring femininity in this day and age.
16) The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (2016) by Issa Rae
While some of us have wild and outspoken personality traits, a lot of us are introverted. In this book, Issa Rae tells us all about her life as an awkward black girl.
17) The Sisters Are Alright (2015) by Tamara Winfrey-Harris
This book explores all of the negative opinions and views that are being spewed out against black women. Many of these stereotypes are displayed in the media, for many people to see and comment on. She kills those prejudices with facts.
“We have facets like diamonds. – The trouble is the people who refuse to see us sparkling.”
18) Send It On (2014) by Jouelzy
Send It On is written by YouTube vlogger Jouelzy. She is famous for touching on many touchy topics, including pop culture. Send It On is a collection of short written through her own eyes. Many BAUCE women can learn from these stories.
19) the princess saves herself in this one (2016) by Amanda Lovelace
Amanda Lovelace writes eloquently. Many are able to connect with her simple yet deep and mysterious poems:
“Be a mermaid.
Be a mermaid who doesn’t settle for making a small splash.
Be a mermaid who doesn’t stop until she makes tidal waves.
Be a mermaid who knows to stop before she devastates
the world with her tsunamis.”
Relationships & Dating
20) I Had a Nice Time and Other Lies (2016) by The Betches
This book has become a guide for many women when it comes to dating. Let’s face it, oftentimes we are not as honest as we should be with ourselves and the person we’re dating. This book brings those truths to the forefront.
21) Letters To My Ex (2016) by Cici. B
Letters To My Ex was written for any woman who has loved a man who didn’t love them back the same.
“Remember when you met me? How happy I was? How I was always smiling and shit? I had just left my ex and was making moves on my own…”
Cici does a great job of making her work relatable to the reader. Every BAUCE woman has experienced heartache or two.
22) Another Brooklyn (2016) by Jaqueline Woodson
This novel follows four girls whose lives are far from a fairytale. Growing up in the tough streets of Brooklyn, New York, the girls are forced to deal with drugs, sexual predators, racism, poverty and a slew of other things. Jaqueline Woodson tells a story of young girls, with absentee parents, whose lives sit on a teeter-totter of joyous and hell-full. These women’s stories show how one can start at the bottom and maneuver their way to the top. #Selfmade.
23) Island of a Thousand Mirrors (2016) by Nayomi Munaweera
In this novel, Nayomi introduces us to two young women who are hopeful about their future. It is set in the beauty of Sri Lanka at one of its most troubling times.
24) The Sugar Daddy Formula (2014) by Taylor B. Jones
While this may not be of interest to many, The Sugar Daddy Formula is a guide for all sugar babies looking to get what they want. We are not suggesting you go get a sugar daddy, but Taylor B. Jones provides us with a good read and laugh with The Sugar Daddy Formula.
25) Everything I Never Told You (2015) by Celeste Ng
Everything I Never Told You is the story of an Asian American family living in small-town Ohio. The family is faced with a terrible tragedy and the struggles to keep their lives together become harder and harder each grieving day.
26) Men We Reaped (2014) by Jesmyn Ward
Within only four years, five men close to author Jesmyn Ward had died, all from different ailing circumstances. One from a drug overdose, another from an accident and even suicide. Ward takes a deeper look into the lives of these men and the contributing facts to their deaths, such as the lack of community support.
27) Blush (2016) By Cici. B
After a fresh break up, Cici lets us in on how she gets over it. Becoming the woman she is wouldn’t be possible without the support of her oh-so blunt friends. BAUCE women will enjoy the brutally honest relationship she shares with her friends and can learn a few things in the process!
28) Letters, To The Men I Have Loved (2014) by Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol
Dominican-born poet and actress, Mirtha Michelle Castro, shows you just what it is like to be in and out of love. Through her use of poetry, you are able to feel her true and raw emotions.
“If only I could have filmed our last night, and re-watch the lust we experienced. If only I could transfer the mental photograph I currently have of your eyes staring into mine into a physical one.”
Whew! She is deep, folks.
29) What She Feels (2015) by Chidozie Osuwa
Osuwa drags the reader through an array of emotions. From love, heartache, and pain—this book forces you to look at your situations from a different point of view.
30) Sex Object (2016) by Jessica Valent
Valenti is a feminist who has been praised for over a decade for her work. In Sex Object, she goes over several experiences from her childhood that shaped her into the woman she is.
Fashion & Beauty
31) Face Value (2016) by Autumn Whitefield-Madrano
This book is deep. It touches on many things, including how science, media, and friendships can have an effect on how we describe what beauty is.
32) Love Style Life (2015) by Garance Dore
In this book, renowned blogger Garance Dore mixes warm words of wisdom with her stunning photography. She teaches you how to build a life that will reflect who you are!
33) You Can’t Touch My Hair (2016) by Phoebe Robinson
It’s 2016 and many of us are still finding ourselves saying this. Why is our hair treated like some sort of science exhibit? This book explores the external cultural phenomenon around black women’s hair.
34) Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual (2011) by Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown has been working in the makeup industry for years. She is dripping in the knowledge of makeup and its latest trends.
35) Make up: Your Life Guide (2014) by Michelle Phan
In this book, Michelle Phan gives away many of her beauty secrets. She’s most famous for her trusted beauty tutorials on YouTube. Her tips are hit for any BAUCE.
36) You’ll Grow Out of It (2016) by Jessi Klein
Jessi Klein’s journey to adulthood was not quite the easy one. She was a late bloomer and a tomboy. In her book, she tells all the stories from her childhood that are sure have you smiling.
37) The GlamTwinz Guide to Longer, Healthier Hair (2016) by Kelsy Murrell and Kendra Murrell
The GlamTwinz are huge on YouTube! In their book, they give advice on how to grow longer and healthier hair with short, and easy tips.
38) Butterfly Transition (2016) by Diana Ramsey
Transitioning can be hard, but not with this book. Whether you are natural, thinking about becoming natural, or already big chopped, this book is for you.
39) Interaction Transaction (2013) by Nancy Roberts
Nancy Roberts helps women get a little more accustomed to making business moves. It is the ultimate guide to making sure business does not fail, like so many do.
40) Come As You Are (2015) by Emily Nagoski Ph.D.
Emily Nagoski explores the world of the female body. She drops some well-needed knowledge that is scientifically proven to improve your sex life.
41) Sacred Pampering Principles (1998) by Debrena J. Gandy
While this book was aimed at giving African-American women different options for pampering, and saving cash while doing it, it can be applied to every woman’s life! Gandy fills your mind with just the right amount of peace and balance. BAUCE women should pamper themselves without feeling ashamed of it!
42) The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet (2014) by Jennipher Walters
The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet could be your strategic way of loving your body and losing weight in the process. This guide will not only teach you to enjoy your workouts but will encourage a more positive attitude in the process.
43) Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls (2015) by Jes Baker
Hey—We’re not all a size 2 okay? And I for one have definitely struggled with my weight in the past. In this book, Jes Baker tells it like it is! As a BBW herself, she knows what it’s like to be judged on her appearance. She rises above her naysayers and gives women the confidence and courage to feel proud of their bodies.
44) Heal Thyself for Health and Longevity (2012) by Queen Afua
Queen Afua encourages growth and development with the power of healing. Learn to get through life obstacles and truly learn from them.
45) Devotions for a Healthier You (2015) by Katie Ferrell
Ferrell provides bible verses, recipes and encouraging text to uplift your spirits. Every BAUCE could use mental and physical re-juicing!
46) Cassey Ho’s Hot Body Year Round (2012) by Cassey Ho
With her bubbly and upbeat personality, it is no wonder why Cassey Ho runs the #1 fitness channel on YouTube. While her attitude makes you love her, it is her routines and diet that brings results.
47) The Broke and Beautiful Life (2015) by Stephanie O’Connell
In this book, O’Connel forces her readers to change the way they think, handle, and negotiate their money. Terrible spending habits are a thing of the past when you start changing your relationship with moolah.
48) 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses (2016) by Kaylin Brooke
Like many other how-to guides, this book is meant to help you change your spending habits. Hey folks, there are ways of saving money on a daily, ya’ know? Kaylin Brooke shows you just how to do that! You’ll be saving and stacking dough in no time!
49) The Broke Diaries (2001) by Angela Nissel
As a college student whose pockets have run dry on many occasions, I can totally relate to this book and think many BAUCE woman can as well. We follow the life of Nissel as she tells the tale of the many times she’s had to come to terms that she was indeed broke.
50) 31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero (2015) by Ruth Soukup
The easiest way to save money is not to spend it — now that’s more challenging than it sounds. Use this book as a guide to help you get your budgeting back on track and see holistic changes in your life. You’ll be surprised how many areas money impacts your life.
51) Debt-Free Living (2016) by Anna Newell Jones
Many people are drowning in debt, even some BAUCEs. It’s okay, we know what it’s like to be a little broke. But, what BAUCEs don’t do, is stay idle in that situation. Get to the root of your financial woes with this book and save money in the process.
52) Girl Get Your Money Straight (2002) by Glinda Bridgforth
It is not uncommon to have unrealistic spending habits. In comparison to what we have in our banks, it can be sooo hard to pull yourself away from that new handbag or clothes for next season. Again, this book will help you shape your spending habits into something you can be proud of.
53) The Smart Money Woman (2016) by Arese Ugwu
This is a tale of a woman who’s spending habits are digging her deeper and deeper into a financial bind. Arese Ugwu introduces us to Zuri, a soon to be ‘smart money woman’. There is a teaching within each chapter of Zuri’s life as she faces spending, debt, and other financial woes.
54) Lead Like A Woman (2016) by Michelle McQuaid and Megan Dalla-Camina
Are s you struggling with mustering up enough courage to make a huge change in your life? Or, do you feel that you are like the leadership skills you desire? Lead Like A Woman will help you get there. This book is the perfect guide for any BAUCE woman in the making.
55) The 21-Day Financial Fast (2014) by Michelle Singletary
Like several of the books above, The 21-Day Financial Fast will get your pockets into shape. As a columnist for The Washington Post challenges you to become a better you—financially that is.
Please add Men Don’t Love Women Like You, by G.L. Lambert. It is a self-improvement book. ALL women should read this book as it is the ‘bible’ to dating. Please read this book ladies !
We agree Kendra! Such a great recommendation and transformative book. Continue to be a #spartan. ;)