Our Favorite Books by Inspiring Women

Updated on
April 14, 2024

Building the industry bookshelf one recommended read at a time.

March is Women's History Month, and we're celebrating by sharing a special edition of our usual book recommendation series. The titles below make up a collection of our team's favorite female-penned books by authors whose minds have inspired us here at redpepper. These women and their ideas have pushed our team to grow, influencing the way we live, lead, and create along the way.

Join us in celebrating female creativity by picking up a copy of your own—and don't forget to remind a woman in your life of the power her story can hold.

Untamed
Glennon Doyle

“What we need are women who are full of themselves. A woman who is full of herself knows and trusts herself enough to say and do what must be done. She lets the rest burn.”

These Violent Delights & Our Violent Ends
Chloe Gong

"Burn through everything that fuels the human heart and sears it red, burn through everything that covers the outside with hard muscle and tough sinew. Cut down deep and grab what beats beneath, and it is love that will survive after everything else has perished.”

Chloe Gong's story and skill as a writer is inspiring. Even though I am not a writer, I appreciate her talent to bring to life these diverse and vibrant pieces of fiction.

- Abigail Timms, Jr. Graphic Designer

Daring Greatly
Brené Brown

“Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.”

Upstream
Mary Oliver

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”

Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader
Herminia Ibarra

“Knowing what we should be doing and actually doing it are two very different things.”

The Power
Naomi Alderman

“However complicated you think it is, everything is always more complicated than that.”

"The Power" is a wild, thought-provoking ride through gender norms, gangster fights, mutant powers, and nuclear apocalypse. Young women across the world begin to mysteriously exhibit a new “power,” a kind of electricity they can summon through their palms. Suddenly, women are more lethal than men. And this changes everything.

- Jenni Betts, Sr. Copywriter

The Creative Habit
Twyla Tharp

“Reading, conversation, environment, culture, heroes, mentors, nature — all are lottery tickets for creativity. Scratch away at them and you’ll find out how big a prize you’ve won.”

Comfortable with Uncertainty
Pema Chödrön

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. Patience is not learned in safety.”

In Progress
Jessica Hische

“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”

Arbitrary Stupid Goal
Tamara Shopspin

“A goal that isn’t too important makes you live in the moment, and still gives you a driving force. This driving force is a way to get around the fact that we will all die and there is no real point to life.”

How to Fall in Love with Anyone
Mary Len Catron

“Romantic love is capacious. And I mean that not in the mystical sense – it cannot contain anything or everything and it is never without conditions – but rather it is capacious in the daily way that any expression of love might also express trust, doubt, regret, resignation, humor, self-congratulation, or sacrifice. Love can contain all of this, but love stories rarely do.”

Sharp Objects
Gillian Flynn

“The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.”

My favorite female author of all time is Gillian Flynn. As a huge Stephen King fan, I love getting a female's perspective to writing horror.

- Meghan Kempfle, Project Manager

Dare to Lead
Brené Brown

"Sometimes speaking the truth feels like we are being unkind, especially when sharing difficult information or feedback. But in reality, dancing around the truth is unkind. When we avoid stating the truth—when we are vague or ambiguous under the guise of being kind—it is often because we are trying to lessen the discomfort for ourselves, not for the other person."

Becoming
Michelle Obama

“What I knew from working in professional environments—from recruiting new lawyers for Sidley & Austin to hiring staff at the White House—is that sameness breeds more sameness, until you make a thoughtful effort to counteract it.”

Writing Down the Bones
Natalie Goldberg

“There is no permanent truth you can corner in a poem that will satisfy you forever. Don’t identify too strongly with your work. Stay fluid behind those black and white words. They are not you. They are a great moment going through you. A moment you were awake enough to write down and capture.”

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