Get your girl power on, anywhere & everywhere.
This may be a suuuuuper generic list for most of you book worms out there. But recently, I was on a trip with our very own Jetset PR Girl @lattegirrrl. While we were exchanging book ideas, I realized that book lists are always worthy of sharing. Especially if you’re hanging out with likeminded, strong women pretty much all the time.
Even if what you see below are standard New York Times Bestsellers, you must know that these mainstream, commercialized page turners are total feministic gems (wait, is that even a word?) If you haven’t seen these authors on late-night talk shows, then I know you certainly follow at least one of them on IG.
Fortunately for me, one thing linking these five admirable women solidifies a huge part of who I am: how hard (and how much) they work. They’ve all put in such crazy, long hours that make my sometimes non-existent personal life look like a piece of cake.
In any case, these women’s wisdom and life lessons have gotten me through some pretty boring hours at the airport, excruciatingly confusing nights waiting for non-committal French dude’s phone call, and lonely moments in the City of Light where even the most charismatic can be eaten alive by the brutal romance a city exudes.
So, these books saved me, and taught me well. I hope they can do the same for you, anywhere and everywhere in the world.
1. The Year Of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes
Where I was: Chilling in my family’s favorite hotel in Taiwan: The Lalu. If you can imagine where Buddha would hang out with monks on earth but not in a temple, it would be at this resort surrounded by lotus ponds and Sun Moon Lake.
What I learned: Despite that I cherished the entire book and it encouraged me to say YES to every opportunity that came my way this year, my favorite part had to be the chapter about Christina Yang, Shonda Rhimes’ alter-ego character on Grey’s Anatomy. This ambitious, badass character was the visionary fusion from both Rhimes and Sandra Oh (who played the character on TV.) I loved learning about creating a persona so close to your identity can also be extremely difficult saying goodbye to, and how to do it appropriately as well as beautifully when your heart is shaken by a multitude of emotions is in itself an art form.
2. Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg
Where I was: In the Swiss Alps, where my friends went skiing during the day and I preferred to snuggle up with this book in front of the most magnificent view of Rose Mountains.
What I learned: As a woman growing up with a female entrepreneur in my home, I didn’t pick up this book to learn about how to conduct myself in a workplace. It was innate to me, I grew up with knowing how to act along, stand beside and work with men. The most valuable lesson I learned, however, from this inspiring book is that women are so much more powerful working together, instead of picking against each other. It’s a simple theory, yet rare to see. Why are women so horrible to each other? As a victim of bullying at school, I never could understand that. But reading this book energized the worker bee in me, vowing to bring women closer together for greater causes AT WORK. Hence, #JetsetForGood!
3. #GIRLBOSS, by Sophia Amoruso
Where I was: Summertime in Paris, where I fortunately call home.
What I learned: I wouldn’t consider Amoruso’s story as a rags to riches tale. Rather, her fearless and quirky personality ignited a fashion vision that spoke to so many women. From her, I learned to be relatable. Her multi-million dollar online business didn’t come from the attitude that fashion is exclusive. In her Nasty Gal world, fashion is 100% accessible in the coolest way. I connected so much with her concept because it’s how I’ve always envisioned Jetset Times to be: accessible luxury, aka: jetset is for everyone.
4. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
Where I was: Jakarta, Indonesia. On a Jetset Times business trip visiting the Grand Melia Hotel with our very own Nadia Cho.
What I learned: Your ultimate soulmate in life isn’t necessarily the one true love that equates to holy matrimony. Kaling devotes a chapter explaining her relationship with fellow writer on The Offfice, BJ Novak. Here is one relationship that I wish would work out, even though it has nothing to do with me and it’s almost creepy that I care dearly. But I like the idea of a soulmate draped as an ex-boyfriend, and a best friend who most likely won’t be your husband. Actually, since I’ve never had one, I just like the idea of a soulmate. Period.
5. The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo, by Amy Schumer
Where I am: My other home in Taipei, Taiwan.
What I’m learning: I just started reading this book and am already IN LOVE with it. I know I’ll finish it by the end of the week. Sooner if I didn’t have a big work week ahead of me. Schumer is, by far, my favorite comic of all-time. I will YouTube anything Amy Schumer, any time, any day, on repeat. I completely connected with the chapter on introverts in which she explains that contrary to her public persona, she needs a crazy amount of alone time. I flipped through those pages so fast because I literally thought she was secretly referring to me:
Believe it or not, I do have a complex inner life just like you, and I enjoy being alone. I need it. And I’ve never been happier than I was when I finally figured this out about myself. So if you’re an introvert like me, especially a female introvert, or a person who is expected to give away your energy to everyone else on the reg, I want to encourage you to find time to be alone. Don’t be afraid to excuse yourself. Recharge for as long as you need. Lean up against a tree and take a break from the other bears. I’ll be there too, but I promise not to bother you.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go finish this kickass book.