12 of the Best Career-Boosting Books to Bring to the Beach

With Memorial Day weekend around the corner, the unofficial start of the summer season is nearly here! While you’re shopping for that perfect swimsuit to take to the beach, treat yourself to a summer read that will help build your career while you’re at it.

These are some of my favorite reads (some old, some new) that are light enough to make for nice oceanside page-turners and will leave you feeling like the confident, kick-ass career lady you are!

You are a Badass by Jen Sicero

Open this book for funky, in-your-face confidence by the page dished up by a career coach who used to think all that mindset advice was BS. She breaks it down, keeps it real, and helps you channel your inner badass. Get it now >>

Mistakes I Made at Work by Jessica Bacal

I simply adore this collection of short stories on real f***-ups from incredible accomplished ladies – including Wild author Cheryl Strayed. It’s surprisingly encouraging to hear horror stories from successful women who get real about what resilience means for them and how they overcame their moments of failure along the way. Get it now >>

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468(ish) Easy Steps by Kelly Williams Brown

This is the perfect gift for the recent grad (or let’s face it, the 30-year-olds among us who still need to hear this message). It’s a hilarious read from a snarky – but spot-on – millennial and it’s the perfect beachside book to pick up, read a few passages, and then put down to go jump into the ocean for a bit. Get it now >> 

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Are you dealing with some major sh*t right now? Curl up with a throw on the couch or porch, pour yourself some tea, and open up The Gifts of Imperfection. Let this short n’ sweet read be your introduction to the genius that is Brene Brown, and I guarantee you she will help steady your ship when the choppy waters of life leave you feeling the like waves are crashing down on you each and every day. Get it now >>

All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister

All my friends are raving about this new release, which I’m bringing with *me* to the beach this weekend! After falling in love with Aziz Ansari’s Modern Love last summer, I’m thrilled to dive into this chronicle of “the epoch of single women,”  a phenomenon marked by the changing nature of marriage in society, and what ramifications that has on how we women view ourselves in this world. Get it now >>

Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

Did you miss this when it first came out like I did? Definitely pick up your copy now for the long weekend ahead. It’s a quick and easy read that hit me RIGHT in the feels. Lena’s candor – especially when it comes to managing her anxiety, reproductive health, and relationships – is moving and relatable. I instantly felt like she was my best, most quirky, and wildly talented friend. It’s phenomenally written and made me feel like high-fiving both Lena and myself for surviving the rocky road that is our early twenties and emerging (mostly) intact. Get it now >>

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

I’ve been dying to pick up this new book ever since reading Refinery29’s take on it: “Reading her book is like taking a master class in inclusivity and cultural criticism, as taught by one of the funniest feminists alive today.” After writing for years for The Guardian and Jezebel, West’s new book rips apart feminist issues from period and abortion stigma, sexism, online harassment, and fat-shaming. Get it now >>

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Liz Gilbert

The remainder of this list is specifically for my side-hustlers, writers, and fellow entrepreneurs, and this latest book from Liz Gilbert is the starting block. The message I took away from it? Maybe all this hustle doesn’t have to be hard! “Can we all lighten up a bit?” asks Liz, as she takes some of that perfectionistic pressure off of us and helps readers open up to the possibility of big magic in the creative process. Get it now >>

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

This is a tiny, beautifully-illustrated book that gives you permission to just START creating! In a similar way as Big Magic, this quick read takes the pressure off of having to be perfectly unique and instantly masterful at what you do and instead encourages one to recognize that guess what? No idea is entirely unique. Everyone is inspired by others. The author then helps you tap into that inspiration in a way that feels authentic and actionable.  Get it now >>

The Big Enough Company: How Women Can Build Great Businesses and Happier Lives by Adelaide Lancaster

Throughout the journey of launching and growing Bossed Up, there were a million choice moments I faced along the way that would fundamentally change how the business grew and who it served. And I’ll admit – a few times along the way I forgot about who it needed to work for the most: me! After all, what’s the point of starting your own business if it doesn’t actually make your life better? This tremendous book showed me that there’s no right or wrong way to grow your business – but what matters is that it’s right for you. Get it now >>

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins

This is one of those classic reads that should really be on the syllabus in every MBA program, in my opinion. In it, Collins and co-author Jerry Porras walk you through the behaviors that the most lasting, impactful companies of the past 100 years have in common. It’s a profound reminder of the power of vision and mission in driving lasting financial success. Get it now >>

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

Are you an aspiring writer looking to make your writing practice a priority this year? This is the book for you! It’s a great read for the beach because it’s written in small sections that you can pick up and put down in whatever order you like, and Goldberg’s advice is as simple and actionable as it is profound. Like most books on this list, I felt like the author gave me permission to try my hand at something new that I’d been longing to do – and the results are right before your very eyes on this post! ? Get it now >>


What books are you bringing with you to the beach this season?

I’m always looking for more great recommendations – especially those that have helped you live #likeaboss!



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