21 Empowering Books On Women’s Self Expression

These women found their voice in amazingly different ways!

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Finding your place in the modern world’s massive system of things is difficult, especially for women. That historical hangover still seems to be covertly shutting down some women’s voices, so if you feel one of them, these inspirational stories are bound to lift your spirits.

There are some wonderful stories and guides on how to find your place that make for enthralling and diverse reading. Check out the descriptions for each book to find the powerful story that you’re after!

#1 Stutterer Interrupted by Nina G.

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Nina G bills herself as “The San Francisco Bay Area’s Only Female Stuttering Comedian.” On stage, she encounters the occasional heckler, but off stage she is often confronted with people’s comments toward her stuttering; listeners completing her sentences, inquiring, “Did you forget your name?” and giving unwanted advice like “slow down and breathe” are common. (As if she never thought about slowing down and breathing in her over thirty years of stuttering!)

When Nina started comedy nearly ten years ago, she was the only woman in the world of stand-up who stuttered – not a surprise, since men outnumber women four to one amongst those who stutter and comedy is a male-dominated profession. Nina’s brand of comedy reflects the experience of many people with disabilities in that the problem with disability isn’t in the person with it but in a society that isn’t always accessible or inclusive.

#2 Searching for God in the Garbage by Bracha Goetz

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If you love to express your inner essence, experience the authentic struggles of this Harvard grad, in this raw and candid memoir about overcoming food addictions. Learn how to let your uniquely beautiful soul shine.

#3 The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner

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The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner is a must read for all women! In fact, I suggest it be re-read every few years. The author of this book walks women through the reasons why it is so difficult to have clarity on our emotions. Western society has very specific and paradoxical expectations of how women should feel and behave. Women are expected to be sweet and assertive, but not too assertive because that’s bitchy and not too sweet because that makes us a pushover. The contradictory messages we receive throughout our lives result in us being overly flexible at times and emotionally reactive and rigid at others. Dr. Lerner helps the reader understand the ‘why’ it happens and the ‘how’ to express yourself in a way that preserves self-respect and enhances relationships.

#4 The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make After Forty by Tina B. Tessina

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The longtime psychotherapist and bestselling author of The 10 Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make Before 40 now turns her attention to the special challenges and opportunities available to women over forty. In mid-life, many women find themselves in new circumstances. Women with grown children discover more free time or consider returning to school, or a new career. Movers and shakers may want to consider the possibility of setting up their own businesses. Women of all sorts will find themselves thrust into the role of caretakers to their parents and grandparents. This practical and effective book helps them understand their desires and express their wishes more clearly.

#5 The 10 Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make Before 40 by Tina B. Tessina

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This no nonsense guide shows women how to stop being led by life, and to create the futures they want for themselves by making more successful choices. Readers will follow the lives of eight diverse women who learn-and live-The 10 Smartest Decisions that every woman can make to improve her personal, professional and financial situation. A series of practical exercises guides women through understanding what they want in life, examining options and learning how to express themselves to get what they want.

#6 No Thanks-Black, Female, and Living in a Martyr Free Zone by Keturah Kendrick

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“Writer, educator, international speaker, and world traveler, Keturah’s upcoming book, *No Thanks: Black, Female, and Living in the Martyr-Free Zone*, is a mixture of memoir and cultural critique. In her personal essay to the Huffington Post, Keturah will discuss the importance of Black women claiming their freedom even more now – in Trump’s America? Her book is important because it addresses the urgency as the world watches the Trump administration slowly dial back gains in women’s reproductive rights and create legislation that makes racial justice a moot issue. Kendrick explains that through feelings of helplessness and rage, she partners and forms alliances with Black women who are even more committed now to using their work and platforms to encourage their audience to live with joy, intention and in bold defiance of white supremacy. Her piece essentially answers the loaded, multi-faceted question with: It is even more necessary now for Black women to claim our freedom *because* it is being methodically and strategically dismantled; now is the time to assert with force our entitlement to self-ownership.

Her book is interesting as it does not focus on fear and stories of Black women giving in to the oppressive state of the current administration. It is deliberate in asserting that despite the many reasons to wither away in despair, Black women content creators, writers and influencers are using these uncertain times to highlight our joys, gains and decisions to live our best lives. It is crucial to supply measured and reasoned optimism. To assert that all is not lost because liberal and democratic voters are seeing the country turn in a direction that goes against our core values. Kendrick will bring a fresh, easy tone to what could easily be a heavy piece. The tone of her writing is one of wit and biting candor. She tapers serious topics with humor without losing the insight her readers have come to appreciate.”

#7 50 After 50: Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life by Maria Leonard Olsen

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After getting divorced and sober, and becoming an empty nester, the author reinvigorated her life by trying 50 new things during her 50th year, and includes suggestions for others who need a lift in life. Her list spanned spiritual endeavors, lifestyle changes, physical challenges, travel & adventure, social activities and more. The message: You alone are responsible for your happiness. Each day you get a new opportunity to express your truest self. So stretch your comfort zone and seize the day! It’s your life; it’s up to you what you do with it.

#8 Discovering Your True Identity by Dr. Marilyn Francis Walker

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“Part memoir, part self-help, and definitely inspirational, *Discovering your TRUE IDENTITY* is a compelling read, a triumphant story, and a story of growth. Dr. Marilyn Francis Walker’s stories of triumph over defeat will inspire and restore you. True Identity will take you into the storehouse of Marilyn’s innermost thoughts and intimate feelings, and into the basement of her wounded soul where her deepest pain was stored. She then shares the processes she used to get out of her dark space in hopes that, if you need to, you too can use her program to fully restore and transform your life.

Marilyn has created several transformation programs she adhered to as she was healing. Reflect, Release, and Recreate (R.R.R.) will help you gain clarity and understanding around the circumstances of your challenges. Stepping Into Purpose (S.I.P.) will instill in you a hunger and an appetite for positive change even when a cocktail of negative experiences and emotions has been served. Vision Boarding encourages you to be excited about seeing your future and helps you adopt a new level of consciousness where you make your dreams a priority. The Action Steps Journal will enable you to turn more disappointments into opportunities by changing your perception of reality. And, just when you think you’ve learned everything that Marilyn has offered about healing and transformation, she effortlessly flips her W.I.G. and teaches you how to Write Incredible Goals.”

#9 Daring to Love by T. N. Mitchell

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“Daring to Love Opening the Door to Healing and Transformation is a sobering, no holds barred journey about confronting the insecurities and fears that hold sway over intimacy. Freeing oneself from emotional baggage sometimes means unmasking from layers upon layers of protective armor against pain gathered through life’s journey.

In Daring to Love, T. N. Mitchell shares how she conquered her fears, faced her past head-on and dared to fight for the love she deserved. In this honest, soul-bearing, stark and heart-breaking memoir, T.N. Mitchell gets us to a point that yes, love is giving someone the power to destroy you yet trusting that they won’t, and if they do, how to stay centered in the pain rather than use it to self-destruct. In Daring to Love you will learn how to love from a position of strength rather than from a position of weakness.”

#10 Finding Medusa by Donna F. Brown

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The book is called, Finding Medusa – The Making of an Unlikely Rock Star, by Donna F. Brown. This book is about this author’s life story and adventures, detours, and challenges she faced in trying to reconnect with the one thing that makes her feel like she is fulfilling her true purpose in life. It is a story about courage, resilience, and survival in the face of overwhelming adversity, and most importantly, it is about finding the things in life that you are most passionate about and living your dreams. For this author, it was expressing herself through music and eventually rediscovering and returning to her musical roots. The underlying theme also encourages readers, especially women, to express themselves by following their passions, whatever they may be, and to live their lives to the fullest!

#11 Straight Up From the Teacup by Toni Dupree

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Toni Tells It Like It Is !In Straight Up From the Tea Cup, Author Toni Dupree prompts you to take a closer look inside yourself to get to the Tea of the Matter. If you desire to have great things come your way, being able to recognize greatness begins with YOU. Toni speaks to THAT person; the GREAT person that may be resting in a dormant state just waiting for you to rise out of mediocrity.As you read, questions may arise such as: What makes me interesting to others?What am I doing that attracts a particular type of person? Why don’t I feel good about a specific situation?That type of self-reflection is a key element as it relates to the purpose of Straight Up From the Tea Cup. Toni lays it all on the line, all in an effort to IGNITE the FIYA in you to begin a dialogue with yourself that will evoke a deeper understanding of, well…YOURSELF! Toni Tells It Like It Is…and YOU can, too!

#12 Whose Fork is it Anyway? by Toni Dupree

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Whose Fork is it Anyway? is a dining etiquette book for Tweens and Teens. Readers will Learn: Appropriate dining techniques, How to properly set the table for a quality dining experience. Proper dining, conversation, and phone etiquette, Napkin Placement, Special Do’s & Don’ts of dining, Proper posture, and more!

#13 How To Paint by Angela Gair

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Learn how to paint and have an infinite canvas of expression. How to Paint teaches all beginners the basics of watercolors, acrylics, and oil paints. Giving anyone looking to express themselves several avenues to put what they are feeling onto a canvas.

#14 Fanny on Fire by Edith G Tolchin

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“Fanny on Fire is a feel-good, comedic novel about a sixtyish New York woman never afraid of expressing herself. Fanny Goldman actually inherits a cooking show on the FUC channel because she slept with the executive producer some forty years before. It was a finalist in the Foreword Reviews INDIES Book Awards. Here’s the synopsis:

Outlier Fanny Goldman contacts the Feed Us Channel by video during a three a.m. insomnia bout to kvetch about a particular lack of diversity in the station’s lineup. She inadvertently lands her own cooking show because she slept with the producer almost forty years before.

Throughout her weird and wretched life, multi-married, politically incorrect Fanny learns to cope with adversity by absurdity. Meet all of Fanny’s colorful suitors including the weiner-wiper, the shower-singing galactic troubadour, and Fanny’s soul mate, spicy Solly Rabinowitz.

Fanny shares heartbreak, happiness and love of family, friends and strangers with her own, inimitable brand of Bronx humor. And, oy, the secret recipe that brought about chair-twerking for seniors!”

#15 Roaring Playlist of Thoughts by Eloisa Davis

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“The book begins the journey of self-discovery through honesty, feeling, empathy, and uses music as a tool of therapy. Eloisa sees music as a form of therapy and wants the reader to feel good in picking songs that ultimately make them feel positive.

She uses the idea of the reader as a lioness where the reader and the author begin the magical adventure together as strong, inspirational, and natural. She wants the reader to experience the 21-day journey with her. This is done by the author speaking, feeling, and expressing each moment that happens for her, relating to the reader directly, so the lovely young lioness reader can apply it to her life in the most positive way possible.

The author wants young women to be able to be true to themselves throughout the journey of self-discovery so that they can get the absolute most out of it, for themselves.”

#16 Change Within, Change the World by Dr. Jane Battenberg

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Humanity and life on planet Earth are quickly approaching the make-or-break point, and the generations who have long worked for change-as well as today’s courageous young people-are frustrated by what passes for leadership. Yet they are all too aware that the time for action is now! Change Within, Change the World offers the skills for manifesting a life-saving, world-saving agenda-by changing within and changing the world simultaneously. Author Jane Battenberg shares inspirations and fresh ideas to support these skills and endeavors, providing a brilliant, comprehensive road map for bringing hope and stability to our chaotic world. And after first learning about how we have arrived at this tipping point in our world, you are invited not just to work but to play as you look within for the power, the passion, and the wisdom to transform yourself and the world-both inside and out.

#17 Whisper of Hope, Cry of Despair by Vicky Bedi

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Whisper of Hope, Cry of Despair is a powerful autobiography that provides a moving account of the author’s life and how it has been molded by the life experiences of her family members. With a chapter devoted to detailing the lives of her father, mother, and grandmother, readers can see how their actions contributed to the intergenerational abuse the author suffered from. In the book, readers find out that Bedi comes from a line of Slavic immigrants who came to the New World during the first decade of the twentieth century. She goes on to detail the tragedies the family endured including murder, suicide and incest. The shame and guilt experienced by her family over those events contributed to a dysfunctional upbringing that Bedi has since accepted and written about in an effort to help others who experienced similar struggles in their lives. With a focus on the author’s dysfunctional relationship with her mother, readers can see how the neglect she endured and her mother’s history of mental illness could have left the author on the wrong path in life. It is the author’s hope that her story of survival helps readers learn not to superficially judge survivors of abuse and display more compassion for those who have experienced abusive situations in their lives.

#18 The Unexpected Connection by Dena Levin

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While sitting poolside near her grandmother’s West Palm Beach condo, young millennial Vanessa overhears a strange conversation: What, you want to have phone sex? Accustomed to little more than old folks with their card games and early bird dinners, Vanessa is shocked-but intrigued-and soon makes the acquaintance of Michelle. As it turns out, Michelle is a widow trying online dating, while Vanessa is single and still recovering from tragic loss. Separated by decades in age, the two women are extremely similar in many other ways and become fast friends. Surviving life is a challenge, but to thrive, young Vanessa must find her authentic self, all with the help of a serendipitous friendship by a Florida pool. The Unexpected Connection is filled with timely stories, insightful reflections, and humor that readers can relate to as they witness the inner struggles and ultimate growth both Michelle and Vanessa experience throughout the book.

#19 Living, Loving and Learning to Love More by Geoffrey and Renu Woodbridge

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Are you ready to love? Are you able to receive love? Living, Loving and Learning to Love More is a powerful, life-changing book which will enhance your understanding of life, love, expression, and soul purpose. Jasmine Truelove unexpectedly embarks on a thoughtful exploration of love and spirituality one evening after she fails to recognize her husband. Aided by synchronicity, her devoted husband Ted and her friends, Jasmine discovers that life is about far more than she previously considered. After missing out on life’s greatest joys by trying to do too much, Jasmine enters a whole new world of love as she and her husband set out together on a quest to understand themselves, coupledom, their soul purpose and the world around them. As she learns the importance of quality time, abundance-thinking, self-accountability and faith, Jasmine slowly begins transforming her criteria of what success means to her while conquering her constant fears and worries. Amazed by the many things she has never thought about, Jasmine finds the universe’s loving messages about being present in the moment and adhering to life’s purpose of loving more, opens up an illuminating pathway that will change her life forever.

#20 Songs from the Heart by Ann Howle Davis

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Songs from the Heart is a culmination of fifty-eight years of the author transcribing thoughts that, when penned, evolved as poetry about faith, hope, pain, love, grace, and forgiveness. This collection of moving poetry is sure to help readers explore their spirituality and learn how to express themselves through reflections of life.

#21 The Riven Tree by Robby Kautz

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A young oak tree dreams of growing tall and straight and beautiful. When violence shatters her dreams, her path is hopelessly altered. Attempting to hide her imperfections, she labors to produce the most beautiful leaves. Year follows year until, one day, her strength is gone. On that day, she asks God the questions she has been too ashamed to voice. Oak’s story provides insight into the effects of trauma and the importance of self-expression. While not specific to a religion or philosophy, The Riven Tree seeks to answer the heart’s deepest question: How do we move on past trauma?. Like Oak in this story, author Robby Kautz’ life was altered by violence and unspoken questions haunted her until a message from God brought healing. Reminiscent of The Giving Tree, this illustrated book offers redemption and hope for wounded hearts.

Written by Eve O'Rourke

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