I’ve always been an avid reader, and mostly stuck to fiction growing up. While I still love reading novels, as I’ve gotten older, I have also been reading more lifestyle books.
They can be extremely helpful when it comes to navigating life after college — from career challenges, to style faux pas. But which ones are worth your time, and which ones aren’t?
Below is a list of the five books that have helped me tremendously. Hopefully they’ll help you too!
1. Very Classy by Derek Blasberg
This book is great for any young lady who is interested in etiquette (and would be a great gift for those who need a little nudge in the right direction). It covers everything you need to conduct yourself admirably, including the proper way to dress for different occasions, how to be a good hostess/guest, home decor, and being a good friend.
I think the book is well-written, entertaining and, most importantly, useful for modern ladies trying to find a little classiness in a messy world.
2. Backwards in High Heels: The Impossible Art of Being Female by Tania Kindersley and Sarah Vine
Backwards in High Heels is basically a lifestyle bible for girls. It covers every topic under the sun, going beyond fashion to cover more interesting issues such as love, feminism, and politics.
It is packed with tons of insight on relevant issues for women of all ages. I remember not being able to put this book down, especially because the two authors were so selfless with their sisterly advice. ($16)
3. The Little Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia
Whether you’re a fashionista or pretty clueless when it comes to fashion, this is a great little book about finding your sense of style and building the right wardrobe for your life.
Even girls who think they are not interested in fashion may actually enjoy this book. Garcia offers advice without fluff, which makes her tips easy to follow and incorporate in your life.
4. Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris by Jennifer L. Scott
I remember thinking this book was going to be purely about fashion (Stylish Secrets?), so I avoided it for a while. I absolutely love fashion, but I didn’t know if this would provide anything besides “wear a striped top and some red lipstick and you’ll fit right in!”. How wrong I was! This book is absolutely brilliant.
Scott spent a semester abroad in Paris and stayed with a host family. In this book, she shares every fascinating thing she learned from Parisian culture. Topics include finding an appreciation for art, rejecting the new materialism, respecting your body, and broadening your mind. And, of course, some oh-so-French fashion and beauty tips. I was pleasantly surprised with this book, and it really inspired me to make some changes in my life. I think everyone would be able to take something out of it, Francophile or not (…but really, who isn’t?).
5. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
I recently bought the updated version of this book called Lean In For Graduates. It contains the same content of the original book with some additional gems, including a letter to graduates from Sandberg. I just started reading it, but so far, I am very impressed. I was not sure if this book would be helpful or provide any new information for girls who already consider themselves feminists. I can already tell it provides plenty of insight to today’s job market.
I would encourage every girl to pick this up – yes, even if you’re still afraid of the F word. Wanting to be in a leadership role may not be everyone’s desire; I’m not entirely sure it’s on my bucket list. But understanding the current landscape and challenges that women face is important for all of us to reach our goals.
What lifestyle books are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!
*A version of this post originally appeared on Tatiana’s blog, The Dream Beaver.