1.We Must Be Brave by Frances Liardet
December, 1940. As German bombs fall on Southampton, the city’s residents flee to the surrounding villages. In Upton village, amid the chaos, newly-married Ellen Parr finds a girl sleeping, unclaimed at the back of an empty bus. Five-year-old Pamela, it seems, is entirely alone.
Ellen has always believed she does not want children, but when she takes Pamela into her home the child cracks open the past Ellen thought she had escaped and the future she had dreamed for herself. As the war rages on, love grows where it was least expected, surprising them all. But with the end of the fighting comes the realization that Pamela was never theirs to keep…
For anyone who loved All the Light we Cannot See and The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, We Must Be Brave is a luminous novel about the ways we can rescue one another, and the many different forms that courage can take.
2. Zucked by Roger McNamee
This is the dramatic story of how a noted tech venture capitalist, an early mentor to Mark Zuckerberg and investor in his company, woke up to the serious damage face book was doing to our society and set out to try to stop it. If you had told Roger McNamee three years ago that he would soon be devoting himself to stopping face book from destroying democracy, he would have howled with laughter. He had mentored many tech leaders in his illustrious career as an investor, but few things had made him prouder, or been better for his fund’s bottom line, than his early service to mark Zuckerberg. Still a large shareholder in face book, he had every good reason to stay on the bright side. Until he simply couldn’t. Zucked is McNamee’s intimate reckoning with the catastrophic failure of the head of one of the world’s most powerful companies to face up to the damage he is doing.
3. Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani
The new Lean in, from the multi-award-winning founder and CEO of National non-profit girls who code and new York Times bestselling author Reshma Saujani. Everything from this past election cycle to beyonce’s feminist Anthem speaks to this problem: women are expected to be “flawless.” Reshma Saujani was no different. She worked her way to top grades, stellar schools and blue Chip firms only to realize that the path to perfect was making her miserable. So, she did something brave and risky. She quit her job and became the first Indian-American woman to run for Congress. Fortunately, she failed epically. It was that failure that set Reshma on a journey filled with setbacks, but ultimately, immense rewards. In 2012, she founded the non-profit girls who code, with the goal of teaching 1 million girls to code by 2020 and closing the gender gap in technology. While working closely with young girls and meeting inspiring women through her widening network, she came to understand that there is a fundamental difference between how our culture socialises girls and boys. Namely, boys are taught to be brave – to take risks, speak up, play rough and fall down trying – while girls learn that the road to achievement is paved with diligence and caution. Some may argue that inherent biological traits encode this difference, but the truth is that the Directive comes from the outside in. Her book, brave, not perfect, will be a manifesto that enables women to see the roots of this problem and rewire themselves – and future generations of women – for bravery.
4. The Alter Ego Effect by Todd Herman
There’s only one person in the way of you untapping your potential: You. There’s also one person who can move you out of the way so you can perform at your peak.
That person is already inside you. You just need to unlock them. This other part of you is your Alter Ego. It all clicked for Todd when he met Bo Jackson.
When Herman met Bo Jackson, the professional athlete told him, “Bo Jackson never played a down of football in his entire life.” Bo explained that when he was young, he’d get into trouble because chaos caused by his anger issues. Then, he saw Friday the 13th and became fascinated by the cold, calculating nature of Jason Vorhees. In that moment, he resolved to stop being Bo Jackson, and start being Jason the moment he stepped on the field.
In this transformative guide, Herman teaches you how to create and control an Alter Ego like Bo—and the thousands of other athletes, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and entertainers who have used this simple tool to change their lives. The Alter Ego Effect is not about creating a false mask—it’s about finding the hero already inside you. It’s a proven way of overcoming the self-doubt, negativity, and insecurity that hold you back, and empowering you to ultimately become your best self.
5. Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women not living into their full potential. They feel a tugging on their hearts for something more, but they’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough.
In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviours to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.