The Best Books Of 2020, According To Moira Forbes – Forbes

Posted: December 22, 2020 at 6:56 pm


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2020 has been a year where truth has often seemed stranger than fiction. With more time at home, many of us turned to books to either escape or confront the harsh realities at hand.

As we look ahead to the new year, here are ten standout books from female voices in 2020 that I recommend elevating to the top of a reading list if youre seeking inspiration or comfort in the company of a great read. Whether you need a push to pursue a professional ambition, youre looking to navigate a career pivot, or could benefit from the lessons of women whove courageously accelerated progress, each of these books offers a slice of powerful insight and motivation.

Eve Rodsky

Put more simply: If you read any one of these top books, youll head into 2021 better prepared to conquer the inevitable challenges at hand and seize the opportunities they present.

As we grapple with a year of unrest and the desire to address some of the worlds most pressing issues with an urgent sense of action, Novogratz shares her playbook for activating solutions that uplift all. The founder and CEO of Acumen, a non-profit venture fund that uses an entrepreneurial approach to tackle the most challenging poverty issues, Novogratz draws on decades of experience to distill salient leadership practices for those seeking to harness their changemaker potential.

Despite heartbreaking setbacks and obstacles, she and her teams have never settled for the status quo and have achieved extraordinary successes in struggling areas worldwide. With unwavering courage and compassion, Novogratz has proven that one person can make the impossible possible. This book offers powerful hope coupled with practical insight around the role each of us can play in bettering the world.

Despite her narrow gubernatorial loss in 2018, Stacey Abrams emerged as a powerful political force heading into this Novembers election. InOur Time Is Now,Abrams lays out a blueprint to push for progress through her voting rights advocacy organization Fair Fight Action and encourages others to tap into the power of their voice. As #100 on our Most Powerful Women List this year, Abrams represents the continued shifts in political influence and the new forms of collective power outside of traditional structures.

As we look for ways to emerge from this moment toward a more equitable future for all, Abrams stresses the opportunity presented when we combine forces around a shared mission. In her own words, Our combined power shows that progress is not only possibleit is inevitable.

If we hope to achieve a more equitable future, according to Eve Rodsky, we first have to solve for the centuries-old burden of caregiving and domestic responsibilities that women still shoulder despite having careers outside of the home. The pandemic has only exacerbated these demands, making the invisible, unpaid labor women struggle with finally visible. For anyone who feels like theyre drowning in domestic workload or wants to say goodbye to arguments set off by whos supposed to empty the dishwasher, Rodsky offers a fresh, compelling guide to tackling these inequities. Rodsky draws on her Harvard Law School training and years of organizational management experience to end the gendered division of labor at home by sharing her gamified system to split household labor and rebalance families at this critical juncture.

Part memoir, part primer on how to navigate success, Archambeau encourages women to embrace their ambition in pursuit of their career goals and, ultimately, to lead with confidence across all life arenas. As one of the few black women to have risen to the highest ranks in Silicon Valley, Archambeau takes you through her compelling career journey and how she learned to chart a course that was uniquely her own. Hers is a story not just of breaking barriers but one that offers practical advice on turning your differences into a competitive advantage, unabashedly owning your personal and professional ambitions, and harnessing the power of your voice to create opportunities for others.

[Disclosure: Shellye Archambeau is a contributor to Forbes.]

While Kondos first book centered around the joy of objects in our lives, her second offers tools for organizing your professional life and strategies to achieving a joy-sparking career. Joy at Work came out just as the pandemic shuttered offices and when the lines between our professional and personal lives blurred forever. But the tidying-experts message around organizing your workspace and taking greater control of your digital life resonates all the more now that weve traded open floor plans and quiet offices for makeshift desks in noisy homes.

If youre feeling overwhelmed with endless Zoom meetings, messy papers, and unnecessary tasks, applying the KonMari method to your work life will not only declutter your space but also boost productivity and free up your mind to set clear goals and spark success.

In Untamed, beloved author and activist Glennon Doyle chronicles the latest chapter in her journey of self-awakening, including the breakdown of her marriage and finding love with her now-wife, soccer legend Abby Wambach. Doyles memoir isnt a doctrine of saccharine self-improvement. Instead, she encourages readers to shed the social constraints and expectations of the should dos, and embrace our most authentic self, including the raw imperfections. When a woman finally learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself, writes Doyle. Untamed is a story of what happens when women find their inner voice, the bravery required to listen to it, and the power thats unlocked when we tap into and trust it.

I may look like a show pony, writes Dolly Parton in her latest memoir, but I'm a workhorse. Songteller: My Life In Lyrics spotlights Partons signature sense of humor and unparalleled hustle in celebration of six decades of songwriting and storytelling. With never-before-seen photos and memorabilia from Partons archives, she chronicles the backstory behind her career-defining songs such as Jolene and 9-5 that propelled her to pop-culture icon status just as much for their catchy lyrics as they did for their ability to give voice to the experiences of women that traditionally went overlooked.

In full disclosure, Ive been a Dolly-devotee since childhood. Even if youre not currently a fellow fan, you will be after learning more about the legends extraordinary story of hardship, perseverance, and triumph.

Megan Rapinoes memoir is just as much about her rise to becoming one of the most celebrated sports figures of her time as it is about her journey from athlete to influential activist. Rapinoe delves deep into the experiences that shaped the grit and fortitude essential to her success on and off the field and how she strengthened the muscles needed to become an effective force for change. From taking a stand against racial injustices to fighting the pay inequities within her sport, she candidly discusses the backlash she faced when using her voice to address systemic social issues and how she learned to hone and harness that voice to champion change. Rapinoes memoir helps inspire anyone looking to take a stand and the hard work and tenacity required to face critics, fight for your beliefs, and press for progress.

If the other books on this list offer literary comfort food, there is perhaps no person who's better known for the actual kind than Ina Garten, beloved host of the Emmy Award-winning show Barefoot Contessa and bestselling author. In these anxious and uncertain times, Garten offers a treasure-trove of familiar culinary escapes. Shes made it easyeven for those of us who were cooking illiterate before the pandemicto master the beloved favorites we cant run to the restaurants to secure right now (think recipes like creamy tomato bisque, truffled mac and cheese, and Boston cream pie.)

While Inas latest book makes it easy instead of exhausting to eat from the confines of your home during quarantine, her career journey should also offer inspiration to anyone looking to make a pivot in the new year. I was 50 years old, and I thought that the best years of my career were over, recalled Garten after selling her catering business. Instead, she added an acclaimed Food Network show and best-selling cookbook franchise to her bio, proving that new successes can come at any age.

In a year of reckoning around race and culture, this groundbreaking cookbook plays a critical role in expanding the conversation around cuisines often overlooked or conflated by the U.S. food industry. Hawa Hassan spoke with bibis, or grandmothers, from 8 countries both to learn their recipes and to provide a journalistic account of the diverse cultures of the East African coast. Through their stories and anecdotes, Hassan also shines a light on the African immigrant experience in America and the power of food to forge community at home and abroad.

Despite being the backbones of family and culture, womens voices and particularly black womens voices, have too often been left out of the food space. In speaking with the 16 matriarchs within her book, Hassan celebrates their influential role in the kitchen and our cultures.

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The Best Books Of 2020, According To Moira Forbes - Forbes

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December 22nd, 2020 at 6:56 pm

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