Do you know what’s even better than a lady kicking ass on the regular? When she writes down all her secrets and shares them with you in an awesome memoir. Here are seven memoirs written by kick ass ladies to help you when you need a bit of inspiration to up your game.


1. Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Amy is damn funny and she’s not about to apologise for it. Her career in comedy has gone from strength to strength, but it’s her wisdom about life that will have you reaching for this book again and again. She’s open about her struggles as a mother, with divorce and as a lady in the comedy industry, as well as funny anecdotes that will make you feel better about your own weirdest moments. Plus, she is all about the lady squad so get ready to call your girls and start helping each other out. (Just to warn you, I sob like a baby every time I read this book – it gets emosh).

2. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

After the death of her mother and the downward spiral of her personal problems, Cheryl decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. By herself. With no experience in the wilderness. Not only does she prove that perseverance is most definitely they key to success, Cheryl is also living proof that vulnerable and strong are not mutually exclusive qualities. Read this book when you want to take on a challenge that makes everyone else think you’ve lost it, and when you need to learn to accept a little help on your crazy solo journey.

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3. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Does this lady need any introduction? Just in case: Malala is the girl who fought for her right to an education, and almost paid the ultimate price when she was shot in the head at point-blank range. Of course, she didn’t let a little thing like a near-death experience stop her and she recently won the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17. When you’re unsure about doing the right thing, this is the book for you.


4. Let’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

You may know Jenny Lawson as The Bloggess, but if you pick up this book you’ll soon know her as maybe the funniest lady alive. This slightly bizarre, always hilarious memoir tells of Jenny’s childhood as the daughter of a taxidermist. She’s not afraid to lay it all out there, bobcats and all – and is as open about her embarrassing moments as she is about her struggles with her mental health. If you’ve ever wondered ‘why do things always happen to me?’ then read this and know that you are really, really not alone.

5. In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

Yeonmi Park fled North Korea at the age of 13 and is now a strident human rights activist. This is a challenging read about the realities of living in North Korea, and the struggles she faced as she was sold into slave marriages by Chinese brokers. When she eventually found safety in South Korea, she realised how her story of survival could help others. This book is definitely not a light beach read, but it’s an important lesson in how the truth can set you free.

6. How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Caitlin Moran grew up poor in Wolverhampton, before becoming a musician and eventually taking the world by storm with this memoir-cum-feminist-rant. This book will have you laughing out loud and standing on your chair shouting ‘I am a feminist’ – the perfect read for when you feel like life really isn’t fair.

7. Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling’s first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is truly excellent, and I would recommend it enormously, but if you want to up your game then pick up this one. Mindy is an uber-successful comedian with her own show, and she goes into the nitty gritty of just how she makes that happen. If you’ve got big dreams and you’re after a dose of confidence then pick this one up.

What are your favourite kick ass lady memoirs for when you need a dose of inspiration?

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