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The Best Inspirational Books for Women in Their 40s

In this article, the best inspirational books for Women in Their 40s, I’m sharing what I believe to be the best inspirational book that all women in their 40s should read!

Many of these books are best-sellers written by female authors.

From inspiring non-fiction, life-changing self-help books, and page-turning classic novels, you will want to grab a few of these titles ASAP!

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the best books for women

These are my current favorite inspirational books for women.

There are self-help books, memoirs, non-fiction, and fiction classics that I truly believe every woman should read.

The Best Self-help Books For Women in Their 40s

Each of these self-help books sheds much-needed light on a dark little corner of our lives, which we can then improve using this inspirational and wise insight.

inspirational books for women-you are a badass

You Are a Badass By Jen Sincero

This little yellow book is packed full of gold!

This how-to guide helps us understand why we are how we are, love and accept things we can’t change, and change what isn’t working in our lives by teaching us how to kick some serious booty.

Full of funny and inspiring stories and solid advice, you can quickly identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want.

And how to make lasting changes to create a life you love by following some easy exercises.

best books for women the subtle art of not giving a uck

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a *uck By Mark Manson

This is not your average self-help book.

Controversial title aside, this book isn’t just about not giving a *uck, but about not wasting your precious life getting all worked about things that are not worthy of your energy and time.

But instead, it shows you to focus on what is truly important: family, friends, and you’re well-being.

If you get caught up in too much of life’s BS and wish to stop and focus on the right stuff, this book will set you on a better track.

Books for women

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic habits provide a foundation for creating good habits and kicking bad ones.

The book is based on scientific research in real-life examples illustrating how tiny little changes and behaviors can make a huge difference in our lives.

I had this book on my to-read list for quite a while and just recently read it. I’ve since started applying some of the lessons in the book, like habit stacking, with great results!

It gives concrete ways to adopt healthy, positive habits that are easy to apply in real life.

More than worth the four-hour read. (I listened to the audiobook)

the best self-help books for women

The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

I found this memoir by Shonda Rhimes to be very inspirational and motivating, not to mention funny!

The Year of yes is about Shonda Rhimes’s story of how although tremendously successful, she was living a very introverted lifestyle due to fear.

She decided to say yes to everything that scared her for one year.

This is a great read if you want to change your life and need motivation.

I listened to this the year of yes on audible.

the best self-development books for women

The Four Agreements

In this bestselling book, author Don Miguel Ruiz explains the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering.

Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a code of conduct that can help transform our lives to experience freedom, true happiness, and love.

Once I got past the first chapter, I was intrigued by the four agreements themselves, which are (Spoiler alert)
1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Never take things personally. 3. Don’t make assumptions, and 4. Always do your best.

Since first reading this book back in 2003, I have adapted these agreements in my life and have found them extremely useful.

Well worth the quick read!

the most inspiring books for women

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

In this book, author Gretchen Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent learning how to be happier.

Using various techniques and theories, you will learn how to find happiness even in the simplest of places, how to find balance in life, that even small changes can increase happiness, and how to get rid of things that suck your energy and, therefore, happiness.

This book is great for people searching for work-life balance and self-fulfillment.

the best books women should read

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

I first read this book in 2013. It changed my life. No kidding.

In this award-winning New York bestseller, Brené shows us that vulnerability is not weakness but, in fact, our most accurate measure of courage. That vulnerability is a place of power!

Brené provides guidance for a better life by shedding light on shame and helping us live shame-free lives. Thank heaven!

This book is for anyone who wants to live a courageous life instead of hiding from challenges or fear.

Best Memoirs for Women by Women

These are my favorite memoirs for women by women! Each title has grabbed my heart in different ways.

best memoirs for women

Wild: From lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

This New York Times Bestseller is a beautiful memoir by Cheryl Strayed.

She hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—ALONE!

This story is suspenseful, warm, and funny and encompasses her journey to healing beautifully.

A great read for anyone facing loss and looking for healing.

eat, pray love-the best books for women

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of her successful life and find what she truly wanted from life.

She explores the art of pleasure in Italy, the art of devotion in India, and a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali.

This is an excellent read for anyone longing to live a full and authentic life who may need a little push for big changes.

I laughed and cried when I first read this book; you will too

becoming the best books for women

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming is a beautiful and inspirational story written by Michelle Obama about her life and experience from being raised on the south side of Chicago to becoming the first African-American first lady of the United States.

I found Michelle’s storytelling to be intriguing as well as heartwarming.

This is a great book for anyone who loves an inspirational story, a good ‘girl power read,’ and even for people eager to make a difference in the world!

Word of warning, it’s a pretty long read, so I listened to most of it on Audible.

It’s read by Michelle, which made it even better!

the best memoirs for women may angelou

The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou by Maya Angelou

This book contains six celebrated and bestselling autobiographies by gifted author Maya Angelou.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Gather Together in My Name, Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas, The Heart of a Woman, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, and A Song Flung Up to Heaven.

I promise this collection of Maya Angelou’s writings is deeply inspiring and would make a wonderful gift!

best autobiography for women

Finding Me by Viola Davis

Finding me, written by award-winning actress Viola Davis is a raw, intimate story of her life.

Viola says she wrote Finding me for anyone ‘running through life untethered, desperate and clawing their way through murky memories, trying to get to some form of self-love.

For anyone who needs reminding that a life worth living can only be born from radical honesty and the courage to shed facades and be . . . you.’

At the time of this writing, I have just started to listen to FInding me on Audible, and I’m already hooked.

Inspirational Books for Women Written by Women

These inspirational books for women will surely deliver an unmeasurable about of wisdom and enlightenment!

big magic best books for women 1

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

This transformative book tackles the challenges of living a creative life (we were all born creative) while urging us to live a life of lead by curiosity instead of fear.

This book has helped me to break through creative blocks, fears, frustrations, and even imposter syndrome.

If you want to chase your dreams and turn your creative ideas into the reality-this book is for you!

the power of now the best books for women

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of now offers a way to end suffering and achieve inter-peace.

Teaching us that living fully in the present moment is the only way to fly! 🙂

And the necessity of letting go of the ego, which is part of the mind that seeks control over everything.

This book is for those seeking peace and enlightenment.

I had difficulty reading this book, so I listened to it on Audible, which worked much better.

what I know for sure the best books for women

What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

This is a must-read book!

In this little gem of a book, Oprah shares this collection of essays from her experiences and life lessons―which she’s shared in O, The Oprah Magazine’s “What I Know For Sure” column.

These essays have been revised, updated, and collected in this beautiful, cloth-bound book with a ribbon marker packed with insight and revelation.

Organized by theme-joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power; these essays are candid, uplifting, and humorous.

You will love, love, love every word.

Makes a beautiful gift.

More Non-Fiction Books for Women

the best books for women

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck By Sara Knight

This hilarious and practical journal explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame, and guilt.

It shows us how to give our “f*cks” to people and things that make us happy. And not to the people and things that weigh us down.

The easy two-step NotSorry Method for mental decluttering will help you unleash the power of not giving a f*ck about family drama, having a perfect body, people’s useless opinions, and tons of other BS.

This book is perfect for the person who is sick and tired of feeling stressed out by the world’s ridiculousness.

best books for women non fiction 2

Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich by Lois P. Frankel

In this eye-opening book, Lois P. Frankel shows us that without our awareness, behaviors learned as a girl prevent us from becoming a woman who is financially independent and free to follow our dreams.

Then she helps us discover the financial thinking that keeps us stuck in old patterns, dependent relationships, and jobs where we earn less than we deserve.

Once we get to the root of the problem, Frankel helps us solve it. Her coaching tips help us to take control of our finances and make more money than we ever thought possible.

the best nonfiction books for women

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The life-changing Magic of tidying up is a guide to decluttering and much more!

It may be hard to believe that a book about organizing and decluttering would be one of those “life-changing books,” but it’s true!

This book will give you some solid organizing and decluttering tips and help you understand how to let go of things that don’t spark joy.

This book is perfect for those who want to get their lives in order!

the confidence code is one of the best books for women by Katty kay and claire shipman

The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance

Want a successful career?

This informative and practical guide to understanding the importance of confidence in our modern society and learning how to achieve it.

This female empowerment book is for women of all ages and at all stages of their careers.

With cutting-edge research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition and with examples from their own lives and those of other successful women in politics, media, and business, this book offers women both inspiration and practical advice women need to achieve the careers they want and deserve. 

This is one of the most popular books for girl bosses and female entrepreneurs and is worth the read.

the best health books for women

The Wisdom of Menopause by Dr. Christine Northrup

This #1 New York Times bestseller gives women a new vision of midlife!

This book talks about how “the change” isn’t just about the physical symptoms of menopause but also a mind-body experience.

She highlights that women can choose vibrant health and well-being through healthy choices, relationships, and more.

The Best Fiction Books for Women (of all time)

Below are my all-time favorite pieces of fiction for women. These titles left a life-long impression on me and the world.

Every woman should read Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, The Handmaid’s Tale, and To kill a mockingbird.

the best fiction books for women

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and prejudice is a beautiful love story of two people who must let go of their pride and prejudice to be together.

If you are in the mood for a good love story and haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, it’s high time you did!

The perfect book for the true romantic and lover of classic novels.

little women the best fiction books for women

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Another classic, Little Women, is a coming-of-age novel of four sisters during and after the Civil War.

With their father away at war and their mother working to support the family, these four young women have to rely on one another. 

Many beautiful life lessons are woven throughout this story about the importance of gratitude, forgiveness, hard work, love, and family.

best fiction books for women

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s tale is a modern classic based on the future after environmental disasters and declining birthrates led to a Second American Civil War.

The result is the rise of the Republic of Gilead, which enslaves the few remaining fertile women. 

I have found the story to be deeply moving and complex and, therefore, not for the faint of heart.

the best fiction for women

To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic novel and is one of my all-time favorite books!

I first read this book as a young girl in high school for an English assignment.

Set in Alabama in the mid-1930, it’s a heart-wrenching tale of a courageous lawyer—who risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

Told through the eyes of his young daughter, nicknamed Scout-this book is full of life lessons and takeaways.

And as I reread this book recently, I felt a deep sadness as I realized that as far as we have come since the 1930s, we still have a long way to go in learning love, equality, and justice, among other things.

As far as I’m concerned, this is a must-read for everyone on the planet.

Conclusion: The Best Inspirational Books for Women in Their 40s+

I hope you have enjoyed my list of the best inspirational books for women and were able to find a few titles to read.

Let me know in the comments below if you have read any of these recommendations and which books you hope to read.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by. I hope to see you here again soon.

XO, Christine

christine mathews

I’ve been keeping it real since 1963. 🙂

I’m a child of God, a wifey, mama, grandma, full-time creative, domestic engineer, and self-care enthusiast.

I am obsessed with all things makeup and skincare and love getting my hands dirty out in the garden, my art room, or in the kitchen, whipping up something yummy for the fam.

I’m always down to chat and love collaborating with other creatives and brands alike!

Feel free to reach out anytime!

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  1. Wow, what a great list! I’ve read quite a few of these but I’m definitely keen on reading the Shonda Rimes book now, sound really good. Thanks for sharing!

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