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11 Books From The Past 5 Years That Are Worth Reading For Every Woman

11 Books From The Past 5 Years That Are Worth Reading For Every Woman

Thousands of books are published every year. You enter a bookstore and you can surely get lost in all this variety. If you love to read, I bet you always face this problem of too little time and too many books. You constantly confront the challenge of picking the next piece of work to read among hundreds of new novels, memoirs, sequels, professional books, short stories, etc.

The lists of books can be endless as writers all over the world are super active now. We have numerous lists of books for students, for kids, for businessmen, science books, marketing books, etc. I decided to make a list of recent books that are perfect for a woman of any age to read. Of course, every woman has her own taste and reading preferences, but we all are united by the love for emotional, thought-provoking, heart-warming, life-changing, captivating and inspiring books. Those were my criteria while making this list. It is fair to notice that it is only a drop in the sea of great books available now, but it is a great drop to start with. Enjoy!

The Goldfinch written by Donna Tartt

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    Donna Tartt spent more than 10 years writing this novel. The main character is a 13-year old boy, who saw his mother die in the blast in a museum. The book got many positive reviews and the author received the Pulitzer Prize for it in 2014. Her writing was compared to Dickenson and Bradbury and Steven King said that he could barely name 5 good books that were as good as this one in the last 10 years. They say there is going to be a movie, so hurry up and read it before.

    Bad Feminist written by Roxane Gay

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      It is a great collection of witty, funny and sincere essays revealing many different questions, clichés, problems and facts about feminism. Roxane Gay explains why she is a “bad feminist”, what feminism looks like these days and how it can and should look.

      Until I Say Goodbye written by Susan Spencer-Wendel and Bret Witter

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        This is an inspiring autobiographical story of fighting. Susan finds out that she has a deadly disease and starts to live her life to make it worth. Her intention now is to prove that every day is better if it is filled with joy and no one can fill your days with joy but you. This book is truly inspiring; it makes you think about your life and how many great things you can do now.

        Everything I Never Told You written by Celeste Ng

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          Family tragedies happen every day all over the world. Celeste Ng decided to write about one of the most terrible ones – death of a kid. It is hard to believe that this is the first novel written by Celeste, as her descriptions are so live and believable that you feel like you are a reading a book of a very experienced writer.  The book touches many serious social and personal questions and definitely will not leave anyone indifferent.

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          Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy written by Helen fielding

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            Bridget Jones is a famous character known and loved all over the world. We’ve already read two books and seen two movies with this charming and hilarious girl. Now she is older, she is a widow and has two kids. But she still manages to get into silly situations and desperately look for the ways out. Everyone who has missed this lovable character has to read this book!

            Me Before You written by Jojo Moyes

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              We all enjoy a good and emotional novel, right? “Me before you” is a bestselling book that would be perfect for every woman to read. It is a story about an active businessman who has to be in a wheelchair after an accident and a simple woman who enters his world and changes it drastically. The novel strikes with its sincerity and touching nature and reminds everyone that all people have the right and the choice to keep their dignity no matter what the situation is.

              The Lifeboat written by Charlotte Rogan

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                This is a 2012 novel that became a bestseller right away. The story is extraordinary and captivating making you want to read it all at once. A big ship is wrecked and a group of people is stuck on a lifeboat searching for a rescue. The plot will keep you strained and make you feel like you are there, on that lifeboat trying to survive among the people you can barely trust.

                Wild written by Cheryl Strayed

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                  If you want to read something inspiring, this is it. This is an actual story that touches you deeply. It is the story of a woman who hit the bottom, losing her mother, cheating on her husband and using drugs.  Her way out of this mess is truly inspiring: she decides to solo hike and chooses an incredibly difficult 1,100 mile trail. On her way she overcomes physical and mental troubles, takes a deep look at her life and thinks about the solutions. It is truly an amazing book for every woman to read.

                  Secret Garden written by Johanna Basford

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                    This is not an actual book as we know it. But it is a great way to relax and to say goodbye to stress. Johanna Basford created this unique coloring craze for adults that has been incredibly successful all over the world. It awakes your creative side and allows you to spend some time in peace and quiet creating something beautiful.

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                    Room written by Emma Donoghue

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                      This is a heartbreaking story about a five year old boy who has been living his whole life in one room and his mother who has been kidnapped by a cruel maniac and kept in a soundproofed shed by his house. The story is described by the boy who has no idea that there is the whole world out there. The book is unique and sometimes quite hard to read, but it is definitely a worthy story to be told.

                      Act like a lady, think like a man written by Steve Harvey

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                        Surely, the times when women saw their main purpose in pleasing their men are long gone. However, I bet that every woman wants to know men, their way of thinking, their reasons, etc. better. Famous comedian Steve Harvey decided to cast some light on these questions for women in a very witty and clever way. It is not a book on how to get a man and please a man; it is a book on how to understand them and see the difference between men’s and women’s perception of the world.

                        Featured photo credit: Beach reading/Anne Adrian via flickr.com

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                        Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                        How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

                        How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

                        Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

                        In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

                        Step right up, don’t be shy!

                        Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

                        The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

                        Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

                        Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
                        So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

                        A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

                        Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

                        Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

                        When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

                        Culturally Conditioned

                        We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

                        I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

                        The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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                        Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

                        Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

                        Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

                        1. Broadens Your Network

                        After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

                        2. Improves Your Communication Skills

                        I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

                        Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

                        3. Continually Learning

                        So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

                        Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

                        4. Increases Self Confidence

                        Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

                        Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

                        So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

                        How to Talk to Strangers

                        Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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                        1. Say Hello

                        Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

                        Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

                        Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

                        2. Ask About Them

                        Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

                        You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

                        As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

                        3. Just Do It

                        One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

                        When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

                        Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

                        4. Don’t Take It Personal

                        One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

                        When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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                        5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

                        I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

                        One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

                        6. Detach

                        A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

                        Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

                        7. Share Your Stories

                        Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

                        To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

                        So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

                        8. Give a Compliment

                        Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

                        When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

                        9. Relax Your Body Language

                        If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

                        When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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                        If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

                        10. Practice, Practice, Practice

                        Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

                        Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

                        After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

                        The Bottom Line

                        As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

                        There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

                        Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

                        Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

                        More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

                        Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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