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This is a post by Senior Editor, Rachel Kempton

Winter is on its way and what better excuse to curl up by the fire and snuggle up with a good book – or three! This month I’ve been reading (and loving)…

In the company of women

In The Company of Women: Inspiration and advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney

Say the word entrepreneur and who comes to mind? Bill Gates? Richard Branson? Mark Zuckerberg?

Chances are we’ll picture a white, straight, go-getting male, but Grace Bonney, founder of the popular design blog Design*Sponge is on a mission to change that.

In her book, In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs, Bonney profiles over 100 influential women from all ages, races, backgrounds, and industries to show how women across the globe are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit and starting creative businesses.

This book is packed full of practical, inspirational advice for those looking to forge their own paths. The interviews detail the keys to success and highlight the importance of everyday rituals, and dispense advice for the next generation of women entrepreneurs and makers.

This book just goes to show that no one woman was handed a perfect business and a perfect life. It’s all about how they’ve found the balance in life and created a support system that works for them. And we love the gorgeous original photographs of them all in their work spaces.

In The Company of Women: Inspiration and advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney is out now from Artisan.

You-are-a-badass

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

If you’ve ever taken stock of your life and realised that you aren’t living the life that you want, then this is the book for you.

In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and world-travelling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up hilariously inspiring stories, savvy advice, easy exercises, through bite-size chapters like: Your Brain is Your Bitch; Fear is for Suckers; and My Subconscious Made Me Do It.

You Are a Badass will take you on a wild joy ride to your own transformation and helps you create the money, relationships, careers and general all around awesomeness you so desire. And, if you’re ready to make some serious changes, it will help you:

  • Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want
  • blast past your fears so you can take big exciting risks
  • figure out how to make some damn money already
  • learn to love yourself and others
  • set big goals and reach them

These are a few lines (amidst many) that really stood out for me…

  • Everyone screws up and you’re not special for doing it.
  • You don’t have to hit rock bottom to make change. You can just decide.
  • If you believe it, it is your thoughts and beliefs dictate reality, so if you don’t like your reality, change these.
  • Respect yourself instead of catering to your need to be liked. Never apologise for being you. Own your ugly.
  • Your friends really do have a major impact on your future, so ditch the Negative Nancys.
  • The only failure is quitting. Everything else is just gathering information.
  • Fear lives in the future. It hasn’t happened yet so why create the drama?
  • Procrastination is the easiest form of self-sabotage – you’ll either find a way or an excuse.

Basically this book shows you how to create a life you totally love, and create it NOW. And by the end, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero is out now from Running Press.

Messy: How to Be Creative and Resilient in a Tidy-Minded World by Tim Harford

When we get busy, life can sometimes feel like a battle to stave off chaos. The desk overflowing with an ever-mounting pile of paperwork. The kids’ room strewn with clothes and toys. And our minds overwhelmed with to-do lists and negative chitter chatter. If we could only get everything in order, we think life would be so much better.

Tim Harford, Financial Times’ star economist, has a different theory: that sometimes mess is far better than precision and order. Mess, by his definition, can range from actual untidiness—which can function better than precise filing systems—to disruption, distraction, unexpected collaboration, and context-switching. All of that, Harford, says, can prove extremely fruitful in all areas of our life.

His book explores many situations where accepting messiness has led to greater creativity and productivity, from Brian Eno’s randomly picked Oblique Strategies cards, which inspired David Bowie’s Berlin albums, to the time when Martin Luther King was forced to abandon his practice of preparing his public performances and improvise, resulting in his I Have a Dream speech. It makes a compelling case that there are a lot of areas where it pays to open up to the idea that mess is to be embraced rather than fought against.

‘Messy: How to be Creative and Resilient in a Tidy-Minded World’ by Tim Harford is out now from Little, Brown.

What are you reading this month? We’d love to know!