Monday, 14 December 2015

7 Inspiring Books for Career Girls

   It's been a fantastic few years for women at the tops of their industries; we've seen dozens of success stories turned into equally successful books, including blogger favourites Sophia Amoruso's #Girlboss and Leandra Medine's Man Repeller.

   But it's not just the bloggers that are dominating the bestsellers lists, women from all roles in the fashion, beauty, entertainment and media industries are making a name for themselves in the literary form. I've rounded up seven of my favourite books to inspire career girls to be the best they can be - check out my list below!


1. Leave Your Mark: Land your dream job. Kill it in your career. Rock social media - Aliza Licht
Aliza Licht -- global fashion communications executive, AKA fashion's favorite 'PR girl' and Twitter phenomenon -- is here to tell her story, complete with The Devil Wears Prada-like moments and insider secrets.
Drawing invaluable lessons from her experience, Licht shares advice, inspiration, and a healthy dose of real talk in LEAVE YOUR MARK. She delivers personal and professional guidance for people just starting their careers and for people who are well on their way. With a particular emphasis on communicating and building your personal brand, something she knows a thing or two about, Aliza is your sassy, knowledgeable guide to the contemporary working world, where personal and professional lines are blurred and the most important thing you can have is a strong sense of self.


2. The Woman I Wanted to Be - Diane von Furstenburg

One of the most influential, admired, and innovative women of our time: fashion designer, philanthropist, wife, mother, and grandmother, Diane von Furstenberg offers a book about becoming the woman she wanted to be. 

Diane von Furstenberg started out with a suitcase full of jersey dresses and an idea of who she wanted to be-in her words, "the kind of woman who is independent and who doesn't rely on a man to pay her bills." She has since become that woman, establishing herself as a global brand and a major force in the fashion industry, all the while raising a family and maintaining "my children are my greatest creation." 

In The Woman I Wanted to Be, von Furstenberg reflects on her extraordinary life-from childhood in Brussels to her days as a young, jet-set princess, to creating the dress that came to symbolise independence and power for an entire generation of women. With remarkable honesty and wisdom, von Furstenberg mines the rich territory of what it means to be a woman. She opens up about her family and career, overcoming cancer, building a global brand, and devoting herself to empowering other women, writing, "I want every woman to know that she can be the woman she wants to be."


3. I'll Drink to That - Betty Halbreich

Betty Halbreich is a true original. Now in her eighties, she has spent nearly forty years at the luxury store Bergdorf Goodman, working with socialites, stars and ordinary women. She has led many to appreciate their real selves through clothes, frank advice and her unique brand of wisdom; she is trusted by the most discriminating persons - including Hollywood's top stylists - to tell them what looks best. But her own transformation from cosseted girl to fearless truth-teller is the greatest makeover of all.
Born into a successful Chicago family, aged twenty Betty married dashing Sonny Halbreich and came to Manhattan, where the couple threw themselves into a whirlwind of long hours, cocktails and Park Avenue parties, living the high life in 1950s New York. However, the marriage began to fray and after two decades came undone completely. Bereft, Betty attempted suicide. As she embarked on the frightening process of reclaiming herself, she was offered a lifeline: a job at Bergdorf Goodman. For Betty, with her innate sense of style and craftsmanship, it was a perfect fit.
Hardworking, elegant, and gifted with sparkling wit and razor-sharp powers of observation, in her amazing life story as in her style guidance Betty Halbreich is never afraid to tell it straight.


4. My Paris Dream - Kate Betts

As a young woman, Kate Betts nursed a dream of striking out on her own in a faraway place and becoming a glamorous foreign correspondent. After college and not without trepidation she took off for Paris, renting a room in the apartment of a young BCBG (bon chic, bon genre) family and throwing herself into the local culture. She was determined to master French slang, style, and savoir faire, and to find a job that would give her a reason to stay.

After a series of dues-paying jobs that seemed only to reinforce her outsider status, Kate s hard work and willingness to take on any assignment paid off: Her writing and intrepid forays into la France Profonde true France caught the eye of John Fairchild, the mercurial fashion arbiter and publisher ofWomen s Wear Daily, the industry s bible. Kate s earliest assignments investigating the mineral water preferred by high society, chasing after a costumed band of wild boar hunters through the forests of Brittany were a rough apprenticeship, but she was rewarded for her efforts and was initiated into the elite ranks of Mr. Fairchild s trusted few who sat beside him in the front row and at private previews in the ateliers of the gods of French fashion. From a woozy yet mesmerizing Yves Saint Laurent and the mischievous and commanding Karl Lagerfeld to the riotous, brilliant young guns who were rewriting all the rules Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, John Galliano Betts gives us a view of what it was like to be an American girl, learning about herself, falling in love, and finding her tribe.

Kate Betts' captivating memoir brings to life the enchantment of France from the nightclubs of 1980s Paris where she learned to dance Le Rock, to the lavender fields of Provence and the grand spectacle of the Cour Carrée and magically re-creates that moment in life when a young woman discovers who she is meant to be.


5. I'll Never Write my Memoirs - Grace Jones

Born in 1948 into a family of ministers in Kingston, Jamaica, the statuesque and strikingly beautiful Grace Jones lived with her family in Syracuse, NY, before launching a career as a model in New York City. Gaining fame as the cover girl for such publications as Vogue and Elle, Jones's flamboyant look proved to be a hit on the New York City nightclub circuit and she became a darling of the disco scene, which led to a recording contract and a substantial following among gay men. With her sexually charged, outrageous live shows, Grace soon earned the title of 'Queen of the Gay Discos'. 

When she moved to Paris in 1970, the French fashion scene embraced her unusual, androgynous looks and, in addition to cover work, she dominated the runways of designers like Yves St. Laurent and befriended the likes of Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld. While there, she shared an apartment with Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange and became artist Jean-Paul Goude's muse - he also fathered her son Paulo. (Grace was married twice - to a producer and a bodyguard - and she dated Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren for four years.) 

But with the dawn of the '80s came a massive anti-disco movement across the U.S., leading to Grace Jones focusing on more new wave and experimental-based work, putting her 2½ octave voice to good use. She is as known for her unique look as she is for her music and has influenced the likes of Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Annie Lennox. In the book, Grace takes us on a journey from her religious upbringing in Jamaica to her heyday in Paris and New York in the 70s and 80s, all the way to present-day London, where she is working on a new album.


6. Clothes, clothes, clothes. Music, music, music. Boys, boys, boys - Viv Albertine

In 1975, Viv Albertine was obsessed with music but it never occurred to her she could be in a band as she couldn't play an instrument and she'd never seen a girl play electric guitar.
A year later, she was the guitarist in the hugely influential all-girl band the Slits, who fearlessly took on the male-dominated music scene and became part of a movement that changed music.
A raw, thrilling story of life on the frontiers and a candid account of Viv's life post-punk - taking in a career in film, the pain of IVF, illness and divorce and the triumph of making music again - Clothes Music Boys is a remarkable memoir.


7. Yes Please - Amy Poehler

In Amy Poehler's highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much). Powered by Amy's charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.
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