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Levo's 25 Best Books of 2016

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There is nothing like curling up with a good book. Whether it be a thriller that you cannot put down, a comedic memoir that has you trying to stifle your laughter on a plane because everyone is staring at you or a plain old tear jerker where you have to keep taking tissue breaks. And Levo members including @Sophia Bush‍ , @Emily Greener‍ , @Emilie Aries‍ and some of our staff are all about finding the next great reads so to help you out we compiled some of their favorite books of 2016 (some great last minute gift ideas in here as well.)


1. Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

@Gabi Tudin‍ called this book "Completely perspective-altering." She continued, "We as women spend all this time and energy 'becoming' -- becoming the narratives, labels, images expected of us. I love her idea of 'unbecoming' - finding/being who you are at the core, without judging or filtering yourself."


2. 52 Cups of Coffee by Meghan Gebhart

You had us at 52 cups. @Nicole Lehman‍ suggested this book that will really make you think seriously about scheduling some coffee meetings for the first week in January.


3. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

Our own Social Media director @Helena Hounsel couldn't put this one down from the author of Wild. @Sophia Bush‍ was also a fan of this one.


4. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

This family saga that is a best-seller captivated @Christina Martin Kenny‍.


5. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

Levo 100'r and Co-Founder of I Am That Girl @Emily Greener‍ recommends this memoir about the famous feminist's long relationship with living life on the road.


6. Big Magic Creative Living Beyond by Elizabeth Gilbert

Another great Levo 100 recommendation. @Sophia Bush‍ called this book out when she spoke out our event with Microsoft earlier this year. This is the first self-help book from the author of Eat, Pray, Love and it is absolutely inspiring.


7. How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

@Karina E. Kletscher‍ read this as part of Emma Watson's feminist book club, Our Shared Self, that she started this year. "Highly recommend the book and the club and it's community of readers!"


8. The Universe Has Your Back by @Gabby Bernstein

Levo 100 member @Emilie Aries‍ said fellow Levo 100's @Gabrielle Bernstein's latest book helped her forget fear and find courage.


9. Earning It: Hard-Won Lessons from Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World by Joann S. Lublin

@Emilie Aries‍ also put this on her must-reads list. With 70 percent of the population admitting they experience imposter syndrome this book by Pulitzer Prize winning-journalist Lublin that showcases 52 top female executives’ stories and how they squash self-doubt is absolutely essential.

10. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

The bluntly honest comedian got even realer in her first memoir. “I haven’t figured anything out, so I have no wisdom to offer you,” she writes in the book of essays. “But what I can help with is showing you my mistakes and my pain and my laughter.” But do be prepared to go to some dark places, but we know “the third-hottest bartender at a Dave & Buster’s in Cincinnati,” will get us through it. “I know my worth. I embrace my power. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong,” Schumer writes. “You will not determine my story. I will.”


11. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

@Jess Segraves‍ loved this memoir from the creator of Nike. "Think of it as a business book written in a narrative form about a brand that people recognize worldwide. It shows how even some of the most successful companies started small, failed frequently, and fought to get where they are today."


12. Habit Changers: 18 Game-Changing Mantras To Mindfully Realize Your Goals by @MJ Ryan

Our CEO @Caroline Ghosn‍ loves this book by career coach @MJ Ryan‍ . Who here hasn't beat themselves up (maybe even on a daily basis) for not achieving their goals or just not speaking up in a meeting. What if a simple change in your behavior could stop these bad habits and even give you a more positive outlook? Well, Executive Coach MJ Ryan, who has worked with clients at some of the biggest companies in the world, is actually going to help you do this. In the new book she shares the secret to changing your mindset and therefore changing your life.


13. Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett

A personal favorite of mine this year was Jessica Bennett's awesome and often hysterical first book Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace (Harper.) Right on par with Lean In and #GIRLBOSS, this is an essential for any young woman working today so make room on your book shelf (or even keep a copy at the office!). Bennett addresses everything from negotiation tips to body language to imposter syndrome (Meryl Streep suffers from it too!) to pumping at work and dealing with not only the "manterruptors", but also the "bropriators", the "mansplainers", and the "himitator." Read more about it here.


14. The Assistants by Camille Perri

Another one I loved! At some point in all our careers most of us were either assistants or just low on the totem pole. But for Tina Fontana that position of making it all about someone else has lasted for six years and she is so over it. But what if by accident you were given a check from your boss that would take care of all your student debt, your rent for months and that statement bag you’ve wanted since you were 18? Would you take it? See what she does in this fun romp about the modern workplace.


15. The House of Bradbury by Nicole Meier

This novel from Nicole Meier sounds part Eat, Pray, Love part Under the Tuscan Sun and part any of us when we have a career crisis. Mia is having a rough time after her first novel gets killed by the critics and her relationship with her producer boyfriend starts to unravel. So what does she do? Buys the house of famous writer Ray Bradbury thinking it will revive her inspiration. it probably does, but in a very unexpected way.


16. All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister

Read this while listening to “Single Ladies” by Beyonce. National Magazine Award finalist Rebecca Traister AKA “the most brilliant voice on feminism in the country” looks at all the contributions single women have made to the history. With an increasing number of women getting married later in life or not at all, this is a must-read. From The New York Times: “All the Single Ladies” includes numerous accounts from dozens of women navigating big questions about work, marriage and children, in addition to everyday challenges involving money and loneliness. She talks to young women trying to earn college degrees after having children, and she talks to feminist icons like Gloria Steinem. She finds women who live in big cities and women who live in small towns, where remaining single after your early 20s is virtually unheard of.”


17. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Who wouldn't love this collection of essays by this great actress and hilarious Twitter personality?! From her struggles as a child actor to awkward adolescence to becoming a glamorous (and sometimes not so glamorous) movie star, this book has it all.


18. The Nest by Cynthia Sweeney

Inheritance, adult sibling squabbles and New York City? Sign us up. This novel by Cynthia D’Aprix is getting tons of buzz and already talking movie rights (we’re thinking Nancy Meyers should direct.) Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly wrote, “It’s easy to see why Sweeney’s debut earned her a seven-figure advance and early praise from fans including Amy Poehler and Elizabeth Gilbert. Her writing is like really good dark chocolate: sharper and more bittersweet than the cheap stuff, but also too delicious not to finish in one sitting.”


19. Power Your Happy: Work Hard, Play Nice, and Build Your Dream Life by @Lisa Sugar

In her first book the founder of PopSugar tells her journey from being lost in her career, to starting a fun side hustle to eventually running a media empire. "I loved reading and writing, but never thought I could make that a real job. I just loved pop culture," she said. Read more about it here.

20. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

OK, so you may be thinking, ‘Really? Another Pride and Prejudice retelling?’ And yes, Jane Austen has been done to death but honestly, it doesn’t matter because her stories are so good and still clearly resonate today. Which is why the amazing Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep and American Wife, has decided to take on Austen’s beloved classic P&P with a modern spin. Now the Bennett sisters are career gals in the present day. Liz (AKA Elizabeth Bennett) works at a magazine and Jane is a yoga instructor.


21. How To Be a Person in the World by Heather Havrilesky

If you ask this question daily then this book is for you. Heather Havrilesky, the author of the weekly advice column Ask Polly, featured in New York magazine’s The Cut, will get you through this very confusing modern life on everything from career to relationships.


22. Not Working by Lisa Owens

Hey, we’ve all been there or we’ve wanted to be there. Claire Flannery, who is being compared to Bridget Jones, quits her day job to try to find her true passion, but only then realizes that is really difficult (perhaps she should have read one of our articles on starting a side hustle!)


23. American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis

@Kelsey Manning‍ recommends this collection of stories which features “murderous ladies who lunch, celebrity treasure hunters, and the best bra fitter south of the Mason Dixon line.” American Housewife follows 12 women who casually murder party guests and then step around the body to pull cookies out of the oven.


24. In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

Manning was also a fan of Lahiri’s nonfiction debut, a memoir about her journey to master the Italian language—being captivated but frustrated by it in college, moving to Rome with her family later on, and finding a new voice through the language.


25. The Girls by Emma Cline

If you are looking for a slighter darker read then you will love Emma Cline’s seductive debut novel which centers around a group of young women modeled after the ones who became involved in the Manson cult. According to The New York Times, Random House gave the 27-year-old author a seven-figure, three-book deal and Scott Rudin has already optioned the screen rights.


BONUS: We have to wait until 2017 but we are pretty sure our Chief Leadership Officer @Tiffany Dufu‍ first book Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less will definitely be on our list next year!


What were some of your favorite books of 2016? Tell us in the comments below!


###@Caroline Ghosn@Sophia Bush@Emily Greener##

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