10 Books to Read if You Loved Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Glennon’s newest memoir was one of the biggest selling books of 2020. Her story of finding and embracing her true self resonated with many readers. If you’re one of them, here are ten more non-fiction books that you may enjoy as well.

10 Books to Read if You Loved Untamed by Glennon Doyle

1. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

This is a collection of columns that Strayed wrote as Dear Sugar for The Rumpus, and her identity was not known at the time. Her responses to readers’ questions are absolutely gut wrenching and honest. In these columns, Strayed not only gives advice to the asker but shares her own experiences. She doesn’t pull any punches and sometimes her response feels harsh but it’s always given with love.

2. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I return to this book about once a year. I’ve heard other creatives refer to it as their Bible and that rings fairly true for me. This book was one of the first places I encountered a lot of the ideas about fear in relation to creativity. I love her honesty and curiosity here as she tackles myths about creative living (such as you have to have a degree.)

3. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson

The title is a bit misleading here! Mark’s philosophy isn’t about giving no fucks, as it about being strategic with the fucks we give. He points out that it’s impossible for us to care about everything all the time, and unhealthy too. He shows us how to identify where we want to give our energy and where we’d rather preserve it.

4. Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman by Lindy West

This collection of essays is a funny, thought-provoking, and in-your-face account of what it’s like to be a fat woman in America, particularly one is is semi-famous on the internet. Lindy’s writing is sharp and well-researched. She is honest and un-apologetic about her opinions. Her stories will get you fired up about advocating for yourself.

5. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

In this essay collection, Roxane eloquently says so many things women think and struggle with. What I appreciate most about her writing is she recognizes that her opinion will be disagreed with, and she voices it anyway, loudly, with strength, humor, and facts. She reminds us that we are all complex creatures. We do not fit into a finely defined box of “feminist” or any other label society tries to force upon us, or we try to squeeze into.

6. Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Chanel was first known to the world as Emily Doe. Brock Turner was sentenced to a mere six months in jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on the Stanford campus. Her victim impact statement went viral after being posted on BuzzFeed. In this memoir, Chanel re-claims her identity with her story of trauma and of strength and healing. It shows how her powerful words moved people throughout the world and brought about change.

7. Buy Yourself the Fucking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, from Someone Who’s Been There by Tara Schuster

Part memoir, part how to guide, this is a lovely book about the journey to heal yourself and pursue a genuinely happy life. It’s funny, touching, and wonderfully honest.Tara’s vulnerability in her stories inspires deep connection with the reader because she reminds us we aren’t alone. She covers every aspect of self care, and looks at every realm of her life from her body to home to work to family to dating and friendships. This book would be ideal for women who are new to the personal development journey or perhaps haven’t even started yet. It’s geared toward women who are looking for a partner and finding their footing in the work world. Yet it will resonate with any woman who has already gone through these stages. 

8. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett

This essay collection brings together non-fiction pieces Ann has had published in various places over the years. She covers different topics from road trips, to writing, to dog ownership, and of course marriage. These pieces resonate with me because she writes with such honesty.

9. Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

This is my favorite of Brene’s books. It focuses on belonging, what that really means, and how we have to bravely show our true selves in order to belong. Belonging is different from fitting in and requires vulnerability (which she focuses on in her other books.)

10. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

While technically a memoir, this could also be seen as a personal development guide. McConaughey punctuates anecdotes from his life with lessons and one-liners that I found inspiring. The focus of his stories are not his fame, but the way he followed “greenlights” throughout his life to lead him to happiness and fulfillment. The physical copy contains photos and notes that add to the reading experience, and the audiobook of course gives us his wonderful voice. I experienced the book in both formats and enjoyed it a great deal.

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