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The Books That Changed Us

These are the books that changed us. Ten women share the books that have significantly impacted their lives, from self help reads to business books.

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The Books That Changed us

If I were to ask you which book has had the biggest impact on your life, what would you say?

Perhaps it was a self-help book that guided you to a new way of thinking.
Maybe it was a novel that made you feel a way you’d never felt before.
Or maybe it was a memoir that inspired you to take action and make a change.

We can ALL name a book that has changed us in one way or another, whether it was something we read as a kid in school or as an adult going through a challenging time. Words that have made a mark on our memories, stories that have touched our souls, ideas that have shaped the way we view the world.

And because I’m ALWAYS on the hunt for a good book reco, I reached out to a bunch of inspiring women I know to find out which books have left a lasting impression on them and changed their lives (included my own pick, too!).

Happy reading, Renegades.



by Elizabeth Gilbert

“A lot of Big Magic is about fear and creativity – fear of failing, fear you’ll be exposed as a fraud, fear of trying, fear that our gifts may not be received, fear that our creativity isn’t worthy of attention, or that our art isn’t any good, fear that we just aren’t enough.

This book helped me realize that the worst thing you can do is lock your gifts inside of you for fear of judgment. There are people out there who need to hear what you have to say, who need your art, your product, your idea – by preventing yourself from starting simply out of fear for the judgmental people, you’re depriving those who need you. Do it for them.”

Sarah Stockdale,
founder of Growclass



by Michael E. Gerber

“This book was given to me as a gift when I opened our bakery 10 years ago and had spent the first two years doing EVERY. SINGLE. THING. for the business – customer service, baking, creating recipes, social media and all deliveries.

The E-Myth provides tangible steps towards building an autonomous business and helped me build two companies that can now function without me.  It took me out of the trenches and popped me into a place where I could see the light and move forward. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for positive change in their business.”

Amanda Mizen,
owner of North Medical Spa



by Jia Tolentino

“This book is a brilliantly written set of essays that form critique of life in the 21st century – essays that caused me to think critically about where my values lie and how to be a good human in this world. Although I didn’t necessarily agree with every single point in every essay, Tolentino pushed me to think differently about who I am, who I want to be and the impact I want to have on the world. That’s my favourite kind of read.”

Kate Chippindale,
partnerships manager for Wealthsimple



by Jes Baker

“I started following Jes Baker back in 2013 after she wrote a blog post professing her unapologetic love for crop tops – it was the first time I’d ever seen a plus-size woman baring her midriff on the internet. Now, I recommend her book to friends all the time. It’s incredibly validating to read about her experiences moving through the world. She also includes plenty of other body-positive perspectives via guest essays, and her tips for living your best life are liberating!”

Lora Grady,
writer + body acceptance advocate


by Shonda Rhimes

“I grew up being taught to play it safe and stay in your comfort zone – I guess with immigrant parents, it’s a common teaching. So I ended up saying ‘no’ to mostly everything and living my life based off of fear. Reading Year of Yes gave me the courage to say ‘yes’ to things I wouldn’t normally say ‘yes’ to. This book literally freed me.”

Denisse Myrick,



by Alan Cohen

“This book has shifted all of my views surrounding wealth. I used to constantly stress about finances, a natural feeling when you’re  an entrepreneur working in the gig economy. Alan’s views on life, energy and abundance have helped me to develop a healthy mindset around money, plus helped my business achieve a level of success I would have never imagined having.”

Bettina Bogar,
commercial photographer



by Marianne Williamson

“Since it was released in 1992, A Return to Love has had a lasting impact on so many people – Oprah, Deepak Chopra and even me. Still, in 2020, I don’t think the world is quite ready to accept that love is all we need… but it really is.

This book taught me that authenticity, vulnerability and kindness could get me much farther in my life and career than fear and manipulation could. I’ve practiced that daily since first picking up the book three years ago when I was just starting my business. Whenever I feel like I’m letting negative thoughts get the best of me, I pick up this book and it always gets me back into alignment.”

Sara Koonar,
founder of Platform Media + Management



by Jeffrey Eugenides

“There are many books that have had a significant impact on my life, but The Virgin Suicides was the first book that truly made me fall in love with the written word. Each sentence reads like poetry and Eugenides shows his care as a writer with no word out of place or lacking purpose.

I loved – and still do – the way we see the angst of being a teenage girl through the eyes of a teenage boy, who is perplexed and fascinated by womanhood, and how Eugenides is able to properly capture the the complexities of womanhood through the male gaze in a sort of naive and innocent way that doesn’t play on tropes.”

Lauren McPhillips,
founder of This Renegade Love



by Brene Brown

“I first read this book when I was struggling with shame, thinking that it was something I needed to get rid of. But in Gifts of Imperfection, I was shown that to feel shame is to be human. And with this simple truth, Brene Brown swooped into my life and changed it forever.

I took some time to thank shame for the wisdom it brought me and with that, I was able to stop hustling for worthiness.  I felt like Brene was like a fly on the wall in my life – she helped me tap into the crevices of my vulnerability, to the things that make us humans more human. Read this book if you would like to connect to your deeper self – it will unlock wisdom you haven’t realized yet, gifts that you didn’t know you had and show you that you’re worthy of your dreams and your desires .”

Karlyn Percil,
Emotional Intelligence Coach
& creator of The Success System



by Don Miguel Ruiz

“I love this book because you can literally finish it within a day, but Ruiz’s four basic agreements will change your life! It rewired my brain completely on the things I’ve been taught in the past, how I look at life as a whole and how to live that life as a good human. I highly recommend – it’s a classic on my book shelf.”

Huda Alvi,
founder of The Girls Trip

Which books have had the biggest impact on your life?
Share your favourites in the comments below!

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I'm a Brand & Content Strategist with 15 years of experience in helping businesses craft their brand story and build trust through authentic storytelling.

I'm Lauren, the creator of This Renegade Love and your new brand BFF.


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