I’ve compiled a list of my favorite memoirs from women who have overcome the odds and gone on to do great things with their lives. Browse these 15 inspirational stories of women who lived with intention.
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I LOVE A GOOD MEMOIR
There’s something about reading a story knowing that it was based on something that really happened. That someone, despite the odds, made it. These stories pump me up in my own life. They make my dreams and goals seem that much more attainable.
I love reading memoirs. And I’ve read a whole lot, from one end of the spectrum to another. I’ve read about drug addicts, cult survivors, entrepreneurs, divorcees, widows, missionaries and princesses. I can’t get enough of the true story.
Here are a few true stories from women that left a lasting impression on me over the past few years.
1. “Kisses from Katie” by Katie Davis
This true story is about a girl from Tennessee who decided to live in Uganda for her gap year…which turned into adopting 13 daughters by the time she was 23.
2. “Educated” by Tara Westover
This book is about a girl raised in the mountains of Idaho who lives her life preparing for the end of the world because of her paranoid father. She goes on to receive an education after leaving home and learns the world isn’t exactly what she thought it was…and decides to do something more with her life.
3. “Twelve Clean Pages” by Nika Maples
A beautiful book of a woman’s journey with lupus as she fights for her life after suffering a massive stroke. She inspired me by changing the direction of her life and accomplishing great things for the good of others…you won’t want to miss this ending!
4. “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boome
This is a memoir of a woman who worked at her family’s watch shop during WWII in Holland. They joined the resistance hiding Jews in their home. I loved learning about the secret ways they communicated to get around the Nazis, but I especially loved the stories of their optimism and dependence on God’s goodness even after they were arrested. For a book that is about something so sad, I felt pumped up and empowered after I finished it.
5. “The Magnolia Story” by Joanna Gaines
The stories in these books are so inspirational to see that great things can come if we have the courage to just jump right in and give them a try.
6. “Eat Pray Love“ by Elizabeth Gilbert
I enjoyed reading about the author’s transformation after her divorce and year long journey around the world by going to Italy, India and Indonesia. I loved reading about her thought processes and seeking healing from the pain in her life. The overall message and feeling of the book was of warmth and exploration and love.
7. “Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words” by Andrew Morton
Heartbreaking true story of Diana and her role as wife and princess in the public eye. I loved her bravery and passion for working with AIDS victims. Very detailed, well-paced novel about her impact on the world and personal struggles.
8. “Option B” by Sheryl Sandberg
This is an honest look at a woman’s journey after becoming a widow. She answer the question: What do you do when life wipes out your plans and lays a new path before you? She gives advice on how to embrace your new path and use it for good instead of trying to backtrack to a life you can never return to.
9. “Need You Now” by Plumb
A very honest memoir about the struggles and triumphs in marriage. Beautiful. You’ll laugh and cry in this one.
10. “The Year of Less“ by Cait Flanders
More than a book about decluttering and shopping less, the author takes you through her memoir of how her victory over alcoholism only emerged in new destructive habits. Throughout she learns how to deal with stress in ways that are healthier for her mind and body.
11. “Idiot” by Lara Casey
Not for the faint of heart, this hilarious (and oftentimes vulgar and shocking) memoir of a woman raised by hippies, moves to LA to become an actress. She deals with destructive habits and addictions and you’ll find yourself laughing (and crying) as you root for her to make it out alive…
12. “Out of the Woods” by Katina Makris
This book personally resonated with me because the author tells her story of dealing with Late Stage Lyme. Her positive outlook and determination was so inspiring to me as a fellow lyme-sufferer. Beautifully written and hopefully optimistic.
13. “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis
This book inspired me to start my blog and dream bigger about what it could be. Inspirational story of a girl with a traumatic childhood, no college education, and a multi-million dollar business.
14. “Imperfect Courage” by Jessica Honegger
Written by the creator of Noonday, the world’s largest fair trade jewelry company, this book goes through the journey of one woman’s mission to follow what she felt God was leading her to do even when it didn’t make sense. This book inspired me as a creator, a blogger, a mom and a Christian.
15. “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way” by Lysa TerKeurst
This Christian living book is about a successful Christian author who then goes through a divorce. She offers advice and hope on how to navigate life’s detours.
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What women inspire you? I would love to read about them. Comment below!
Then check out a few more posts on intentional living here:
- A Mom’s Story of Faith
- How to Create a Spiritual Resume
- How to Get Back Up After Life Gets You Down
- Grab Your FREE Goal Setting Workbook
- Motivational Quotes to Encourage You to Reach Your Goals
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