5 Books Every Aspiring Girlboss Should Read

5 Books Every Aspiring Girlboss Should Read

Today on the blog I’m teaming up with Ollie Quinn Eyewear who recently opened their flagship store in Seattle’s Capitol Hill to share 5 books every aspiring girl boss should read. Because to be totally honest, ya girl needs her glasses to be able to see anything. Ollie Quinn is quality at an incredible price. Like less than $150 for prescription glasses and sunglasses. Basically they cut the prescription lenses locally,  and work directly with manufacturers to remove the need for intermediaries and unnecessary mark-ups. Not to mention they’re super trendy!

I hope that overtime this post will become a reading list that you can come back to for more girl boss inspo. But for now I’m sharing my 5 favorites – a few are mainstream must-reads – and hopefully a few that are new to you.



You can find the book here.

  • When to read it : End of high school – beginning of career (first year out of college)
  • What I loved:
    • ON HARD WORK. Throughout the book, Sophia Amoroso emphasizes that no matter what path you go down, where you work, what you decide to do with your life, hard work is an absolute must. I’m a firm believer in success being 70% hard work, 20% natural smarts, and 10% luck (because the hard work sets you up for the luck)..maybe that could be it’s own post.
    • ON CARVING PATHS. There isn’t one path to success (like society wants us to believe). You don’t need to be a Type A MBA, College Grad educated person to be successful.
    • ON BUDGETING. Surprisingly there was an entire chapter dedicated to the importance of only spending within your means and “cash is king.” That to me was pretty unexpected of the founder and CEO of a major fashion retailer. But oh so welcome. So many young women spend out of their means in order to try and catch up to the blogger with endless Chanel bags, or the celebrity with a closet of Louboutins.
  • Quick Tips:
    • True success lies in knowing your weaknesses and playing to your strengths
    • Just be your own idol. Don’t try to be someone else.
    • You don’t get what you don’t ask for


Lean In:

You can find the book here.

  • When to read it: Start of your career (early 20s to mid 30s)
  • What I loved: 
    • EMBRACE YOUR WEAKNESSES. Internal obstacles are rarely discussed and often underplayed –> the ones we can control
    • ON DOING IT ALL. The myth of doing it all
    • ON BUSINESS & LIFE. An all-business approach is not always good business. Growing up in an Italian culture, I was always taught the importance of forging trust and a connection before getting down to business. It’s a concept that I think in the US we forget about about since we’re so focused on efficiency
  • Quick Tips: 
    • The 18-month & long-term plans
    • Stop raising your hand


Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers

You can find the book here.

  • When to read it: At any point in your career. But earlier the better, so you can stop potentially making the 101 mistakes that are your sabotaging your careers.
  • What I loved: (Because this book is very individualized to each reader’s experience, I’ll be talking more about the format than the content)
    • INDIVIDUALIZATION. This is one of the quickest reads on the list because you take a test at the beginning of the book that helps you pinpoint what areas you need to work on and what mistakes you need to fix.
    • A QUICK READ. Because the test tells you what areas you specifically need to work on, you can skip around the book to read only the sections related to where you scored poorly on the test. (Or if you’re me you can read the whole book cover to cover because reading about other women’s real life experiences is super interesting.)
    • A WAKE UP CALL. I’ve met women that have read the book who were completely shocked about what mistakes they were making and it was somewhat of a rude wake up call. While I wasn’t completely surprised, just be surprised for Lois Frankel to not be a “nice girl” in how she tells you your mistakes.


Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

You can find the book here.

  • When to read it : College – beginning of career
  • What I loved:
    • ON REAL NETWORKING. The secret to successful networking is “finding ways to make other people successful.” Which makes sense because when you help people succeed, they remember you and want to help you down the line.
    • BE DISTINCT OR EXTINCT. This was one of my favorite lines of the book. It’s important to be memorable and build your own personal brand. When networking you fall into one of two categories – you’re “distinct” and people remember you or you’re “extinct” and you’re just another person in a crowded room. I don’t know about you but I’d prefer to be in the first category.
    • FOLLOWING UP. It’s not about how many business cards you collect or how many people you add on LinkedIn. What it IS about is the following up. The follow-up is the most important element according to Ferrazzi (and I agree).
  • Quick Tips:
    • Create a “Networking Action Plan”
    • Keep following up with your connections even when you don’t need them in the moment


The Truth About Negotiations

You can find the book here.

  • When to read it: College – Start of your career (early 20s to mid 30s)
  • What I loved:
    • LAYOUT. The book is split into 46 chapters or “truths” that are each about 2-3 pages. It makes the book a quick read and once you’ve read it all, allows you to skip back to the relevant sections you need later in your career. I read the book in college and occasionally look back at specific chapters to get a refresher.
    • MINDSET. You enter the mindset that every (or almost every) interaction you have in life is a negotiation. Whether you’re haggling at the market, negotiating with friends on where to have dinner, or talking salary for a new job – you’re negotiating.
    • ANCHORING. For some odd reason it seems like we’ve all been taught to not make the first offer. We should wait to see what someone else is thinking. WRONG! The power is in “anchoring” – making the first offer – as it is a powerful psychological tool. (But note, only do this is you’ve prepared and done your research.)
    • SHORT-TERM PREPARATION. If you only have an hour to prepare (which let’s be real, happens sometimes) – identify your real goals, brainstorm your options, and plan your opening move.
  • Quick Tips:
    • Aim to make each negotiation a win-win
    • Find your BATNA: Best alternative to negotiated agreement. (Basically, if you don’t accept this agreement, what is your next best option?)


What are your favorite professional development books?


Disclaimer: Ollie Quinn gifted me the eyeglasses mentioned in this post. However, as always I offer my authentic opinion on all sponsored and gifted products. 



  1. September 25, 2017 / 10:56 am

    Thanks for all the suggestions! I am definitely gonna get the Lean In book! Also, I read #girlboss and it was just amazing!
    Xx, Victoria

    • G
      September 25, 2017 / 12:07 pm

      Yay! Excited to hear what you think!

  2. September 25, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    Love the book suggestions! 📖 I didn’t know about Ollie Quinn, checking them out the next time I need frames! 👓

    • G
      September 25, 2017 / 1:13 pm

      Thanks Haley!

  3. September 25, 2017 / 6:07 pm

    Great round-up and I love that you included Ollie Quinn! How fun!

  4. September 27, 2017 / 9:49 am

    Love #girlboss but definitely interested in the rest of this list!

    • G
      September 27, 2017 / 9:51 am

      Would love to hear what you think of the books after you read them, enjoy!

  5. September 27, 2017 / 1:18 pm

    Hey Guila,

    great post and reading list! i have not read that girl boss book yet, and keep meaning to, I need to buy it now! Thanks for sharing!


    • G
      September 27, 2017 / 2:29 pm

      Thanks for reading Valerie!

  6. September 28, 2017 / 12:35 am

    I really wish this advice has been around when I was in college and/or starting my career.

    • G
      September 28, 2017 / 8:05 am

      That’s what my mom was saying the other day! There are so many professional development opportunities now – but it’s never too late to read or start 🙂

  7. September 28, 2017 / 9:30 am

    I love the first two books and just added the other two to my Amazon wishlist!

    • G
      September 28, 2017 / 10:30 am

      Yay! Hope you like them Lora!

  8. September 30, 2017 / 9:27 pm

    Love this list and how you broke down each of the books! Also, LOVE those glasses on you!