7 Inspirational Books That'll Help You Grow as a Woman ...

Bookstore shelves are groaning with self-help books. It's an ever-popular section as we seek to improve ourselves and our lives. But are self-help books a waste of time? If you pick the right books, you can get a lot of useful tips from them. Here are some inspirational books that will help you grow as a woman …

1. I Am Malala

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Do you complain about going to school or work? Imagine if you lived in a place where girls were denied an education and the right to earn their own living. Malala Yousafzai has become an inspiration around the world for her fight against those who would deny her the right to an education. She's the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and a brave young woman.

2. Orchids on Your Budget

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Self-improvement is nothing new, however. This book was originally published in the 1930s, but the advice is still very relevant. Learning to be content with what you have, rather than yearning for things you can't afford, will help you enjoy life and make the most of it. You can still have fun on a budget if you have the right attitude!

3. The Star Qualities: How to Sparkle with Confidence in All Aspects of Your Life

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Do you think that actors and stars are born confident? Not always. Remember that their job is to pretend, and they've had to learn how to be stars. You too can learn to project a confident image. In this book famous actors show you how they project their "star quality"; it's great advice if you find yourself often at a loss.

4. Reinvent Yourself: 7 Steps to a New You

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I have this book on my own shelf and have found it so useful. Fiona Harrold's style is straightforward and approachable, which will be helpful if you don't care for the style of many self-help books. If you want to make major changes in your life, this is the book for you. You can reinvent yourself and become the person you've always wanted to be!

5. The Portable Dorothy Parker

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Women writers can be incredibly inspirational for us, and one of the best has to be the ever-witty Dorothy Parker. But she did cover serious topics as well. Read her work for some clues on how to make amusing comments, and if you aspire to be a writer as well then you can also gain a great deal of inspiration on how to write well.

6. Helen Keller: the Story of My Life

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I first heard the story of Helen Keller when I was quite young, and it had a huge impact on me. Imagine not only having to live with such difficulties, but learning to live a full and productive life! Helen and her determined teacher Miss Sullivan show just what people can achieve, even under the most seemingly unpromising circumstances. So don't let anything hold you back either.

7. Alice Walker: a Life

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You probably know Alice Walker as the author of The Color Purple, but did you know that she is a feminist and Civil Rights activist as well? We take so many freedoms and rights for granted, but it's women like Alice who helped pave the way. Read biographies of and work by writers like her and Maya Angelou for an example of just how much we as women can achieve if we work hard for it.

Which women, real or fictional, most inspire you?