Love is the single greatest tool a woman has to empower herself and others.
The journey to empowerment is guided by feelings and beliefs, many that come and go depending on the season of life. But love—the desire for intimate connection and powerful bonds backed by a commitment to ourselves and to others—is something we should all have on our journey no matter the time or situation. Love not only gets us to our destination of lasting empowerment faster, but it enriches the trek by bringing out our most vulnerable and powerful selves.
To inspire love more frequently in your thoughts, here are our founder, Whitney Wright's, ten favorite books about love:
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
My 7-year old daughter, Vivian, immediately named this book when I asked her if she had a favorite story about love. "Mommy, it is the sweetest story." That it is. Whimiscal, modern sketches paired with simple, truthful conversations about life and love serve as gentle reminders to people of any age about the most important aspects of life.
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
Here's an extraordinary collection of decades of real-life correspondence between Helene Hanff, a freelance writer in New York and Frank Doel, a used-book dealer in London. The stories they share and subjects they cover range from how-to cook Yorkshire pudding to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Although they never met, the two had great admiration and love for each other. Their unique friendship is a testament to the kind of connection that comes from shared passions. The letters have been made into a play, TV show, and movie.
All About Love by Bell Hooks
The world lost an amazing, wise soul when Bell Hooks passed away in December 2021. She was a world renowned scholar, feminist, and culture critic. This book is the first of three in her Love Song to the Nation trilogy. Her powerful observations and revelations have changed many, many minds (including mine) for the better.
Atlas of The Heart by Brene Brown
I've always admired her work, but I think this is her most important book yet. It defines and explains the origin of every emotion providing us all with a common language to talk about how we feel and a map to try and understand why. It's the culmination of her research threaded with her own personal stories which makes it feel like you're getting scientific insight from an old friend.
milk and honey by rupi kaur
Kaur writes beautiful, truthful, sometimes shocking poetry. To me, this book is a compendium of love notes to the self divided into four chapters: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing. One of her poems from Chapter 3:
Notes on Love and Courage by Hugh Pratner
My engineering professor pointed me to this book. He said, "the world can be engineered perfectly, but nothing will work well if ideas like these don't take hold." It is my favorite book to revisit monthly, if not weekly. I always find a short essay or simple phrase that speaks to whatever is going on in my life. One that makes me smile: "Love, the magician, knows this little trick whereby two people walk in different directions yet always remain side by side."
Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce
A delightful read about an unlikely duo who embark on an adventure together. One is a scientist in search of a rare Beetle, the other is the trouble-maker assistant she hires to join her on her journey. Joyce's writing is stunning but approachable and her characters are quirky and lovable. Through the individual and shared experiences of two women, I was reminded and inspired by the transformative power of a loving friendship.
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This is a book for literary types but still one of my favorite books ever. Admittedly, I'm an enormous fan of Garcia Marquez and I'd recommend most all of his works. I particularly enjoyed this book's unique perspective that lovesickness is a disease that if left untreated will turn into a plague.
Love Sense by Sue Johnson
I discovered Sue Johnson listening to The Knowledge Project, one of my go-to podcasts. She is the world's cheerleader for monogamy, marriage, and connection. She believes, based on her research of thousands of couples, that humans need a long-term partner and that science says anyone is capable of attaining and maintaining a partnership. It's a guide to strengthen a romantic relationship, or for how to think about dynamics with a potential mate.
Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
I was in second grade when my all-time favorite teacher, Mrs. Johnson, read this book aloud to our class. I adored the story then and love it still. Louis is a swan (yes, his name was inspired by Louis Armstrong) without a voice who learns to play the trumpet to attract his mate. E.B. White is best known for writing Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, but this is my favorite of the three.