Tag: reese witherspoon

Change Your Life With These 7 Books by Badass Women

I love men, I do. And I love reading their books that tell me to hustle and crush it and kill it. But, here’s the thing: I’m not a man, and that means that I get to operate with a much broader and well-nuanced set of tools that I am afforded as a woman. Sure, we get paid pennies on the dollar (#equalpay!), but we also have multitudes within us that we let lay fallow if only take advice from one sex.

Watching the USWNT win the World Cup got me reflecting lately about how I learned to be a leader, how I found my voice, how I shaped an identity that was forged in my own experiences but modelled after those I admire. Time and time again, I came back to the women in my life. It got me thinking that we could use a Badass Women’s Book Club fashioned around these lessons, not just the ‘what’ of our goals – money, title, power, prestige – but a more layered look at the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ too, things like impact and flexibility. These are my suggestions for a starter (wolf)pack. Some are old, some are new, all are transformational:


Everybody’s Got Something by Robin Roberts


Robin Roberts
Image Via Amazon


I wanted to start here because Robin Roberts starts her own book by passing along a key piece of wisdom from her mother: “Everybody’s got something.” And by that, she means that no one is perfect, no matter how much they make it seem so from the outside. This is beautiful; each of us is unique, both in the challenges we face but also in the strengths that we bring to the table as well.

In this book, Robin takes us on a journey through her life so far, which includes triumphs over barriers, but also the difficulty, pain, and heartache of beating breast cancer only to then five years later go through a bone marrow transplant to overcome a rare blood disorder. She chose to follow her mother’s advice to “make her mess her message” and let us have a front row view of it all, live and in real time. In that process, we got to see how her “something” could have stopped her in her tracks but instead gave her even more strength.

Presence by Amy Cuddy


Image Via Amazon


So, you’ve got something. Now, how do you galvanize it so that you can show up in those biggest moments in your life? They say happiness is an inside job. Guess what? So is presence. The problem, however, is that we are only shown one model: big, tough, brute strength. What is there was another way, your way?

Harvard professor Amy Cuddy teaches us how to use our body language, our behavior, and our mindset to quiet the inner demon and find our inner champion, whatever that might look like for you. You might remember her internationally acclaimed TED talk on “power poses” but in this
book she goes beyond that and brings both the science as well as the techniques we need to perform at our best, and help others perform at theirs, too.


Fearless Leadership by Carey Lohrenz



Turning to the kick in the ass portion of the list, I’d like to introduce Carey Lohrenz, the first female F-14 fighter pilot in the Navy. If you look up the word “badass” in the dictionary, I’m pretty sure Carey’s picture is right there. And I’m pretty sure she’s in a leather dress, too.

Carey knows a thing or two about high performance environments and fearless leadership, and she’s boiled it all down in this book to three fundamentals that we can all live into: courage, tenacity, and integrity. What’s special about this book is that Carey translates these lessons not just for Fortune 500 executives, but for everyone, at every level of their career, offering advice on how to set a bold vision, bring people together, executive effectively, and stay resilient.

On the Edge by Alison Levine



Another member of the badass pioneer club is Alison Levine, who captained the first all-female American expedition up Mount Everest. She’s also climbed the highest peak on each continent, and skied both the North and South Poles. Casual. Alison tells the story of the climb up Everest, coming so close to the top, and having to turn back around just a few hundred feet from the peak.

She describes the decision that she had to make as the captain whether to try for the top in rapidly declining weather conditions, making a life or death decision that getting to the top isn’t success, but getting back down (alive) is. That’s not a decision made with ego, it’s one made with nuance. And, oh, yeah, she went back up again, and this time made it all the way. Both times were successes, and her explanation of why will leave your interpretation of your own goals forever changed.

Own It by Sallie Krawcheck:


Image Via Amazon


Listen, if you are going to grab the power, you are going to need some money. We as women have a complicated relationship with money, mostly because money has also been a male construct in our world. But why is that? Why do men get marketed to differently than women by financial services companies? And what are the effects of that on our long-term financial security?

Sallie Krawcheck, who had an enviable career on Wall Street before founding Ellevest, a company redefining investing for women, answers these questions and provides the understanding you need to own your own future by having control of the financial part of your story. And, in the process, also talks about how the future of work includes women in different ways than ever before and that, if fact, it is up to us to show up with everything that we are as women in order to ensure that the workplace fulfils its transformation. I, for one, am ready to take up her challenge!

Wolfpack by Abby Wambach



And then there is the matter of the people with whom you surround yourself. Do you have a wolfpack? I do, and I’m lucky that it includes Carey Lohrenz and Alison Levine, above. Abby brings the lessons she learned as a two-time Olympic gold medalist, FIFA World Cup Champion, and the highest all-time international goal scorer for male and female soccer players, to bear in this manifesto on women in the workplace and beyond, introducing us to the new rules of leadership development which include harnessing our personal power and unleashing it through our shared experience. She pushes us to demand the ball, lead from the bench, make failure our friend, and champion each other. I’m down for this revolution!

Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon



What’s this? A cookbook and interior design book on the Badass Women’s Book Club recommendation list? Well, it’s Reese Witherspoon, champion of women and amplifier of women’s voices and stories, so you know there is more to it than meets the eye. Reese’s grandmother Dorothea always said that a combination of beauty and strength made southern women “whiskey in a teacup.”

They may be delicate and ornamental on the outside, she said, but inside they’re strong and fiery. So is this book, filled with fried chicken and biscuit recipes and instructions on how to hot roller your hair, but also all sorts of musings that will inspire you to find your power while also holding on to your femininity, in whatever combination and form that takes for you.

Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life, Laura
Gassner Otting




So, you know what you need to do, and you know how you need to do it. But, maybe you still feel like you can’t do it because there are people in your life who will have all sorts of feelings and opinions about your stepping out to be the very best version of yourself, and maybe one that doesn’t comport with their expectations? Look no further than my book, then, for permission to stop giving votes to people in your life who shouldn’t even have voices.

Worried this all sounds a little too much ambition, a word that has gotten a bad rap of late? If having more power, more leverage, more money, more access, more voice allows you to show up better for the people you love and the causes you hold dear, then I say it’s not your ambition, it’s your responsibility.

Joshua Jackson Joins Cast of ‘Little Fires Everywhere’

Dawson’s Creek‘s Joshua Jackson has been cast in a leading role in Hulu’s adaptation of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere. Published 2017, written by Celeste Ng’s second novel is about two families living in 1990s Shaker Heights who are brought together through their children. Shaker Heights is Ng’s hometown and she described writing about her hometown as “a little bit like writing about a relative. You see all of the great things about them, you love them dearly, and yet you also know all of their quirks and their foibles.


Little Fires Everywhere

Image Via Amazon

The Kenyon Review wrote that the novel “shows a particular place and time that makes us reflect on the limits of our own views and consider the spiderwebs of connection, conflict, privilege, and exclusion that we, too, create,” and, despite not liking the novel overall, The Guardian still described it as “well crafted”, saying that “[t]he characters are vividly drawn. The author manages a large cast, multiple points of view, and all three rings of her circus with grace and authority”.


Celeste Ng

Image Via The TLS


The book was voted as the winner of the Goodreads Choice Awards for fiction in 2017The Hollywood Reporter wrote about the long history with the adaptation, despite the book barely even being two years old. Before the book was even published, “[Reese] Witherspoon’s company, Hello Sunshine, snatched up the rights…and brought it to fellow star and exec. producer Kerry Washington”.


Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington

Image Via Deadline

Reese Witherspoon, June Carter-Cash in Walk The Line and Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, and Kerry Washington, who portrayed Broomhilda von Shaft in Django Unchained and Olivia Pope in Scandal, then went to Liz Tigelaar, who agreed to adapted the novel and serve as series showrunner.

Soon afterwards, ABC Signature agreed to executive produce “the series alongside Hello Sunshine and Simpson Street” and Tigelaar, Lauren Neustadter, Pilar Savone, producer of Django Unchained and associate producer for Inglourious Basterds, and Lynn Shelton, director of We Go Way Back and Humpday, all came on board as executive producers.

Streaming platform Hulu ended up winning a bidding war for the whole package.


Joshua Jackson

Image Via Disney Wiki – Fandom

Now joining this all star team is Joshua Jackson, perhaps best known as Pacey in Dawson’s Creek, who is set to portray Bill Richardon.

As of today, the cast list is as follows:

Joshua Jackson will play Bill Richardson, an attorney and husband to Elena.

Elena an engetic and strong willed 3rd generation resident of Shaker Heights who writes for the local paper, will be portrayed by Reese Witherspoon.


Jade Pettyjohn

Image Via Justine Magazine

Jade Pettyjohn, who played Shelby in Destroyer, will play Lexie Richardson, the oldest Richardson child and a senior in high school. Jordan Elsass, who played Kyle in People with Issues, will be Trip Richardson, the second oldest Richardson child who is a jock.


Jordan Elsass

Image Via Indieactivity

Gavin Lewis will be Moody Richardson, a well-meaning child who introduces Pearl to his family and develops a crush on her.


Gavin Lewis

Image Via IMDB


Megan Stott will be Izzy Richardson, a black sheep of the family who rejects the Richardsons upper-middle class lifestyle.


Megan Stott

Image Via IMDB


Kerry Washington will be Mia Warren, a photographer and single mother. Lexi Underwood will be Pearl Warren, a kind child who doesn’t know who her father is and is the same age as Moody.


Lexi Underwood

Image Via IMDB


Rosemarie DeWitt, who played Laura Wilder in La La Land, will be Linda McCullough, a childhood friend of Elena’s, whose adoption of a Chinese baby causes controversy in the close-knit community.


Rosemarie DeWitt

Image Via The Hollywood Interview



No word yet on who has been cast as Bebe Chow, Mia’s co-worker who wants her abandoned baby back from the McCulloughs and ends up in a custody battle with them, or who has been cast as Mirabelle McCullough/May Ling Chow, the daughter at the heart of the custody battle, but we’ll keep you updated!



Featured Image Via Amazon, Bustle and Vox