10 Empowering Reads for the Working Woman

Leaders at JPMorgan Chase recommend the best books about female empowerment, friendship, and perseverance.

Whether you’re lounging on the beach, waiting in an airport, or just taking a long lunch break, carve out time to crack open a good book.

We asked women leaders at JPMorgan Chase what they’re reading—or recommending to friends—as the weather heats up. Here, they share some of their favorite books about female empowerment, friendship and perseverance:

“The Queen of Katwe: One Girl’s Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion” by Tim Crothers

This inspirational, true story proves that no matter what your background, or where you come from, if you dream big and work hard, you can achieve great things. It’s also a great reminder of how we can raise others up, even from the most inhumane conditions, and bring out the best in them.

Thasunda Duckett, CEO – Chase Consumer Banking

“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern

This is my absolute favorite book. It covers so many life themes and is relatable to women from all walks of life. It’s a little bit magical, thrilling, and, ultimately, a book that teaches you to create your own path and not to follow anyone else’s no matter what.

Devin A. Graham, Campus Recruiter

“My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante

This is an engrossing story of friendship between two young girls that starts in post-WWII Naples and follows them through their coming of age as women and leaders. Not only is it a fascinating read; it provides a good perspective for young women on life, leadership and independence.

Julia Bates, Chief Control Officer – Commercial Banking

“Brain on Fire” by Susannah Cahalan

A great, quick, nonfiction read about a young career woman in NYC who has everything going for her until a freak medical condition turns her world upside-down. Her story reminds us that life can throw us curveballs, and you must sometimes be relentless to get the information that you need – in this case to save your life.

Erica Dardaganis, Executive Director of Sales Finance – Chase Business Banking

“What Alice Forgot” by Liane Moriarty

It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day ‘process of orchestrating life’ and forget who we are, what we are striving for and what we truly want to live for. The story of Alice Love is a great reminder to not let society’s expectations dictate our priorities or lose ourselves along the journey of achievement.

Laura Miller, President – Small Business, Chase Merchant Services

“Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur

I absolutely loved this book. Each of the four chapters focuses on a different hardship that all young women can relate to. This book is a collection of poems that helps women face adversity and even find joy in the difficult areas of their lives.

Marissa Hart, Sports & Entertainment Marketing Associate

“The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter” by Michael D. Watkins

This book is for new and experienced managers, but the insights are also useful for those starting out in their careers. It walks you through learning your role, leaving past experiences behind, setting personal timelines for growth, gaining credibility, understanding team culture, building coalitions and achieving wins.

Dionne Fraser, Vice President & Assistant General Counsel – Chase Business Banking

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

So simple yet so influential, this book empowers you to listen to your heart and pursue your dreams irrespective of the obstacles that arise. The story serves as a reminder that we need to be fearless with our endeavors in order to fulfill our purpose with an open mind and heart.

Yanilsa Frias, Financial Analyst

“Going Long: Legends, Oddballs, Comebacks & Adventures” by the Editors of Runner’s World

We all need determination and motivation to work hard and achieve success in the face of fatigue, boredom or the desire to do other things. This collection of compelling sports narratives is what I pick up when I need to refresh my drive in the workplace or elsewhere in life.

Annie Goldman, Global Technology Associate

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