Good Reads: Books That Guide Personal Growth

Spend any time at all with Jennifer Malcolm, founder of Jennasis Speaks, and you’ll likely learn that she turns to a good book or two whenever her busy schedule allows. 

For Jennifer, reading is a way to refresh, reflect and re-imagine. She makes a goal of reading at least two books each month, combining books with leadership topics and development with nonfiction. 

In her ground-breaking weekly podcast, Jennasis Speaks, Jennifer often shares her current reading list and asks guests to share theirs too. Some guests recommend books that have helped them in some way; others suggest books they’ve written. Sharing books that source insight and inspiration is another way Jennasis Speaks helps women connect. 

Be Bookish with Jennasis Speaks

It’s a rare podcast when Jennifer doesn’t reference one of the many books she read during her personal journey. Below are just a few: 

  • Untamed – Glennon Doyle, often called the patron saint of women’s empowerment, offers a memoir that eloquently describes the burden of expectations that many women carry and ways that women can shed that burden.   
  • The Gifts of Imperfection – Ten years ago, Brené Brown wrote “The Gifts of Imperfection,” launching a grassroots movement of women saying, “My story matters because I matter.” Brown’s classic offers guideposts to what she terms “wholehearted living” – authentic lives free of unattainable expectations. 
  • You’re A Bad Ass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life – Author Jen Sincero wants us to use The Force to kick some serious ass. “You’re A Bad Ass” provides readers with straightforward ways to identify and eliminate self-sabotaging beliefs and actions. 

Want to learn more about Jennifer and Jennasis Speaks? Below are links to recent episodes.

Guest Sarah Bratt

Jennasis Speaks guest Sarah Bratt joined Jennifer for the podcast episode Our Blessed Hot Mess Adoption. This episode was a heartwarming conversation about interracial adoption. Her must-read recommendations include:

Guest Betsy Muller

Betsy Muller uses Emotional Freedom Techniques to help others understand how fear and discomfort keep them from achieving peace and happiness. In 2017, when her husband became critically ill, Betsy turned to her EFT training to cope with the myriad of challenges she faced. Betsy shared her story and her insight into EFT with Jennifer in this podcast episode.

Intrigued by EFT? Interested in learning more about Betsy’s story? Check out the links below:

Guest Tricia Downing

Tricia Downing’s Olympic dreams were shattered when she was seriously injured in an accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down. Undeterred, this elite athlete went on to become a Paralympic athlete who proudly represented the United States in several Paralympic events, including triathlons. 

Tricia shared her story in the podcast episode Shifting Gears. Learn more about her journey from tragedy to triumph in her memoir, listed below, and enjoy her first novel: 

Guest Tesha Friztgerald

Educator Tesha Fritzgerald is a passionate advocate for Black and brown students who, too often, get lost or left behind in our educational systems.

Fitzgerald believes teachers can do more to help these children. To that end, she has written a teaching guide that is a roadmap to more inclusive education. She recently joined Jennifer for the podcast episode Educating the Next Generation to discuss her innovative approach to teaching. Learn more by reading her book: 

Guest Laura Geideman 

In the podcast episode Amish to Acceptance, Laura Geideman joined Jennifer to share her story of a journey of faith that began when she left her Amish family and community. Geideman found her way by tapping into various resources including the podcast and books below: 

Guest Teri Griege

Teri Griege is a cancer survivor. More than that, she is a thriver and striver. Cancer couldn’t stop her from reaching her athletic goals, and it inspired her to raise funds to support cancer research and to award medals to those coping with cancer and cancer caregivers. In the podcast episode Powered by Hope, Teri and Jennifer discuss how hope can help us power through life’s hardships. 

Books Bring Us Together

Books can bring us together. Books can drive change by opening our eyes to new ways of thinking and offering roadmaps to help us on our way to a new and different way of living. 

Sharing books is just one of the ways the Jennasis Speaks community helps women connect and draw strength from each other. 

We hope these suggestions provide insight and spark enthusiasm for change. 

To learn more about Jennasis Speaks, visit our website and tune in to our weekly podcast where women share their empowering stories.


Jennasis Speaks is a platform that empowers women to safely share their stories, promoting healing and growth through the power of collective vulnerability and acceptance. Believing that “every woman has a story…and every story matters,” founder Jennifer Malcolm hosts a new guest each week to tell her story on the Jennasis Speaks podcast and invites listeners to connect and find their own paths to passion and purpose.


This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and purchase something, I may earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you). See my disclosure policy here.

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