Interviews & Essays -

Summer Must-Reads: Books You'll Love

Bookmark our team's latest picks, from cookbooks to page-turners to life-changers.

By Womaness Editors     2-Minute Read

Womaness book picks spring 2023

We know you love a good book as much as we do—so the Womaness team compiled this list of 10 new (and old!) favorites to keep you reading straight into fall.


Add These to Your Bookshelf:


Design the Long Life You Love by Ayse Birsel

What does it mean to craft the life you want as you grow older? Leading industrial designer, author, and recent Womaness Woman Ayse Birsel believes the answer draws on key principles of design—think optimism, empathy, collaboration, open-mindedness, and holistic thinking—as well as the experiences of older people who know. Pro tip from our co-founder Sally Mueller: Definitely get My Long Life, the book’s guided journal companion.


Cooking for the Culture by Toya Boudy

An authentic, deeply personal cookbook from New Orleans born-and-raised chef Toya Boudy, who you’ll recognize from the Food Network and Hallmark’s Home & Family Channel. Part memoir, part cookbook, Cooking for the Culture is a celebration of the food of the Big Easy and its Black culture. Toya shares easy-to-follow recipes—many deeply rooted in the proud Black traditions that shaped her hometown—like Sweet Cream Farina, Smothered Chicken, and Oreo Ice Cream (hungry yet?). Currently high on the wish list of Amy Feezor, our Head of Content.


If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio

A thriller our co-founder Michelle Jacobs recently discovered and couldn’t put down. Written by M.L. Rio, it tells the tale of a university Shakespearean theater group with a killer among them. The richly layered combo of murder, college relationships, and the Bard is “so so good,” says Michelle. “My mom and niece read it at the same time and we compared notes the whole way. My mom was an English teacher and had to interpret all the Shakespeare references for me!”



"Menopause can be a sacred rite of passage that grows your authority, steeps you in purpose, and awakens you to great power and wisdom..." - Wise Power



Wise Power by Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer

Right up our alley: a radical guide to menopause that will help us all embrace this transformative time and thrive. Written by co-directors of the UK’s Red School—an innovative organization at the forefront of the “global menstruality movement”—Wiser Power shows how menopause can be a sacred rite of passage that grows your authority, steeps you in purpose, and awakens you to great power and wisdom (yes!). With humor, tenderness, and practical advice, the book promises to help you navigate the “five phases of menopause” and unlock your true potential.


The Secret Ingredient Cookbook by Kelly Senyei

Penned by chef, TV host, and author Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste—who you may have spotted on The Rachael Ray Show—this crowd-pleasing cookbook features recipes with unexpected star ingredients (like ginger ale in homemade waffles or sweet potatoes in queso) to give each dish a little edge in taste, texture, or presentation. Best of all, the secret ingredients aren’t expensive or hard to find. A fun find by Susie Sandberg in Marketing & Production.


Woman of an Uncertain Age by Priya Malhotra

A selection from Customer Concierge/After Party Guru Ann Gobel. In this debut novel, India-born, New York-based journalist Priya Malhotra introduces us to Naina Mehta, a fifty-something widow who transforms herself from a conventional housewife into a daring woman eager for new experiences. As Naina becomes more empowered, she navigates the world of dating for the first time, even falling for her daughter's boyfriend, a Muslim man who causes strife with her conservative son. This novel vividly portrays aspects of Indian immigrant life in the United States, challenging traditional expectations—and offering a poignant exploration of midlife.



"A powerful exploration of coming of age in middle age..." - You Could Make This Place Beautiful



Bird Has Flown: A Novel by Susanna Hoffs

Wait…THAT Susanna Hoffs? That’s right: Everyone’s favorite “Manic Monday” pop star is now writing novels—and our Creative Director Jamie Davoll is all about it. A British romcom meets redemption story with a rockstar twist, it tells the story of Jane Start, a broke musician living with her parents. When her manager sends her to London to regroup, she meets an Oxford literature professor who inspires her—and a sexy, riotously funny, and joyful exploration of love, passion, and the mixed blessings of pop fame ensues. Like her, Susanna’s debut novel is a total knockout…"the smart rock-star romance you didn't know you needed," says Jamie.


Menopause Bootcamp by Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz

“This one’s a must for anyone looking to up their menopause IQ,” says Sr. VP of Marketing Kara Sutton. And that’s because it’s penned by Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, the doctor, speaker and integrative women´s health advocate known for holding beloved workshops of the same name. In her book, Dr. Suzanne provides a refreshingly candid and humorous take on this natural life stage, empowering you with a 360-degree holistic approach to the physical and psychological issues that can arise. Packed with valuable insights and answers to common questions, Menopause Bootcamp is a joyful, menopositivity-filled guide to a life phase that we all know has been stigmatized and neglected until now.


You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith

"I couldn't wait to read a memoir from the writer of the Internet's favorite poem," says Head of Content Amy Feezor. If you're in the mood for a heartrending memoir that's as lush as it is lyrical, You Could Make This Place Beautiful is your book. One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2023, it's a powerful exploration of coming of age in middle age, interweaving personal heartbreak with meditations on contemporary womanhood, gender roles, and power dynamics. With a poet's attention to language and an unflinching look at what it means to live and write our own lives, Smith reminds us that even in the face of deep loss, we can make ourselves new and find something beautiful. You might want to grab an entire box of tissues...


Smart Sex by Dr. Emily Morse

It’s fair to say our entire team is anticipating June 13, 2023, the day Smart Sex arrives on bookshelves. The newest bestseller-to-be by sex educator, host of the #1 podcast Sex with Emily, and Womaness Expert Dr. Emily Morse, the tome promises to be “a liberating guide to finally experiencing the best sex of your life”…and we are ready. Expect lots of straightforward insight, Emily’s signature wit, and real-world advice on embracing self-love, improving your Sex IQ, and committing to a pleasure-filled life. Probably wise to ensure this one is, ahem, a hardcover. 

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