12 Books About Women, Creativity, and Time That I Want To Read This Year

Published by The Connected Reader on

I was chatting with a bookish friend the other day about our reading lives. 

We were both reflecting on how 2022 was filled with a ton of comfort and mood reading; thrillers for her, romance and cozy mysteries for me. 

And how we were a little tired of this, actually. That it felt good to push ourselves a little bit at the start of 2023 by planning to read in other genres, particularly non-fiction.

It’s a gentle push. Without shame or guilt. Just an honest reflection and an attempt to do something different. 

This month on the blog I’m going to share three lists of books I want to read in 2023: a general non-fiction list, a literary fiction list, and the list I’m sharing today: Books about women, time, and creativity (because I’m really interested in these things right now). 

Thank you to The Connected Reader community on Instagram for sharing so many recommendations that informed these lists!

If you want to hear more from The Connected Reader, follow me on Instagram @theconnectedreader and subscribe to the blog via the homepage

Happy 2023 reading, y’all!

12 Books about Women, Creativity, and Time That I Want To Read This Year

  • Big Magic – This one has been out since 2016 and everyone raves about it. I have been stubborn about reading it because I like to actively not participate in trends. I think I’ve waited long enough.
  • Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men – I am always interested in learning about the root cause of something. This seemed like a good way to deep dive into gender inequity and the idea that so many things are designed with men as the “default.”
  • Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals – I’m looking for books about time that don’t have productivity as the goal. This one seems to meet that criteria. I’ve been reading Happier Hour for the Everyday Reading book club, and it has me thinking a lot about grounding myself in how much time I’ve done something and how much time is left, as a means of being present. This title is based on the idea that, if you live to be 80, your life is made up of four thousand weeks. 
  • Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto – The summary of this book starts with “What would it be like to live in a well-rested world?” and that’s all I need to be sold on this one. It also looks like it is going to directly discuss the systems that keep us from rest – capitalism and white supremacy culture. I feel like I’ve talked myself in circles in my head related to this, so I’m looking forward to learning from this author and spending time with this book.
  • When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing – I’m currently obsessed with curating the “ideal” schedule for myself based on what I want to fill my days with and how I feel at different points in the day. I feel like this book is just what I am looking for to help me think more deeply about this.
  • Balance is Bullshit: A Realistic Approach to Integrating Healthier Habits Into Your Life – Based on this title, this is my kind of approach. As I continue on the journey of thinking intentionally about how I spend my days, I am looking forward to using this workbook and journal to prompt reflection and action. Also, this cover. 🤩
  • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience – I’ve long been a believer in the idea of flow – that feeling you get after you have had uninterrupted time engaging in something creative – and have even taught about it with the graduate students I’ve worked with. Yet I’ve never read this book. I’m especially interested in it now after reading Find Your Unicorn Space this past summer and attempting to carve out creative space for myself.
  • Figuring – This book is not one I would have ever picked up on my own and makes me so grateful to have a community of readers who share recommendations. It explores the question of what makes a meaningful life through the lives of people in history, spanning centuries. I’m excited for this mix of philosophy and history, and as I’m writing this it feels like I’m about to return to undergrad philosophy requirement, but in a good way.
  • Essential Labor: Mothering As Social Change – Women who are caregivers – and most of us are in different ways – are badasses. We are why I started writing in this space to begin with. In my role mothering three young children, I am constantly humbled by the stakes. I have no doubt these children we are mothering can literally change the world. I am also reminded of how much having a community of other women who are mothering matters to me. This book has been recommended to me by so many of you and I need to finally read it.
  • Creative Acts for Curious People: How To Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways – This book was written by the Executive Director of the Stanford University Hassno Plattner Institute of Design, It includes the exercises used in their programs to elicit more inclusive and innovate work. I’m really intrigued to learn more and see how I can apply this.
  • Community as Rebellion: A Syllabus for Surviving Academia As a Women of Color – I am not an academic or a woman of color, and this book might appear like an outlier on this list. I have spent a life-time in various education spaces, from elementary schools to graduate schools, and I feel a sinking feeling; to me, these spaces have come to feel so transactional, so outcomes-focused at the expense of relationships, so scheduled up to the minute with no margin or space to be a person – and this is all magnified for anyone who identifies as BIPOC. I’m curious to learn how this author is making sense of her experience and the call to action here.
  • I’ll Show Myself Out: Essays on Midlife and Motherhood – The rest of this list is pretty heavy, so I was looking for some levity to round it out and this collection seemed just right.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Even if you don’t use the links, I highly recommend checking out Bookshop.org for access to tons of titles while still supporting an indie bookstore.

Categories: Book Lists


Julie · January 18, 2023 at 5:19 am

Thank you for this great list of twelve books! As someone who stays up way toooo late you had me at Rest is Resistance and then when I got to Balance is Bullshit I was hooked… both areas I struggle with- rest and balance. I will be checking out your list! Thank you!

Breanne · January 18, 2023 at 12:19 pm

Ooo, I have Creative Acts for Curious People that I want to read soon, too. Four Thousand Weeks is one I see quoted often on TikTok, so I’ll be curious your thoughts when you read it. Maybe I will read it too! And of course anything by The Nap Bishop is going to be good.

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