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6 Brené Brown Book Recommendations That Will Teach You About Courage

These Brené Brown book recommendations will teach you everything you need to know about being courageous at work and in life.
by Vanessa Gibbs | May 5 2022

 Brené Brown

Brené Brown talks a lot about being courageous. In fact, she’s written six
New York Times bestsellers on topics like Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and Dare to Lead. Her TED talk on the power of vulnerability is one of the most viewed TED talks of all time — with 64 million views to date — and she even has her own Netflix special, Brené Brown: The Call to Courage

But as much as she has her own work about courage, she regularly recommends other books on the topic, too. 

Read on to find out the Brené Brown book recommendations that will teach out more about how being courageous can change your life, and the lives of those around you. 

Want to read like Brown, but don’t have the time? That’s where the Blinkist app can help. Blinkist breaks down leading nonfiction books into 15-minute explainers you can read or listen to. Learn from these six books — and 6,500 more — on the app.


1. The Power of Starting Something Stupid by Richie Norton

Brown herself speaks and writes a lot about facing your fears, so it’s no surprise she enjoyed The Power of Starting Something Stupid. The book gives readers a step-by-step guide to overcoming doubts, fears, and excuses, and teaches them how to make their dreams come true — even the ones that feel stupid at first. Norton dives into the power of building a network, how you can learn to be brave, and how you can prioritize which ideas to go after first. 

Here’s what Brown had to say about the book on her website:

“Richie Norton’s new book, The Power of Starting Something Stupid, is already getting me in a heap of trouble. As I was reading it, I made notes to Steve (my husband). When I was done, I handed it to him and said, “This could change the way we live.”She also said the book had “little pieces of wisdom everywhere.” 

2. The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates is known for being an advocate for women’s and girls’ rights, and she dives into that exact topic in The Moment of Lift. In the book, Gates shares stories from her philanthropic work, anecdotes from others around the world, and studies on gender inequality. She argues that when women are lifted up, the whole of humanity is lifted, too.

“The Moment of Lift is an urgent call to courage. It changed how I think about myself, my family, my work, and what’s possible in the world. Melinda weaves together vulnerable, brave storytelling and compelling data to make this one of those rare books that you carry in your heart and mind long after the last page.”
– Brené Brown


3. Imperfect Courage by Jessica Honegger

Imperfect Courage
is yet another book about being brave that Brown is a fan of. Honegger shares her own experiences as an entrepreneur and the founder of a fair-trade jewelry and fashion business.

She encourages readers to lean into their vulnerabilities, find courage — no matter how imperfect that is — and build a life with purpose. As Honegger says: “Imperfect courage is the only kind I possessed, but it was courage nonetheless.” 

Here’s what Brown had to say about this self-help book: “Jessica’s perspective of global sisterhood and the power of lifting each other up in the midst of fear and scarcity is exactly what we need today. This book is both an invitation and a challenge to bravely show up for ourselves, for the people we love, and for the strangers that we will one day call family. I say, Amen!”

4. Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff

Self-Compassion teaches readers how to be more self-compassionate. It’s based on scientific research and teaches you where behaviors like self-criticism come from (hint: societal pressures are, of course, a part of it) and how we can break the cycle to start being kinder to ourselves. 

It’s not just a nicer way to live though, Neff also shares how being more self-compassionate can improve everything from your health — both mental and physical — to how much you achieve in life. In this book recommendation Neff shares some hard-hitting truths like the fact research has found self-critical people are less likely to achieve their goals due to their self-handicapping behaviors.

That’s not to mention its association with depression and how self-compassion can actually help the body release oxytocin, reducing anxiety and stress levels. 

“Neff’s powerful research and her ability to explain how self-compassion affects our everyday lives make this book a transformative read.”
– Brené Brown

5. Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo

Marie Forleo, just like Brown, is a fierce advocate for throwing aside your fears and going after what you want in life. In Everything is Figureoutable, Forleo teaches readers how to overcome self-limiting beliefs, how to work through the excuses of not having enough time and money, and how to overcome indecisiveness. One example?

Forleo says to adopt the belief that “everything is figureoutable.” She argues that even if you don’t know the solution, this mindset shift will help to banish self-limiting beliefs, get you thinking about creative solutions, and start making small steps toward solving problems.

“Smart, funny, and as brilliant as it is straightforward. LOVED it!”
– Brené Brown

6. Thirst by Scott Harrison

Thirst tells the real-life story of Scott Harrison who walked away from his seemingly happy life as a nightclub promoter in New York City to work on a hospital ship off the coast of Liberia, West Africa. After seeing the effects of dirty water first-hand and the global water crisis, Harrison decided to set up the charity: water — which aims to bring clean drinking water to everyone who doesn’t have access to it.

Today, the charity has raised over $750 million and supported over 91,000 water projects around the world. Forbes added Harrison to their Impact 30 list for his work at charity: water. 

“Thirst is a story about all of us. In sharing his own remarkable journey, Scott shows us how to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, how to find hope in despair, and how simple acts of generosity can transform everything from what we believe about ourselves to how we connect with each other. In the end, Thirst is about what matters most. Love.”
– Brené Brown
Want more inspiring book recommendations? We’ve shared the favorite reads of people like Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama, as well as the world’s best memoirs.
And if you want to go beyond Brené Brown’s book recommendations, and dive deeper into Brené Brown’s work, check out Blinkist’s exclusive “Guide” that summarizes the key ideas from all of Brown’s bestselling books with six powerful lessons.
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