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How to Read Brené Brown’s Books in Order: A Transformative Reading Guide

Immerse into the depth of the human experience with Brené Brown. Explore deeper insights into her approach.
by Chris Allmer | Feb 16 2024
Discover Brené Brown Books in Order | Reading Guide

She is a research professor at the University of Houston; however, Brené Brown wears many hats — she is also an author, speaker, podcast host, and one of the world’s leading thinkers on vulnerability, courage, and empathy

Her insightful writing combines decades of social science research with relatable anecdotes, enabling us to grasp complex concepts digestibly. 

Brené Brown’s books primarily deal with determination and worthiness. They encourage us to acknowledge our imperfections, confront our fears of being unworthy, and recognize our bravery in everyday life.

If you’re new to her work or returning for further learning, reading Brené Brown’s books in order may help you better comprehend her evolving philosophies.

Explore Brené Brown’s books in order of publication

I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)” (2007)

Brown’s debut book explores the concept of shame and social expectations and how they impact our lives. It provides insights into why we struggle in the quest for perfection and offers tools to foster resilience and self-compassion to protect ourselves from criticism and judgment.

The Gifts of Imperfection” (2010)

In this empowering guide, Brown reframes our understanding of imperfection. She presents ten guideposts for self-compassionate living that steer us away from what we “should” be and towards accepting who we truly are.

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”
Brené Brown

Daring Greatly” (2012)

Named after a Theodore Roosevelt quote, this book elucidates how vulnerability isn’t a weakness but a path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. This book is the result of twelve years of social research that encompasses all aspects of our lives, from our homes and relationships to our workplaces and roles as parents.

It invites us to embrace courage; it challenges us to make our presence felt and expose our genuine selves, despite the absence of certain outcomes.

The Power of Vulnerability” (2013)

In this transformative book, Brown delves deeper into her research on vulnerability, emphasizing how it shapes our lives, relationships, and sense of self-worth. She debunks the widespread misconception that vulnerability means weakness. Instead, she uncovers that it truly represents our most precise measure of bravery.

Rising Strong” (2015)

Drawing on her research, Brown discusses the process of getting back up after a setback. She teaches us the value of embracing failure and using it as a stepping stone to rise stronger than before.

Braving the Wilderness” (2017)

In her 6th book, Brown investigates the concept of belonging. She explores the paradoxical quest to fit in and stand out, urging us to brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism to discover the true meaning of belonging. “But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts,” she writes.

Dare to Lead” (2018)

Drawing on her groundbreaking research with leaders, this Brené Brown’s New York Times best seller, defines a new kind of brave leadership, one rooted in empathy. A genuine leader takes on the responsibility to identify and cultivate potential in people and ideas. However, displaying such leadership amidst an atmosphere of scarcity, fear, and uncertainty demands nurturing distinctly human traits.

Atlas of the Heart” (2021)

In her latest literary offering, Brown maps out the emotions, experiences, and stories that define the human experience. She takes us on an journey through the 87 emotions and experiences that shape our humanity. Offering a comprehensive guide for fostering substantial connections, she empowers us with a rich vocabulary and indispensable tools. This opens up a universe brimming with fresh possibilities and chances for mending past wounds. 


What is our recommended order to read Brené Brown’s books? 

At Blinkist, we suggest starting your Brené Brown reading journey with “Daring Greatly.” This introductory piece lays the groundwork for understanding vulnerability and courage – core concepts that echo across her other works. Next, explore “The Gifts of Imperfection,” which builds upon these ideas and introduces the concept of wholehearted living. Follow this with “Rising Strong“, where Brené furnishes detailed steps to rise after a fall, a natural progression in the journey of embracing vulnerability. Finally, delve into “Braving the Wilderness,” which elaborates on belonging and authenticity and after that, read “Dare to Lead” and “Atlas of the Heart.” 

This curated reading order, we believe, provides a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of Brené Brown’s empowering insights.

Navigating Brené Brown’s books in order is like embarking on a transformative journey, one that offers profound insights into ourselves and the world around us. By understanding her compendium in sequence, we not only grasp her seminal thoughts but also see the evolution and maturation of her ideas over time.

If you’re eager to start this journey but pressed for time, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. At Blinkist, we’ve collated a concise collection of Brené Brown’s works. Each book is distilled into insightful blinks or critical takeaway points, precisely capturing the essence of her wisdom. So even in a time crunch, you can enjoy and learn from Brené Brown’s enlightening words. Explore our “Books by Brené Brown” collection and enrich your wisdom, one blink at a time.

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