Learn from Smart Women

Learn from bSmart Members

John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars (among other amazing YA novels) said it best.   ‘Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.’  

Navigating the multitude of books that are published every year, scanning through the shelves at Barnes & Noble, searching through a seemingly endless list of Amazon ebooks…it’s overwhelming trying to find that book, the one that speaks to you, changes you somehow, persuades you to make a change, be a better person, do something important in the world.  Books have this power.  So long as you know where to find them.


My Kindle library, and not one, but two bookshelves in my apartment are stuffed to the gills with books that I’ve read and want to read, books that I’ve saved because they are beautiful or meaningful, or even unforgettable.  I’ve curated a library of my favorites.  And recently I read four new books that have easily earned a place on my shelves.  If you are in need of a can’t-put-down, stay-up-all-night, want-to-talk-to-someone-about-it-who-understands kind of book, I’ve got it.  Keep reading, fellow bookworms.

By Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power


The powerhouses behind the inimitable street-style blog Who What Wear have done it again.  Their third book, The Career Code, is a treasure trove of knowledge cultivated throughout their career.  From how to dress for an interview to how to deal with salary negotiations, how to set and achieve personal and professional goals and how to love your job (and your life), The Career Code is a must-read for every girl of any age in every stage of life.  Their life hacks, especially, are worth the price of the hardcover.  Trust me, you’ll get more out of reading this book than any life-skills-prep course/magazine article/bestselling self-help book.

By Stephanie Danler


I, and many other twenty-something girls living in New York City, can totally relate to the main character Tess.  We’ve all been there: moving to a new city where we know next to no one, taking a job that isn’t perfect but pays the rent, falling for the boy who we know isn’t good for us, letting the glitz and glamour of the Manhattan food and bar scene get the better of us.  With a few exceptions, I felt like I was reading a book written about my own first year in the city.  If you don’t finish this book in three days’ time, I commend you for having serious self-restraint.  

By Emma Straub

Riverhead Books

Emma Straub falls under the category of ‘If they write, I will come.’  She had me at Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures; she completed me with The Vacationers.  Her latest novel, Modern Lovers, takes place in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, and tells the story of friends and former college bandmates who live within a stone’s throw of each other.  Long gone are the days of jam sessions and unwashed hair; their kids are nearly adults, and long-held secrets creep out of the woodwork as they try to navigate this thing called life.  Let this book be a lesson for this generation: ‘There [is] nothing about youth that [is] fair: the young [haven’t] done anything to deserve it, and the old [haven’t] done anything to drive it away.’

By Emily Giffin

Ballantine Books

The first time I met Emily Giffin, I was a sophomore at Wake Forest, our shared alma mater.  I was a nervous wreck, but Emily was so gracious and so attentive when I told her that, like her, I wanted to be a published writer.  The second time I met Emily Giffin was at a bar in Winston-Salem, and I was floored that she remembered me.  The third time I met Emily Giffin was at the launch party for her book, The One & Only, for which I’d ducked out of work early to attend.  Again, she remembered me, and I tried to pretend I wasn’t starstruck.  Her newest novel, which is available on June 28, is about two sisters, Josie and Meredith, who must overcome tragedy, relationships, motherhood, and sibling rivalry to realize that, to be truly happy, love must come first.  Tissues are recommended but not required.


Find that book, the one that speaks to you, changes you somehow, persuades you to make a change, be a better person, do something important in the world.


By Lauren Weisberger

Simon & Schuster

Beginning August 29, the best of the best tennis pros from around the world will descend upon New York City for the 2016 US Open.  I, for one, plan on attending, though my experience playing tennis is limited to a couple of weeks’ worth of lessons.  Having read The Singles Game, the newest novel from The Devil Wear’s Prada author Lauren Weisberger, I’m a bit inspired to pick up a racket, pull on a cute Nike tennis dress, and lace up my sneakers.  The book takes you behind the scenes of a top-ranking tennis champ who, after suffering a major injury, must endure a rigorous training schedule, a complete image overhaul, and a total invasion of her fake personal life in order to achieve her dreams.  Game, set, match.


Samantha Hoback is an avid reader, writer, and publishing associate. She loves coffee and wine, Indian food and tiramisu, yoga and ballet. Read about her adventures in the city on her blog, From New York, with Love


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