May Pick


Celebrating female authors who inspire women to be their best selves with championing belonging, generosity, and strength. 

Each month, Fran picks a favorite must read. From the here-and-now to worlds far away, we will experience connection, beauty and life through the eyes of real women. We invite you to make a cup of tea and gift yourself a moment to join us on this journey! 


I’m a big fan of Julie Lythcott-Haims, the former Dean of Freshman at Stanford University and author of New York Times bestselling How to Raise an Adult and Real American.

In her latest book, Your Turn: How to be an Adult she captures what it means to be a grown up. So much has changed about life and living since the time that psychologists came up with the five markers of adulthood: finish your education, get a job, leave home, marry, and have children. It’s just not that linear. And, out of all of these, the only one you HAVE to do is find a way to support yourself. Adulting is hard, but can also be “delicious”- Julie’s word!

The other thing I love about this book is Julie’s commitment to inclusion. She purposefully included stories and perspectives of people who in the aggregate reflect the rich diversity of our human community, including people with: different gender and sexual orientations; racial. ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds; mental health challenges and disabilities; and more. “By putting these people on the page with equal dignity, all are ‘normalized’; none are outliers or ‘others’.”

What sticks with me:

  • Look for the teachers who can help you grow. They are everywhere.
  • Contribute to the world community by looking beyond yourself and asking: How can I be of use? How can I make things better, for others?
  • It’s more about the effort (try your hardest) than the outcome.
  • When. you make a commitment, show up physically and mentally.
  • Our character is what introduces us to others, and it’s what they most remember about us when we leave the room.

Follow @fransbookshelf for book recommendations, giveaways and reading inspiration.


Julie Lythcott-Haims believes in humans and is deeply interested in what gets in our way. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the anti-helicopter parenting manifesto How to Raise An Adult which gave rise to a TED Talk that has more than 5 million views. Her second books is the critically-acclaimed and award-winning prose poetry memoir Real American, which illustrates her experience as a Black and biracial person in white spaces. Her most recent book, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult, is an inspirational work aiming to help humans lead a more authentic adulthood.

Julie is a former corporate lawyer and Stanford dean, and she holds a BA from Stanford, a JD from Harvard, and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. She serves on the board of Common Sense Media, and on the advisory board of LeanIn.Org, and she is a former board member at Foundation for a College Education, Global Citizen Year, The Writers Grotto, and Challenge Success. She volunteers with the hospital program No One Dies Alone.

She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner of over thirty years, their itinerant young adults, and her mother.


Fran Hauser is a bestselling author, startup investor and champion of women. For more of her book recommendations, follow her @fransbookshelf on Instagram.