[Women’s Wisdom]Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know By the Time She’s 30 book review

Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the time She’s 30 by Pamela Redmond Satran and editors of Glamour

I got back home at around 12am on a weekday, tired from the day and feeling draggy because I still have to wake up to work at the office in another few hours. In the midst of these feelings of exhaustion as I opened my bedroom door, I saw this book on my bed and… I smiled. I smiled and temporarily forgot about my exhaustion when I saw this book, not just because it is a promise of a great read, but also because of what the book means to me: “No matter how silly my life gets, at least I have the wisdom of these women to look forward to.”

Yes, this book acts like a supportive girlfriend in unexpected time of need, even when you never told them what your problem was about. They just simply know the right words to say naturally.

1-Sentence Summary. The editors of Glamour magazine compiled the experiences of about 30 notable women to expand on one of their most influential listicle that was first published more than 18 years ago (1997, and still making the rounds in social media till today due to the wisdom it offers to women around the world) – on the list of 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30 by Pamela Redmond Satran.

Why I Picked it Up. I was going through a mood where I wanted to read more things that give me feelings of empowerment, beyond just the articles on Thought Catalog and Elite Daily. When I saw the title, it already piqued my interest. Then I saw the contributing articles with names like Maya Angelou, Rachel Zoe, Katie Couric, Taylor Swift etc, and I knew that I wanted to hear what these women have to say about what is important to them in their life experiences.

A summary page of the items in the list.


If you’d like to just zip through the review, feel free to watch my 1-minute quick review of the book.


Why It’s A Gem

  • IT IS SUCH A HUMBLING READ. I haven’t been into self-help books for awhile because I’ve mostly experienced self-help books feeling quite cocky and know-it-all, giving the tone that they know how to solve all of your life’s problem. I’m really not into that kind of fluffery and believe that life is not that easy to solve. This book, however, doesn’t try to be a know-it-all. It was more along the lines of, “I don’t have all the answers for you, life is tough and I promise you it won’t be easy, but here are some experiences from women who have been through a lot of things that you might be inspired by.” It acts more like a humble and supportive friend. The tone of this book is always humbling, and I especially appreciate they have always cautioned throughout the book again and again that there is no deadline to your wisdom, and to disregard that the title of this book is telling you to have all this at 30 years old.That it’s okay if you’re picking up these pieces at 13 or even 73 years old, what’s important is that you make the choice to grow better regardless of your age, and never stop learning.
  • A TIMELESS COLLECTION OF WISDOM, EVEN FROM UNEXPECTED PEOPLE. The real value of this book is its compilation of wisdom and experiences from women who have gone through a lot of things, many relatable experiences that you can find yourself learning and inspired from. You got to know about the different coping mechanisms that people have to similar experiences and reflect on how you are coping in your own life. I was surprised that some of the more inspiring stories came from people that I didn’t expect to have that kind of depth as their first impression wasn’t very mature. In my case, I was really surprised by how intelligent Lauren Conrad actually is, and that she was actually struggling with her own moral compass when she was filming The Hills, but had to go on filming things she didn’t like due to her own valid reasons.
  • PROVIDING RAYS OF HOPE. I was reading this book during a challenging transition in my life. I was struggling trying to get by and I just want to feel okay again. This book helped me in that journey. It strengthen my realization that a lot of other women have been through worst, and they came out strong. It made me feel that I wasn’t alone, and most importantly it solidifies the consistent theme of investing within yourself, sorting yourself out and taking the time to recover properly, rather than just jumping from one distraction to another in order to ‘heal’ yourself from hardships.The curation of the book is excellent, especially at driving the message on being independent enough and embracing yourself, rather than focusing and depending on others.

Why It Can Be A Rock

  • PHOTOS OF THE CONTRIBUTORS. It doesn’t spoil the reading experience, of course. I just find myself wanting to know more about these women and what they look like beyond just a simple one-liner description of themselves. It goes to show that I was really immersed into their stories that I wanted to know more about the authors. But of course, maybe it was deliberate that there are no photos of them. Maybe it’s intentional to have these women seem more anonymous, to help readers read their stories with their own imagination.

015897-yellow-comment-bubble-icon-animals-animal-panda3-sc37 (2)  As A Reading Panda,  I’d Give It :

bamboo_1bamboo_1bamboo_1bamboo_1bamboo_1bamboo_1bamboo_1 (7 out of my 10 bamboos)


This book gets a high mark from me because it is highly re-readable. I still find myself just picking it up from the shelf, randomly flipping to any particular page, and still find relevant piece of wisdoms to be reminded of. The curation of the book is excellent! Everything flows nicely and despite the fact that there are more than 30 authors in the book with their own distinct voice and mannerisms, the tone of the book still remain consistently humble, yet quietly empowering enough with its own intensity.

A recommended read for men and women who are going through any types of period in their life, regardless if it’s good or bad. There are a lot of foresights and advices that are worth to be repeated and reminded of.

Favourite Quotes   favourite-quotes-01

“A woman needs to surround herself with objects that speak of her own worth… I hope a woman buys these objects inexpensively, and knows that their true value, like hers, is more than meets the eye.” – Maya Angelou

“Can I do this?” I asked Ash. “Can I be trusted with Ted’s heart when I’ve been such a shit?” – Genevieve Field

“And ultimately, I think that’s what this item on The List is about: It’s not about the exes; it’s about you… the greatest lesson was the most obvious: Love should almost never make you cry. If you’ve sobbed or had too many drinks or felt your stomach knot up over a guy more than once for every month you’ve been together, this is not the love you were meant to have. Thank him for the lessons and move on.” – Genevieve Field

“I realized that bartering privacy makes you poorer, while holding on to it and your most intimate thoughts can make you more intriguing, more powerful. There’s no such thing as telling someone a secret: It stops being a secret the minute it’s told. – Jacquelyn Mitchard

“What gravity took away from me, I hope I have gained in gravitas… And so I give thanks to all the scars on my body. They form the map of my life: I can tell a story about every imprint on my skin.” – Padma Lakshmi

“I was anxious about turning thirty simply because I had heard that I should be 0 you hear it all your life.” – Angie Harmon

“The ability to accept and adapt gracefully to life’s twists and turns is one of the greatest skills you’ll learn. Should you plan for the things you want? Absolutely. But if you’re not exactly where you wanted to be, exactly when you wanted to be there, don’t sweat it. I hadn’t met the career goals I’d hoped to reach by thirty, but I got there eventually… THAT’s what matters.” – Katie Couric

“So, as women, we’ve got to be pretty damn amazing to realize early on that physical perfection is neither achievable nor useful, and that all that fixing can be toxic.” – Portia de Rossi

“So enjoy your parties and late nights, friends. Really. Enjoy them. But dont be afraid to let them go. Because vice is fun. But waking up hangover-free in a house full of people who love you? That’s top-shelf.” – Katie Crouch

“I think the most important thing for them to know is that it’s really normal to be freaked out about where you are in life, but those things you want so badly will come in due time. Meanwhile, life will be a lot more joyful if you learn how to be comfortable in your own skin” – Bobbi Brown

“I sometimes call myself ‘the 2,000-year-old gossip columnist’ because I’ve worked in the business for more than fifty years. Along the way, I’ve had my share of detractors – Frank Sinatra denounced me after I called him a bully in print; Donald Trump tried to buy one newspaper I worked for just so that he could fire me; and Sean Penn ran out of a building when we were introduced.” – Liz Smith

“Never trust your instincts when you’re angry… Always, always turn to someone wiser than yourself before you act in danger.” – Liz Smith


Do you have favourite essays that encourages self-empowerment? Share it with me, I’d love to know!

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