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Whilst waiting for her business school applications Mindy decided to volunteer in Africa building schools and hospitals in the Maasai Mara. While there, Mindy asked the chief why there were no women warriors. He responded simply: because women are not strong enough or brave enough. Mindy immediately realised her calling and thus began her amazing adventure to become the first female Maasai warrior.

As a result of this training and advocacy, the Maasai in Loita, Kenya, are leading the charge to change tribal law and allow women the right to become Maasai warriors. Mindy's funny and inspirational memoir, Warrior Princess, tracks her journey to become one of the first female Maasai warriors.

Mindy Budgor is a 2012 graduate of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.She started her first company when an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, and now lives and works in New York City. Mindy is now celebrating other women's stories by writing profiles of women she considers to be warriors in a myriad of arenas.

We are delighted that Mindy was able to join us today to share her five most influential books.

The Alchemist  by Paulo Coelho


I read this book once every two or three years as it helps ground me. The Alchemist is a story about a boy who follows his dream. It shows how the Universe can work in mysterious ways and how it will give you what you need, but you have to be open, aware and willing to act in order to receive the Universe’s gifts.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

This is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. It felt like I was in Kyoto and that the main character, an extraordinary geisha named Sayuri was talking to me and only me as I consumed page after page.  The way that the rich history of the geisha was seamlessly integrated into this novel was brilliantly done.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

I love Malcolm Gladwell books, but Outliers is my favorite because it transformed the way that I think about one’s ablity to be phenomenally success. The book explains the role of hard work and ways to prepare for luck.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger


This is a brilliant book about adolescence. I have always been a bit of an outsider, so this book really resonated with me. The main character, Holden Caulfield is trying to find a way to be true to himself – his character is simple, but at the same time complicated. And I love the swear words!

Eloise by Kay Thompson

 My mom used to read this to me when I was a child and she would tell me that I reminded her of the main character, Eloise, who is a precocious six-year-old who lives at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.  She would cause a raucous every waking (and sleeping) hour by running up and down the halls banging sticks on the walls or calling room service at all hours just to bring her pet turtle a raisin! Just thinking of Eloise brings a smile to my face – I think I will read the book again right now!



Mindy Budgor is the author of WARRIOR PRINCESS, published by Allen & Unwin, rrp $29.99, out now.

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