Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thankful Thursday - Meetings and Memories


As a part of active recovery, a gratitude list is paramount for me.
What I want to do here weekly is not just be thankful for the easy stuff (although that does have a place)...but I want to take the negative and spin it positive.
This practice has truly helped me become more mindful and aware of life's simplicity...a simplicity that I miss when I'm racing around.


1.  AA - So incredibly thankful that after 2 months of no meetings, the topic of the night brought up by a woman still in treatment was "complacency."  
God did that.  
In our closing circle we always say, "Keep coming back. It works if you work it."  
I hear you, God.
I hear you.

2.  Big brown German Shepherd eyes that see right into my soul.

3.  a man who is growing with me...no matter how painful and rocky, he tries in his own way...with his own love languages.

4.  The Marriage Advent fun that begins tomorrow! One task per day.

5.  the quiet (mostly) weeks before finals...hunkering down in my office...my space.  Mine.

6.  Finding books on Goodreads that bring back warm childhood memories...books I haven't thought of in years.

7.  Ebay...where vintage copies of those books from my childhood can be found.

8.  Finding unique places inside our new house for my books.

9.  Realizing that the last two books in my car that were going to be donated...probably need to come on back in the house.

Take a look around and see what you can find...go ahead...I'll wait :) 


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books on our Winter TBRs



Linking up with The Broke and the Bookish today via the best meme in the blogosphere, Top Ten Tuesday!


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

Each week they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post and, if you want to, add your name to the Linky widget on that day's posts (typically put up midnight EST on Tuesday) so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.


This topic is like crack for me.  I would have books in every room, every corner, every shelf in my house if I could.  I just gave away a lot of books during our recent move and have already regretted some of my now missing reads and TBRs :(  I can only imagine what my TBR and Wish List is going to look like after reading everyone else's lists!  Here are the Winter (January and February 2018) selections I have my eye on:



TBR for 2018


Flavia de Luce - Jan. 30, 2018
I haven't read any of these, and I'm not going to force myself to go back to #1...


Feb. 6, 2018
Jumping right on this series as well...




Jan. 2
a little non-fiction never hurt anyone...




Feb. 27
neither does a little spiritual practice...




Jan. 30
I listen to Jamie's podcast every week and am anxious to read her entire story...


Feb. 6
Please load me up with all the historical fiction...Spanish flu epidemic of 1918!



Feb. 6 
more historical fiction...




still more American historical fiction...daughters 
Jan. 30


the human spirit and the connection between generations...
Jan. 2

ALASKA...wilderness - toughness - family...I'm there.
Feb. 6



OK! I'M OFF TO READ EVERYONE ELSE'S LISTS!!  
JOIN US!!

Monday, November 27, 2017

A Uterus is a Feature, Not a Bug by Sarah Lacy - TLC Book Tours



A Uterus is a Feature, Not a Bug: The Working Woman's Guide to Overthrowing the Patriarchy
by Sarah Lacy


• Hardcover: 320 pages• Publisher: HarperBusiness (November 14, 2017)
Purchase at HarperCollins

About the Book from Harper Collins

A rallying cry for working mothers everywhere that demolishes the “distracted, emotional, weak” stereotype and definitively shows that these professionals are more focused, decisive, and stronger than any other force.

Working mothers aren’t a liability. They are assets you—and every manager and executive—want in your company, in your investment portfolio, and in your corner.

There is copious academic research showing the benefits of working mothers on families and the benefits to companies who give women longer and more flexible parental leave. There are even findings that demonstrate women with multiple children actually perform better at work than those with none or one.

Yet despite this concrete proof that working mothers are a lucrative asset, they still face the “Maternal Wall”—widespread unconscious bias about their abilities, contributions, and commitment. Nearly eighty percent of women are less likely to be hired if they have children—and are half as likely to be promoted. Mothers earn an average $11,000 less in salary and are held to higher punctuality and performance standards. Forty percent of Silicon Valley women said they felt the need to speak less about their family to be taken more seriously. Many have been told that having a second child would cost them a promotion.

Fortunately, this prejudice is slowly giving way to new attitudes, thanks to more women starting their own businesses, and companies like Netflix, Facebook, Apple, and Google implementing more parent-friendly policies. But the most important barrier to change isn’t about men. Women must rethink the way they see themselves after giving birth. As entrepreneur Sarah Lacy makes clear in this cogent, persuasive analysis and clarion cry, the strongest, most lucrative, and most ambitious time of a woman’s career may easily be after she sees a plus sign on a pregnancy test.

Golden Lines and My Thoughts

Everything I'd been told about the great disability of motherhood was a lie. 
(9-10)
I've always believed motherhood was a disability. Always.  A disability I welcome and am willing to sacrifice for...but still a disability.  I don't even remember where it comes from...that's how ingrained it is. 

We all know we live in a patriarchy, but somehow saying the word "patriarchy" makes you sound like some kind of unhinged extremist.
(17)
Why does everything have to be a fight?  Why can't we all recognize the patriarchy as a description, accept it, and then get to the real work of balancing things out.  Lacy does a fantastic job of pointing out that being a feminist does not mean that you hate men.  A feminist simply wants equality for everyone.  Period.

Misogyny is not imposed against all women equally.  It is only used against those who are in some way a threat to patriarchy.  "Benevolent" sexism/misogyny rewards women who hold up the patriarchy's view of women.  "Hostile" sexism/misogyny punishes those who do not. 
(41)
This discussion blew my mind...but very clearly explains why even some women are ok with the patriarchy in control...they've been taught to be good...if you're good, you'll get rewarded by those in power.

This book is called "A Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug," not "A Baby Is a Feature, Not a Bug." Whether or not you're a mother or even want to be a mother, you're a sister as far as I'm concerned. (61)
There were a few places in Lacy's book I felt would leave out women who have not given birth...especially those who have been unable to give birth.  I am not one of those women but have many friends who are.  As in this quote, Lacy tries very hard to include all women, but I'm not sure if she would be successful.

I came out of labor and called Paul for an update on the insanity. 
(67)
One characteristic of women that Lacy displays vividly is our ability to get done what has to be done, our tenacity, our loyalty, etc...all those characteristics that make us anything but the weaker sex.

The skill sets required by motherhood and entrepreneurship are astoundingly similar. 
(77)
I loved reading this section...Lacy spends a great deal of time pointing out all the "flaws" the stereotypes would have us believe that are, in fact, positive aspects of being a woman, a working woman, a woman who runs a company, a home.

The "warrior girl ethos" puts girls at risk because they come back before they are fully healed. 
(90)
The "warrior girl ethos" is the downside of all those traits pointed out above...when we're holding on and keep going past our healthy points, we are then bending once again to the patriarchy...trying to work even harder to prove our worth...many times, ironically, to our detriment.

My nanny took particular exception to the magazine pointing to Eli and labeling him "problem #1" in the photo 
(108)
The Uber story blew me away, especially in light of all that we currently know about Uber's CEO and workplace environment. Lacy's experience as a somewhat privileged working mother taking on the patriarchy was scary...imagine what it feels like to someone without that privilege.  Lacy pushes us constantly to act on what we say we believe.  I can't know how it feels to be anyone other than myself and my place in this world, but I can honor other women's perspectives, hear them out, and help where they tell me they need it most.

The upshot: White men in tech don't actually give a shit about diversity 
(115)
Lacy's world is the tech world so there is a lot about that specific workplace environment...but I've seen this same attitude in educational administration as well. In a profession of mostly women, take a look at the upper echelon...I don't have the statistics for this, but you better believe I'm going to be looking them up.  That's what reading Lacy's book will do...make you dig for more info and add a whole host of women entrepreneurs to your Twitter feed!

Women need new patterns every bit as much as the men controlling boards and capital do.
(132)
Lacy presents a plethora of statistical information showing the numbers...the unbalanced percentages of women in high places and dispelling the age old adage of there not being enough women trained for those positions.

My life was a drug-free, totally legal version of a Scorsese movie.
(140)
I was so glad that Lacy not only tells the story of herself as the highly successful woman company owner in a world of men, but she also lets the reader see that living that life is not in the least bit easy and that family life and personal life may sometimes take a huge hit before a working mom fully comes to realize her own true self.  Not that Lacy encourages the breakdown of family or personal life...she presents a very realistic case for the patriarchy being so ingrained in us that we have to sometimes go through all of these stages just to fully breakthrough and realize who we are.

One of my investors sent his security team to my house as the story exploded in the first twenty-four hours and my face was everywhere as the enemy of Uber.
(155)
When many would have tucked their tails and hid, Lacy did just the opposite.  She responded to the threats from Uber execs and supporters "full on cottontail" to protect her livelihood and that of her children.

It was only in 1972 that the Supreme Court rules that both parties within a marriage were separate entities with their own individual rights. 
(188)
Mind blown.
When I was born, my mother was not recognized as a separate entity with her own individual rights.  I was 4 years old whenshe was given that right.
Mind.
Blown.
Still having to digest this and wondering what else I don't know.

The patriarchy wins when women are divided.  We need to fight for single mothers living in poverty if we believe anything we say about equality.
(214)
Lacy has that conversation that is so needed today about women supporting each other.  I do want to read more about the research she presented that questions the ideas that women are attacking each other.  I'm still wrapping my head around all of this because I spend a lot of time trying to help my daughters navigate the world of "mean girls"...I've seen it.  I do get the idea of those same traits as beneficial for a man but "bitchy" in a woman.  Just wondering how these same ideas apply to younger women?

Women have to be willing to be the boss, and they have to do it as women, not by pretending to be men.
(226)
I thoroughly enjoyed Lacy's discussion of Iceland and the status of women in that country.  Again, she paints a realistic view and weaves history and facts in with the political and social.

By 2020, China will have a thirty to forty million surplus of men, the largest gender imbalance in the world.  Twenty-five percent of Chinese men will be "low skilled bachelor[s]."
(242)
More reading for me.  Again, my entire life I'd heard the one child per family rule in China...but I've not read the "unintended social results" that are beginning to become visible.  Interesting indeed that this heavy population of men is anything but happy, content, or satisfied.  Perhaps men and women could, in fact, complement each other if allowed to do so.
Perhaps.

I'm sad. I'm starting to think I can't actually have it all. That it's all slipping away. That on the wrong day, child protective services would be horrified if they walked into this house.
(254)
Most women will enjoy Lacy's honesty.  Living her life isn't at all easy...no matter how much money, nannies, house in San Francisco, travel, etc.  at the end of the day, she is Sarah Lacy, Mom.  And with that title comes many of the same fears the rest of us have about ourselves.

I became like Evie by putting on a suit of feminist armor every day whether I called myself a feminist or not, whether I felt that strong or not. 
(277)
Patterns.  What do we do now with all of this info Lacy has given us.  We get up every day and do it again.  We set new standards.  We teach young women and young men differently.  We try to leave behind a world a bit better than when we entered it so the next generation of women can carry the torch.

The Author


Sarah Lacy

Sarah Lacy is the founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief of the investigative tech news site Pando.com. She has been covering technology news and entrepreneurship for over fifteen years, with stints at BusinessWeek and TechCrunch before founding her own company while on maternity leave in 2011. She lives in San Francisco. Most importantly of all, she is the mother of two young children.


Follow Sarah Lacy on Twitter 


Other Stops on the Tour

Tuesday, November 14th: Bibliotica

Wednesday, November 15th: Literary Lindsey

Thursday, November 16th: Openly Bookish

Monday, November 20th: The Desert Bibliophile

Tuesday, November 21st: Kritters Ramblings

Wednesday, November 22nd: Wining Wife

Monday, November 27th: Peppermint PhD

Tuesday, November 28thStephTheBookworm

Thursday, November 30thInstagram: @juliecookies413

Friday, December 1stHarry Times…all jacked up


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday - The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg




Linking up with Wishful Endings today :)

Every week, I skim through the "Coming Soon" list at Barnes and Noble for the following week.  
I love looking at the covers and selecting finalists for my upcoming favorites.
Yes, I'm a book nerd.

If I find a cover that interests me, then I open it up and read the blurb.
There are way too many books to read for me to waste one more second, so a book has to grab me...where I am...in that moment.
Most of the time, I can't even predict what that moment looks like.
It's up to the book really ;)

I force myself to stop at 1 choice.  Once I find it, I stop looking...until next week :)

Without further adieu, here's my Can't Wait choice among the "Coming Soon" selections on Barnes and Noble for the week of November 20, 2017:


The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg


Here's the synopsis from Barnes and Noble: 
(I've highlighted in red the parts that yell at me loud and clear that I must read this book!)


“I dare you to read this novel and not fall in love with Arthur Truluv. His story will make you laugh and cry, and will show you a love that never ends, and what it means to be truly human.”—Fannie Flagg

An emotionally powerful novel about three people who each lose the one they love most, only to find second chances where they least expect them

“Fans of Meg Wolitzer, Emma Straub, or [Elizabeth] Berg’s previous novels will appreciate the richly complex characters and clear prose. Redemptive without being maudlin, this story of two misfits lucky to have found one another will tug at readers’ heartstrings.”—Booklist



For the past six months, Arthur Moses’s days have looked the same: He tends to his rose garden and to Gordon, his cat, then rides the bus to the cemetery to visit his beloved late wife for lunch. The last thing Arthur would imagine is for one unlikely encounter to utterly transform his life
Eighteen-year-old Maddy Harris is an introspective girl who visits the cemetery to escape the other kids at school. One afternoon she joins Arthur—a gesture that begins a surprising friendship between two lonely souls. Moved by Arthur’s kindness and devotion, Maddy gives him the nickname “Truluv.” As Arthur’s neighbor Lucille moves into their orbit, the unlikely trio band together and, through heartache and hardships, help one another rediscover their own potential to start anew.
Wonderfully written and full of profound observations about life, The Story of Arthur Truluv is a beautiful and moving novel of compassion in the face of loss, of the small acts that turn friends into family, and of the possibilities to achieve happiness at any age.

Advance praise for The Story of Arthur Truluv
“I don't know if I’ve ever read a more affecting book about the natural affinity between the young and the elderly than Elizabeth Berg’s The Story of Arthur Truluv. It makes the rest of us—strivers and preeners and malcontents—seem almost irrelevant.”—Richard Russo, author of Everybody’s Fool



“Elizabeth Berg reminds us of both the richness of any human life and the heart’s needed resilience.”—Jane Hirshfield, author of The Beauty: Poems

I think I need stories like this one right now...stories that remind me of the human spirit...what do you think?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thankful Thursday - 30 minutes - writing - Starbucks






As a part of active recovery, a gratitude list is paramount for me.
What I want to do here weekly is not just be thankful for the easy stuff (although that does have a place)...but I want to take the negative and spin it positive.

So, no negatives here.  
Only positive.

1. writing - even if it's just these 30 minutes a day posts, even if nobody else reads it, writing soothes me...I can't tell you how many times I've been spinning out of control and at least burned off some steam by sitting myself down and writing. 

2.  options - my dad pushed me to get my terminal degree so that I would have options.  Even if I never needed them or wanted to pursue them, he believes a person should always have options.

3.  my Starbucks - ok, I know this is a tad shallow, but I love walking in the door to, "Good Morning, Mrs. Patti!" 

4.  podcasts - I'm unable to go to AA meetings right now because of so much other "stuff" in our schedule - podcasts are my AA meetings.  The online recovery world is such a saving grace.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before.

5.  honest discussion - don't balk here...the husband and I have been married 28 years, and a few nights ago we had one of the most honest discussions we've had in our entire marriage and/or time together.  Seriously.  It was difficult, but I swear I feel closer to him than I ever have. 

6.  choir - I've been singing in church choir since I was in middle school.  My parents always made sure I was there...we kids complained, fussed, Mrs. Jones was so mean, etc...and then the band...I was certainly not the most accomplished flautist, but I learned to read music and learned enough musical theory to enable me to hold my own in a choir full of "real music people."  Choir right now may truly be my therapy...I love the melodies, I love the cadence, I love our professional, humorous, faithful, musical director and his high expectations.  I love the other choir members who've welcomed me with open arms.  I love the music...oh the music...I hum it every day, and the emotions the music evokes are so deep.  Choir truly touches my soul and keeps me grounded.

7.  Thanksgiving prep - Thanksgiving is my jam.  This weekend I will start my prep and I'm just giddy about it!


Take a minute and find something to be thankful for...I promise...it's worth it.