Showing posts from September, 2016

I Saw Glennon! (But I'm still waiting for Love Warrior)

I have followed Glennon Doyle Melton’s work for years, since long before her first book, when she simply blogged. At the time, her blog, Momastery, had a sweet illustration of a monkey in monk attire with a little pink heart on his robe. It was a comforting space where she told her truth and I — with different struggles, and different paths — felt less alone. Someone else out there got it. She understood how hard it is to be “a sensitive soul in a broken world.”

When she announced her first book, Carry On, Warrior, I pre-ordered it so I could have it the second it came out. My copy arrived with the first few pages already falling out. It was broken in that perfect way that felt like her words were tumbling out to meet me where I was. As I read it, I highlighted passages, I laughed, I cried, and I wrote notes to myself that I would find a few years later as I sat down to re-read it.

Later, when the paperback was released, Glennon’s team offered me an opportunity to give away a copy of th…

Photographs from the Edge; a book review

Photography lovers and nature lovers, have I got a book for you! Photographs from the Edge: A Master Photographer's Insights on Capturing an Extraordinary World by Art Wolfe with Rob Sheppard is out today, and it is beautiful!

Wolfe has traveled the world with his camera and tripod, visiting places most of us won't ever see. This book presents a collection of his work chronologically from the 1980s through January 2015.

The rich color and depth to his photographs is astounding as he presents landscapes, creatures, and cultures. Not only are the photographs themselves gorgeous, but each one includes a write up from Wolfe offering the story behind the picture, as well as a photo tip and the camera settings used to capture the image.

This is a book I will return to again and again for the cultural experience, the visual feast, and to soak up his photography knowledge, so I can apply it to my own work.

I received an advance-read copy of this book from the publisher, Amphoto Books, via…

My Future is Up to Me (and yours is up to you)

I had a realization one morning. I was going about my usual morning routine to get ready for work, thinking about my home, my bills, and the now of life, which led to thinking about my retirement and wondering how I will save enough to support myself through the future. (My thoughts tend to snowball.) After all, as a divorced mom, the future is up to me.

There are not two incomes to support the now and the future. There is one. Mine. And it must do both: the now and the future. Is it enough? Which tends to lead to the more difficult question: Am I enough?

Let that sink in. Am I – on my own – enough? This is a question a lot of us ask ourselves, I'm sure.

The answer now comes out of necessity. Yes, I am enough. I have to be enough. Because that is what I have to work with.

I could ignore it, pretend the future will be just fine without me having to think about it, but we all know that isn’t the case. I need to actively plan for it, actively take care of myself and my son.

This is how I …

Weapons of Math Destruction is a great read

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy
by Cathy O’Neil
Published by Crown on September 6, 2017

Similar in concept to Freakonomics, Weapons of Math Destruction looks at how data affects action, sometimes negatively, in surprising ways.

Statistics are used to make decisions about a lot of things from baseball defensive tactics to weeding out supposedly less effective teachers. When looked at objectively (as in baseball where everyone can see the same statistics and draw conclusions), the data can help reduce risk in decision-making. When algorithms are poorly created or hidden from view, assumptions can be drawn and acted upon without seeing the full story.

Cathy O’Neil, who has an extensive background in analytics and holds a PhD in Mathematics from Harvard, goes into the perfect amount of detail in explaining how algorithms are designed, what they intend to measure, and what happens after the fact.

For example, she explained how the college ra…

Find Your Brave: a book review

Find Your Brave: Courage to Stand Strong When the Waves Crash In

by Holly Wagner

Published by WaterBrook -- an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House -- on June 21, 2016

This book title caught my eye on Blogging for Books, so I hopped over to Amazon to read the sample using their “Look Inside” feature. Though I wasn’t really in the mood to read another book drawing its meaning from the Bible, I was immediately taken by the author’s humor, like this passage:
"At first I was rather put off by Proverbs 31:15, the verse that challenges us to rise 'while it is yet night.' What? I don’t think so. I sleep while it is yet night."
I expected to see that type of humor throughout — this kind of commentary tends to propel me through books faster — but it was the exception, more than the rule.

Find Your Brave bases its premise on the story of Paul who, having been jailed, appealed for Caeser to hear his case and was put on a ship to Rome — a voyage which …

Improve Your Emotional Agility

Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life
By Susan David
Published by Avery (an imprint of Penguin Random House) on September 6, 2016

Organized in a thoughtful way, this book discusses from how we hook ourselves emotionally, what it takes to truly show up, why your “why” is important, and how to move on. Susan David then finishes with chapters applying the practices to work and parenting.

I recognized myself in her explanations, heard myself saying “yep” as she brought words to the emotions I only half recognized before. Her explanation of bottlers (people who hold things in) and brooders (people who stew over things indefinitely) was particularly insightful.

The chapter on raising emotionally agile children looked at some of the conditioned responses we, as parents, give to our children that are based on our own emotions rather than the emotions our children experience – like that knee-jerk response “it’s okay” when it clearly isn’t okay right now. She ma…