Own It: The Power of Women at Work

By: Sallie Krawcheck


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I have read a lot of women in the workplace books. A lot. Most of them I can just skim through because they pretty much say all of the same things, I didn’t even read the second half of Lean In. This one did have some of the same things, but in the whole, it really hit me where I am right now. So many good points that were relevant to the struggles women in college athletics deal with on a regular basis. Great insights on diversity committees, the necessity for sponsors and how to have courageous conversations that can lead to change.

This book also had investing advice for women and how to create financial power. This was a great read, although their are still parts I skimmed over. I feel like I have managed the work life balance really well, and I don’t have kids, so I usually skip the advice like “take your vacation” or “check policies on family leave when you apply for a job.”

I am going to recommend that we read this book in the women’s meetings we have at work.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this honest review.

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I Still Dream About You

By: Fannie Flagg


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This is one of those books that you have to take at face value to really enjoy it. If you know Fannie Flagg, she is all about great characters with big personalities and wonderfully interesting back stories. I Still Dream About You is no exception. The main character is really a small woman named Hazel, who overcame her small stature to form a successful real estate business in Birmingham, AL. But since Hazel has passed on, I guess the other main character is Maggie, a former Miss Alabama, who should have been Miss America, who worked for Hazel and is struggling with life after Hazel’s passing.

For much of the book, Maggie is planning her suicide, but that is put on hold while she tries to sell her favorite old Birmingham home. The addition of a mysterious skeleton found in the house’s attic creates a bit of mystery to the fun story of the quest for meaning after a large character such as Hazel leaves the lives of all who knew her.

It’s a fun quick read, not a huge mystery. But there is a happy ending and its a fun story.

Perfect Touch

By: Elizabeth Lowell


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Perfect Touch was exactly what you would expect from this genre. There was some “romance” (read a lot of tension and some steamy scenes) and there was a murder mystery to be solved. You can pretty easily figure out the bad guys and the motive, but the book was still an entertaining read. The heroine, Sara, is an art dealer, which makes for a pretty interesting read when she is talking about the paintings that are at the center of the book. It really makes you wish you could actually see the painting. The hero, Jay, is a strapping cowboy type who is stereotypical, but that works in the context of the story and the setting of Jackson, Wyoming.

It is a really beautiful place and it was interesting to read about the ranch and the paintings and the painter that Jay’s father supported. The one thing I didn’t like was that the author kept making really meager attempts to make us believe that Sara and Jay wouldn’t end up together. It just seemed kind of unnecessary.

Perfect Touch


 

Swimming Lessons

By: Claire Fuller


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In Swimming Lessons, we alternated between the story of two women coming together to take care of their ill father and letters written by their mother to their father when he was absent from their family. The story mostly takes place on a small island where the father, Gil has lived his whole life and where he wrote the one book that was a success. The book was actually an idea stolen from the girls mother, Ingrid.

Through the story and the letters we see a picture of a marriage that didn’t quite work, as both partners left it at some point. For Gil, he took off only to return much later, for Ingrid, she may or may not have drowned herself. Flora, the younger child, believes that both her parents were perfect and thinks her mother is still alive. The story is mostly about Ingrid, even though she is absent for most of the story.

The story is very well written. I love the addition of the books. Gil collects used books because he loves the things people leave behind in them. The letters that we read from Ingrid are all left behind in used books for Gil to find or not, she doesn’t seem to expect them to be found. It’s a lovely story that does end quite abruptly.

This book was a Book of the Month Club selection. Click here to join Book of The Month Club.

Behind Her Eyes

By: Sarah Pinborough


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What is worse than finding out that the guy you hooked up with at the bar last night is your new boss? Finding out that is wife is crazy! This is exactly what happens to Louise, a single London mom. After discovering the secret of the man in the bar, David, she secretly befriends the wife, Adele.

Becoming more and more entangled in what seems to be an abusive marriage, Louise finds that she can’t stay away from either one of them. She finds herself falling in love with David, while at the same time, Adele is helping her get in shape and get control over her night terrors.

The twists and turns in the plot make it kind of hard to really like any of the characters, but that is what makes it a really well written psychological thriller. The ending will throw you for a loop, even if it is a little unbelievable.

A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell #1)

By: Deanna Raybourn


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We get introduced to Veronica when she is fleeing the house where she lived with her elderly “aunts” until their deaths. After the house is broken into and the intruder seems intent on kidnapping Veronica, she is whisked away by a mysterious Baron who insists that she is in mortal danger.

Veronica is a bold, young lady who enjoys adventuring and traveling all over the world in search of butterfly specimens, the selling of which is her source of income. She creates her own outfits that include hidden weapons, pockets and very intricate hats.

Veronica and the Baron arrive in London, where she is left with our second main character, Mr. Stoker. These two are great together. Mr. Stoker is hiding a checkered past and lives in a warehouse with his dog, where he also taxidermys animal specimens that he collects. Their conversations are wonderful reading. They have great arguments.

After the introduction of the characters leads up to the death of the baron, the books picks up speed and never lets up. It is a very entertaining read and I certainly look forward to the next book in the series.

Shylock is My Name

By: Howard Jacobson


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I really wish I could start this off by saying how intelligent this book was and how it changed my world view and some more really smart things, but that would just be a lie. In truth, I didn’t even finish the book. I started several times and most recently almost made it to the middle of the book.

I enjoy Shakespeare so I was looking forward to reading this modern day version of A Merchant in Venice. Maybe this play is just not meant to make it to modern times. Amidst all of the talk of persecution of Jews and how hard it is to raise daughters, there was just not much else going on.

The writing, while very eloquent, was hard to follow and choppy. Unless the subject matter really interests you, I cannot suggest picking this one up.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this honest review.

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