November: Book Review

One of the things that fell by the wayside postpartum is reading for fun. The girls slept in our room for the first 5 months, so my reading-in-bed habit became a rare occurrence. The list of titles to read became longer and longer.

But then it was like fate…the new Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book was going to come out on my birthday.

I had avoided going into bookstores for the better part of a year, knowing that whatever I bought would just sit in a pile and make my bookshelf look good. But, I love the writing in The Millennium Series and Lisbeth Salander is one of my favorite literary characters of all time. So whatever half-read books were in my eBook queue, I quickly returned or finished just so I could be ready when The Girl Who Lived Twice came out.

Now that I’m (hopefully) back in the habit, these four titles are my standouts this month:

43062982._sy475_The Girl Who Lived Twice (Millennium Series #6), by David Lagercrantz
The marketing of this book was nothing compared to the original three titles. It is a good continuation of the series, but not if it was meant to be a finale. Lisbeth Salander is one of my favorite literary characters and this book got into her vulnerability. There isn’t as much overlap between her plot line and the main “mystery”, but it does get into espionage, racketeering, secret Russian troll factories, and Mount Everest.

43575115._sy475_The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern
This book is brand new, just came out this week. Erin Morgenstern’s first book, The Night Circus, is one of my favorite fantasy titles, and I’ve been excited to get my hands on The Starless Sea for months. I’m about 40 pages into it and it’s already one of the most beautifully written fantasy books I’ve ever read.

41138424._sy475_The Guest Book, by Sarah Blake
I got this advance copy in February, but finally got to deep dive into it at the beginning of October. Whenever a review says “This book is the next great American novel”, I fall for it every time. This is a sizable historical fiction that brings together wealth inequality, racial prejudice, Nazi profiteers, and complicated mother/daughter relationships. Yes, this book is a good candidate for book groups, and although it’s long, it’s not heavy.

38390751The Infinite Game, by Simon Sinek
I’m in the first half of the book now. Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” completely changes your expectations and motivations when it comes to work. Before buying this book, I downloaded every podcast episode he was featured in, and my mind started considering productivity, collaboration, innovation, work-life blend, true connection–everything that makes a job more than just a job. One of my favorite sentiments in this book is that it is impossible to have continuous profit growth year after year, in life and at work. There are ebbs and flows. Strong businesses and true leaders know that taking care of your people is what makes companies thrive beyond the foreseeable future.

It’s worth mentioning that I went and bought three of these books the day they came out. That’s how excited I am about them. At this rate, I could probably do another book review post in two months. Always an avid reader, but never a fast one.

Follow me on Goodreads for more reviews and titles to add to your list.

Sunday Reading

Family-ready finally h8e31c6829d84cd747a72028999870d94appened, and it was this weekend. After an (alleged) rainy weekend at the Fernbank Natural History museum and the Inman Park Festival with the family, I went to the Georgia Renaissance Festival with three girlfriends as well. There was very little weekend reading done.

But I have another short work week ahead, flying back up to Virginia for my next Board of Governors meeting. Aside from my usual governing and presiding, I’m hoping to sneak in a Varsity softball game and the Van Gogh exhibit in Richmond. In the meantime, here are some new articles I’m keeping in my back pocket:

Have a good week, readers! In the meantime, here are some shots from the weekend.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History
We tried our best Jennifer Lawrence. Emphasis on TRIED…
My newest Atlanta Favorite: Atomic Ice Creams Chocolate Espresso ice cream sandwich. Should’ve splurged for the Ginger cookie/strawberry ice cream sandwich as well.

FullSizeRender_2 IMG_4205

Sunday Reading

8e31c6829d84cd747a72028999870d94I was completely mistaken thinking I could finished my book during my last trip. I don’t think I had a single 5-minute window of downtime to read. However, this month is looking very promising, and with the amazing weather coming, I can restart my favorite afternoon pastime of reading outside on the deck. I got an amazing tan reading Game of Thrones… For this Sunday, here were my favorite reads for the week:

  • From Scout to Hermione: Bookworms salute their favorite heroines from Mashable. My personal favorite heroine from literature is Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She’s so raw and gritty, yet completely capable, multi-dimensional and the hero of the entire trilogy. Yes, heroines are fictional characters, not real people. But, how we chose to view them is a reflection of the qualities we’d like to see in ourselves.
  • The Science Of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things from Fast Company. “Collect experiences, not things” is one of the best life lessons. No matter what happens, I have some pretty killer adventures up my sleeves.
  • COO: 5 leadership lessons from my days as a coxswain via Fortune. Being a coxswain has been the most significant role I’ve ever taken on, and it completely changed the way I work and interact with people. For definitely the better and sometimes/rarely the worse.
  • Touch by Claire North. My colleague from Australia recommended this to me. We both bonded over our love of Gillian Flynn, so this story about a girl who was brutally murdered and before she dies she is able to switch bodies with her killer. This one is at the top of my list for my flight to Europe.
  • 10 Projects that Increase Home Value. This is definitely a grown-up read for the week, but more than half of these projects need to be done with our house in the coming 3-5 years. Not complete remodels, but the usual maintenance and face lifts. We love our house, and it helps to know that we are investing in it the right way.

Sunday Reading

Next week, I will b8e31c6829d84cd747a72028999870d94e off to Boston for work. It’ll be my first time in Boston on non-rowing related business. I went for the first time in college and have visited three times since for the Head of the Charles in October. Nothing like kamikaze coxswains and a traffic jam on the Charles River to really ruin your taste for city. However, despite the cold and possible snow, I am looking forward to hanging out in Boston without being cold, wet and broke.

Here are is week’s Sunday Reading, not from bed but from 10,000 feet:

Have a good weekend!

Sunday Reading

8e31c6829d84cd747a72028999870d94Today is the last day of my 2-week blogging challenge. It was fairly difficult, mostly because I’ll write about something then realize it’s absolutely worthless and no one would ever want to read it. Just a bit self-conscious…. Planning blog post does take time, and now I think I have a bit of a strategy,

Today is at least a blog post that I enjoy writing, because I get to share what I’ve reading all week. I definitely will not keep up writing everyday, but I do like my Sunday Reading post. I hope you will enjoy these, too.

Have a good week! ~Patti

Sunday Reading

8e31c6829d84cd747a72028999870d94Last year, I made Sunday my morning to sleep in and read in bed. Although it doesn’t happen EVERY Sunday, it’s still my guilt-free time to be horizontal and perhaps just a bit…reclusive.

Last night, I went out with some girlfriends to see 50 Shades and have dinner/drinks at a new wine bar. Paired with a Movie/Brunch date this morning and Daylight Savings, my Sunday time is a bit curtailed. But, better to have plans than waste a weekend.

So Sunday morning reading will now be Sunday afternoon reading, and I get to spend some quality time with these:

  • Portrait of a Lady by Henry James: This is my favorite book of all time. I haven’t read it since senior year summer reading, so I added it to my 101in1001 list. Reading in the context of writing a paper versus reading for fun is considerably different and I’m taking it at a much slower pace. But three pages in, I began to remember why I love Henry James.
  • Why our Brains Love High Ceilings, an article by the Fast Company
  • 7 Secrets to Decorating Like the French
  • Lena Dunham’s Home Tour by Domaine Home. Both of the above articles are by Domaine. The first is one of my favorite articles, and it gives me a ton of things to looks for while we’re in Europe this Spring. The second is because I am thoroughly in love with Lena Dunham’s new California home. The photos in the article are the before pictures from the previous owner, so I’m very eager to see the after ones.
  • Sunday Inspiration from The Muse: I get these in my inbox every Sunday morning. The Muse puts together the best of the web, for working, living and playing.
  • Exhaustion is Not Always a Status Symbol by Lillian Cunningham, Washington Post Leadership. My favorite quote from the article, ” To me, a leader is someone who holds her- or himself accountable for finding potential in people and processes.”

Have a good end to your weekend!