Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Good Enough is the New Perfect

Good Enough is the New PerfectI’ve been reading Hollee and Becky, as they are known on Twitter, for many months now, and they never fail to impress me.  Whether the topic is going back to work or giving up the guilt, they’re always there with an encouraging word.

Their new book, “Good Enough is the New Perfect,” brings their experiences interviewing over a hundred working mothers – and surveying over 800 more – about work, life, mothering, breathing space, and striving for the best that we can possibly be into a compact, easily digestible book that is a must for anyone beating themselves up over motherhood.  Or work.  Or the combination.

The book has hundreds of examples and showcases just as many ways of making it work.  It’s this decade’s compendium of how we’re making it work, and it’s a great read, browse, or just-carry-around-because-you’re-so-busy-book.  Check it out.  Take a breath.  And realize – you are working hard, and you can achieve great things.

Perfect is optional.

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review by Hollee and Becky (or their publicist – who remembers?); I received no compensation for this post.  Which is good, because it’s about two months late. 🙂

Mystery novels featuring new mothers

Bundle of TroubleLook what I found at Type A Mom!  Bundle of Trouble, by Diana Orgain, is a mystery novel featuring a brand-new mom trying to balance her own interests and goals with the chaos of new motherhood.  The book was light but engaging, and every detail rang absolutely true with this mom of two – work-life balance isn’t easy, and this book sure tells the truth about how difficult it can be to care for a newborn and strike out on your own to create a job that gives you the work-life balance you need.

I bought the book myself, at the conference market, and received no compensation for this post.

Leapfrog TAG Coupon

Love the Leapfrog TAG books? I do too! Here’s a printable coupon good all week — there will be more in weeks to come, until September 27th! If you’re ordering online, it’s COUPON CODE 995TAG.

A New Generation of Guides

Things sure have changed since the must-have guides for parenting were What To Expect When You’re Expecting, Your Baby Week by Week, and The Happiest Baby on the Block. 

Now we have to worry about things like teaching children the value of money, bullying, and helping each of them reach their full potential.  Two new books are out to help with these worries:  Piggybanking and The Paranoid Parents Guide. 

Piggybanking: Preparing Your Financial Life for Kids and Your Kids for a Financial Life, by Jeff D. Opdyke, discusses the ins and outs of raising a child to be confident in dealing with money.  Opdyke wrote the “Love & Money” column in the Wall Street Journal for years.  While my experience has been more along the lines of Michelle Singletary’s “Color of Money” column in The Washington Post, I can’t deny that he’s an expert.  While my little ones are so little they’re doing chores for quarters, they’ll grow, and I want their financial savvy to grow with them.  This is a book that I’ll keep by my side for years to come.

The Paranoid Parents Guide arrived in the mail with a giant band-aid across the cover.  This worried me, I’ll admit.  But tucked inside was a copy of the new cover, which proclaimed “Worry Less, Parent Better, and Raise a Resilient Child.”  Whew.  That sounds a lot better, doesn’t it?  Christie Barnes, who calls herself the founder of Paranoid Parents Anonymous, wrote this book, chock full of worries and why they should — or shouldn’t worry you. The style isn’t really to my taste, as I tend to go to the source for the answers to my questions (the American Cancer Society for cancer symptoms, green sites on whether to buy organic, etc.), but if you want all your worries wrapped up in one book, this book is probably right up your alley.

Disclosure:  Both of these books arrived in the mail, at no charge, with a press release.  If you’d like my copy of The Paranoid Parents Guide, leave a comment and I’ll give it to you at BlogHer or a local event.

Time of My Life

My most recommended chick lit book this year:  Time of My Life, by Allison Winn Scotch.

Time of My Life takes a common sci-fi theme and explores it in the realm of chick lit — light, beach-ready, book-clubby fare.  The sophistication is lacking (if the same book were written as sci-fi, there would be very clever twists lurking in the passages), but the intent is pure, and the execution is well-done.

If you were stuck in a life that you never expected, and wished that you could go back and do it again, would you?  Would you do it … differently?

Jillian Westfield, mom to Katie, thinks she would.  She would go for the big account, stay in NYC, keep reaching higher and achieving more, and there might even be more history with that hot boyfriend.  She daydreams about it, thinking “If only.  If only.”  But then one day, she wakes up, and it IS.

Is it as much fun as she dreamed it would be?  Can she stop herself from making the same mistakes twice?

It’s an entertaining read, and one that I highly recommend for the beach this summer.  Or, you know, the book club.

Disclosure: None.  I bought this book myself.

Hedge funds, designer labels, and sisterhood

Remember the time before the recession?  When the talk was about designer labels, the stock market, and keeping up with the Joneses?

Yeah, me neither.  But I know you’re out there.

Plume/Penguin sent me a new beach read recently, and it was pure escapism.  I did read it on the beach, and it was oh so light and decadant, like a chocolate cupcake.  This tale of two (ex?) sisters-in-law, and the men they married, met, and dated was a quick and easy read, not too filling, but a nice surprise on a rainy day.

Yum.

If this sounds like something you’re into — and you adore characters who speak in designer labels and movie lines, pick up The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund, by Jill Kargman, available in softcover in May.  (But do flip through and check for page 50 before you buy it.  My first review copy was missing pages 39-102 entirely.)

Disclosure:  A copy was sent to me for review.

Nurture Shock

Nurture Shock, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, is a must-read. I’m still in the middle of it, but the mix of research and experience is pretty amazing. Curious about how your children learn and how to balance teaching them and letting them learn on their own? Me too. So I’m reading this book, now on sale at Amazon for $14.61.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book but was not in any way compensated for this post or the links.