I go in waves of loving non-fiction but am not completely sold on committing time to sitting down and reading them vs. my TBR fiction list, so I listen to audiobooks from time to time. During May I had a lot of down time, 6 hours in a dental chair, and was weirdly in my car a ton too; driving to and from my home town- a two hour drive, and during Memorial Day, I drove to Orange County- making the typically six hour drive a ten hour one with tons of vacation traffic, BOTH WAYS. Needless to say, I got in three audiobooks I have been wanting to listen to for months and it flew by!
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
This was actually a really moving and powerful book for me. There were a ton of excerpts that I scribbled down, paraphrased and emailed to friends, and hopefully will stay with me forever. Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook and wrote this book after a viral Ted Talk about women in the world with an emphasis on career. It wasn't unplanned that all three books of this month were by women; I am naturally drawn the female perspective of the world and really driven by women's empowerment.
I could probably discuss this book in detail with others for several hours; I loved the anecdotes, how relatable and casual the author is, the honest feedback on modern life, the questions she prompts, and just ah, so much. Nothing is perfect- I didn't agree with 100% of the message and challenge the idea of being a mother/scheduling/career, but that is a long shot considering I am not a mother, but something to note when you read it yourself! I think I really took away just the general idea that as a woman, asking for what you want is okay. Obviously a ton of this book focuses on women in the workplace, but there are also a ton of great ideas about how career paths are different now than they were from our parents generation- 'a jungle gym, not a ladder.' Its okay to skip around when everything is relevant and millennials aren't necessarily confined to one job with a tall ladder and serving time, but to change often according to your growing interests.
(A quick story about purchasing this book. I listened to it on Audiobook, then went to my neighborhood local bookstore to pick up a used copy for my boss who I thought would love it. Its a pretty recent release and top seller, so when I couldn't find it in general fiction, I had to ask the clerk where it would be. He told me to search in Women Studies, then Business. I rolled my eyes, because of course it would be in the business section- why would it skip that section and head directly to Women Studies because in my opinion, its much more a Business book than Women Studies. Where did I find it? Not in the business section, meaning, there is still a HUGE reason for the this book to be widespread.)
I would 100% recommend this book to anyone with a career driven mind or interest and just women AND men to join the conversation of how we view gender on a larger scale of roles, but more importantly, how to get what you want, be a smart employee, and empower yourself and others. Watch this:
Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
First off, I love Julia Child Culture. I hopped on the train way too late and am never going back. I weirdly enough hadn't even heard of her until my freshman year of college when I watched the film version of this book with a few friends and was obsessed- going on to a read a few dense memoirs of hers. Enough time had passed that I felt diving into the Audiobook of this would be a great way to pass time. Meh.
I respect Julie Powell because she took on a massive challenge in order to essentially give her life meaning again after an interesting marriage and what felt like a dead end job. And by picking up a 500+ French Cookbook and posting it on the internet (before blogging was even a thing, and before Julie even knew what blogging was) is remarkable. With that being said, this is probably the first movie EVER that I liked better than the book and I cringe as I type that.
The film obviously beefs up the story; there was little drama with Julie and Julia in real life, the behind the scenes of the on-set failed marriage between Julie and her husband saddened me, the intense lack of support that Julie got from her family was a bummer and just kept dragging on, and the lack of confidence in the voice of Julie made the 7 hour audiobook pretty rough.
Obviously, anything with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams is going to be made for screens and the rawness and reality of the project was still super interesting, but as someone who loves Julie Child, the initiative to take on a massive and overwhelming project, and cooking- even I wouldn't recommend this book. Ouch, I am so sorry!
#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
Okay, I admit- I read this because it was on like, mainly every trendy Instagram I follow for the past year. I didn't even really know what Nasty Gal was before the book came out, let alone who Sophia Amoruso was. I went to the art school for my undergrad that she famously worked the front desk at for a few months, and she references it multiple times in her book. I thought I would love this book because she is known for being a bad ass and independent stylish business woman, but just about everyone I have chatted with that has read it has gasped when I said I completely just did not mesh with it.
I'm not going to dive super into it, because I feel like if I didn't love it, it will taint a fellow reader from diving into it and thats not my point. If you are interested in fashion, self made entrepreneurs, vintage clothing, all that stuff- it may be for you. The advice came off a bit preachy to me with not a ton of background (yet she is insanely successful so I feel really silly for saying that but, listen/read it and lets debate that) and there were some pretty contrasting ideas; like 'be yourself!' and also really petty relationship antics that just don't seem like they came from the same person. Mainly, I think I would have appreciated it more if I didn't listen to it a week after Lean In, because they are technically in the same genre but couldn't be more different.