Books on a bookshelf

Recent books I read and listened to… happy reading!

Heavy by Kiese Laymon

This book is aptly named on so many levels… including how it made me feel while listening to the author share his story. It’s like he was able to transfer the weight of his life to me. The memoir is the unique mix of a personal letter to his mother, confession, and extended poem. Hearing it read by the author made it all the more personal. I will not hear or feel the phrase “black boy” the same way again after this book. Kiese’s raw autobiography covers sex, obesity, gambling, racism, and poverty. Thanks Joyce LaLonde for the recommendation.

Out of Office by Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Peterson

Thanks to the referral by Paige Settles, I chose this book for the Grant Thornton Women’s Leadership Book Club read in May. While many folks are tired of working at home and most organizations struggle with what is next in terms of the “normal” work model – this book offers a good philosophical perspective on working remote. It exposes how current corporate work models do not benefit employees (and how they came to be from a historical perspective), as well as offers the challenge of what can be done around “productivity.” The authors also focus on not simply on where work is done (office or home) but more importantly how work is done – and needs to change.

She Persisted Around the World written by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger

My mother, an early child development expert, loves children’s book. On my last visit home, she snuck this book in my suitcase along with a note: “You are my ‘persisted queen’! You are my girl with superpowers! What a blessing to see you share your many amazing gifts! Keep persisting. I love you, Mom.” May everyone have someone in their life that encourages them to persist in their dreams, through challenges, and for a better community. May we all be that for someone else.

Feeding the Soul (Because It’s My Business):  Finding Our Way to Joy, Love and Freedom by Tabitha Brown

This is a must listen to book – you need to hear her warm, thick accent to get the full effect of Tabitha. Teammate Drew Lucas connected me with this inspirational book with a side of vegan recipes. Her story is one of faith, persistence, and being true to herself. Her cooking catch phrase, “cause that’s your business,” is a good reminder to us all to embrace our uniqueness and do what is right for us–and bravely follow our own called path.

The No Club: Putting a Stop to Women’s Dead End Work by Linda BabcockBrenda PeyserLise VesterlundLaurie Weingart, and Gabra Zackman

When I saw Senator and severely wounded Army combat veteran Tammy Duckworth recommend this book, I immediately added it to my reading list. The authors wrote this book to help women understand the difference between promotable and non-promotable tasks (NPT) at work so they can choose wisely in terms of how they spend their time. This is, in fact a book for men and organization leaders. Putting the burden on the employee – especially young or professionals of color – to stand up against male and system ingrained biases is too much of an imbalance of power, and keeps women burdened by unvalued tasks. Women generally understand they are asked more often than their male counterparts to complete menial tasks, essential administrative work, and key initiatives that benefit the company but not their career goals. It’s time for leaders to more fairly allocate non-promotable tasks, and this book offers several solutions.

Book Reviews May 2022

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