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review 2017-03-25 22:23
Princeless Volume 2
Princeless Volume 2 #1 (Princeless Volume 2: 1) - Jeremy Whitley,Emily Martin
Princeless Volume 2 #2 - Jeremy Whitley,... Princeless Volume 2 #2 - Jeremy Whitley,Emily Martin
Princeless Volume 2 #3 - Jeremy Whitley,... Princeless Volume 2 #3 - Jeremy Whitley,Emily Martin
Princeless Volume 2 #4 - Jeremy Whitley,Emily Martin

I fell in love with this series back in December when I read Volume 1, Save Yourself, and had been looking forward to this volume ever since. It did not disappoint. I loved the title for this one and the way it plays into the plot.

First of all, I totally love the theme of the series in general. We have a WOC protagonist who has decided that she has had enough with the status quo and the waiting around and takes matters into her own hands. She even uses the dragon that guarded her castle in place of a mighty stead. I mean, how could I not love it?

So here we catch up with Adrienne and Bedelia, who is her personal blacksmith and sidekick. They are going to save Angelica! Or are they? Is Adrienne the only one to take matters into her own hands? Does Angelica even want saving? Adrienne has many sisters and while it should be easy to expect that they all be different from each other and nuanced and have different points of view, I also know that expectations like that usually end in disappointment.

Not this time. Whitley has created this amazing world for us and gives us sisters who neither think the same nor act the same. The outlooks that Angelica and Adrienne have on their like situations are not at all the same and serve to manifest very different outcomes for themselves and those who come to find them.

Personally, I loved Angelica. I loved getting another view on the subject of being so admired. I loved that the writers decided to just jump right into the alternative point of view and that none of it went in the direction that I expected. I also loved the rest of the family situation and the foreshadowing of the mysterious Black Knight that I have my suspicions about.

As before, the art is wonderful. The way that Angelica is obviously a little older and is more beautiful and even a little sexy without being overdone or exposing anything was impressive. The rest of the art is fun and colorful and keep it obvious that it's an all ages comic. If you haven't jumped in on this series, I suggest you do. I've already started the third volume and plan to post it soon!

 

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review 2017-03-25 22:19
Opting Out
Opting Out?: Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home - Pamela Stone

I was intrigued with the premise of this work right from the beginning. Well put together and deeply researched, this book goes beyond the simple explanations to get down to the how and why of it all.

I have always hated the term "opting out" and I'm really starting to understand why. I feel like it misunderstands the choice. Opting out makes it sound like women are choosing to disengage from the greater of two goals, when I never believed that to be the case. This book gets into that part of it and even helped me put some better language to my own feelings about it.  

It begins by presenting the reason for the study and then spending some time detailing the reasons why this specific set of women were chosen to be studied for this. Stone exclusively studies married, highly educated, well off, and high achieving white women because they are, theoretically, the women with the least amount of barriers to success in the workplace. None are "opting out" for those reasons we attribute to those who are less off, which are typically attributed to child care costs.

Stone details several reasons why women are not staying at the same workplace they had their kids at and why some appear to be leaving altogether, even when some aren't. They do freelance work or volunteer locally at a professional level. 

The book makes the case that the women are more likely being pushed out of the workplace by policies that make it impossible to be good at mothering or that don't allow women to have a good relationship with their children and then are given permission to give up on their original careers by husbands who aren't under the same pressures to be available for their children and their boss in the same way and at the same time. Mothers and fathers are not looked at in the same light by employers or society at large, so fathers are not typically subject to the double bind that pushes these women out. I thought it was an interesting touch to see their husbands, most of which were similarly qualified at the beginning of their marriages, as a control group. 

The other issues that are discussed in this book alongside the why's and how's are that it's presented as a choice for women to work and therefore a privilege for women to not work. It discusses how it's seen by the women making this choice as an act of feminism rather than a defiance of it. There is also a discussion on identity and whether it is career or parenthood that identifies a person and how these women handle that question too.

Altogether, I found the book interesting and enlightening. It isn't entirely new information for me, but that's mostly on account of countless conversations with women who were also in the double bind and figuring out what to do. It didn't sound like a lot of these women had female peers to talk to about it but I have had plenty of these conversations with women who make significantly less but who are debating whether to continue difficult career paths and several with my husband as we discussed what to do when we were expecting our son. We had the same "one of us will be home with the kids" idea that some of the women in the book had, but ours came to a different conclusion. I was making more, but more important to our decision, I was under a contract that would have been near impossible to get out of. By the time my contract was over, my husband had been home with our son a few years and it would have been ludicrous to try to switch given other life situations.

This is a great book for anyone interested in researching women and the workplace, or simply interested in why women still leave the workplace for family while men still don't do it much. The end gives prescriptions for how workplaces can entice women to stay and reasons it would be good business for them to do so, but even the author has little hope of this happening any time soon.

Its pre-Lean In Movement, in fact, it's referenced in the Lean In book, which was where I first heard about it. It was only used as a reference to the way that women give deference to husband's careers, thus ensuring that husband's will be in better positions to be the one who stays at work after kids are born, but still an important part of the point that Sandberg strives to make as well. Coincidentally, this better position would also give husband's a better standing to bargain from in order to get more time or accomodations for kids, but that's not a typical expectation for them. We still tend to see male careers as important and female careers as options. Workplaces and society both do this and so women's careers suffer, even when the women are committed to them, even when the women don't have the option to opt out. Change needs to happen, but first we need to understand how our problems are created. This book digs in and looks at this one.

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review 2017-03-25 22:10
Girl Rising
Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl... Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time - Tanya Lee Stone

This is an incredibly informative book on an important issue all over the world. It's a quick read for anyone interested in brushing up on the subject and getting involved.

Most of the information wasn't new for me as it was also mostly covered in Half the Sky, but it was sorted and presented differently. First of all, this is based on a documentary, so the author knew that much of the information had been presented before. She chose to focus on some of the finer details of the situation rather than the overarching themes of why girls aren't getting educated. She starts with the stories of the individual girls seen in the documentary and then widened the view to show that their situations are representative of the issue in their country or region.

The other benefit that this book has over Half the Sky is that it is predominantly uplifting. Each of the girls mentioned and who the reader gets to know has found a way to school and is flourishing. The author mentions that they are the lucky ones, and that more needs to be done, but she doesn't leave the reader with the feeling that it's too big to hope for there ever being a resolution. That may seem a little less realistic to some or like there is false hope, but it depends on the reader.

The book is clearly targeted at a younger reader and as a started into the issue, so she's probably banking on the reader not having read anything like Half the Sky  yet. As a starter into the issue and a book that focused on education alone (the other one has a whole host of women's issues that it discusses), it's fanstastic. It introduces the problem well, it gives the reader someone to relate to in order to inspire the reader to help with the problem and then it even gives possible ways for any reader to help with the problem. I wouldn't recommend it to someone already familiar with this issue only because it would be redundant. On the other hand, it'd be the first book I mentioned to someone asking about the importance of educating girls worldwide alonside their brothers, especially if that person has a tendency to want to help with things they are informed about.

The ways to help aren't perfect and are centered around the reader being a youth or student. They aren't necessarily fit for everyone, but they are options to get one thinking about what can be done. They are small steps to take in that direction.

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review 2017-02-18 22:14
Class
Class - Lucinda Rosenfeld
ISBN: 9780316265416
Publisher: Little Brown & Co. 
Publication Date: 1/10/2017 
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 4 Stars

 

Lucinda Rosenfeld's CLASS features New York, Karen Kipple as she struggles to balance the demands of motherhood and career, always convinced that she was shortchanging one or the other.

Married for ten years and for the last five Karen had been the director of development for a small non-profit devoted to tackling childhood hunger in the US. For the past two years, she had been trying to write an oped which she hoped one day to publish in a major newspaper, about the relationship between nutrition and school readiness.

Matt, her husband is also a career activist in the nonprofit sector and she is always worried about Ruby, her eight-year-old daughter’s education. She encourages her former lawyer husband to quit his job and work with low-income people to assist their housing needs.

Karen had enrolled her daughter at Betts, aware that it lacked the reputation for academic excellence of other schools nearby, but Ruby would be exposed to children who were less privileged than herself. Even though the white population of the school hovered around 25%. Being in the minority in what she had chosen. However, was he sacrificing her education? Diversity or inferior education?

She had always aspired to a life of making a difference and helping those less fortunate than herself. She tried to live in accordance with the politics and principals, which of course included the notion that public education was a force for good and that without racially and economically integrated school, an equal opportunity couldn’t exist.

Ruby was smart and a voracious reading and life should be good. Karen, an advocate for non-food additives and chemicals as well as diversity. She has a nice condo, hubby, and daughter, Karen’s life seemed to be good in New York; however, she is unhappy.

“Karen’s complex and contradictory relationship to eating had also grown more in the last few years, along with weight, teeth, and marriage—somehow become a dividing line between the social classes with the Earth Day — esque ideals of the 1960s having acquired snob appeal, and the well-off and well-educated increasingly buying “natural” and “fresh” and casting aspersions on those who didn’t.”

Then when a classmate of Ruby’s transfers out of Betts to a more privileged school of white students, all of Karen’s earlier thoughts and commitments, quickly vanished. Her husband wants a divorce because she enrolled Ruby in a new school without telling him.

Following the lead, she moves Ruby and then begins an affair with a rich guy, Clay, among other things. More lies. Her emotions are all over the board. Karen is torn between social classes, seeing the poor living in shelters and the rich and their superficial ways. Hypocrisy. Guilt.

She was capable of paying hundreds of dollars for an espresso machine from Italy, Karen had a deeply ingrained cheap streak as well, which caused her to do things like go to the library and photocopy the crossword puzzle from the Sunday paper rather than pay for a subscription.

Rosenfeld kicks butt and puts it all out there. With keen insights, raw honesty, a brutal portrayal ---the truth of our unequal society in urban America. With humor and highly-charged topics, the author hits the bull's eye, with CLASS.

I especially enjoyed the wide range of topics from privilege, class, identity, entitlement, education, politics, domestic, marriage, social economics, philanthropy—to ethical dilemmas, the author does not miss a beat in this delightful satire.

A tale of one woman’s struggle between the madness of liberal and reality. The lesson liberals need to learn is that despite their arrogance, they do not have the power to alter reality. From liberals to progressive—is equality among human race the exception, and inequality the norm?

Much to like here whether you are a modern-day urban parent, grandparent, or single. Smart, witty, engaging, absorbing, and thought-provoking! The hardcover was stunning with a perfect fitting cover. An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions.

A special thank you to Little Brown & Co., Goodreads Giveaway, and NetGalley for a complimentary reading copy, in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/12/01/Class
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review 2017-02-03 04:10
THE CHOSEN, 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION BY Chiam Potok
The Chosen - Chaim Potok

THE CHOSEN, 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Chiam Potok

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1967)

ISBN13: 9781501142475

 

I have liked everything that I have read so far of Chaim Potok. The Chosen was the first I read, and I definitely enjoyed it again. What made this even better than reading it the first time was all the back material, photos, new forward, and more that was included in this 50th anniversary collection. Some of this back info was written by Potok himself. As a Christian reading this, I found it interesting to read about the Jewish faith. I find that Potok, while using the characters' faith as a part of the story, still allows the coming of age story, the friendship of and the struggles of each as individuals to be the main subjects of the story line. His main characters are well drawn and complex. I would definitely recommend this book.

****I received this book from Simon and Schuster through Goodreads' First Reads Giveaway.****

 

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