I identify as an introvert. I'm an introvert with an extroverted mother who seemed to think I had a flaw that needed to be fixed. Jessica Pan does NOT hold that view, and she makes this clear in the author's note at the opening of this book. I raise this for people who are offended that this book even exists. Listen, Pan is not betraying her people. She never stops being "one of us."
Jessica Pan, raised in Amarillo, Texas; the daughter of a Chinese father and a Jewish mother, graduate of Brown University (so she's lived in Providence, RI); lived in Beijing, Paris, Melbourne; married to an English man with whom she currently resides in London--faced the scenario of having no friends (other than her husband Sam) where she lived. Her close friends were scattered across various countries. She face the realization that she was lonely and depressed. Her goal in experimenting in a year of "extroverting" was to build a new friend group, with the kind of friends who would "help you hide the body."
In case you are shout-thinking that Pan just needs to read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking , rest assured that she has, and she even cites it. She notes frequently that introverts value and crave "deep talk," and she triumphs whenever her new strategies allow her to achieve this kind of talk with new people.
During her year of "extroverting," Pan does scary things like talking to strangers, taking improv class, sharing a story on The Moth, taking stand-up classes that lead her to doing a stand-up routine a few times, going on a solo "surprise me" adventure trip (that mysteriously leads her to Budapest), and hosting a dinner party.
Spoiler alert: by the end, she still identifies as an introvert, though she believes she may have shifted from "shy introvert" to "gregarious introvert." Most of her new friends also identify as introverts. If you are an introvert who is offended that this book even exists, please just give it a chance. You don't even have to tell anyone.
Side note: One of the "Questions about this book" posted last year (2019) was whether there was a book from an extrovert choosing to live as an introvert for a year. Pan replied, positing that such a book would be called Sorry I'm Early, I Needed to Get Out. Ironically, now that we are in a global pandemic (for people reading this in the future, I am writing this in June of 2020)--we might well end up with plenty of memoirs in the genre of "Extrovert Forced to Live Like an Introvert During Quarantine."
|For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle
An absolutely stunning book about a simple trip to the museum that inspired one little girl's dreams. A perfect example of why representation is so important. Every person needs to see themselves positively reflected in all areas to feel connection and show that they can do anything.
The simple narration worked perfectly for this story. It is a simple story and when told in a simple way, it really emphasizes the experience and impact rather than getting bogged down in wordy narration.
Also, that artwork is just perfect. I loved the bright feel. Each page is magical. That's nothing else to say. Every bit of it is amazing and adds to the inspiration of the story.
A beautiful work that emphasizes positive representation, inspiration, confidence, kindness, and the drive to do anything. Simple yet eloquent. A lovely book that shows how one simple moment can change the world.
by Thomas Washburn Jr
Three children, Travis, Timmy and Abby, find a cave in the woods and make it their secret clubhouse. Though they are close friends, approaching puberty introduces complications, especially after Abby gets her first boyfriend.
This started out like a sweet story of childhood friends coming of age. Then one day Travis finds a secret door and things go horribly wrong.
This was a short story that could have been developed into something more interesting. As it was, it became tacky and cliché without even an end twist to recommend it. The writing itself was good but there was a lack of plotting or explanation and in the end, it seemed like someone's first efforts.
The quality of writing gets it an extra star.
|For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle
On the whole this was an informative book with some solid advice and affirmation.
The book is broken down into six parts, which are further broken up into detailed lists. For me, reading the book straight through was a bit tedious at times because of this list format. The information was well presented, but reading a number of lists back-to-back gets kind of boring after a while. The first half of the book includes behavior to watch for in the work environment, things women do to self-sabotage, workplace stereotypes, and issues related to female speech. They include some tactics for dealing with this issues. These sections were informative, but not all that interesting or helpful.
The most important and useful parts were the last two sections which included tips for negotiation and displaying (and feeling) confidence. To me, this is where the true value of the book lies in setting out strategies and mindsets for success. I also liked the Rebel Girls: FFCs Through History section in the back, which gives brief descriptions of various women's groups throughout history such as the Brujas, the Jane Collective, and the Women Airforce Service Pilots.
This book is definitely geared toward cis and white women. Women of color as mentioned in some of the statistics, but often seem to be treated as an afterthought usually along the lines of "white women have it hard, women of color have it worse". There isn't much more detail than that are there are not specific strategies for women of color, those with disabilities, or trans women. The book instead focuses on blanket information and advice.
There is also a lot of puns, which can be fun (I especially enjoyed "A Feminist Cocktail List" at the end), but some were quite marginalizing. There were various references to genitalia such as "vagffirmative action", "How to Have a D*ck Without Being One", and "Vagina-First Policy". The last one included an asterisk with the note "Also applicable to those who do not possess a vagina but identify as female". It was good to note that not all women have vaginas, but it almost makes it worse that they still chose to go with such vagina-centric language.
The book is also more geared toward younger women with creative puns, quirky illustrations, pop culture references, and lots of swearing. I found this appealing, but I can see how other readers would not enjoy this. If you're one of those people who hates cursing in non-fiction books, probably pass on this.
At the very end are notes that reference the various statistics presented in the text. This is a great place to find more information on specific topics and I liked that the sources were included.
Despite its flaws, think is a good book to browse though and the information in the last two sections is very good. Those last two sections in themselves justify the book in my opinion. It is definitely targeted to cis, white, young women, but does well in presenting its claims and backing them up with research and other information.