I love to read. Always have. I typically have one fiction, one non-fiction and one audio book going at any given time. But the reality is that I don't have time for book club in my life right now. I suspect many of you are in the same boat, listening to audio books on your commute and falling asleep to the thwack of your kindle on your forehead. Instead, I keep a running list of recommendations on the Workflowy App with the name of the recommender so that when I'm done I can call or meet up for a catch up and book chat.
But one of the joys of this sabbatical is that I have the time, space and energy to read many great titles surrounding women and work. I'll use this column to interview and support the (largely) female authors who are bringing these topics and issues to the forefront. And hopefully add a few new titles to your reading list.
And while reading much of the latest research, theories and reporting on women and work, I'm struck but just how depressing most of the news is. When USA Today is reporting that the "state of motherhood in the US is trash," it's hard to find good news anywhere. Which is why I was so excited to stumble upon Jamie Ladge and Danna Greenberg's Maternal Optimism: Forging a Positive Path Through Work and Motherhood, coming out this Wednesday.
I came across a review of Ladge and Greenberg's book with a quote that struck me to the core, and really highlighted what I'm trying to accomplish with the Ringmaster:
“You can chart your own path,” Ladge says. “Maybe it helps to read about someone else’s path, so that there’s one piece of it that might be useful, and another piece of another path that’s useful—then you can kind of piece it together yourself. But there isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy, because we all have our own experiences and stories to tell. It is really an individual thing.”
I reached out blindly to Jamie, who was generous with her time in sharing what she and Danna wrote and why they wrote it. "First of all, most of the titles cover only the first few stages of work and motherhood, we wanted to cover the gamut of all of the transitions you will make. But secondly, you only hear the bad stuff. There's a lot of good out there, and we wanted to show as much positivity as possible."