Welcome to Be Our Guest Fridays!
Be Our Guest Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Tanya from Mom’s Small Victories and Helen from My Novel Opinion where we feature guest posts by our favorite bloggers and authors. We started this feature as a fun way to give back to the blogging community. We are excited to share with you these creative, inspiring and knowledgeable bloggers.
My Co-Host Helen from My Novel Opinion
Today’s Guest Post
I’m happy to have Savvy Working Gal as my guest blogger today. Savvy specializes in reviewing non-fiction and has great discussions about work etiquette and issues concerning professional working women. She co-hosts the Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge with me and is undertaking a 2015 challenge to Live Healthy on a Budget that I am following closely. I can always count on her for interesting non-fiction books to read that will teach me something valuable. Thanks for being our guest today Savvy!
Images courtesy of: David Castillo Dominici (little girl reading), Ambro (confused teenage girl), and marin (woman reading book at home) at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Reading to Understand Life’s Transitions
By Savvy Working Gal
(book titles link to Goodreads)
I didn’t get out much when I was growing up. My parents were dairy farmers and needed to be home every morning and evening to milk the cows. In addition to living in a remote area, I was also shy and an introvert. I longed to know what the world was like outside my small corner and how I would one day fit in it. To do so I read every book I could get my hands on. Some of my favorites from that time period that helped me understand the world were:
Patch of Blue by Elizabeth Kata
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Go Ask Alice by James Jennings
Anne Frank – The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This began a life-long habit of seeking out a book every time I contemplated a change or my life was in transition.
When I graduated from college I realized the world wasn’t quite as I had imagined it to be. It was not nearly as just. The glass ceiling and gender pay gap prevailed despite the feminist movement. I was poorer than I had thought I’d be. I came to realize hard work and good grades weren’t nearly as important as networking and good communication skills. I quickly retreated to books beginning with Games Mother Never Taught You by Betty Lehan Harragan.
When I considered becoming a financial planner, investing books appeared on my nightstand. To better understand the business world after I was promoted to manager I read Jim Collin’s Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t. This book triggered a fondness for business books, especially those that provide insight into the creation, growth and sustainability of a business; some of my favorites include Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture by Taylor Clark, Hershey: Milton S. Hershey’s Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams by Michael D’Antonio, Sweet and Low: A Family Story by Rich Cohen and my latest read Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local – and Helped Save an American Town by Beth Macy.
Even my blog challenges ultimately were about books. I was so impressed with Fannie Lou Hamer’s strength while reading her biography This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer by Kay Mills I created my “Be Strong” challenge – where I attempted to become a stronger person in my 50th year. This challenge eventually evolved into a reading challenge when I decided to read one book covering an element of strength each month.
2014 was a difficult year for me; I spent most of it worried about my mother after she was diagnosed with cancer. Then my husband lost his cousin, who was also our next door neighbor, at 75 to heart disease. Once again I feel as if the world is not what I imagined it to be, 50 is not the new 30. As I accept this chapter of my life – middle age – I again want to learn everything I can about it. I’m putting together a reading list.
Do you have any book suggestions I can add to my list?
About Savvy Working Gal
These were the books that really motivated me to look at my own home and personal life. They inspired me to take a closer look at what kind of mom I wanted to be, helped me decide to be happy and urged me to work towards my personal goals since 2014. I have enjoyed reading more non-fiction more as I always find a valuable lesson that I can apply to my life and feel like I’m working to make myself a better person and mom.
What books inspired you during your life transitions? Let us know!