Monday, July 25, 2016

Dr. Crista's Girl Power Book Club

I enjoy reading. Fun reading that is. I consider fun reading anything that is not required academically or professionally. Since the summer affords me a slightly slower pace than my norm, I figured it was a perfect time to prioritize reading again. I gathered together girlfriends who live near and far and created an in-person and online book club. I felt like I needed some female-empowered non-fiction, so those were the picks. Here's a brief review from Dr. Crista's Book Club.

Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes
First author up was Shonda Rhimes and let me just say, all of the yeses to the "Year of Yes." This was our first pick and we knocked it out of the park with this one. It was a funny, yet substantive read about how she challenged herself for a full year to say yes to whatever scared her. In doing so, her life turned upside down in the best possible way. It was very inspirational. We've all been afraid. We've all been bored in life. We've all felt like something was missing. This book offered one way to start to turn things around.

Bossypants, Tina Fey
Let me say that I love Tina Fey. She's funny. She's smart. She's feminist. She's a great writer. I was certain all of those qualities would yield another good read. Unfortunately, "Bossypants" just didn't do it for us. We actually didn't even finish it because no one in the group was really feeling it. It's hard to even put a finger on what wasn't clicking. It had humorous anecdotes and an overall relevant theme. Perhaps it just wasn't meant for our group at this time. No shade, Tina. We still love you.

Why not me?, Mindy Kaling
Although this wasn't selected by the book club, this was my second book of the summer. Here we have another comedy writer and woman of color. She shared various stories from her personal and professional life in essay form. Her humor had just the right amount of self-deprecation, while still feeling genuine. Her journey was essentially about becoming comfortable in her own skin. She made it clear she has not arrived, which kind of gave me permission to be patient with myself if I haven't either.

Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert
The next book club pick was one I absolutely loved in an equal but different way than "Year of Yes." "Big Magic" was all about creativity and inspiration. It's a wonderful book for any artist or creator, and according to Liz, that's anyone who's breathing. She began by challenging readers to consider, "Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures within?" This book really lit a fire in several of us to get moving on some things that have stirred within for a while.

You are a Badass, Jen Sincero
The last book of the summer that we're concluding this week is the popular, "You are a Badass." First of all, kudos on the title. I bet the title alone sold copies. Why? Because just like we've all been afraid, we've also felt insecure, insignificant, and less than. This book honored that feeling while still giving a swift kick in the arse to readers to quit pouting, quit giving up your power, and do something to change your life. You can look at it like this. If Shonda Rhimes and Liz Gilbert gently invited and inspired action, Jen Sincero gave the final shove to act now.

So, in a nutshell, this has been the summer of saying yes, accepting the skin we're in, bringing forth the treasures within, and owning our inner badass. This book club has been instrumental in finally doing what's been in my heart to do for a few years now. I have finally decided to share my story in a self-published book titled "Healing Through Movement: Getting Back up After a Broken Heart." It's a personal story of getting knocked down pretty hard when my relationship ended. But more important than the fall, was the process of getting back up. I interviewed women who had also endured painful endings and summarized how we figuratively and literally moved through the healing process. Interesting how it kind of goes along with this summer themes of courage and power, huh? I invite you to check it out at the link below. Maybe you can add it to your own girl power book club.

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