Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Updated News for Lola Shapes the Sky

 Every now and then I stumble on news I SHOULD have seen. 

Thanks to Ishta Mercurio for sharing  and writing a delightful review of Paolo Domeniconi's beautiful cover of my debut  picture book --two years ago!! 

And thanks to the publisher for negotiating international rights with China! 

Deadly Quiet City by Murong Xuecun - Review

I found the stories in this book (each chapter tells a different person's story) compelling and thought-provoking. Without access to the people involved or videotapes on the ground, it's never possible to know how much of a nonfiction book is really nonfiction, but this feels authentic and is backed up with information from the editor in a note at the end of the book. I had to pause at points to regain emotional footing to continue reading.

 The author, Murong Xuecun (pen name of Hao Qun) fled into exile from China after completing the book. 

The chaos, struggles and frame of mind of the people in China during the pandemic is an emotional journey that everyone should read. Our governments and citizens have very different points of view--or sometimes similar points of view but extremely different outcomes. Everyone should read this.

I received an advance copy with no requirement for a review. The review contains my personal opinion.

#bookreview #bookrecommendation #authorlife

Friday, February 24, 2023

The Portfolio Life: Future Proof your Career and Craft a Life Worthy of You

February Book Review:

I was fortunate to read an advance copy of The Portfolio Life: Future-Proof your Career and Craft a Life Worthy of You by serial entrepreneur and Harvard lecturer Christina Wallace (Grand Central Publishing, Hachette) that releases April 18, 2023. 

The book encompasses common sense encouragement to shed the fear of self-promotion as well as broadening our circles of influence and looking more critically at our hobbies and talents for sources of employment. I share the author's view about what would/should be optimum work-life balance and the joy that arises from pursuing passions with time for rest and relationships. As someone who has transitioned between different careers, the author's view of modern careers as non-linear paths felt authentic. At different points, it struck me that not everyone will have the "safety nets" or networks in place to implement the author's glass-always-half-full suggestions in order to utilize elements of flexibility into their jobs and job searches. Those elements don't arise organically in difficult situations and the advice in this book could be frustrating to some who are already stretched to their max in terms of time and efforts. The author notes this in passing, but I wonder if the struggles are more prevalent than she acknowledges.

I recognized some of the suggestions about tangible, actionable goals from other books, but the reminder is always good and being a visual person I appreciated the use of Venn diagrams and examples in charts, and wish more of that had been incorporated. I found it to be an uplifting and aspirational if not always realistic read.