Business · Memoir · Non-Fiction · Rebecca K.E.

#GIRLBOSS | by Sophia Amoruso


#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
(Portfolio, 2014, 256 pages)

Who among us hasn’t made our share of life mistakes? Some of us manage to learn enough from our mistakes to find success – and in Sophia Amoruso’s case, multimillion dollar success! What differentiates her from other young screw-ups? Her book #GIRLBOSS will provide you with a reasonably good idea. Billed by her as part confessional, part business strategy manual, one hopes to obtain the secrets to becoming an indie business dynamo. The title itself clues you in that this book isn’t your average business manual, giving a nod to young women looking to start what’s not your momma’s company – which carries a certain twee sensibility. The book begins with an overview and chronology of Amoruso’s life events, then moving into her life philosophy. The chapters following elaborate on particular principles, including the character-building potential of crappy jobs, learning from sketchy life experiences such as shoplifting and hitchhiking, the importance of having and saving money, risk taking, and good life management.

The only real problem with this book is that it’s easier for some of us to live our lives and have our experiences than it is to articulate them in writing. What is sometimes more interesting in books than the text itself is the subtext, which is broader in this book than it needs to be for a book of this supposed purpose. Amoruso covers all the basics of being a good rank-and-file employee, but it’s easier for her to be the dynamo than it is to clue us in on how to get there. Also, while she elaborates on some of the more painful, less scrupulous aspects of her earlier life, there is a certain failure in her narrative to acknowledge the privilege that possibly allowed her to evade full consequences of her actions (such as shoplifting, which resulted in a run in with security, but not police), and an attractiveness that allowed her to be her own model for the vintage clothing she sold on eBay during its earlier days.

So go ahead, read this book. It is a fun and heady romp through Amoruso’s experiences from (not quite) rags-to-riches – but if you’re looking for comprehensive advice on how to do that in your own life, you’ll probably need to read between the lines, and find another book with more substantial strategies.

Business · In the Library · Julia P · Non-Fiction · Women

Lean In | by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
(Knopf, 2013, 228 pages)

I’ve been impulsively picking titles to read on my Nook for the past few months so when I saw that Lean In was available I decided to check it out. The book had been on my “to read” list for a while and I was curious to see what all the hype was about. Lean In is focused on what women can do to empower themselves in the workplace. A lot of it has to do with taking yourself seriously, finding your voice, and speaking up. Sandberg also touches on the fact that changes have to take place outside the workplace as well (for example, having a partner who will support you and take on more housework/childcare as you pursue your career). This was certainly a motivational book and I’m glad it received (and continues to receive) so much attention.

I didn’t necessarily find the book to be as impressive as I thought it was going to be. A lot of her suggestions were pretty straight-forward and seemed like they should be common sense, but I think that’s one of her main points. The things she recommends should be common sense, and yet they still manage to hold women back. I’m glad I finally got around to reading this book.

*Side note: I’m sad about the timing of this book review since Sandberg’s husband passed away suddenly over the weekend.

Business · Edie C · Non-Fiction

The Dream Manager | by Matthew Kelly

The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly
(Hyperion, 2007, 176 pages)

My husband reads MANY business books but seldom does he ask me to read one and give my opinion.  This one, he did.  The Dream Manager is a new concept on how to retain employees and keep employees happy by helping them reach for and attain their dreams.  As I was reading I couldn’t help but think how much the business concept of The Dream Manager was just like the old way of doing business.  Employees were more than just a number, there were relationships between employees and their bosses and/or managers. 

The Dream Manager is wonderful in that it shows how important it is for everyone to have a dream and to reach out for that dream.  It talks about how to bring relationships and caring back into the work space.    The author set the book up as a scenario in a bogus company so you felt like you knew the characters and could relate.  Overall, for a business book, it was really interesting to read.