My October Reading List: Unfinished Business: Women, Men, Work, Family

Unfinished Business Book Info

For those that have read a few of my blogs, I plan to write a bit about work – life balance…or the fact that it is pretty darn hard to figure out!

I just saw this video as part of a Yahoo news article, and I am now really interested to read this book! I am not a self-help reader nor am I really a non-fiction reader. Give me sci-fi, vampire love stories (yes – I read all the Twilight, Sookie Stackhouse, and Book of Life books), or the occasional historical fiction, and I’m good.  However, I may break my own rules on this one.

I think this is the link to the news article and Katie Couric’s interview of Anne-Marie Slaughter. I’m still figuring out how to add media into blogs!

The interview is worth a listen, and based on my family’s experience, it’s very honest.

No Shame Parenting

I love that she speaks to work-life balance not only as something for parents, but something for everyone. I also love that she addresses #daddyshaming.  Fathers deserve just as much right to balance as mothers. The question is how do we get there?

Let me know if you’ve read the book. It’s on my October reading list.

#noshameparenting #worklifebalance

The Magic of Dr. Seuss – A Diffendoofer Day to You Too!


Dr. Seuss has always been special. There is a magic to his books, the stories, the artwork, that truly transcend time. That’s what makes an exceptional book – for kids or adults, right? A story that can be just as enjoyable and meaningful regardless of when and by whom it is read.  I just learned last night that yesterday was the anniversary of his death after happening on a great article about his best book quotes. In memory of Dr. Seuss, I thought I’d share a little Sheehan family Seuss story.

This week, we rediscovered “Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!” My two oldest kids love this book, and every few months, it becomes part of the “cycle” in bed-time reading. We’ve transitioned from Mom and Dad reading it to them reading it, but the joy at the end is always the same.

Ironically, this is one of those books that isn’t well-known. It almost wasn’t even published. In fact, it’s a book that is only part Dr. Seuss. It’s a book about schools, and teachers, and celebrates that being different is exceptional. Based on the publisher notes at the end of the story, Dr. Seuss wasn’t sure about publishing it but he shared the idea with his editor and then left it be. After he died in 1991, his long-term editor asked to see his notes on the “teacher” idea. While the story wasn’t complete, with permission from his family and help from two other authors, they completed the book.

His lead – Miss Bonkers – is crazy and amazing and fun and silly. She and her fellow teachers teach their kids to be creative and to think in a unique way, yet they learn their ABCs and 123s too.  At its core, this book is about teachers and students and the true power that comes from enabling students to think on their own, even when their style is different.

My life has been influenced so often by teachers. My mom was a teacher, and my sister is a teacher now. I am not sure if I would ever have made it to college without the push of the amazing teachers at my junior high and high school in Banquete, Texas. I’ve seen my children blossom into something that my husband and I could never have fostered on our own thanks to the teachers they have had thus far, even starting in pre-school.

The best part about this story is that this book did not come into our home the way most books do, as gifts or from trips to the bookstore. I was given the book over a decade ago, as a corporate “thank you” for helping to start a Diversity Council at my company. Just like the classic graduation gift book – “Oh The Places You Will Go” – this book speaks to so much more than silly words and stories.

Teachers change lives. They make the world a better place.  And, being different, being a bit unique, is fantastic and amazing! Embrace your Diffendooferness, because for teachers and students alike, that is what makes you special in every way.

In honor of Dr. Seuss, what’s your favorite Seuss moment or book?

Books that I Love – The Martian by Andy Weir

I just finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir. I love this book!!!

Weir tells the story of Mark Watney, a space botanist and mechanical engineer, who gets stranded and injured on the surface of Mars during a dust storm in which his team has to immediately escape to safety or die.  I promise that I’m not giving away any spoilers here. It all happens in the first 25 or 30 pages of the book.

Mark’s story occurs in what appears to be the not-to-distant future, which actually makes it even better for any of us nerds that dreamed about going into space until they realized that Thermodynamics and Physics just SUCK unless you are brilliant.

The character development in this book was phenomenal.  You get a true sense of  a multi-dimensional Mark Watney. He’s funny and smart. Creative and obnoxious. Hopeful and hopeless. But most of all, he’s terrified but refuses to give up…ever. There is so much strength in that type of courage that you can’t help but be sucked into his story.  Beyond that, though, Weir works hard to really introduce you to the key characters that work to find a way to try to rescue Mark after they discover that his is still alive and stuck on Mars.

I won’t give everything away, but if you are looking for a fun, easy, quick read, then put this on your list.  And, as a bonus, you get to see Matt Damon as Mark Watney in the upcoming movie version of the book.  I cannot wait!