Fave Reads Friday #17 – Two Strong Women

On goes the Summer Reading! My kids have been so great at working on their reading! And, despite the breakneck speed at which this summer is flying by, I have found more and more time to read myself. Here are three more books I’ve accomplished so far…..


The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Last year I tried reading the Harry Potter series to my kids. They love it when I read books to them at night that also have a movie. They’re also very strict about not watching the movie until we’re done with the book. However, when we got to the part about the giant spider in the second book…..they bailed. It was too much for them then.

So, back in Spring I decided to start reading the Narnia books instead. I like a little fantasy adventure now and again and wanted them to have more exposure to that. They’re HUGE fans of Roald Dahl books and I think we’ve read almost every single one our library has….so it’s getting time to branch out. We finished The Magician’s Nephew and they were hooked. So on to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe we went! My husband mistakenly called it The Lion, the Witch, and the Warewolf, so we jokingly continued to call it that throughout our entire reading of it.

I have never read this series myself and I am often surprised at how many children read these books with the depth of the language. Good for them! My kids had to ask questions once in awhile (and I’m sure they just let some of the words roll by them). It was on our summer trip to Carrowinds that we got to the part with the death of Aslan. It was so hard to read that part aloud that I teared up a bit myself. It definitely prepared them for the scenes in the movie that were a little dark and gruesome.

We’re on to the third book in the series, but the story doesn’t seem to be ask catching to them as the first two. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with it being summer as well and lots of times they’re staying up late due to activities and we just can’t physically read at bed time because we’re all too tired? Either way, on we press for now!

Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso

So, beyond reading “children’s literature” I am also reading a lot of great books by kick-ass women. The first of which was all about what it means to be a woman in charge and taking charge of her life/business/world. Sophia Amoruso is the head of Nasty Gal, a business I had never heard of before. It’s an online clothing retailer that began as an eBay store where Amoruso sold vintage finds. She has built her business into a very successful and lucrative career through hard work, perseverance, and actually paying attention to her customers.

There were moments at which I thought the book wasn’t for me. I mean, I don’t intend to open my own business any time……at all. I had toyed with the idea of owning my own gym/studio at one point, but I realized (quickly) that I don’t want to be in the business of running a business. I also visited the Nasty Gal website in hopes of finding vintage that appealed to me, but it was a lost cause. Her styles are very chic and I am not. This was a bit of a disappointment because I truly do love vintage clothing from the 60’s and 70’s and even stole my parents’ old clothes when I was in high school to wear. I went so far as to use the patterns my mom had used to make her own clothes in high school and college (you can tell I’m from an insanely wealthy family) and made some of my own “vintage” clothing.

I did realize (finally), that this book was for me because I love reading about people’s stories. I love learning little bits about how I connect to the larger picture of life and how there are some people out there as scrappy as me, with similar values, although completely different in expression. I loved that Amoruso wasn’t willing to just outright accept success the minute it hit. She kept plugging along as if it could all be taken away at any moment. I also loved the fact that she had great advice throughout the book for any woman about being yourself and not taking no for an answer. This lead me right into Amanda Palmer’s book about the The Art of Asking.….something I’m not great at.

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Okay, so first off I have to make an admission here. When I was in the end of my time in Colorado I had an online friend (who was a friend of a friend) introduce me to a group known as The Dresden Dolls. Oh how I loved their music! However…..I’m not the kind of fan of music that always knows so much about the band, or the meaning behind their music, or even the actual names of the songs. I was hooked on one particular song as I went through my divorce: Coin Operated Boy.

So, when I picked up this book and started reading it and then found out that Amanda Palmer is the female half of The Dresden Dolls duo….I was a little embarrassed. How could I have loved this music for the past 12 years and not known who she was?! Well, here’s what I did learn. Amanda Palmer would be the person I would want to be besties with if she lived anywhere near here. Amanda Palmer would be the person I would want to do yoga with and listen to music with and join a book club with and so on and so forth.

I loved her story (again I love learning people’s stories) in The Art of Asking because it’s truly everyone’s story at some point in their life. It’s the story of learning your own boundaries and when to open and close your walls.

When I was married the first time a mentor of mine gave me some good advice. She told me that I would know I was doing the right thing in marrying someone if I could put my trust in them and let them help me. This came from a space of knowing what my home life was like growing up (and a lot of other topics for another post). Palmer talks about the moment when she learns to lean on her husband. To trust him to support her in a very specific way and allow him to help her. I felt so understood when I read her book.

I still have a hard time trusting in certain situations. You could call it control issues or trust issues or just being human. However, reading this book gave me the power to ask myself…..what do I need to ask for in life? It’s a very big conundrum and almost feels like it goes against my yoga practice in a way. I feel like asking for things sometimes competes with the Yamas and Niyamas, but asking the question is definitely a way of connecting the mind with the body with the soul and the world around me. It’s meditation and Svadhyaya all day long! When I have the answer, I’ll be sure to share it with you!

Until then….

Please share what you’re reading or thoughts on these titles, plans for the future or whatever else is on your mind here.

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