Reading : Books by Women

I am always looking to expanding my non-fiction reading, books on business, finance, career development, entrepreneurship and the likes. But the list of books by women authors usually is limited to just a few.

Curious I decided to search for lists of books by women authors. My criteria was not books for women, but books by women! Searching through Google, Twitter and Goodreads, I found many lists ‘for women’. But only few passed the ‘By Women‘ test. ūüė¶

To be fair, books by men are wonderful, insightful and applicable. But, I really wanted to read books by women on the subjects of career development, managing businesses, achieving success, making money. Surely, not such an arduous task. But it was!

But, I found the efforts were worth it! I found a few marvelous lists, and I am happy to report that my to-read list has now expanded significantly. In fact, I plan to plow through these lists and read away to glory now! After all, what better way to spend the oncoming cold here in Midwest? A nice cup of coffee, a good book, the little one perusing her own books (hopefully), ahh!!! The good life!

Given below are the lists I found as well as the one I built up on Goodreads:

  • Goodreads Self List¬†: I made this list based on what I have read and been recommended. Confession Time: I am only half done on this list!
  • From Inc.com¬†: This is the one list that comes up frequently. Interesting to note that this article was created by a man! While I can dwell on how it takes a man to point this out and carefully curate that list; I won’t. Instead, I am be delighted that men and women are equally committed to equality on all fronts and helping in our own ways! That is heartening, after all!
  • Goodreads Business List: Another find on Goodreads.
  • NonFiction for Women¬†– This list is ostensibly for women in their twenties. I’m not! I turned 31 this month! But with 135 books, all by women; it’s not hard to find many wonderful titles (amid a few I’d call questionable) for inspiration and empowerment.
  • Indian Women Authors: This list is targeted towards women in Indian workforce. I am adding this list as I am an Indian and some of the titles in this list were recommended while I worked as a software professional.

These lists are no way exhaustive. So, please do let me know if there is any book that you found awesome and was written by a female author. Or add it to the list on Goodreads here.

Investing Time and Other Musings

A number of my recent posts have been about managing time and using all those spare moments that make up the bulk of this Stay-At-Home-Mom’s day. Following this quest, the book I am currently reading is Laura Vanderkam’s ‘I Know How She Does It- How Successful Women Make the Most of their Time’.

I am only half way through the book, and already am delighted by the many inspiring but practical techniques to follow. One concept that stood out to me is mindfulness and measurement. Being conscious of your time and the need to log your activities makes one really mindful and cognizant of what we are doing. I know this by personal experience because I logged my time for a few weeks. Read more on that here. One of the best benefits of time logging was how involved and engaged I was. I actively tried to maximize my time, energy and tasks. This means batching tasks and mindful multi-tasking.

Also, from my recent Positivity Ratio tracking, I realized that planning my day and time with T to include a mix of routine and novelty keeps her and me both happy. Planning what I will do in spare moments, being prepared for all those spare moments keeps me away form distractions. After all, time is like salary. Like my father (an accountant) is fond of quoting:

It is not about how much you earn, but how much you save!

Or more appropriately:

It is not about how much time you have, but what and how we invest that time in!

I am hence trying to invest my time in high return activities:

  • health : cooking, exercising, eating consciously
  • career: studying, doing personal projects, working on my online biz presence
  • reading: keeping books of all formats at hand, saving book lists and finding which are in my library.

I would also like to mention her how I tackle the books on my reading list:

  • I maintain a list of books to read on my iPhone.
  • Whenever free, I check if it is available in my library.
  • If yes, I add the accession number.
  • On my next visit, I know what aisle to head and grab the book.
  • If not, I check if available on Hoopla Digital, the online platform. I access it via my library and borrow if available.
  • If not, ask around: interlibrary loan, friends. Usually: works!
  • If not, check a different book. ūüôā

Being intentional helps me read the books I want to and not just any fluff. Plus, it keeps the preschooler form whining as I search for the books I need as opposed to carting her off to the kiddie section.Win-win!

 

Current Challenges – Revisited

I thought I’d give a nice update on my current challenges for August just like in July.

  • Schooling

T and I have been visiting the library and we are done with our Summer Program. We shall be collecting our gift soon. As of this week, T has read over 250 unique books. [Our reading count is higher since T likes to read her favorites over and over again. This is why we had finished the ‘1000 books before Kindergarten’ summer program last year with ~120 unique books. Not bad for a four year old!]

We are learning about time thanks to the Melissa&Doug clock from our library.

Cycling and walking are among our physical activities and making polite conversation constitute our social activities list.

  • Positivity

I finished more than three weeks of logging my positivity ratio; so, I have learnt what boosts my mood instantly and what automatically puts me in a slump. Accordingly, am trying to increase the good moments and avoid the bad ones. Read about my attempts at measuring positivity here and here.

  • Reading

I finished yet another book this week. Hurray! I am reading three books as of now. One is a physical copy, one an audio book and another an ebook. Having discovered how all the spare moments add up, I have resorted to having books around in multiple formats. This means that I can utilize every extra minute for absorbing a great book depending on the situation. Baby sleeping in my arms, go with the ebook. Ironing my never ending pile: listen to the audio book instead of songs. Supervising the li’l angel: read the hard cover. It’s not a perfect technique, but it works.

  • Camp NaNoWriMo

The one glaring blip on my list of challenges. I did NOT reach my target. No excuses or reasons. I am just glad that I learnt some useful lessons that will aid me in this year’s NaNoWriMo.

Make an outline.

Flesh out story and characters beforehand.

Don’t think, just write, never edit.

  • Personal Projects

I finished my MOOC with 95% score. Yippee!!

My pro bono project is in progress. I need to finish that within this fortnight.

 

It’s amazing how simple, ordinary lives too have so many challenges, big and small! What are you tackling now? Leave your thoughts and challenges in the comments below.

Enjoy the weekend!

 

 

 

Positivity- 2

Last week, I wrote about measuring Positivity. This week I share some updates on how my positivity fared, and the results of the technique I was trying out.

Last week, after about ten days of measurement and analysis; I found that even on my best days, my positivity ratio never surpassed 3 on the scale. It seemed like the negative events were dragging my ratio down keeping it lower than 3.

Note: The related study puts forth the range of 3-11 as the ideal positivity ratio. Loosely translated, it is the ratio of positives and negatives of life. 3-11 ensures that you have sufficient gladness and optimism to counter negatives and move forward brimming with confidence and cheer without being delusional or blind to realities.

Reiterating, I felt the negatives were swaying my positives. I wondered if my ‘frame of mind during recall’ could have any influence on this test. It seemed logical but I wanted to test it for sure. This test is to be taken at roughly the same time everyday which for me is in my harried, strained mornings. Hence, I felt my negative and glum mindset might be influencing my recall. Accordingly, this whole week, I made sure to read delightful articles and inspiring notes for a couple of minutes before taking the test.

I am happy to note that the resetting of my frame of mind helped me to recall more happy moments of the day, essentially all the ‘wins’. Consequently, my positivity factors have boosted quite significantly. A snapshot is shown below:

PositivityRatio

This little test led me to thinking about doubling my ‘Sugar Jar’, ‘Gratitude Journaling’ and other activities. But details on those are for another post.

Until then, have a great weekend ahead! Stay positive, stay healthy, stay happy!