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. 😦

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.

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!

 

Positivity

I wrote about my current challenges last week in which I mentioned trying to increase my positivity score.

For the past week, I have been recording my details every day and this is what my graph looks like:

 

Positivity Score

Positivity Score

Despite my best efforts, my score never went past three. 😞 3-11 is the ideal range for a happy, challenging, inspired life.

After the first few days, I tried to increase my positive score by doing fun activities, reading my favorite books, hanging out with friends and increasing my outdoor adventures. Hence, the steady increase.

But it still stayed under 3.0.

So, I have been trying to figure out ways to improve my overall positivity score and here are some strategies I am employing to accomplish the same:

  • Reading: my favorite hobby
  • Sleeping better
  • Staying outdoors / going out : fun for T and me
  • Studying as it makes me feel confident and alert
  • reading inspirational material
  • Meeting friends
  • Making crafts : keeps T and me both engaged and alert

I am also trying to gauge if my frame of mind: optimistic, dull, neutral while attempting the test sways my score. I feel a happier state makes me recall the wins of the previous 24 hours better while undermining any irritants and annoyances. The converse too might hold true. Let’s see! I will be trying to read happy/ inspiring articles before I take the test for the next ten days. It will be interesting to find out how I fare.

Do leave me any helpful suggestions or tips you might have. Have a splendid week ahead!

Current Challenges

This week’s post is about the current challenges of my life:

  • Schooling

School is out but teaching/ schooling never ends for a parent. So, I am trying to teach T at least an hour about world, nature, science, literature, Indian arts and traditions (since we are in Chicago; want her to know her roots as well)

  • Positivity

After reading Daniel Pink’s book, I am hooked on the concept of Positivity ratio. I even took the Positivity Test and found mine to be less than the ideal 3:1 ratio. I am determined to attempt it everyday for two weeks along with deliberate efforts to increase my mindfulness and positive mood.

  • Reading

While I am well past my Goodreads Challenge for 2017; I am trying to keep the pace up. Of course, easier said than done, with so multiple projects in my life right now. This is where every minute counts and synchronized readers come into play. Fingers crossed!

  • Camp NaNoWriMo

I am a participant in 2017 with a target of 10K words. I am still under 1K. So, this is something, I am trying hard to keep up with. The problem is not the words but fear of content. The stories in my mind are really close to my heart and just the thought of setting it to paper is making me feel too vulnerable to write. But I hope to conquer this fear and accomplish my target.

  • Personal Projects

This month, I am completing a MOOCs and doing a pro bono website design project. Hence, I have a full plate on time and creativity and coding front. [= no time but lots of positivity 🙂 ]

Who says ordinary lives are simple or boring? 🙂

Micro Volunteering 

I try to do my bit for various charities. It’s not easy with financial and time constraints. Thankfully, there is micro volunteering. 

SurveyMonkey is one such platform through which you can contribute. I recently learnt about it and here’s the result:

  
On that positive, upbeat note; it’s adieu for now. Have a great week ahead!