Friday, November 30, 2012

Book Beginnings: The Warmth of Other Suns

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

"The night clouds were closing in on the salt licks east of the oxbow lakes along the folds in the earth beyond the Yalobusha River."

Very atmospheric beginning, which bodes well for a giant nonfiction book covering a history of 55 years, which looks daunting.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays: Rules of Civility

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

"To her credit, Eve was making an honest go of it in New York. She had arrived in 1936 with enough of her father's money to get a single at Mrs. Martingale's boardinghouse and enough of his influence to land a job as a marketing assistant at the Pembroke Press--promoting all of the books that she'd avoided so assiduously in school."

I like this girl, Eve. To have Daddy's money but work anyway, and want to make your own way (albeit with a leg up. It is 1936 after all.)

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is now hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Books completed last week:
None. I am in the middle of reading Warmth, which is enormous, when I had to pause to tackle Civility, for my book club on Thursday.

Books I am currently reading/listening to:
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
The Darwin Awards Countdown to Extinction by Wendy Northcutt
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Up next:
The Heroine's Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder by Erin Blakemore
The Mirrored World by Debra Dean
What I Learned at Davidson by Allie Coker-Schwimmer

Friday, November 23, 2012

Book Beginnings: Rules of Civility

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

"On the night of October 4th, 1966, Val and I, both in late middle age, attended the opening of Many Are Called at the Museum of Modern Art--the first exhibit of the portraits taken by Walker Evans in the late 1930s on the New York City subways with a hidden camera."

This book takes place in the 1930s, and this is from the Preface. But even though there is a frame around the story, they introduce the time of the actual story right away. I'm not always crazy about a frame--they frequently are superfluous--but I'll reserve judgment.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays: The Dead of Night

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Dead of Night by John Marsden p. 45

"Homer was quite impressed to hear that we were so well-known, so notorious. "let's show them we're still in business," he said, smiling his slowest, most dangerous smile."

This book seems to pick up right after the first one as this "notorious" reference is directly talking about the climax of Tomorrow, When the War Began.

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is now hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Books completed last week:
The Dead of Night by John Marsden
The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma

Books I am currently reading/listening to:
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
The Darwin Awards Countdown to Extinction by Wendy Northcutt

Up next:
Heading Out To Wonderful by Robert Goolrick
Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie
The Fine Color of Rust by Paddy O'Reilly

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Book Review: The Dead of Night by John Marsden

The first book in this series, Tomorrow, When the War Began, ended on such a cliffhanger, I couldn't help but read the sequel. In this Australian YA series, Australia has been invaded by an unnamed country (it is implied that it is Asian, but that's really all we know.) It has been a few months now, and Ellie and her friends who were camping out in the bush know a little bit more: New Zealand and New Guinea are helping, but those are small countries. The politicians escaped to America which is considering helping in non-military ways (this is the one thing that really didn't ring true for me as of course the U.S. loves military intervention, and I would think that an ally as strong as Australia would merit a truly ferocious ass-kicking, BUT if the country in question were one as potentially militarily strong and also economically vital like China, well, I guess we might think twice. But really we shouldn't. No one gets to invade someone else. But I'm going off on something that was just mentioned in passing.)

The teenagers have been scavenging in town and have supplies and food, but they are still desperate for news of loved ones, and they're also growing increasingly tired of having too much responsibility, having to make too many important decisions with little to no information, and they really want to hook up with some other rebels, which they've heard on the radio are out there. So most of them (leaving one with the supplies at the campsite) set out to find the adults. Will they find them? Will they like what they find? Will they continue to find ways to thwart the invaders? Will they survive? Will they be captured? Injured? Killed?

This dystopian novel doesn't beat around the bush at all, with death definitely an option, and there is a sex scene although it's handled both with subtlety and safety (condoms are used). These books certainly should appeal to teens. They have a lot of similarities to the Hunger Games series in fact, except that it's happening NOW, not in the future (albeit, the book was written in 1994 and I did snort at a mention of "electronic mail" but overall it feels like now.) The book luckily has a glossary of Australian slang terms like "fair dinkum." I whipped through it, staying up late to finish it in just two days. While some questions are answered, and the ending is heartbreaking, more questions are left unanswered, and so book 3 is now going on my To Read list.


This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend. 

I checked this book out of the library.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Beginnings: The Dead of Night

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

The Dead of Night by John Marsden

"Damn this writing. I'd rather sleep. God how I'd love to sleep."

Sorry about three sentences, but they're so short! It makes sense that Ellie doesn't really get to sleep -- she's living in a war zone.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book Review: Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear

The 1930s seem to have gotten quite popular with TV as well as books ("Upstairs Downstairs") lately. And I am no stranger to the fascination with this era of our history which we are somewhat reliving, at least economically, if not with the world war bookends (thank God.) So the Maisie Dobbs books are completely interesting for me, as a glimpse into the changing economy as a middle class is emerging from the former working class, and Maisie, once a lady's maid, now has her own business. Those types of changes in the social structure happened so rapidly as to almost cause whiplash it seems, and yet they did happen, and with much less fuss than I would have assumed if I myself lived in the 1890s and 1900s (the decade, not the century) and someone told me how things would be different in just 20 years.

Meanwhile, Maisie is operating her detective agency with the help of her assistant, Billy, and is called upon to look into the disappearance of Charlotte Waite, a wealthy young woman. Has she escaped her father's strict household? Has she gotten into trouble? Is this related to the recent murder of a childhood friend of hers? Maisie is on the case and through her novel methods of deep thinking, meditation, and close inspection, she will crack the mystery. Meanwhile, her father falls ill, Billy has his own issue, and is the cute doctor asking Maisie out on a date? Sensible Maisie will always get everything done that needs to be done with a minimum of fuss.

I enjoyed this very much. I guessed somewhat the ending, but not entirely and was pleased that the ending was both a bit of a surprise and yet also well set-up. (I hate mystery endings out of left field.) I suppose the deep thinking and meditation aren't that odd if you think about other sleuths pre-CSI like Sherlock Holmes, but the way that Maisie sits in the girls' rooms and feel the pervasive feelings they left behind, like an aura, feels unique to me, and the meditation also seems unusual for the time. I really enjoyed those parts. The era is a delight each time as the care is serviced with an oil change after every long trip and needs to have 5 steps just to start it! While it does make me appreciate the conveniences of today, Maisie's lack of an iPhone doesn't hold her back at all in solving these mysteries, so perhaps that isn't the point of those details. The books are lovely quick trips back to a time that, while in some ways simpler, was also the beginning of the modern era and feels familiar, if so very different. I think I will continue with this series as a nice distraction.

I checked this book out of the library.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

“Waiting On” Wednesday: Autobiography of Us

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication “can't-wait-to-read” selection is:

Autobiography of Us: A Novel by Aria Beth Sloss

Synopsis from the publisher:
A gripping debut novel about friendship, loss and love; a confession of what passed between two women who met as girls in 1960s Pasadena, California.

Coming of age in the patrician neighborhood of Pasadena, California during the 1960s, Rebecca Madden and her beautiful, reckless friend Alex dream of lives beyond their mothers’ narrow expectations. Their struggle to define themselves against the backdrop of an American cultural revolution unites them early on, until one sweltering evening the summer before their last year of college, when a single act of betrayal changes everything. Decades later, Rebecca’s haunting meditation on the past reveals the truth about that night, the years that followed, and the friendship that shaped her.

Autobiography of Us is an achingly beautiful portrait of a decades-long bond. A rare and powerful glimpse into the lives of two women caught between repression and revolution, it casts new light on the sacrifices, struggles, victories and defeats of a generation.

Publishing February 5, 2013 by Henry Holt and Co.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays: Birds of a Feather


Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear p. 67

"Maisie sat opposite him and deliberately relaxed her body to bring calm to the room and to communicate that she was in control of the situation. 'Billy, this morning I went to the home of Lydia Fisher in Cheyne Mews and found her--dead.'"

This ups the ante quite a bit, even though I already know this book is a mystery and that Maisie is a detective.

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is now hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Today I am featured on the website, Shelf Pleasure, in a regular post about what's on your Night Stand. I wrote it a couple of weeks ago so it's not completely up to date, but you'll see why I picked the books I was to read next (some of which I already have!)

Books completed last week:
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, read by Jayne Entwistle (audio)
Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear

Books I am currently reading/listening to:
The Darwin Awards Countdown to Extinction by Wendy Northcutt
The Dead of Night by John Marsden

Up next:
My Life as Laura: How I Searched for Laura Ingalls Wilder and Found Myself by Kelly Kathleen Ferguson
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Tulipomania: The Story of the World's Most Coveted Flower and the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused by Mike Dash

Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Beginnings: Birds of a Feather

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear

"Maisie Dobbs shuffled the papers on her desk into a neat pile and placed them in a plain manila folder."


This is a pretty good first line because if there's one thing Maisie is, it's organized. She would always keep papers in neat piles and oragznied into folders. She's also not fussy and would rather have a plain manila folder than anything colored. It does give you a reminder of her personality right off the bat, but not in a hit-you-over-the-head way, which I very much appreciate in a series.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, read by Jayne Entwistle


I had heard adorable things about this book when it first came out, but not being much of a mystery reader, I skipped it, until a friend offered me the audio. I am always looking for shorter, yet unabridged, audio books, and although I prefer nonfiction, I figured I'd give it a shot. And it was adorable!

Flavia de Luce is 11-year-old, it is 1950 and she lives at Buckshaw mansion in England near the town of Bishop's Lacey with her two annoying big sisters, distant father, quirky cook, and beloved jack-of-all-trades, Dogger. She is going about her business of experimenting with chemistry, much to her sisters' regret, when a dead body shows up in the cucumber patch and life suddenly gets a lot more interesting. When her father is arrested, Flavia knows she has to clear his name.

This book was a lot more fun and quirkier than your typical amateur-sleuth cozy, heightened by the age of the protagonist combined with her eccentric personality. She's prickly, a little annoying, stubborn, convinced of how much smarter she is than everyone else, and prone to getting into trouble. But she's also so endearing, as she wonders about her dead mother, wishes for more attention from her father and instead getting it from Dogger, and determinedly goes about proving his innocence him asking her not to. I particularly liked the relationship with her sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, who are both caricatures in the way we often buttonhole family in our youths and cast them in particular roles, and yet at times they do break out of those two-dimensions and show they care for Flavia, but at the same time are utterly exasperated by her. The mystery kept me guessing but everything fell into place appropriately.

I unfortunately dragged out listening to this over several weeks, which never is a good thing for an audio book, but it was easy to follow and to remember just what was going on last. The narrator was perfect, as her voice was very youthful and full of happy energy, although at times she was a tad bubbly. And I liked the other voices she did for the various other characters very much. I was at first skeptical of how she'd pull off very serious men like the police inspectors, but she totally did. Aside from a couple of deaths (inevitable in a mystery), there is no swearing, nothing inappropriate at all, and it would be a perfect book to listen to with the family, if the kids are old enough for dead people, and if they're up for a quiet British story with no real action. It certainly does have crossover appeal to teens.


This book is a part of the Audiosynced roundup of audio book reviews at Stacked and at Abby the Librarian. They alternate hosting the monthly post.

I got this audiobook from a friend.

“Waiting On” Wednesday: Memoir of the Sunday Brunch

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication “can't-wait-to-read” selection is:

Memoir of the Sunday Brunch by Julia Pandl

Synopsis from the publisher:
For Julia Pandl, the rite of passage into young-adulthood included mandatory service at her family’s restaurant, where she watched as her father—who was also the chef—ruled with the strictness of a drill sergeant.

At age twelve, Julie was initiated into the rite of the Sunday brunch, a weekly madhouse at her father’s Milwaukee-based restaurant, where she and her eight older siblings before her did service in a situation of controlled chaos, learning the ropes of the family business and, more important, learning life lessons that would shape them for all the years to come. In her wry memoir, she looks back on those formative years, a time not just of growing up but, ultimately, of becoming a source of strength and support as the world her father knew began to change into a tougher, less welcoming place.

Part coming-of-age story à la The Tender Bar, part window into the mysteries of the restaurant business à la Kitchen Confidential, Julie pandl provides tender wisdom about the bonds between fathers and daughters and about the simple pleasures that lie in the daily ritual of breaking bread. This honest and exuberant memoir marks the debut of a writer who discovers that humor exists in even the smallest details of our lives and that the biggest moments we ever experience can happen behind the pancake station at the Sunday brunch.

Publishing on November 13, 2012 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Dig Tree: The Story of Burke and Wills by Sarah Murgatroyd

Wow, Robert O'Hara Burke and Dr. William Wills were quite possibly the unluckiest explorers ever. If this story weren't nonfiction, it would be hard to believe the big twist at the end.

When I was twelve, I read Cooper's Creek by Alan Moorehead, a novelized middle grade version of the story of Burke and Wills, the first men to nearly succeed in crossing the continent of Australia across the Outback, from South to North. I was recently reminded of this and wanted to revisit the story, and when I saw this adult nonfiction book complete with a terrific quote from Bill Bryson, I had to have it.

It is a straight-up history, not novelized at all with no reconstructed conversations, and Ms. Murgatroyd points out where historical facts are missing and details can only be guessed at. Yet, it is a riveting and heartbreaking story, if also at times ridiculous. The mid-1800s were a time of great exploration as unknown lands were quickly disappearing, and therefore explorers having to take on bigger challenges with bigger risks. The race for the North Pole and exploration in the wilds of South America were nearly all that was left, as the American West was quickly, if sparsely, becoming populated and even Australia was colonized. And yet the middle of Australia remained a great unknown. Was there a vast inland sea? Was it a barren desert? Were there acres of farmland and grazing land going ignored? Many wondered at what lay beyond the Flinders Ranges but the land had defeated those who had tried to find out. Finally, a carrot was offered that would not be easily ignored: the laying of an international telegraph line from the Northern coast that needed to somehow get to one of the cities along the Southern and Eastern coasts. Both Adelaide and Melbourne decided they wanted this, and both put up groups of men to try to forge a way across the continent to the north.


The Outback is very inhospitable. Bitterly dry, with plants that cut up your ankles and feet, swarms of mosquitoes and flies, occasional boggy, swampy areas, unending sand dunes, it is nearly as difficult to traverse as Antarctica, if filled with mostly opposite problems. (The one problem they both shared: starvation.) Yet it is beautiful and Aboriginals have lived there for tens of thousands of years, so obviously the obstacles can be overcome. The two competing groups of explorers had very differing theories on how to go about this. Stuart, from Adelaide, had already explored halfway up the continent previously, and he took just a handful of trusted men, horses, and the bare minimum of supplies (although not skimping on food.) It took him three tries, getting further each time, but Stuart eventually was the first to cross the continent. Burke and Wills from Melbourne took about 40 men with camels and wagons as well as horses, and a shocking amount of supplies. And yet this crew, the best outfitted and equipped, failed miserably. They came within 30 km (18 mi) of the coast two years before Stuart did, and didn't reach it. How did things go so terribly wrong?

Smoothly written with obvious great research that doesn't bog down the narrative, this is the rare history book that will keep you awake at night, wondering how the participants get to the inevitable ending. It is a testament to a great writer that, even when you know the outcome, you are still anxious and hoping for a different set of events than you know happened. If you love history or exploration and are interested in a story you've not heard before, The Dig Tree is the book for you.

These photos of the Outback were taken by me on my recent trip to Australia. We were in South Australia just south of the Flinders Ranges, which is the southernmost tip of the Outback, and this was the middle of winter in the rainy season. This is as green as the Outback gets.

I bought this book at an independent bookstore in Australia.

Teaser Tuesdays: The Dig Tree

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


The Dig Tree: The Story of Burke and Wills by Sarah Murgatroyd p. 24

"In this era of opulence the centre of Australia was an insult to the colonial mind; a rebellious outlaw that refused to be parcelled up and tied down by lines of latitude and longitude. The newspapers began to call for a resumption of the colony's early enthusiasm for exploration, with one columnist lamenting, 'That the interior of this continent should still remain shrouded in mystery, is a national reproach to the Australian communities in general but especially to Victoria."

Silly colonists. Stick to what you know. This exploration is not going to end well!

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is now hosted by Sheila at Book Journey

Books completed last week:
The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace by Lynn Povich

Books I am currently reading/listening to:
The Dig Tree: The Story of Burke and Wills by Sarah Murgatroyd
The Darwin Awards Countdown to Extinction by Wendy Northcutt
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Up next:
The Botanist and the Vintner: How Wine Was Saved for the World by Christy Campbell
Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
The Dead of Night by John Marsden

Friday, November 2, 2012

Book Beginnings: The Dig Tree

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

The Dig Tree: The Story of Burke and Wills by Sarah Murgatroyd

"When Captain James Cook stood on the deck of the Endeavour in March 1770 and felt the hot dry winds filling her sails off Australia's southern coast, he declared that the country's interior would be nothing but desert."

Was he right? Well, it's not much of a wonder these days as most people, even those who've never set foot there, know the Australian Outback is formidable.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Book Review: The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace by Lynn Povich

I read this book in 24 hours! I started it in line to vote and just couldn't put it down. Read it through lunch, dinner, and finished it at breakfast the next morning. It tells the riveting story of a crucial moment in the ongoing fight for equal rights for women in the workplace.

Do you like the TV show "Mad Men"? Are you glad that you don't personally have to experience that work environment? Well it's based on fact and wasn't that long ago. Just one generation ago it was normal for women, regardless of skills, education and qualifications, to be relegated to the backwaters of secretaries for their entire career. Think of Mary Richards on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" - Lou Grant tells her he's never had a female as associate producer and he also tells her he's going to pay her less than a male. And throughout the run of that show, not another female worked at that TV news program, at least not for more than a week. And similarly, at Newsweek in the exact same era, girls (they were not called women) were restricted to being researchers and could never be a reporter or  writer, forget editor or higher. And most of these women had gone to Smith, Vassar, Barnard, and other similar prestigious Seven Sisters and Ivy League schools.

But in 1970, they didn't know this was illegal until one woman had lunch with a friend who clued her in. The friend knew a little bit about the legalities and advised them to not talk to management, to get a group of women together, and hire a lawyer. Which is exactly what they did. Eventually 40+ women sued Newsweek. They announced their suit the same day that Newsweek's issue with the "Women in Revolt" cover story hit newsstands. The last straw, management knew a man couldn't write that story, and yet they would never give it to a woman who worked there, so they hired a freelancer from out of house. And so the women held a press release.

The lawsuit led to a settlement, but after two years and little to no progress, the women filed another two lawsuits - one which was breach of contract for Newsweek having not done what they promised in the settlement of the first case. That time more progress was made and eventually there was some parity in the editorial staff as well as writing and reporting.

But things seem to have stalled. The author (who was one of the original litigants) was approached by three young women at Newsweek in the mid-2000s who were feeling like their male peers were having an easier time of it, getting more stories faster, not having to pitch them, getting promotions faster and getting more money. They eventually found out about this case which had fallen by the wayside in the intervening 40 years,  and in 2010 they wrote an updated "Women in Revolt" cover story. But sadly, they initially felt they had to submit it anonymously for fear of retaliation. Many young women seem to think sexism doesn't exist anymore, which is pretty absurd when no one would argue the same about race, and yet the battles have been going on for the same length of time (in fact, the only reason it was illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex in 1970 was that, in an effort to surely defeat the Civil Rights Act, a segregationist added "sex," which he thought was so ridiculous and absurd that it would most definitely be defeated now. Luckily for everyone, he was terribly wrong.)

This book spoke to me personally, as I too was shocked when I entered the real world. After college I worked at a chain bookstore and my manager was very sexist. She would give any female on the opening shift the most horrible job - vacuuming - which took 3 hours, while the males all got the 20 minute opening duties and spent the other 40 minutes gossiping and drinking coffee in the break room. When confronted, she didn't deny it - she thought that we women wouldn't want to take out the trash or get the newspapers because we might get dirty. I asked what made her think I would be unable to take out garbage without spilling it all over myself, and I did get that changed. But then came time for me to be promoted to supervisor. She offered me the position as the Children's Department supervisor, a department I never went to, in fact avoided, had expressed no interest in. Why? Because I'm a girl. I wanted to be shipping and receiving supervisor. She then told me that [Big Chain] doesn't have any female Shipping & Receiving Supervisors. To which I responded, "Well, they do now!" And I soon found out that it wasn't even true! [Big Chain] wasn't sexist and would have been quite shocked if I'd brought an EEOC suit against them as her claim of a policy was just her own weaselly way to not take responsibility for her own sexism. And did you catch the pronoun in all of this? I was treated like a lesser person because I am a woman... by a woman.

Years later when I worked in NYC for a Big Six publisher, the imprint where I worked operated like a fraternity, despite being staffed half by women. But the men ran the show. They could do no wrong. They worked on the high-profile, big-name books, their failures weren't dwelled on, they weren't grilled to the degree we women were on new acquisitions, they were promoted faster, and in retrospect I'd be quite shocked if they weren't paid better. Like a fraternity, new employees were lightly hazed and had to put in their time as low-level people treated like dirt, and if you didn't take that willingly (can you guess if that applies to me?) you were accused of not being a team player and willing to pay your dues. No thanks.

Today, much like in the 1970s, sexism tends to be subtle, accepted, and hidden (many of my previous employers told me I wasn't allowed to discuss my salary with co-workers which I have come to learn in this book is illegal!) That doesn't mean it's not there. That just means that the generation just now entering the workforce will have to have their own "click" moments as author Lynn Povich describes them, when you realize that things are unequal, it's wrong, and it affects you.

While Ms. Povich was one of the participants, she mostly keeps herself out of the story except when she can't help it which I very much appreciated. I guess it is a memoir, but it reads more like a history. It's an important and vital topic that we need to keep alive today, with the dearth of women in the upper ranks of business, even my own female-dominated industry, book publishing. Well-written, smooth and flowing but filled with fascinating facts and even a few funny tidbits (I particularly liked the fake sample ledes taught at the "Famous Writers School" organized to train the female researchers to become "Newsweek" writers.) This book should be read by all young women starting careers, and also by those of us mid-career who should be fighting for our spots at the table with the Big Boys.

I checked this book out of the library.