A Little Stress and Shame followed by Excitement and a Review in Three Parts

I’ll be honest. This first project gave me some initial stress and shame. As a full-time working mom of two kids under 5, my book-reading aspirations haven’t met reality the last few years. I begin with that because that’s partly why I’m here – to share openly and honestly, to work through discomfort, to learn from others, to invest time and energy into my own growth, to move further towards aspirations, and I share for anyone else that may have had a similar first reaction.

With that, I am now excited to share, and my review comes in three parts:

(1) A review of an actual book

You’re More Power Than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen by Eric Liu is a great combination of powerful and practical. As the sub-title suggests, it is written as a guide with some actionable tactics a reader can consider and employ. Others may sum it up better than I can.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of New America, calls it a “primer on power,” and Jose Antonio Vargas, founder and CEO of Define American, claims, “There is no more pressing time than now to understand your own power and use it, and there is no better guide to doing so than Eric Liu. This book is a way of living, individually and collectively, in a changing America.”

(2) A review of not-a-book

A resource I have leaned on heavily in recent years is not a book, but a 19-page PDF called Power Moves: Your Essential Philanthropy Assessment Guide for Equity and Justice (the executive summary). The audience for this guide is philanthropy, but I believe its principals of Building Power, Sharing Power, and Wielding Power could be applicable to a lot of individuals and organizations. I reference it often to continue to push myself to consider how I can further do all three.

(3) A plug for audio books

I end with a life hack for anyone else struggling with a little book-reading-shame. I avoided audiobooks for far too long, but they are a wonderful resource. Not only do they allow one to pack kids lunches and enjoy a book at the same time, but also I’ve found that hearing an author read their own words or another talented narrator read a book can actually be more powerful than reading on your own at times.

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