Books to Watch | March 30, 2021
March 30, 2021
This week, our choices are:
Get Good with Money: Ten Simple Steps to Becoming Financially Whole by Tiffany Aliche, Rodale Books
The two new books I’ve chosen this week are strong contenders for my favorites of Women’s History Month! First: Tiffany Aliche is a lively and humble author who shares her wealth of budgeting knowledge (pun intended) in the new book, Get Good with Money. She talks highly of her Nigerian parents who were successful in both family and business pursuits: both earned two degrees, had good jobs, and raised five, college-educated daughters, grounded in an awareness of budgeting's give-and-take. I feel like I am an apple who came from a similarly successful and budget-conscious tree, but I’m not actually confident with the details of "financial wholeness" and how to achieve it. Aliche shares her own fears (some of which stem from her losing her income and hence housing during the Great Recession) and provides an encouraging, step-by-step guide to becoming financially stable and then growing and protecting your wealth.
I felt more secure making $39,000/year teaching preschool than I did as a business owner making more than $39,000/month. Just goes to show that a strong foundation can be built with much less than you think. And that wealth is more than just money in the bank!
If that doesn't get you to read this book, I don't know what will! Get Good with Money is about bringing to life a version of yourself who is good at saving money and choosing what to spend it on. It's a book that actually gets you hyped up for tracking your expenses, splitting up your bank accounts, growing your FICO credit scores, exploring life insurance, and SO MUCH MORE. Maybe I'm excited because I'm finally able to stay awake reading a book on finances or maybe it's because, at the end of every chapter, I get to mentally imagine how proud Tiffany would be of me for undertaking this slow-and-steady mission towards financial wholeness. Either way, Get Good with Money is one that I hope many young people read as soon as they can! (GMC)
Side note: When you preorder your own copy from any retailer and enter your order info at https://getgoodwithmoney.com/ before April 15th, 20201, you'll instantly receive a few free gifts including a Budgetnista Boosters Bundle, savings goals coloring sheets, and discounted Get Good with Money merch!
The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Business Relationships by Susan McPherson with Jackie Ashton, McGraw-Hill
The most influential and important movements in history have been built not on individual genius, but on making connections to others. It doesn’t always result in an Industrial Revolution or an Age of Enlightenment, a Renaissance or Civil Rights Era, but connecting to others is how human beings make progress and move the world—or at least find our place in it. It is an ability Susan McPherson calls her “superpower,” and the long list of enthusiastic endorsements at the beginning of her new book, The Lost Art of Connecting, suggests that power is very real. We don’t all come by it as naturally as she does, but it is something we can learn. We can begin by asking, How does she do it?
Well, connecting—as I’ve come to understand it—comes down to one simple question: How can I help? Asking this question in any meeting, any introduction—any moment—immediately narrows my focus on how I can be of service and support to others.
To figure that out, McPherson (and the host of research she brings to bear) suggests “you first need to figure out that all-too-important relationship with yourself.” Her book is going to require you do as much work looking inward as in reaching out, because how you can help others is largely driven by what is most important to you, what unique contributions you have to offer not just to them, but to the world. Finding the answers to those questions provides the first step to connecting with others—figuring out who exactly you want to be connected with. After a year of being physically disconnected, learning to use some new (albeit imperfect) tools in the process, I think we all understand just how important our connections are, how important it is to work to help others and allow them to help you. And The Lost Art of Connecting will help you do that work. (DJJS)
Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere by Tsedal Neeley, Harper Business
Tsedal Neeley began her book on remote work well before COVID-19 made working remotely a necessity for so many. The Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School explains how, while the pandemic may have sped up the book’s completion, the topic at hand is one she has been studying for years. As she writes in the introduction to Remote Work Revolution:
The accumulated insights and guidance have not been rushed into print. Nor are they a temporary fix. The behaviors and best practices—about trust, productivity, digital tools, leadership, and success—have taken years to develop.
So, as relevant and topical as it is, the book is not a product of the pandemic, and its teachings will be relevant far beyond it. In fact, it may be most important to us all right at this moment, as vaccination rates increase, cases (hopefully) continue to ebb, and decisions on what our workplaces and work arrangements will look like will need to be made rather than being mandated. One of the greatest challenges and opportunities is how our work can become more autonomous and self-directed even as our teams become more diverse and interconnected. How we organize ourselves anew will not look the same for every company, but one thing we know is that it is likely to be different than it was before. With the right tools, we can make it better wherever we happen to be working from. (DJJS)
We Are Not Born Submissive: How Patriarchy Shapes Women's Lives by Manon Garcia, Princeton University Press
The ways in which humans act and react in society sometimes feel more like responses to the hard-to-escape hierarchies in place than they feel like free will. As we strive to improve our conscious allyship amidst hate crimes around the globe, the patriarchy's reach is evident. By engaging in the mentally strenuous work of diversity and inclusion education as well as engaging in philosophical reflection, we humans might be able to save ourselves from ourselves. And We Are Not Born Submissive is another good book to include in your studies of lived experiences shaped around the patriarchy.
Author Manon Garcia will soon become assistant professor of philosophy at Yale University―deservedly, based solely off this book―so I'd recommend you brush up on some basics of Simone de Beauvoir's feminist philosophies before reading. Garcia analyzes ideas and methods from Beauvoir's two volumes of The Second Sex and compares them to the work of other phenomenologists, finding that by avoiding "universalizing" the feminine experience and including multiple points of view (including her own), Beauvoir highlights:
the ambiguity of women's existence and the permanent contradiction between the freedom they have as human beings and the way male domination reduces them to the status of object and absolute Other. In the face of this contradiction experienced by all women, submission is the attitude that is prescribed by the situation in which women find themselves. In that regard, submission does not appear as an exceptional phenomenon, as a deviation from the norm, but, on the contrary, as the attitude prescribed by the 'one,' that is, by the social norm.
There are plenty more layers to submission that Garcia works through, landing at an examination of happiness and well-being of women, and finding that it is possible to oppose submission and that not all men are consciously guilty of perpetuating submission among women. Submission is neither completely bad nor good for society, but when it manifests in issues of consent (sexual, moral, and political), everyone must respect that submission is not a woman's destiny in order to forge a better path for our culture and society. (GMC)