6 Book Club Books for Working Moms

You’re a working mom and you’re in a book club. Time is precious. And while it’s super fun to get together with girlfriends and drink wine and eat snacks, and have opinions about books you may or may not have had time to read, there are only so many meetings in a row you can get away with not reading the book. (In my experience this is approximately 37% of the time, missing no more than two books in a row.)

When it’s your turn to select the book, take the opportunity choose one of these 6 ideal types of books for working moms to read in book club.

The Make-You-Better Book
Book club is recreation, but all the best working moms know how to multi-task. My book club read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project a few years ago and I guarantee we’ll be reading her new title, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives sooner than later. A great self-help book is a win-win for everyone mom in the room–working or not.

The Escape Book
All books take you somewhere, but some are better than others at immersing you in a world you’d never have the chance to experience. The 19th Wife, A Novel by David Ebershoff and The Other Bolyen Girl by Philippa Gregory are two of my favorites.

The Holy-Crap-How-Do-I-Get-It-All-Done? Book
Working moms are always juggling something, or spinning plates, or balancing on a tightrope. (Trust me, I’ve tried to come up with better metaphors, and when I do I guarantee there’s a book deal in it for me.) So when you’re wondering how others cope, check out Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte and Good Enough Is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood by Rebecca Gillespie and Hollee Temple.

The Depressing Thinker Book
What would you do in an impossible situation? Better to play our your choices in the page of a novel. Our book club really enjoyed The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. We didn’t agree on how we would have handled the situation. And arguing over wine about the decisions of fictional characters is some of the most fun a girl can have.

The Empowerment Book
Sometimes you just have to take on the world. But if you’re a working mom, time’s tight. If you have a fantasy (as I do) of taking a extended nature sabbatical, walk a few miles in Cheryl Strayed’s hiking boots by reading Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. It doesn’t disappoint, but it does spark very good conversations. And don’t forget that other Sheryl– Sandberg. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead is required reading for any working mother.

The Comedic Relief Book
I’ve written before about my favorite funny mom books for book clubsI Just Want to Pee Alone and You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth are anthologies by dozens of very funny ladies. But my very favorite new funny book that is the ideal book club read for working moms is, not surprisingly, Faking Balance: Adventures in Work and Life, which will be released in September!


 

Got Books?

Lela Davidson’s award-winning, best-selling essay collections. Short reads for busy moms who smile and smirk. Available on AmazonNookiTunes and every other place books are sold. But probably not at your neighbor’s garage sale.

 

 

What’s Your Super Power?

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If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? This is the question I started asking myself in late December after clicking the kind of headline that sucks me in every time: The One Question All Successful People Can Answer Immediately. Who doesn’t click that? Don’t you want to be successful? Like, right now? Ever since I went back to work I’ve been devouring stories like this from The Muse, these promises to make me better after an easy 2-minute read. They usually deliver. Articles on The Muse and LinkedIn have helped me bridge the gap between yoga-panted freelancer and respectable business leader who works well with others and no longer refers to “decks” as “PowerPoints.”

According to the author of the superpower post, knowing your superpower provides focus and therefore competitive advantage. (I’m quite certain my powers are spreadsheets and sarcasm, thanks for asking.) I say knowing what you’re good at is important, but knowing your Kryptonite might be even more important. I, for example, am not the most relaxed person. Surprise! I might overreact here and there. The general tendency of my family to leave their dirty dishes in the sink when the dishwasher is right there are you kidding me? may have compelled me to shout obscenities through the house on more than one occasion.

This is not the best way to have a peaceful home.

Dirty dishes aside, maintaining calm in the face of chaos wins in business too. More than good ideas, more than strategy, more than flawless execution, maybe even more than luck–what separates successful people from those who consistently struggle, is the ability to keep calm. That’s not always easy, especially when your default mode is “Freak Out.”

So, if we get to pick, and we do, my superpower of choice is Calm. I’ll keep working on that. In the meantime, my spreadsheets will have to do.

What’s your superpower? What do you wish it were?