Friday, July 29, 2016

All Lady July Wrap Up

THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by and enjoyed All Lady July with me!

Special thanks to my great guest posters: Heather, Brian, T, Jamie, Katy and Jen!

Soon I will be updating the All Lady July tab on the top of the blog so you can find all of the goodness in one place.

And again, thank thank thank you.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

All Lady July - Guest Post by Jen "Presence: Bringing You Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges" by Amy Cuddy

I’m back with another science-y, brain-y book for All Lady July: “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges” by Amy Cuddy. This one is definitely more in the social psychology realm, but that’s where I started in my journey into research, so it’s near and dear to my heart.  You probably know who Amy Cuddy is if you’ve ever heard of TED Talks. She gave the infamous power pose talk in 2012 that currently has over 35 million views on TED’s website. If you’ve somehow never watched her talk, it’s linked here. Go watch it and then come back and read this post – it will make so much more sense!

Presence takes the heart and spirit of her TED talk and goes beyond what Amy could cover in those 20 minutes. She weaves research findings and personal stories from the millions of people who have contacted her since her talk went viral. Each chapter builds on the next, walking you through the steps to gaining presence which is “the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential.” In the practical sense, she’s talking about those times when you really feel on – when you nail the presentation, or have the perfect answer to that really tough question in the job interview.

She touches on mindfulness and how it allows us to find presence and personal power, especially in those make or break moments.  In Chapter 4, she addresses “imposterism” and details an interview with none other than Neil Gaiman where he discusses his struggle with feeling like an imposter early on in his career.  She discusses the mind-body connection and how our general body language can influence how we feel.  Ultimately, this all leads to a big chapter on power posing and why it seems to work. There is a shout out to yoga (those warrior poses definitely make you feel powerful!) and a charge to end iPosture (everyone hunching over their smartphones). The book wraps up with a chapter on how we can bring ourselves to be more present through nudges or small changes that incrementally lead to big results over time. This idea is best summed up by a frequently quoted idea from her talk to “fake it until you become it.”

I really enjoyed this book and how it outlined the theories and research that support her work as well as the anecdotal evidence that she’s collected over the past 4 years. Her back story is incredible to me since she’s a traumatic brain injury survivor and a great example of resilience. If you have more interest in this topic after watching her talk or reading this book, Amy is a great follow on Twitter as well (@amyjccuddy). Now I’m off to go stand like Wonder Woman in the bathroom stall before a big meeting…

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

All Lady July Book Review: "Book of Esther" by Emily Barton

Overall- This book was not a bad book but I felt like it was so hard to be so many things that it got confused and confusing for the reader.

The plot is basically that a peacful (predominantly Jewish) country is under threat by a menacing country that is pushing refugees into the peaceful countries land and imprisoning all of the Jews and taking their things and making them disappear. A young Jewish woman from a noble family decides to take it upon herself to raise an army when she thinks that people are not taking the threat seriously. 

Like, are you trying to be speculative fiction? Are you trying to be your own inventive novel but you're borrowing so hard from history that it's reading like weird, steampunk historical fan fic? I was distracted through the whole thing.
Also, another thing that makes it hard is that there is a fair amount of references to practices in Judaism with no references. I knew some of them, just because of books I have read in the past, but it's pretty much thrown at you with no context. And there is a fair amount of dialogue in (sorry for my ignorance) Hebrew or Yiddish that you kind of just have to infer things. I'm all for not being spoon fed every thing but it got to be distracting.

My favorite thing: so many golems. And I love me some golems. This is the first book that really go into depth of like "Do they have a soul? Can they worship? Are they ashamed that they are naked?"

I gave this book two stars, and that was mostly for the golems and the one other supernatural thing that makes an appearance. Shrug. But (!) if you've read this and you love it tell me why!

(I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books)


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

All Lady July Guest Post - Jamie from Books and Beverages : "Women Encouraging Women: A Few Books to Encourage You in Your Faith"

I'm so pleased to have my dear friend Jamie joining us today. Especially because she's taking the month off of her own blog so she can get ready for her big move to Colorado and into the publishing industry! Thanks for making the time lady! (Also, moving sale at her store).

Women Encouraging Women: A Few Books to Encourage You in Your Faith
By Jamie Lapeyrolerie

First I wanted to say what fun it is to join in All Lady July - I love it! And second, thanks Wesley for having me! Today, I wanted to share a few books that have encouraged me as a woman and woman of faith. All of these are great books to check out and will encourage you (and men, don’t shy away from them either!).

First up, Annie Down’s Looking for Lovely. This was just what I needed to read. There’s lovely all around us and I loved that this book reminded me of that. Plus the Bible Study is awesome!

Another favorite recent read is Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love. There’s so much I can say about this one - it’s encouraging in so many ways, like the fact that we don’t need to have everything together and it will make you laugh! Oh and cry too, but I definitely recommend it! Here’s one quote I really loved:

“We are called to this work, and it might not seem like much, but if you play your one note and I play mine and she plays hers, together it will create a beautiful song that sounds like freedom for the captives and good news to the poor. May the brokenhearted be healed and ashes turned to beauty in our generation. God, make us worthy of Your calling.”

I lied, here’s one more quote :)

“May we show love in big and small ways, and may that love reach people accustomed to being shamed or ignored. The bright stars shouldn’t get all the attention; let’s search for those whose lights are dimmed, because we are not a tribe of supernovas but of steady, collective light.”


This next one is a bit of a throwback - I read Stasi Eldredge’s Captivating years and years ago, but the truths have stayed with me. Being a woman is such a gift and this reminded me of that!

“There is a radiance hidden in your heart that the world desperately needs.”


Leaving Ordinary: Encounter God Through Extraordinary Prayer by Donna Gaines was an incredibly encouraging study on prayer. I absolutely loved it - I daily need reminders about staying in prayer and the power that comes from prayer (I’m especially learning this right now in big life changes!). I recommend this if you want to dive in deeper on the topic of prayer.


The final book I want to share about is Eric Metaxas’ Seven Women. I read his Seven Men and was really hoping he would write a book on women, and he did! I love history and I’m a huge fan of stories of women who changed the world and this book fit the bill perfectly. It’s a quick read and you’ll finish feeling ready to change the world and inspired by seven amazing women.


I’ll end with two bonus podcasts I’ve recently started listening to and have really enjoyed. If you’ve joined the awesome podcast train, here’s two worth checking out!


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Thanks for joining in All Lady July and hope you get a chance to read one or two of these!

Monday, July 25, 2016

All Lady July - Graphic Novel Review: "Raven Girl" by Audrey Niffenegger

Are you looking for a graphic novel with kind of bizarre illustrations and cross species families accompanied by poetry like words? Then, this might be the graphic novel for you. 

Honestly I thought it was a little bizarre and strange but liked the sounds of the words. I mean, if you're going to have a person fall in love with a raven and have a hybrid baby together it has to sound pretty right?

Favorite sentence:
"He felt as one does when dreaming about familiar houses with sudden strange rooms discovered in unlikely places".

And the new word that I learned: perfidiousness

Which means:  deliberately faithless; treacherous; deceitful


 Honestly I don't have a whole lot to say about this one so I guess we will just leave it there. (I really just needed to feel my "graphic novel" quota for the month shrug.


Friday, July 22, 2016

All Lady July - Guest Post by Katy from Finding Home talks about learning about the world through her homeschool journey!

All Lady July: Let’s Learn About The World!


I’ve been following Jamie Martin’s blog, Simple Homeschool, for a couple years now, ever since we made the decision to start teaching our children at home.  The blog covers all homeschooling styles and provides really practical advice but also those “deep thinking” posts that remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing, and that it’s okay to mess up sometimes.

So when I saw that Jamie was coming out with a book, I figured I would probably get it from the library at some point.  But I kept hearing about this book on different sites and podcasts and then Jamie wrote this post about how she met Levar Burton (of Reading Rainbow fame)  and he ended up endorsing her book.  And after the announcement of the Read the World Book Club  this summer, right when I was feeling like we should do something educational before school officially starts again, AND the book was half off on Amazon, I bought it.

Give Your Child The World  is one of those books that’s going to be a guide for homeschoolers.  It’s along the same lines as The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease and Honey For A Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt, which explain how important reading aloud is for kids, and then give specific lists of quality books broken down by age group and topic.  That’s how this book works too.

Jamie separates the world into regions, and gives books for four age groups in seven regions (plus a multicultural chapter).  I also love the index lists in the back of the book.  If you want to look at the books chronologically, she’s got you covered.  If you want to focus on a specific country, she makes it easy to find.  Lists and organization are my happy places, so that’s perfect for me.

Included with the book lists are random quotes from families answering the question “How do you give your children the world in your home?”  I was making my way through the book when all of a sudden I got to a quote on page 90 that sounded awfully familiar.  I had forgotten I had submitted a quote and it made it in the book!  Little bit of a geeky moment for me there.  I posted a picture on Instagram and Jamie actually responded to that picture, so that was fun for me.

But above all, I love that Jamie reminds those of us reading of how awesome books are.  We know this, but we sometimes forget that if we want our kids to feel the same way, we have to show them.  “Creating a family culture of books means our kids have the chance to live a thousand lives before leaving our home. Isn’t that incredible?”

And my other favorite quote:
“Story takes center stage and problems fade.  I connect with characters who remind me of life’s bigger picture.  I walk beside them in their struggles, learning from their successes and failures.  I’m reminded that I’m not alone.  I fall in love with this good earth again.”  This is how I feel about books as an adult, and these feelings are what made me fall in love with reading in the first place.

There’s been a lot of really heavy stuff in the news lately.  Terrible things are happening, but amongst the tragedies, there are still people finding the good.  People looking for the helpers.  Jamie’s goal with this book is to introduce as many different cultures and peoples and regions to kids as we can, so that they can learn about them, and understand them, and see what we all have in common instead of what divides us.  If you don’t have the resources to be a world traveler, this is a good place to start.

“My prayer for you, now and forever:
that the world will never lose its wonder,
that you may always have an open book in hand,
and an open heart within, to learn and apply its lessons.”  
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are Katy’s affiliate links.  That means if you purchase through these links, she gets a bit of a commission.  Thanks for funding her coffee consumption.

Katy blogs about food (especially the gluten free kind), homeschool, parenting, and home management over at  She also drinks large amounts of coffee in an effort to keep up with her four kids and her pastor husband.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

All Lady July - Guest Post by Brian talking "Ten Great Women, Moments and Movies in which Women Take a Central Role"

Hello Library Educated!

For “All Lady July” I wanted to put together a list of movies, scenes, characters and actresses you should check out. Turns out coming up with a “best of” list is not really going to work… it keeps growing. Instead I want to give a nice glimpse at a handful of personal favorites (none of which involve women baring their fun bits). In no particular order here is a list of ten great women, moments, and movies in which women took a central role:

    1. Starting with a wonderful scene from the vignette collection Coffee and Cigarettes, Cousins featuring Cate Blanchett as Cate, and her cousin Shelly who is played by… Cate Blanchett. This short is a good example of why Cate Blanchett is probably the best living person currently practicing her craft. The whole movie is great, in pieces or as a whole, everyone has their favorite vignettes, but this one stands out as superb. Check it out here: Cousins

    2. Next up is one of my favorite movies of all time Ghost World. It is quirky, thoughtful, and unique. The movie itself focuses around the friends Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) trying to find some traction in life. This movie is an all-time great, or at least should be. It is surprisingly underappreciated.

     3.Did you know that the 80’s classic Big was directed by a woman? Neither did I, but Penny Marshall was the vision behind a scene everyone has tried to imitate when the opportunity to dance a duet on a giant floor keyboard comes around. Now, she was not a one-hit wonder either. Ms Marshall also directed Jumpin’ Jack Flash, A League of Their Own (another all-time great movie!), and Riding in Cars With Boys to name a few.
    4.Here is a shocker: Point Break was directed by Katheryn Bigelow. Now, most people do not value Point Break as much of a movie, maybe I am in the minority that way… this movie is incredible (do not waste your time with the remake)!
    5. Since we are on a role with great female directors Lost in Translation needs to make a showing. Sofia Coppola’s little masterpiece staring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson is another fantastic movie. I am sure that it helps that her pops was Francis Ford Coppola, but she has really stood on her own two feet from behind the camera, and Translation is a prime example (we’ll just sweep Maria Antoinette under the rug).

    6.Under appreciated actresses probably abound in Hollywood. Maybe they are not pretty enough or some other knock that does not seem to have a lot to do with their actual ability. To me Catherine Keener is one of those underappreciated talents. Most of her work has been on the Indie scene, and there is no doubt about her talent… what will it takes for her to break into a bigger role?

    7.  Francis Goodrich – her name probably does not ring any bells, but neither do the names of most screenwriters, even if she co-authored It’s a Wonderful Life it is not a big surprise to never have heard of her. But it is important to remember that women like Ms Goodrich are producing incredible works in the industry… women do not need to be starlets – just think of the influence this film has had on American culture!

     8. Let’s take a brief pause here and just admire Anjelica Huston’s work: Choke, Wes Anderson movies, Buffalo 66, The Witches, A Handful of Dust, This is Spinal Tap just to name a few.

     9. Another movie among the “greatest ever” (or at least on a lot of peoples’ top 20 lists) is Brief Encounter – for some of my thoughts on this one see here:

    10.  How can we do a list celebrating women and film if we do not tip our hats to Florence Lawrence? I would venture to guess that very few of us could sit through a viewing of her work on film… but, she is the first movie star. Note – she is not the first female movie star… she is the first star, the very first person named in a motion picture.

Well, that’s all for now. I hope this list gives you some great movies to check out. Happy viewing friends.