Best Beach Reads This Summer

Why do men have an easier time

buying bathing suits?

They only have two options:

nerdy and not nerdy.

Rita Rudner

Surf and sand beckon, at last–but wait!   Won’t a glorious tan bake more memorably with a riveting story?  Add some of these to your beach bag or kindle:

 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Who doesn’t fancy a glamorous life with seven chances to get marriage right?

 

The Salt House

by Lisa Duffy

If you like crying behind your sunglasses, a tale of grief, hope, and change.

 

Before We Were Yours

by Lisa Wingate

Inspired by a true story, two generations of two families are forever changed by an injustice.

 

The Weight Of Ink

by Rachel Kadish

A sophisticated work of historical fiction set in London from the 1660s to the early 21st century, about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.

 

Call Me By Your Name

Andre Aciman

To be released in theaters this year, this story is set on the Italian Riviera and reeks of summer where a teen discovers lust, love, and the aches of the heart when his family hosts a 24-year-old American scholar at their villa.

 

All The Lives I want

by Alana Massey

A collection of essays on pop culture figures who defined the author’s sense of self. Are you a Winona or a Gwyneth?

 

Startup

Doree Shafrir

Fun and breezy for milleneals who can’t unplug, is there an app to solve every problem?

 

The Destroyers

by Christopher Bollen

A thriller set under the Grecian sun, how far would you go when a wealthy friend’s kindness is bestowed with a few disturbing strings?

 

How To Be Everything

Emilie Wapnick

For those who continue to wonder what they want to be when they grow up, a feel good  tome on creating a path based on your unique variety of interests and passions.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share what’s in your beach bag this summer. May the sun shine wherever you go!

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Best Books for Grads (and Teens)

 

If you think you are too small

to be effective, you have never been

in bed with a mosquito.

Bette Reese

 

With June just around the corner, graduation has been on my mind–Tick Tock! I am sure my teen would rather get a sexy new car as his gift, but I’m equally certain our young men and women are much better served by the enduring wisdom imparted by those who have gone before them. May this collection of powerful books inspire and ignite a fire in their bellies to make their own dreams come true!

Getting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Zoe Segal.   For those who have grown deaf to their own parents’ talk, this book distills pearls of wisdom from the inventor of Spanx to finance whiz, Bloomberg and good old Warren.

 

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. Why making a personal commitment to doing something hard at an early age grows our power to overcome hardships later in life.

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter by Meg Jay. It’s never too early to plant seeds for your career and relationships early.

I Need Your Love–Is That True? by Byron Katie. How to deal with people who disappointment, frustrate, and anger you.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Demystifying the genie of creation as something more accessible than we’ve been led to believe.

7 Habits for Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. Begin with the end in mind, eat your biggest frog first, seek to understand another point of view,… Steven Covey’s son translates his dad’s pillars of humanity for the younger set.

Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski. For a proper and enlightened understanding of female sexuality.

Free Women, Free Men by Camille Paglia. Straight talking and sharp shooting, Camille Paglia speaks of the kind of feminism that owns up to its power without hiding behind cries of victimhood. Real adult talk, at last!

The Four Agreements by Paolo Coelho.  Even those who have sworn off reading can skim this short and sweet manifesto simplifying how to live in peace with each moment.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to add your life changing favorite(s)!

 

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

 

Phenomenal Woman

I have no filters,
no class, no poise,
no decorum.
Just fun!

Kathy Griffin

One of the most influential voices of our time, Maya Angelou led a fulfilling life to a ripe old age despite a traumatic setback very early in her childhood. She inspired many through her autobiographies, poetry, and work as a civil rights activist. From her collection published as And Still I Rise, this poem Phenomenal Woman reminds us that looks need not be our source of confidence:

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to add your favorite poem that invites your inner powers to come out and play.

xoxox

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Best Books About Her Story

Behind every great man

is a woman

rolling her eyes.

Jim Carrey

In honor of Women’s History Month, these novels celebrate the women who didn’t quite make it to our history books as well as their husbands did.  The stories are well researched, parallel real life events, and read like memoirs. Excellent gifts to pass on to your favorite women!

The Aviator’s Wife

How Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the dutiful wife and daughter who married aviation’s first hero, came to realize she had been the brave and fearless one all along

The Other Einstein

Not a great deal is known about Mileva Maric’s scientific contributions, since her husband, the genius Albert Einstein, was careful to relegate her to the shadows.

The Paris Wife

After reading Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, author, Paula McLain, was moved to write about Hemingway’s little known first wife, Hadley Richardson.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Would you mind very much having your own work published under your husband’s name?

Loving Frank

Would you leave your children and devoted spouse for one great love?

 Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to add your favorite memoir or novel about a woman whose story needs to be told.

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Key To The Labyrinth

Getting lost is 

just another way of saying

“Going exploring!”

Justina Chen

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Excerpts from Sue Monk Kidd’s Dance of the Dissident Daughter:

When you’re in the middle of initiation, when your “old” womanhood is dying away, you may think you’ll be stuck in that dark place forever. You cannot see your way out. It is hard to keep moving, to put one foot in front of the other, because they are always landing on some new and unfamiliar ground, and half the time, that place is a swamp.

In a Greek myth, Ariadne gives Theseus a saving thread to drag into the labyrinth so he can find his way back out after he slays the Minotaur monster within. For a woman, the thread is the life cord that sustains you as you move through the spirals of life. Your Ariadne thread is the thread of your feminine Self.

We each have an inner destiny, one imprinted in the soul. Each of us also possesses a very goal directed energy that seeks to bring the seed of ourselves to fruition. It pulses inside use, trying to complete who we are uniquely meant to be. In science, this energy is called entelechy. This is the wise force that spins the Ariadne thread, wanting to take us toward our fulfillment as women. When you deny it or refuse to trust, refuse to pick up the thread, you feel lost, afraid, off center.

The way to find your thread again is to be still and remember who you are, to listen to your heart, your inner wisdom, as deeply as you can and then give yourself permission to follow it.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share who your best permission giver is.

xoxox

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xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

 

Best Books for Couples

 

Women marry men

hoping they will change.

Men marry women hoping they will not.

Albert Einstein

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Yes, there are plenty of fish out there!  Yet bliss can be found with one–or with one at a time. 😉 Now, will someone please hand us some handy tools for navigating the dynamics of commitment?  In celebration of the end of this fabulous summer, some book recommendations for healthy relationships by Huffington Post’s Dr. Nikki Martinez:

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  Things get lost in translation when we are not aware that people speak different languages in the ways we give and want to receive love. How do you and your partner differ?

Couple Skills by Matthew Mackay. How can you communicate with compassion while coping with differences and resolving conflict?

Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay by Mira Kirshenbaum.  Should you stay or should you go?

The Relationship Cure by John Gottman. How do you strengthen relationships we tend to take for granted?

When The Past is Present by David Richo. How do you understand the different places where you and your spouse are coming from in navigating your relationship?

I Love You But I Don’t Trust You by Mira Kirshenbaum.  Be it daily dishonesties or a monumental betrayal, how can you heal and build trust again?

Love, Sex and Staying Warm by Neil Rosenthal.  How do you keep good old comfy relationships from going totally ho-hum?

47 Love Boosters for a Happy Marriage by Marko Petkovic. How do you connect and deepen your bond even when you’re both terribly busy?

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to add your favorite(s) to this list. And may you be happy with however many fish you have–or don’t!

xoxox

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xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

 

My 7 Fave Books About Paris

America is my country

and

Paris is my hometown.

Gertrude Stein

“I don’t like reading!” must be the only chorus my two younger teens agree on. They usually bicker like cat and dog yet form a united front on the topic of books, stubbornly glueing their noses to the computer. If it’s any consolation for a mother, at least, their older brother in college actually values the occasional recommendation, discussing his insights and revelations when we talk on the phone. He says this may simply be a function of age and how the book resonates with his current life journey. I say one out of three kids is not a bad average, yes?

In honor of this blog’s favorite French fan’s birthday, here are  stories set in Paris you’ll want to chill with on or off the beach this summer:

The Flaneur by Edmund White. Because meandering strolls with no particular destination is so very Parisian, observing the everyday theater on the city streets.

The-Flaneur-Paris-book-Edmund-White

Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik (2001): What would it be like to raise children in Paris? An American writer shares his adventures starting a new career and family abroad.

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Almost French by Sarah Turnbull.  An Australian’s memoir of her giant leap, moving to Paris and marrying into a different culture.

Almost-French-Sarah-Turnbull

The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain.  Would you marry a struggling writer much younger than you? Could you be friendly with your husband’s mistress? A story told from the point of view of Hemingway’s first wife.

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My Life in France by Julia Child.  How did the student become the master? Julia tells of her move to Paris with her husband before she figured out what she wanted to do when she grows up.

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The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. A bookseller helps heal wounded hearts by prescribing the perfect story for them to read, eventually mending his own.

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Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott. shares her 20 style secrets learned while living in Paris.

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Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share what’s on your summer reading list.  Stay cool and tres chic!

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

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