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.

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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.

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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:

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Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

The Graduate

The unfortunate, yet truly exciting thing

about life is that

there is no core curriculum.

The entire place is an elective.

Jon Stewart

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My not so little Drummer Boy is marching off to college–hopefully without lugging his drum set. Sniff! Have I told him everything I wanted to say? Will he remember to dare failure and never give up on himself? Will he get some sleep despite internet being on 24/7 at the dorm?

Because a mother’s wisdom may not always appeal to a teen, a favorite Powerful Goddess blog fan helped cull this collection of books that might be lifetime companions for someone starting out on life’s brave new solo adventures.

The Evolution Man or How I Ate My Father by Roy Lewis

Have the travails of teens and man changed much since our cave dwelling days? Human evolution explained as a domestic situation comedy.

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For all hopeful tinkerers and creatives who suspect creativity is the domain of a select few.  Might genius simply be the fruit of learning from the next failed step that you persist beyond?

How To Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention and Discovery by Kevin Ashton

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The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

Life could be much sweeter (and sooner) when we ask for the help we need. Here’s why and how.

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The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter by Meg Jay

For the generation of indulged youth, a friendly reminder that it’s never too soon to plant the seeds of relationships, career and finances.

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To honor my Drummer Boy’s Asian roots while impressing young ladies with his culinary skills:

Mangoes and Curry Leaves: Travels Through The Great Subcontinent by Jeffrey Alford

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Because he was born in a land that he has not visited since…

Frog In The Well: Portraits of Japan by Watanabe Kazan by Donald Keene

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To make the ladies swoon…

John Updike’s Collected Poems 1953 to 1993

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The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz

Easily the smallest book of the lot, it is powerful in its specific practices  on how to live in peace with oneself, with the least worry and regret.

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The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat (Young Reader’s Edition) by Michael Pollan

If what we eat is what we are and think, shouldn’t we be more curious about our food–or what we consider food?

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The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

A non-fiction thriller lest science and obsession carry him away, leading him to forget he is a piece of nature’s whole.

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And whether you are have comfortably discussed the myriad aspects of the topic that simmers in their mind…

S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College by Heather Corinna

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Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add your fave to this list. And give yourself a giant pat on the back for being the best parent that you are!

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

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Ala Anna Karenina

My mother never breastfed me–

she said she only

liked me as a friend.

Rodney Dangerfield

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While I admire Anna Karenina’s fashion sense, I stand on the opposite side of the tracks in my belief that there is absolutely no man worth dying for. But for a daughter who is joy and beauty inside and out? Let’s talk…

This Powerful Goddess dedicates her portraits to her mom and best friend, the woman who chose 8 months of bed rest when doctors foretold that with her advanced age and history of miscarriage, she would never carry a baby to term. Certainly not the first (nor last) underestimation of a woman’s courage to choose life, yes?

In this Anna Karenina inspired concept to honor her Russian heritage, this Powerful Goddess proudly wears her mother’s green eyes and a touch of her Asian features.  With her mother’s elegant hands, she writes, “My mom taught me to be kind, honest, and caring, to value life and family above all. I never keep secrets from her knowing that she doesn’t judge and will always be supportive. She gave me the ability to see beauty wherever I go. I admire her tenderness and strength, her wisdom, and her naiveté in loving fully and giving generously. I owe her my life and so much more. I love, you, Mama!”

Sniff, sniff! May all our daughters be as appreciative of us…

Click on “Leave a Comment” to share what you love best about the woman who chose life for you.

Happiest Mother’s Day to all and the Happiest Birthday Ever to my gorgeous Anna Karenina!

xoxox

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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

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

The Modern Cinderella

Instead of a fairy godmother,

Cinderella needed a single shining epiphany:

“This is my father’s house.

I am the rightful heiress to everything here!”

C. JoyBell C.

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What would you wear to the ball?! This modern Cinderella is not overly concerned. She is comfortable in her own skin. She does not let anyone tell her how to live her life. And she simply refuses to wear (or be) blue!

Despite video spoofs and satires spawned by the latest movie release of the beautifully passive victim, the box office does not appear to be suffering much. At least, let’s hope the movie opens interesting conversation between parents and children.

Child and teen development specialist Dr. Robyn Silverman suggests using stories as a springboard to conversation. “Ask children what they believe the story is trying to tell them,” she tells Yahoo Parenting. “’What would you do if you were in the same situation: held captive and offered one night to escape?’ ‘Where would you go?’ ‘Who would you enlist to help?’ Silverman’s favorite conversation starter with young ones is, “’What advice would you give the protagonist in the story?’” In the end, she says, “We want our children to recognize true love when they see it but also discover that when they are in a negative situation, their smarts, wit, courage and character can change it. And no, a prince should not be top of mind.”

Happiest Birthday to this Powerful Goddess who IS the party wherever she goes, choosing to give true love and happiness to her own self, and bravely wearing red or nothing at all!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share the single shining epiphany that changed your life. xoxox

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Giants and Other Winners

If at first you don’t succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.

Bill Lyon

My neighbors’ kids got her hooked on football this year.  Sunday’s Superbowl sealed her conversion to the sport and their family took the day off from school to witness the NY Giants parade down Manhattan.  They dove into an ocean of blue shirts, ducking streams of white paper rolls tossed about like footballs, amazed at the fervor of adoring fans who reveled in their heroes’ success as if they had played the game themselves.

With the lure of big checks, diamond rings, and celebrity perks, it is easy to forget that there could be more to gain from our disappointments and frustrations–if we choose to see them as steppingstones for learning and growth.   Many lose a good night’s sleep fretting over their fumbles, missed passes and Hail Mary’s that went unheard by the gods.  Unsung heroes like my neighbor wonder, “What about MY parade?”

 How can you give yourself a parade for showing up in the game of life?

© Sharon Birke

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

xoxox

To Baby or Not to Baby


Simply having children

does not make mothers.

John A. Shedd

Would you believe this photo series is the celebration of a Goddess who turned 43?  She wishes looking a decade younger could silence the deafening tick tock of her biological clock and the nosy nags at family gatherings.  Elusive Mr. Right continues to hold hostage the children she may never have–despite the parade of Mr. Right Nows who volunteer to be sperm donors.

Friends, celebrities, and experts provide a mixed bag of social proof on the matter of her biological imperative.  She’s heard the cynical declare “Having kids is overrated!”  She has witnessed older friends regret not having kids, single mothers who juggle an act for two, women who snob adoption for the pain of freezing eggs (aka, hope) or fertility treatments at a king’s ransom.  Some unwittingly bind themselves to a lifetime of indentured parenthood with offspring who are forever dependent whether by illness or lack of ambition.  She’s seen women agonize over the destiny of their yet unfertilized eggs while others plop kids out without a thought.  Some consider kids as social security in their old age.  Others acquire them as the  latest luxury “must have.”  There are those who would fare better taking a parenting license exam not just driver’s ed.  And how can she not admire women who truly enjoy the thankless role of mothering? — That mythical ideal both inspiration and curse to the many of us who can’t measure up.

Childless or not, what moves you to have children?

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

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