Sunday, October 16, 2011

Emma's Secret by Barbara Taylor Bradford

First, a confession, by accident I bought the 5th book of this saga (Unexpected Blessings) without knowing that it was a saga. They kept mentioning past events, but since they talked about it I was able to enjoy the book without reading the precedent books. However,in a recent sale of my local library I saw Emma's secret and thought,well that's the same author of that book I liked. Well was I in for a surprise!.
Anyway, Emma's secret is the fourth book of the Emma Harte's saga, (The first book is A woman of substance,and I already reserved it from the library) It continues the story of the Harte family, a wealthy family from England,that got the emporium established by hard working. I will not give the details, because I don't want you knowing the end details like I did. But praise to the author!. The descriptions of the scenery are gorgeous. Also, and this part I loved, is the way she describes all the dresses :). I am a girl after all. But I believe the construction of the characters is delightful, you can actually get carried on their life, going trough  the pages to know what's happening know.
I find it funny how she "writes" the accents, the way people who are from outside London would talk, I'm not sure if I liked it, but I sure find it easier to build the characters in my head with this.
I hope you enjoy the book, I specially liked Linnet and Tessa as characters, opposite as they may be. As for Evan...I think her character could be stronger, but at the same time I guess is that fragility that makes her lovable trough the book. Now, Paula is a strong character, a determined mother that would do anything necessary to protect her business and most importantly her family.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nice Girls don't get the Corner Office by Louis Frankel, Phd

This book was fast to read, yet really useful, at least for me. First, let me tell you, I don’t usually read this kind of books, self-help books are not my thing, nor “the power is in your head and you will cure cancer if you smile…” I just can’t. But I found references to this book in this article ( and if like me you are a woman working in a men’s world…well you might enjoy the article plus the TED talk at the end. However, this doesn’t mean that because you are a woman you can’t be successful at work, but you can always do better regardless of your sex. 
Anyway, they mentioned the book, and I thought, why not give it a chance; if it doesn’t appeal me I will just change books. 
The book starts with a self assessment test, just to see your strong and weak points. Now, I’m happy to say that I got strong points in the way I brand myself, the way I look and the way I “play the game”…not surprisingly my weakest point is the way I sound. Why this is not a surprise comes from the fact that I KNOW that I have the voice of a little girl and when I switch languages this is even worst…that mixed with the fact that I am a petit 5’1 (barely) woman and the fact that you will still see me in jeans and t-shirt (regardless how cute the t-shirt might be) makes people see me as a kid still.
So…I read the book, read the mistakes that apply to me and took some (not all) coaching tips. But I have to admit this book is way more oriented to just business, 9-5 type of girls…sorry, women ;). 
You see, in science dressing the part is not necessarily having a power suit, except of course when you have a presentation. But in spite of what my grandma would like, running in the lab in heels and dresses…not a great idea. Plus is always covered by your lab coat, or at least it should. Still as I mentioned before I do dress the part, you will not see me in ill fitted jeans or saggy t-shirts. Also…well we do not get a corner office…a corner bench would be inconvenient if you ask me…but I do have a room in the lab all for myself.
Bottom line I read this book because in my institute only almost a quarter of the labs are directed by women…barely a 25%...I guess we do better than some institutions…but still. And I want to be there, be one of them eventually…well not in the same institute, we will see about that, but…I want our equivalent of a corner office.