Connections by Sheila O'Flanagan
I have to admit I've been on somewhat of a dry spell these past few years when it comes to my leisurely reading. Between my exhausting university life and my everyday back and forth commute from uni I just can't bring myself to read any book of my own that I can read solely for pleasure. All this had to end when I decided that out of the blue to pick up Connections by Sheila O'Flanagan, a book that I bought a few years back but was never able to find the time to read it. I admit the first few chapters were a bit of a drag for me but I can't decide whether it was because I didn't enjoy her writing or because I've not stuck to a book long enough to finish it in such a long time. Honestly, though, I've always enjoyed Irish writers more than I care to admit. I don't know what it is about their writing but they just seem to have this uncanny ability to write books that are simply hard to put down and they give me this warm fuzzy feeling inside. Truly a well written novel by an Irish writer for me, is an equivalent to a hot cup of tea for my soul.
Connections proved to be one of them. What I found to be quite unique with this book is that it revolves around 12 main characters. It's more like a compilation of short stories really, of different people and each chapter is dedicated to the different characters that are staying at the White Sands resort in the Carribeans. My favorite chapter and story was of this character called Isobel because her story was beyond romantic. When I was reading this chapter I can't help but to squeal from excitement because I absolutely loved how the story developed and ended and because I fell in love with Isobel's love interest. I am not going to ruin it for anyone who'd like to read it so I won't go into details. But if u're a hopeless romantic like I am you would love this book especially the chapter Isobel. Not to mention that I can so relate to this character as she seek refuge from a broken heart by going to Spain, something I know a thing or two about :P (Until today Spain holds a special place in my heart because of its beautiful cities and because it helped me heal my broken heart at the time :P of course my family played a huge role in that too and I thank the world for them)
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Another book that I've read and loved although not in the same way is Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. Sheryl Kara Sandberg is truly an inspirational women. She is a technology executive, an activist, an author and the current COO of Facebook. This book has really opened my eyes to the fact that despite the amount of progress the human race have made in terms of gender equality some profound bias and stereotypes regarding women still exist whether be it at work or at home. For example how society still regards successful women as less like-able. Whereas for men, success and like-ability is positively correlated, thus successful men are generally more like-able. This piece of information struck me the most because I feel like as a women, I too, have made such perceptions. If I see or know a successful women in the past I would immediately associate her as being too career driven, or she's a bit too aggressive, she's not that trust worthy and the list goes on and on.
I believe this book has helped me to understand and realize that as women we are faced with unique challenges that only other women will understand but we never discuss about it and so it goes unsaid and unnoticed and the problem stays throughout generations.The book has taught me that in order to succeed we must not try to be more manly or to try to mask possessing manly traits but rather to embrace our femininity and be more aware of the profound differences between the two genders, and provided me with possible solutions to the unique problems that women face. All in all I found that this book gave me an insight into the tribulations and dilemmas that every modern women will have to face sooner or later and their motivations underlying their actions and possible steps we can take in the future to further reduce the gender inequality. I do encourage everyone to pick up this book, of course, regardless of your gender, because I believe that everyone needs to understand the challenges and contribute to the solution for the gender inequality crisis in order for us to live in a more dynamic, effective and more equal world, which will be a win-win environment for everyone to live in. Plus, I feel that the main culprit of any crisis is lack of awareness (no, ignorance is not bliss) and so if you feel like you want to do more to help reduce this inequality, picking up this book might be your first step towards a more equal world! So read on and enjoy!
Here I've also inserted the talk that was done by Sherryl Sandberg Ted.com that brought me to this book!
|Quote from George R.R. Martin|
Lany Zabidin | Urban Hippie KL
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