July’s Book To Live By

This month’s Books To Live By selection highlights the theme for our July membership programTravel Tips for More Fun and Less Stress.

Travel consultant and blogger Carol Margolis offers fantastic strategies for planning your next family vacation, work trip or fabulous getaway.

Our July selection is….


Business Travel Success: How to Reduce Stress, Be More Productive & Travel with Confidence by Carol Margolis

With summer in full swing, I thought you might appreciate one of my favorite on-the-road resources: Carol Margolis. She has been featured by national media including Good Morning America andThe Wall Street Journal, and Business Travel Success is a collection of her best tried-and-true tips.

As much as I love to travel, sometimes it can be a bit stressful, specifically while I’m packing, at the airport, or even sometimes after I’ve arrived at my destination. This book continually calms me with ingenious suggestions that make almost every aspect of traveling easier, from booking and planning to safety concerns and money-saving secrets.

Margolis even addresses how to care for your family’s needs while you are on the road. As a mother who has been traveling for work over the last 25 years, she understands how to keep things up and running while away from home.

What I love most about Business Travel Success is that, contrary to its title, it is just as helpful in planning your next vacation as it is for those work trips.

I hope you are in the midst of planning your next vacation or are busy filling your bucket list with beautiful places around the globe. Before you take off, be sure to grab your own copy of Business Travel Success to ensure your best trip yet! :)

 With lots of love ~

 

June’s Book To Live By

This month’s Books To Live By selection highlights the theme for our June membership programThe Struggle and Triumph of Self-Acceptance.

From a powerful author, journalist and activist, hailed as the voice of a new generation for transgender rights, comes the New York Times best-selling memoir about her quest to find and claim her authentic self.

Our June selection is….


Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock (Amazon link)

In this groundbreaking testimony to self-discovery, Mock shares a rare and honest look into the world of a trans woman maneuvering through life’s ups and downs.

You will follow Mock from a young age at home in Hawaii as she overcomes hurdle after devastating hurdle to travel halfway around the world for the surgery that changes her life at just 18.

The courage and conviction Mock displays throughout her journey are awe-inspiring; even in her darkest moments, she somehow finds a way to tune into her true self and move forward.

Beyond being a gripping memoir, it is also an important one. Mock’s story sheds light on the trans community in ways that celebrate the progress that has been made, while thoughtfully pointing out where we can do better.

If you are part of our membership program and have already to listened to the recent interview with Janet, you can expect the same warmth and power that she shared with us there.

Redefining Realness will move you to thinking you may never have considered before. Janet is an absolute Woman on Fire, and after you read her story, we know you’ll agree. :)

May’s Book To Live By

This month’s Books To Live By selection highlights our May membership program theme: A Mother’s Day Appreciation.

From a celebrated American author and poet, hailed as one of the most influential voices of our time, comes this highly anticipated autobiography, a story of loss, love and discovery.

Our May selection is….

Women on Fire Book To Live By- MAY- Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou

Mom & Me & Mom (amazon link), by Maya Angelou

New York Times best-seller Mom & Me & Mom is a whole-hearted, honest recollection of Angelou’s complicated relationship with her mother. It offers a glimpse into the inspiration and backstory behind one of her most-loved titles, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Angelou takes us to Stamps, Arkansas, where at three years old she was sent away by her mother, Vivian, to live with her grandmother. It was nearly a decade before Angelou would finally reconnect with her mother.

Angelou divulges the raw feelings of abandonment that pushed her to dark depths, and examines the delicate reconciliation that slowly took place to rebuild the broken relationship.

Mom & Me & Mom is one of the most authentic narratives that I’ve ever read. Angelou captures the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship so spot-on that it leaves you reflecting on your own experiences.

Angelou’s signature optimism and wit bring hope, healing and love to the story. It is a thoughtful reminder of the power of forgiveness, no matter how much time has elapsed.

I hope you enjoy Maya Angelou’s beautiful memoir as much as I did. Women on Fire book co-author Sarah Elizabeth Greer surprised me with my own copy – personally signed by Ms. Maya Angelou herself!

It remains one of my most precious treasures – and I believe you will really love this book, too.

Happy Mother’s Day weekend ahead. I encourage you to share with me here on the blog: What is your most powerful memory of being a daughter or mother? I look forward to reading your response! :)

With lots of love,

Debbie-Signature-

April’s Book To Live By

This month’s Books To Live By selection highlights our April membership program theme—Everyday Etiquette To Help You Shine.

From the premier voice of American etiquette, now in its 18th edition, Emily Post’s guide to good manners has been updated to tackle current issues and social situations for a new generation to enjoy.

Our April selection is….


Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition (amazon link), by Peggy Post, Anna Post, Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning

Emily Post’s Etiquette, the quintessential guide to good manners, is a beloved classic that I grew up with. Through the dedication of Emily’s great-granddaughter-in-law, Peggy Post, and the Emily Post Institute, her legacy has transcended time.

Etiquette is often misunderstood to be intimidating, but this book is a beautiful, relatable reference to properly navigating professional and social situations with grace. The Post family has successfully translated the guidelines of the past for today’s technology-obsessed society.

Here is a small sample of the topics covered:

  • Social networking
  • Manners for children
  • Online dating
  • Family dynamics (children moving back home, caretaking for aging parents)
  • Technology in the workplace

I’ve found Emily Post’s Etiquette to be a fun conversation starter from its regular spot on my coffee table, and I love to give this title as a graduation or engagement gift.

You can even head over to EmilyPost.com for weekly blog posts and a larger overview of all that the Post Institute has to offer. I also suggest looking into some of Emily Post’s other titles: Wedding Etiquette and The Guide to Good Manners for Kids.

This book is a beautiful reminder that proper etiquette is really about respect—for those around you and for yourself. I hope you enjoy this updated classic as much as I do!

With lots of love ~

 

Book recommendation for you!

This is a quick hello from me to you to tell you about a new book I’m excited about written by one of our Women on Fire. You may have met Linda Yellin at Women on Fire teas in New York City.  But if you’re new to our community, let me introduce you to her.


Linda Yellin (in red) with Women on Fire friends at a recent book signing for What Nora Knew: Holly Getty, Heike Vogel, Janina Serden Sebesky and Sarah Elizabeth Greer. (Photo by Christine Butler)

Linda is a former copywriter, journalist, and author to three books—Such a Lovely CoupleThe Last Blind Date, and the recently published What Nora Knew. Her thoughtful and witty essays and articles are frequently published in More Magazine.

What Nora Knew is a warm and hilarious novel that reads like your favorite Nora Ephron romantic comedy. It centers around main character Molly Hallberg, a recently divorced journalist, almost 40, who cynically dives headfirst into investigating and experiencing the dating world of New York City.

This story reminds you of all the awkward, tender and embarrassing moments experienced along the path to finding Mr. Right. With quick and playful dialogue, and a narrative that captures everything you ever loved about Ephron’s ability to re-create romance, What Nora Knew is a must read!

No matter your age or marital status, Linda’s clever and engaging words will leave you laughing from beginning to end.

And just so you don’t think I’m totally biased (she is a Woman on Fire after all), here are some of the other rave reviews What Nora Knew has already received.

“Beautifully emulating the Ephron-esque vibe, Linda Yellin’s easygoing style and light humor elicit plenty of laughs – and lots of introspection. A fun and delightful read.” ~ New York Journal of Books

“This lighthearted, fast-paced tale makes readers laugh out loud and root for the underdog.” ~ RT Book Reviews

I hope you will enjoy What Nora Knew as much as I did. And, congratulations to Linda for continuing the magic the late, great Nora Ephfron made on screen in this fun new book.

Happy Reading!

~Debbie

March Book Of The Month

Welcome to Books To Live By! Our book choice for this month highlights one of our very own Women on Fire members.

Not only is this woman a beautiful writer and accomplished author, she is a dear friend and many of you know her.

In her newest book, Andrea Raynor will open up your heart and spirit to a new conversation between faith and identity that is sure to gratify your soul.

Our March selection is….

Incognito: Lost and Found at Harvard Divinity School (amazon link) by Andrea Raynor

Rev. Andrea Raynor received her Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and was the Hospice chaplain at Ground Zero in the aftermath of September 11. She is a breast cancer survivor and also authored of one of my all-time favorite grief books— The Voice That Calls You Home: Inspiration For Life’s Journeys.

I’ve mentioned here before how Andie’s life and work has inspired my own journey, and her latest story has the power to do the same for you.

In this book, you’ll ride along with a bright young woman from Ohio as she embarks on a journey of faith that will take you back to the 80’s and behind the scenes at one of our most esteemed institutions in the country. Andie intimately shares her story of navigating the challenges, stereotypes and assumptions that follow women in the church.

With humor and penetrating awareness, she exposes the struggles she encountered with society’s beliefs, with dating, and with the religious institutions.

Incognito is a beautiful, coming-of-age story that will stay with you. Through Andie’s honest disclosures we are reminded that you don’t have to always know or have the right answers to lead your life in a deeply significant direction.

I hope reading Incognito rekindles your spirit as it did mine!

As always, I look forward to hearing about your own insights and awarenesses from exploring Incognito’s richness.

Happy reading!

February Book of The Month

Did you know you have a particular way you enjoy giving and receiving love?

With Valentine’s Day next week, this month’s Books to Live By choice highlights our February membership program theme, New Ways to Look at Love.

This New York Times best seller, written by a marriage counselor with more than 35 years of experience, explores the different ways we express and receive love.

Our February selection is….

The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts (amazon link) by Dr. Gary Chapman

The Five Love Languages is one of my favorite books on love and relationships, and my husband Rob and I have have incorporated Dr. Chapman’s insights into our own relationship for many years.

Dr. Chapman guides you to discover your own unique relationship to love through five expressions:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

These five different communication channels are the keys to better expressing love in a way that your partner understands. Having the ability to love your partner in the way he or she needs to be loved can be the greatest gift you will ever give to them.

But you don’t have to have a partner to benefit from Dr. Chapman’s insights.  There are other volumes in The Five Love Languages series for you if you are currently single or have young children or teenagers. And love isn’t the only act that has a designated language; Dr. Chapman has also explored the languages behind apologies and appreciation.

This quick read will give your heart and head a healthy dose of inspiration!

Check out Dr. Chapman’s website and take the quiz there to find out which language of love, apology and appreciation is unique to you. Even if you’ve already read this book, it is worth picking up again!  I always learn something new every time I read it.

Enjoy. And I look forward to hearing what your love language is in the comment section below!

January Book Of The Month

Welcome to a brand-new year of exciting, popular Books To Live By to inspire your amazing life!

Our selection this month highlights Women on Fire’s January membership program theme of “Stepping Powerfully into the New Year,” and I can’t think of a better person or guide to help us set our souls on fire in 2014.

My dear, long-time friend, Marianne Williamson, has released a daily devotional to inspire and ignite your whole heart for the next 365 days.

A Year of Miracles by Marianne Williamson- Women on Fire January Book To Live By

A Year of Miracles, Daily Devotions and Reflections (amazon link) is Marianne’s latest and greatest work.

Marianne is an author, speaker, spiritual teacher and now California congressional candidate, and she is also a powerful voice for women everywhere looking to reconnect with their hearts and higher selves.

I’ve mentioned her work many times here before. A Return to Love and Illuminata of two of my very favorites, and A Year of Miracles falls in line as another perfect companion to any of her books.

It’s a collection of Marianne’s teachings that remind you of your inner power as a miracle worker, change maker, and love generator.

Marianne says, “Anyone can be a miracle worker—anyone who chooses to be.” This book shows you how to do just that. It encourages you to embrace the momentous shift your life can take when you let love in and let go of fear.

Each day’s reading is packed with loving, down-to-earth insights. It’s my new favorite way to start the day—with a cup of coffee, as I sit down at my desk in the mornings, and sometimes even before I make it out of bed.

Here are a few gems from this latest book:

  • It’s not enough to wash yesterday’s dirt off your body. Wash yesterday’s stress off your mind.
  • Exercise your attitudinal muscles like you exercise your physical muscles, and you’ll have more than a new body — you’ll have a new life.
  • There’s enough love in the world to create peace on earth. What’s lacking is the collective conviction that we should.
  • There can be no darkness where I provide the light.

I started my copy on the first day of the new year, and the beauty of this devotional, unlike many others, is that it isn’t organized around actual dates, so you can start Day 1 whenever you are ready. Or better yet, just open it to a new page everyday.

A Year of Miracles truly is one of those books that every woman should own—every man, too :)—and I hope you treat yourself in this new year, to kindle your goals and discover the miracles, by purchasing your copy today!

And as always, let me know as the love and insights unfold.

December Book Of The Month

This is a very special — and personal — edition of Books To Live By. 

If you’ve joined us only recently you may not know that we’ve been working on publishing our second book this year. And, if you’ve been with us for a long time, you know how excited we’ve been to share this project with you!

So, it is with great joy — and just in time for the holidays — to tell you that Women on Fire: 21 Inspiring Women Share Their Life Stories (and Save You Years of Struggle!), Volume 2 is in our hands — and soon can be in yours!

I am proud to announce that our December selection is…

Women on Fire: 21 Inspiring Women Share Their Life Stories (and Save You Years of Struggle!),  Volume 2

With our official publication date set for January 7, 2014, YOU are one of the first to have access to the much anticipated sequel in the Women on Fire book series.

This collection of 21 stories is from women — just like you — women who have struggled in life, found the courage and knowledge to work it through, and then were brave enough to tell how they survived!

These stories will make you laugh, bring you to tears, and fill your heart with inspiration and love. Most of all, they will empower you.

Tweet: “You have the power to set your world on fire, all you need is a spark”

 

 

Press play below to watch the book trailer!

The gift of this book is that it is designed for your busy life — you can read each short story and savor it. Or, as a number of women have already told us, you can stay up all night, read all 21, and never put the book down!

Here’s what the first readers are saying…

“So moved by the stories of 21 wonderful women who found the strength to triumph over adversity and the courage to follow their hearts and dreams.” ~ Sheryl Snyder, Boston

“Thank you to all of the remarkable women that contributed to this book. One suggestion before starting to read. Set aside some time because you won’t want to put it down. Every story is amazing and inspiring and I will be giving some to women in my life as gifts.” ~ Sue Guger Adams, Bay City, Michigan

“Just received the book! The first 2 stories were simply astounding! Wish I could take the whole day and just read it all!! Thank you, brave ladies, for writing your stories!! Amazing how are own lives will benefit from these wonderful women!” ~ Jody Froelich, Granger, Indiana

The book is available on Amazon and at womenonfire.com.

My wish though is that if you know any (or many) of the co-authors listed below, you consider purchasing your copies from her.

  • Jan Allen
  • Lisa Umberger Arundale
  • Beth Bryce
  • Kim Davis
  • Nicole Friedler Brisson
  • Leah Hamilton
  • Laurel Hodory
  • Susan Kruger
  • Jenifer Madson
  • Linda Neff
  • Mary Kay Purdy
  • Kay Raypholtz
  • Carrie Saba
  • Tricia Simpson
  • Marge Snyder
  • Maria Verroye
  • Heike Vogel
  • Mary Carran Webster
  • Michelle Whittaker

Please enjoy every story, every word, every woman in this beautiful book, and I look forward to hearing what inspired you after reading it.

The Women on Fire book is the final recommendation in our Books To Live By series for 2013.

Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm for books and reading and for all of your suggestions to me about what I might read. Your ideas led to some amazing recommendations this year!

We’ll be back in 2014 with more favorite books to live your life by. Until then, enjoy what our Women on Fire co-authors have created for you!

Wishing you the warmest of holidays (curled up with a book!) ~

 

P.S. You are invited to a special book signing with many of the co-authors of Women on Fire, Volume 2 at the 2014 Women on Fire Retreat — Ignite Your Life and Soar! in Naples, Florida on February 28-March 1, 2014.

Treat yourself to an inspiring weekend with your Women on Fire sisters. You SO deserve it. Spots are limited– register here today!

November Book Of The Month

This month’s Books To Live By choice highlights our November membership program theme — The Courage To Tell Your Story.

With Thanksgiving coming and the publication of powerful stories in Women on Fire book, Volume 2 only weeks away, our recommended book this month weaves together gratitude and collective storytelling.

From the creator of Story Corps, the popular radio project often heard on NPR, this book features vignettes of what it means to be grateful, to be in love with your life, and to be brave enough to share your story with others.

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Our November selection is….

Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of Story Corps (amazon link) by Dave Isay

Story Corps is an oral history project started by Dave Isay to provide the opportunity for people of all backgrounds and ages to record, share and preserve the stories of their lives. Since its start, Story Corps has recorded more than 45,000 interviews with 90,000 people.

Ties That Bind is a collection of conversations from those recordings that will introduce you to a variety of everyday people who have faced incredible odds, lived through unspeakable acts, and stand to tell the tale of how they have survived and healed.

What I loved most about this book is the reaffirmation of just how freeing it is to tell your own truth. The vulnerability of each contributor is deeply moving and the book will touch your heart.

Ties That Bind is a perfect gift and a great read for your entire family over the holidays. It’s the kind of book you pass around the table to share a favorite story — or 10 in it!

Hope you get a chance to read it and, as always, let me know your thoughts when you do.