Monday, June 24, 2013

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg


Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg is a thought provoking exploration of women's ongoing struggle for equality. Sandberg doesn't shy away from the things people think but often don't say out loud or if they do only whisper in guarded situations with trusted friends. Lean In addresses the idea of leadership and women taking a more active role in leading. Sandberg addresses the dynamics between men and women in the workplace and at home. She discusses how we all limit ourselves and one another. Lean In made me want to lean in to my own life and my own goals. Her words made me think about how I live my life and whether or not I'm setting an example that encourages those around me to lean in, to sit at the table", and to embrace their power. And, conversely, to think about every time I've leaned back, denied my right to a place at the table, or suppressed my power. Men and women alike will benefit from reading Lean In because Sandberg discusses ways in which both men and women can improve the work environment and the home environment. She brings examples from her personal life into the story with ease to clarify her points and to humanize the experience. Even with the personal stories Sandberg includes, Lean In doesn't read like a memoir due to the numerous studies and the research she references. Lean In is the beginning, or perhaps the renewal, of a conversation that needs to take place in boardrooms, in classrooms, in homes, and in every day life.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ancient Echoes by Joanne Pence



Ancient Echoes by Joanne Pence echoes around the world and back keeping the reader entranced in a world and time that is at once real and surreal. Pence creates a cast of characters with myriad agendas who come together in this tale of ancient alchemy that travels through the ages and creates trouble for all touched by it. Charlotte Reed, widowed and numbed, reawakens within the pages as she seeks answers to questions she never realized she had. Michael Rempart discovers he is more than he thinks as he faces his personal and familial demons. Lionel Rempart struggles to be the man he thinks he is. Jake Sullivan, while at times a bit sexist, faces his self-inflicted punishment for his past. Melisse Willis exhibits the strength and ability to overcome at every turn even if she's not exactly the woman she purports to be. Li JinJuan's tenacity, intelligence, and cunning makes the reader glad he's on the side of the good guys. Jennifer Vandenburg strikes the reader as cold and calculating evoking little sympathy even when the reader discovers the reason behind her desire to get her hands on the secrets of alchemy. Calvin Phaylor's manipulative and cunning nature leaves little one can like or even feel sorry for. Ancient Echoes engages the reader as it explores greed, deception, love, betrayal, and the human condition through the search for the one thing it seems every generation longs to find: immortality.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Native Foods Restaurants - Bridgeport Village, Portland

Native Foods is a vegan restaurant with plant based "meats" like tofu and seitan on the menu as protein sources. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is casual, almost fast food casual. The food is tasty though, for my personal preference, could be fixed with less, or no, oil; however, that probably won't hold true for other people. I ordered the Portobello and Sausage Burger, the sausage burger being made of seitan. I should've read the menu closer because it also includes a vegan mayo, and I hate mayo. The mayo was only on one side though, so I could easily just leave that piece of bread and lettuce on the plate. I also ordered the watermelon fresca, which was okay but a little sweet for my taste; however the mint added a refreshing lift. My husband ordered a creamy corn soup which was nice and the Bangkok Bowl with tofu, which also tasted good. For dessert we ordered the chocolate cupcake and the peanut butter parfait, both of which tasted very sweet and fatty (okay, rich for those of you who don't mind the sweetness and fat). For many this would probably work wonderfully, but I doubt I'll order either of these desserts again. I would definitely return for another meal though. There are several meals on the menu that sound interesting.