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The Bookwatch

Volume 18, Number 12 December 2023 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Money/Finance Shelf Philosophy Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Keeping Your Seat at the Table
Nori Jabba
1st World Publishing
9781421835365, $21.95 Paper/$14.95 Audio/$9.97 ebook

Keeping Your Seat at the Table is about women aging, facing agism, and defeating the self- and society-inflicted mindsets and perceptions about the process and its impact on their lives. It's a book that should have been written long ago, but which arrives now with a timeless message - that women can not only claim a seat at the table of empowerment, but can sit at its head as stronger, more resilient leaders. With Nori Jabba's collection of research, stories, and insights, not only that position but the table itself falls under close inspection.

This is especially vital for professional women used to power's presence, but not to interpretations of its meaning and importance. Chapters evolve a series of "table-talk" sessions about purpose, redefining it in a series of discussions which encourage readers to begin their own internal and external dialogues about its presence and importance. Jabba's blend of research and her own reflections creates a synthesis of personal and political insights which are easy to digest and encouraging in their presentation: "Shifting the function of the table from career pinnacle to life purpose provides an opportunity to revitalize your goals, your career path, and your life path. Imagine if hiring managers asked questions that get to the heart of a person and what value they can add to the organization with questions about the table, such as, 'What does a seat at the table mean for you? Who's at your table?' or 'Tell me about a time when you felt pulled under the table and how you handled it.'"

No one has ever asked me these questions in a job interview, but they became central questions I explored in my journey to get my seat back at the table." All women interested in middle-age growth and involvement will find Keeping Your Seat at the Table relevant and important; but perhaps nowhere else is the audience of professional women so important to reach. These individuals have already worked hard to sit at the table. Now they need to absorb discussions on how to not just keep that seat, but reinforce it through transformative thoughts and actions. Jabba has created many original approaches to address all facets of this process.

One example is her program PURGE, designed to address the promises and failures of maintaining a social media presence: "PURGE helps me create a shield from intimidation and being saddled, bogged down by social media, bullied, or caught up in an uproar. It reduces anxiety and mitigates regret. It helps me leverage my voice strategically instead of worrying and wondering. The purpose of a social media policy is threefold: to keep you out of trouble and protect you, to give you a framework for sound decision-making, and to keep everyone on the same page."

Her creative yet reality-based approaches to addressing key obstacles in middle age that tends to thwart or reduce women's power in various ways makes for a series of important lessons. These ideally won't be limited to women's book clubs alone, but will expand into discussion groups for everyone from professional women to psychology self-help reading groups. Libraries will find Keeping Your Seat at the Table an interactive, power-promoting, important read that should be on the table of any aging woman interested in being proactive about her future.

As Jabba says: "No one wants to grow old, and while we cannot stop it, we can heed the early warning signs and manage them as we age so that we don't wake up one day depressed, perplexed, and shocked at how we got there. What I have learned from my mother's frustration, distress with aging, and head-in-the-sand mentality is this: do not let old age creep up on you. Take it by the reins when the signs start to appear and manage it." Reading and sharing Keeping Your Seat at the Table is the first step to doing so.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Mindful Investing
Jonathan K. DeYoe
New World Library
9781608688760, $19.95

Mindful Investing: Right Focus, Better Outcome, Greater Well-Being represents decades of collected wisdom that builds on concepts in Jonathan K. DeYoe's initial Mindful Money book, linking mindfulness concepts to investment strategies and showing how the union of these seemingly disparate approaches have led to better outcomes in the author's own life. It's no easy task to link emotions and values-oriented approaches to life with business objectives, but DeYoe does so in a pragmatic yet idealistic manner that achieves its goal by demonstrating new age thinking in action, at its best. Ideals about money, its acquisition, its distribution and its management provide new and purposeful insights highly recommended for new age and business readers alike.

The Philosophy Shelf

Warren Zevon and Philosophy
John E. MacKinnon, Editor
Open Universe
9781637700280, $24.95

Warren Zevon and Philosophy: Beyond Reptile Wisdom blends philosophy with pop culture music in an inviting manner that considers Warren Zevon's lasting impact, songs, and career. Underlying his music are the philosophical and social references and links essential to understanding his life perspective. These provide thought-provoking food for thought for modern young philosophers, who will find debatable material on everything from "sentimental hygiene" to sonic tonality and beyond. The intersection of music and the mind never sounded so good.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Silent Hand
Michael Mersault
Baen Books
9781982192952, $18.00

Fans of epic sci-fi such as Dune who eschew the length and depth of such writings, but celebrate their energy and complexity, will welcome the more succinct but equally vivid The Silence Hand. This is space adventure and world-building at its best as Michael Mersault creates a story of interstellar war, a street urchin who comes of age to become a lethal combat force, and a military confrontation that unleashes unexpected new powers that place Inga in the vortex of universe-altering events. The result is an epic story worthy of attention by any who look for vivid, immersive plots.

The City of Marble and Blood
Howard Andrew Jones
Baen Books
9781982192945, $26.00

The City of Marble and Blood by Howard Andrew Jones is the second epic production in the Chronicles of Hanuvar and is especially highly recommended for prior fans of the setting developed by Jones. Hanuvar is searching for the last of his people, who are scattered and in slavery. His solo quest to rescue them is accompanied by a range of old friends and resources, unlikely allies, and a formidable army of opposers to his journey that drives him into new avenues of confrontation and purpose in this story. Magic and military might clash as the army rises in this engrossing story.

More Than Honor
David Weber, David Drake, and S.M. Stirling, authors
David Weber, editor
Baen Books
9781982192884, $26.00

David Weber works with David Drake and S.M. Stirling in More Than Honor which reissues the first book in the 'Honorverse' series, Worlds of Honor. Prior fans and newcomers alike will appreciate having this 24th anniversary edition which introduced the series, featuring stories set in the Honorverse and authored by a capable set of familiar names. Appearing for the first time in hardcover, this keepsake edition is an attractive recommendation.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
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