1) Why no one really cares that you’re working late. (Fortune)
2) Two phenomenal cocktail dresses: A navy sculpted AQ/AQ dress and this sexy blouson ASOS dress.
3) With all the recent closures–Limited, Wet Seal, etc.–is being in the mall a liability? (Racked)
4) Boden has you covered for spring with this green and navy printed wrap dress and raspberry sheath.
5) Tips for speaking up at work, including an excellent point about ‘channeling your boss.’ (Cosmopolitan)
6) This Kate Spade Bow Sweater is high on my list, but this Maison Jules Sweater is budget friendly.
7) Explaining presidential executive orders, their history and their impact. (The Washington Post)
8) This hardbound PoliAgenda with pen pocket is great for work.
9) How to handle it when your boss may be saying things about you behind your back. (Ask a Manager)
10) Looking for winter/spring sweaters? I love this BR cable boatneck and this scallop trim pullover.
11) Being bored out of your mind makes you more creative. (Wired)
How I’m Beating My Cold. Zicam Rapid Melts with Echinacea.
What I’m Reading. A liberal friend and I have a two-person book club. We rotate reading books that speak to our political views/backgrounds. We started with Hillbilly Elegy for my pick. Next, we’ll read her pick, Autocracy: Rules for Survival.
Where I Want to Travel. My friend Sarah raved about Norway. Apparently, you can get two weeks unlimited flying within country for a pretty reasonable price.
I love the 2-person book club idea. There is a lot of fear and anger in our country right now for many reasons. It’s easy to turn on each other, but that’s only going to make it worse. Learning to see from another person’s perspective is a valuable and important step toward being able to work together.
How did you like “Hillbilly Elegy”? It’s on my to-read list.
I enjoyed it. It’s sad, powerful.
Hillbilly Elegy is uniquely topical and makes for a compelling read.
I really appreciate your blog and look forward to reading your emails each day. I realize that Hillbilly Elegy is a bestselling book, but as someone born and raised in Appalachian, Ohio – I want to push back on your recommendation of it. It is not representative of the people I know and care about, and would recommend this reading to you:
I recognize that JD Vance is entitled to express his own opinion of what it was like to grow up in Appalachia, but I also want to vigorously defend my home as well.
Thanks for your consideration!
My relatives grew up in very poor in North Georgia and Tennessee, and while the book may not be representative of your family or most of the people in the Appalachia, it is representative of mine. No memoir or book could encompass the wide variety of upbringings and people who live in a multi-state region, but this is an important and valid perspective. It doesn’t mean that there are not others.
I read it and was meh about it. I already knew the people portrayed in the book, they weren’t a new segment of the population to me despite growing up in the suburbs. I would have preferred to read about those that stayed behind and didn’t move out of Appalachia. I also think the pull yourself up by your boot straps mantra is crap. How are large groups of people supposed to do that when they have been forgotten? It’s perfectly fine to say that to someone who has resources available but doesn’t use them, but when there ARE no resources available it’s easy to say, not easy to do. People with no jobs and no money can’t just pick up and move. I don’t know what the solution is, but telling people it’s their own fault when it’s not entirely isn’t helpful IMO. Shifting blame has never been helpful and allows those who may have the power to make changes to get off without coming up with solutions.
I’m not saying that I agreed with all of his points or conclusions, but on the whole, the experiences were reflective of my own family. I think in many counties where everyone was employed by one industry or business, and that business has left, the government should do something to either a) move a new industry in, or b) move the people out. The trouble with some of my relatives was that even when they had the means, or could have been given the means, to go elsewhere, even just up the road, they wouldn’t. The pull of home is strong for people who have very little, but in some cases, it feels like choosing between living in the past and having a future. These are very complicated issues, but I think the book is a good introduction for people who may not understand that these people even exist. There are other books and articles to show that there is more diversity in this population, but there are certainly some who don’t take any responsibility for their own situation. So for me it’s not about shifting blame as it is assessing, “How much of my situation am I responsible for?” in an honest way, so that you can move forward.
I just had this conversation with someone on Twitter the other day….. yes Twitter (don’t judge me). We were discussing how all the people that were in coal mining town could vote for someone who knew nothing about their living situation and really did not understand what was going on in middle America. Anyway my point was somewhat like yours but somewhat different. I really don’t think we can expect the Federal government to come in and create a new industry to bring back those jobs however part of the problem is that our local governments don’t really support it’s consituents. For example the town I grew up in by way of North Carolina’s main industry was chicken plants and the local government wouldn’t give tax breaks to something like a Michelin plan that was interested in the area but they would give tax breaks to the chicken plants that only pay $7.50/hr. That doesn’t make sense to me and it’s not about people not being informed it’s about people taking the time to really listen to what’s really going on. It’s not a Republican vs. Democrat issue but that’s what the local government does to take people’s eyes off the fact that they are making side deals and disregarding the communites they are supposed to serve. I made it out but sadly a lot of my family never will sometimes it’s risky to move but you have to adapt or simply get left behind in this economy.
The poultry industry is a powerful lobby, I would look there for some blame as to why tax breaks were only given to the poultry industry and not to other industries willing to make an investment in your hometown.
Thanks, Whitney, I really enjoyed the articles in these links for another perspective.
If you go to Norway, I strongly recommend taking the Hurtigruten boat trip, which runs from Bergen up to Kirkenes, stopping at remote sites along the way that are only accessible by water. We did this a long time ago and took one of the smaller boats–it was fabulous!! Google “Hurtigruten.” And for Norway in general bring lots of money. It is interesting to travel in a country with a higher standard of living than ours.
That’s fair and I respect your opinion! Thank you for your response.
This was for Belle above. I am having issues with the placement of the reply buttons and keep hitting the wrong one!
hillbilly elegy was incredible – but be warned I’ve never cried so much while reading a book before. hope you enjoy it as much as i did!
Hi, i live in Norway. Hurtigruten is nice. I’d be happy to advice further but I’m uncomfortable offering advice without knowing what kind of seasonal experience you’d want. For instance, whale safaris are magical but not ideal during winter so if you also want to go skiing… well you get the picture. For travelling in Norway you might also want to consider taking the train. (It takes 6 hours from Oslo to trondheim and the view is amazing). While you’re here I’d also suggest hopping over to Sweden (three largest cities are all just a 45 min flight from Oslo).
belle – crazy q, but is the Gessen piece a book? I think it’s just the article (a great one – she was wonderful on Sam B the other day.)
It’s just a long form article, but my friend has a whole reading assignment she wants to do with it. We just kind of let the other person do their own thing, so I think she’s putting together the article and some other pieces. She said it will be “80 rough pages.” I didn’t ask. Too focused on the bar.
Thank you for the quote. I needed that today!
The Norwegian says:
if you’re ever coming to Norway, let me know and I’d be happy to give you plenty of advice! 🙂
And as for your London trip, skip Barcelona and go by train to Paris instead. It saves you the hassle of the airport, and in two days you can see a lot – and eat plenty of croissants!
Ditto what the Norwegian said (hope I hit reply to the right post…). You can do a lot in Paris in 2 days and the chunnel is so easy.
Yeah getting to the London airports (unless you fly out of City) is a major pain in the behind, and I don’t even know where Barcelona’s is. With a train you don’t have to get there three hours before departure and there’s usually more to do around the station than an airport. They tend to be more conveniently located too.
Love the two-person/two-viewpoint book club idea, Belle! Thank you for sharing it. I’m a left-leaning, longtime reader of your blog and really appreciate the tone and balance of your posts, especially during the current political climate.
Please keep us updated as your book club reading list expands! I’m working to expand my information sources to include more perspectives and look forward to what your friend suggests.
My husband and I listened to Hillbilly Elegy on our drive from NJ to GA. One thing we noticed were the similarities between the poor whites represented in the book, and the poor African Americans we were raised with- my husband’s life parallels the authors. These two groups have been pitted against each other for political reasons for years, but they have more in common than mos think.