menopausebarbees
... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

Summer Reading… What’s on My Nightstand

During these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, there really is nothing much better than getting lost in a great read.  I’m an avid reader.  And, seeing that I’m in a long distance relationship, I spend a lot time in the air, and find when I’m engrossed in a book, my travel time literally flies by.

My preference is biographies. I find myself drawn to stories of survival and how truly against all odds, everyday people emerge victorious.  I’ve blogged in the past, that one of my all time favorite reads is, “THE GLASS CASTLE which, tells the story of Jeannette Walls’ unconventional upbringing at the hands of her deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant parents, and her journey towards acceptance.”

This summer, I have journeyed with J.D. Vance through the extreme poverty of the Appalachian mountains.  This was an area I visited thirty years ago and saw the hard working miners suffering from black lung, and the kids raised with rotten teeth, known as “Mountain Dew” mouth.  Hillbilly Elegy, is a must read for an insight to the their “Appalachian values which include traits like loyalty, love of country, and tendency towards violence and verbal abuse. Vance recounts his grandparents’ alcoholism and abuse, and his unstable mother’s history of drug addictions and failed relationships.”‘

We all recall the story of Magic Johnson and the day he announced he was HIV Positive. I still remember standing in shock in front of the Breaking News on all the television channels. However, after reading his wife’s  memoir,  I was left dumbstruck at her ability to forgive and deal with the unfathomable terror  the day Magic broke the news to her.  After two broken promises to the alter, she was finally two months pregnant and a newlywed, facing potentially all of their demise.  Believing in Magic – Cookie Johnson.

Life does indeed throw curve balls.  All in her world was better than good. It could be you –  young, healthy, pregnant, newly married  and your future is so bright you can hardly wait for the next day, because it only gets better until… Such tragedy over triumph is revealed in my sister’s Kirkus acclaimed review of Incompatible with Nature.  Tracie takes the reader to a whole new world, language, and culture where she gives birth to my nephew, born as his doctor proclaimed, Incompatible with Nature.  There are moments chock full of hilarity as she revisits our upbringing, where Daddy put the FUN in DysFUNction.  But alas, perhaps that is where she inherited the tools to fight and prove the naysayers wrong.  You will never accept a dire diagnosis after this read.  Incompatible with Nature Tracie Mayer.

Sheryl Sandberg Option B.  Resilience in the face of adversity. Facebook COO,  Sheryl Sandberg
after the sudden death of her husband,  felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.   When my children’s father passed suddenly and un-expectantly this past March, the landscape of our lives changed.  Although we were divorced, we always maintained our children as our top priority.  We still talked daily, and shared holidays and birthdays.   I never imagined what my life would look like as their sole parent.  Sheryl’s book about grief, loss, and finding joy, has resonated on so many levels.

I’d love to hear what you are reading- I’m almost done and need an Option B!

books