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Review:: Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (October 27, 2015 / Dey Street Books)

Goodreads Summary:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg never asked for fame she was just trying to make the world a little better and a little freer. But along the way, the feminist pioneer's searing dissents and steely strength have inspired millions. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, created by the young lawyer who began the Internet sensation and an award-winning journalist, takes you behind the myth for an intimate, irreverent look at the justice's life and work. As America struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stays fierce. And if you don't know, now you know.

My Review:

Yay and nay. 
I found the book extremely informative about almost every aspect of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life, but I have serious problems with this books presentation and format, so I feel that I need to divide my review. 

On RBG:
In a society that praises youth and minimal intelligence, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a beacon of light, both in her judicial outlook and in her personal accomplishments. She struggled and fought her way to the top because she never believed she was less smart or qualified than a man. She learned to sharpen her arguments, points, and dissents with phrases and facts that slice right through the layers of sexism and racism. I personally don't agree with all of Ginsburg's decisions, most importantly her decision to not retire under the Obama administration. However, I respect her decision because no one has forced previous male judges of her age to retire and no one could have predicted the most recent presidential election. 

On "Notorious RBG"
I liked how the authors were able to find parallels between Christopher Wallace/Biggie Smalls/The Notorious B.I.G., and those could have been presented as a section or chapter, but this cover image/title/meme and the use of The Notorious B.I.G. lyrics is blatant cultural appropriation. I understand that the intended point of the juxtaposition is to mash up what would be viewed as two opposites: a young, Black, male rapper and an old, white, female judge to get a tongue in cheek laugh, but beyond the play on the  names (one self-given, one bestowed), what do people see? Do they know that the RBG illustration is a play on photographer Barron Claiborne's "King of New York" photo, taken of Biggie Smalls wearing a crooked gold crown just 3 days before he was fatally shot? If they are aware of this photo, do they realize the hypocrisy of applying it an image of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and then praising her for her legally tough demeanor while demonizing the tough decisions made by those who are structurally impoverished? When they buy a product with this image, what exactly are they embracing? What are your thoughts? 

Review: The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu (February 13, 2018  / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) 

Goodreads Summary:
A group of young girls descend on Camp Forevermore, a sleepaway camp in the Pacific Northwest, where their days are filled with swimming lessons, friendship bracelets, and camp songs by the fire. Filled with excitement and nervous energy, they set off on an overnight kayaking trip to a nearby island. But before the night is over, they find themselves stranded, with no adults to help them survive or guide them home.

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore traces these five girls—Nita, Kayla, Isabel, Dina, and Siobhan—through and beyond this fateful trip. We see them through successes and failures, loving relationships and heartbreaks; we see what it means to find, and define, oneself, and the ways in which the same experience is refracted through different people. In diamond-sharp prose, Kim Fu gives us a portrait of friendship and of the families we build for ourselves—and the pasts we can't escape.

My Review:
Mean Girls meets Lord of the Flies. 5 young girls at sleep away camp are stranded in the woods. They are not friends and their wilderness knowledge is minimal. The storyline jumps back and forth between their time at camp and their present lives to show how this experience affects them all differently. The structure of the book was a bit difficult with the back and forth timelines and different characters all presented with no pattern. I liked this book but I didn't find anything about it that was particularly praiseworthy. I read it on a flight and it was nice to pass the time.  

Review:: "The Gig is Up: Thrive in the Gig Economy, Where Old Jobs are Obsolete and Freelancing is the Future" by Olga Mizrahi

"The Gig is Up: Thrive in the Gig Economy, Where Old Jobs are Obsolete and Freelancing is the Future" by Olga Mizrahi (Greenleaf Book Group Press / February 27, 2018)

Goodreads Summary:
Win in a world of increasing choice by becoming the clear, unique fit.


The gig economy is made up of project-based, or on-demand services, that can be provided by anyone. The common denominator in the gig economy is technology, so our modern online-lives provide the perfect marketplace for the ever-diversifying opportunities in the gig economy. By some estimates, 2020 will see half of all workers involved in the gig economy. Are we ready for this seismic shift in our work lives?

​Freelancers need to clearly answer “Why choose you?” so that they stand out in the new economy. Because all workers in the gig economy need to bluntly pose this question to themselves, The Gig Is Up is designed to answer this one key point head-on, giving readers innovative tools like Unique Value Proposition to confidently step up. The Gig Is Up offers the best boots-on-the-ground methods for success, by evolving the reader’s perspective and process. Many books on the gig economy focus on letting people live out their dreams, instead of looking at the realities of what it truly takes to win in a world of increasing choice. People need to understand how to compete and how to put the best version of themselves up front and center. The goal in competing today is to not only be chosen, but to move toward becoming the only choice, over and over again


My Review:
Need some freelance inspiration and some tools for success? I recommend "The Gig is Up: Thrive in the Gig Economy, Where Old Jobs are Obsolete and Freelancing is the Future" by Olga Mizrahi. Full of statistics from McKinsey Global Institute’s 148-page report “Independent Work: Choice, Necessity, and the Gig Economy” and Freelancers Union studies, author Olga Mizrahi identifies the pros and cons of freelancing and offers lots of tips on how to be better. She poses questions that had me thinking, like "What are you willing to do that others cannot or are unwilling to?" and offered tips on customizing profiles, elevator pitches, boundaries, bookkeeping, taxes, references, referrals, contracts and so much more...all in just 174 pages!