The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
The Confidence Code explores, in a nutshell, why women tend to be less confident than men, particularly in the workplace. The authors explore biological, genetic, psychosocial, and cultural reasons, and find that they all play a part in the decreased self-assurance shown by women. They interview several powerful and accomplished women, and find that many of them still do lack confidence in some respects, but also go through ways that they have overcome this lack of confidence.
The book was very interesting, and I particularly enjoyed learning about the biological and genetic factors that go into confidence. It felt to me more like an informative book about the essence of confidence, rather than a how-to book of how to achieve greater confidence. While the book was interesting, I didn't find it particularly conclusive and felt it wound around the same point a fair bit, which is why it didn't rank higher than 3.5 stars. However, an interesting read, and just the fact that I was thinking more about my confidence, I feel, led me to act with more confidence myself.
Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood by Jim Fay and Charles Fay
This one came highly recommended by friends with well-behaved kids, so I definitely wanted to check it out. C. has rocketed into toddlerhood with a set of opinions and a propensity to scream in church, and I have been desperate for solutions. I found Love and Logic to have some pretty good ideas, although it definitely falls into the frightful trap of "if you don't follow everything we say to the letter, your child will end up in prison" that every parenting book has. While I haven't religiously adopted every technique or seen complete and utter success, I do think it is better than most.
Warnings: May get a bit cheesed out by some of the examples :)
Longing for Home by Sarah Eden
I have really been enjoying the books in the Proper Romance publishing imprint. Lately I have been craving some of the lighter, giddier style of books, and these books have it all without being lewd and making me uncomfortable. Longing for Home is the story of Katie, an Irish immigrant working in America during the time of the Great Famine. She travels across the country to work in a tiny town in Wyoming, only to find that the town is split apart by a great feud between the Irish and those who wish they would head back to their own country. Between her own dark secrets of the past and the turmoil around her, Katie has more than enough to deal with, but of course there are not one but two handsome strangers to further complicate the story. I found the plot enjoyable and at times unpredictable, especially in the matter of the love triangle. So often, the answer is obvious, but in Katie's case it is difficult to say, and there is a second book to further elaborate what her choice will be. My only issue was that the writing was at times circuitous and overly obvious. However, a romantic and at times intense story with a constantly twisting plot.
Warnings: Some violence
Women and the Priesthood by Sheri Dew
There was been a bit of turmoil among some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over the last few years centering on the fact that only men hold the priesthood in the church. Sheri Dew's book goes into the doctrinal reasons behind this difference, and explains why women are essential to the priesthood and have full access to its power despite the fact that they do not officiate in its ordinances. I found this book to be well-written and so clear on the doctrine. It was beautiful and definitely increased both my faith and my understanding.