Archive: Virtual Book Club

Holiday Books

It has been waaaay too long since we've done a Virtual Book Club. So now, just in time for last-minute holiday gift ideas, I invite any and all good book recommendations that help you stay "balanced." No need to stick to work/family subjects or self-help business or parenting books here; anything that you've enjoyed over the past 12 months will do. As for me, I tend to favor memoirs and most of my top ten have a "balance" theme -- people coming to terms with their childhoods or finding more meaning in their lives. But my 20 minutes reading before conking out every night are one of the only guaranteed moments of peace amidst my daily work/life insanity. As you can see from my list below, I often prefer books that help me forget the juggling act. Top 10 favorite books I've read in the past year: 1) Sarah's Key...


By Leslie Morgan Steiner | December 19, 2007; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (47)

The Blessing of A Skinned Knee

This Virtual Book Club selection is The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel. Last summer, one of the moms from my son's basketball team told me about Wendy Mogel's The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children. My friend raved about it, saying it was the only parenting book that made any sense to her. I ordered the book the next day, and I, too, came to adore it. The book was originally published in 2001 -- a tough year to publish just about anything due to 9/11. The paperback has experienced a grass-roots resurgence, and Mogel was profiled last October in the New York Times Magazine. Practical, common-sensical, easy to read, the book is particularly applicable to American parents raising children in urban, privileged settings. It is filled with advice on how to raise your children to respect you and other adults,...


By Leslie Morgan Steiner | February 23, 2007; 06:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Virtual Book Club -- On Her Trail by John Dickerson

Welcome to the On Balance Virtual Book Club. The discussion is ongoing and will continue until Feb. 2, 2007. The current book is On Her Trail by John Dickerson. For background, we tackled the book's topic -- a boy's view of his high-powered working mom -- in November 2006 in A Success At Work, A Failure at Home. The author, Nancy Dickerson's youngest son, John Dickerson, as well as others, disagreed vociferously with my feeling that John was too hard on his mother, and way too soft on his father, who was also quite ambitious and similarly neglectful at home. What do you think? Are working moms judged more harshly than working fathers? Do children, even adult children, ever become objective about their parents' attempts to balance work and family commitments? Did reading this book shed new light on your own mother's decisions about work and raising children? We will...


By Leslie Morgan Steiner | January 14, 2007; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)


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