July really came in like a lamb and out like a lion for me in terms of the pace of life. I eased into the month with a week long vacation and then sort of 'paid for' that week of ease and relaxation with a couple of super busy weeks of work and evening commitments. The first half of August is going to be equally busy but hopefully things will slow down in the second half! Luckily I have a girls weekend getaway this coming weekend which will be good for my soul!
This month I'm only sharing podcasts and books because July was another month of lame workouts. I am really, really struggling with how long it's taking me to get back to a normal level of activity. My physical therapist keeps reminding me this is normal but I'm just so impatient to get back out there and do more. However, I do know that surgery was the right decision as before I had surgery, it hurt to walk, and I can walk pain-free. So long term, I know surgery was the way to go. I also didn't take any outfit pictures this month because I wore a lot of my tried and true outfits and nothing all that exciting or photo worthy!
I actually had a bit of a hard time selecting which podcasts to share as I listened to so many great ones this month! There are my top 4!
The Problem with the Solution by Invisibilia - This was an interesting examination of a different approach to treating those with mental illnesses. The hosts visit a town in Belgium where families take in people with mental illness that would have otherwise been institutionalized. It's a thought-provoking episode.
Flip the Script by Invisibilia - Yes, I'm sharing a 2nd Invisibilia episode because this one was SO good. It looks at what happens when we do the opposite of what our instincts are telling us to do. The segment of the podcast that was most interesting to me was the part about how Denmark police officers are attempting to combat Islamic radicalization with love and compassion.
Taking the Lead by Note to Self - I don't consistently listen to Note to Self but their "Taking the Lead" series totally caught my eye (or should I say ear?). It's a 4-part podcast about two Brooklyn women who have a tech idea to help harried working mothers who still want to rise up in their professional ranks. It was really interesting!
What are Gender Barriers Made of? by Freakonomics - This is a very thought-provoking podcast about why women are still subtlety penalized in the work arena by societal conventions. One of the most interesting parts of the podcast is when they talk about a case study that is used in grad school. The class gets the exact same case study, except for half the class, the main character's name is Heidi, and for the other half of the class, the main character's name is Howard. The only difference between the two versions of the case study is the name, but the students tend to come to entirely different conclusions. Both halves of the class find the protagonist of the case study to be competent, but those who think she is a woman think she is 'unlikable'. Even women who read the case study tend to find her unlikable.
July was a decent reading month for me as I read 5 books. My favorite was the Steve Jobs biography that I read at the beginning of the month. This is an example of why I like doing the Read Harder Challenge as this is a book that I probably wouldn't have picked up if not for the challenge (I read it for the biography category). Jobs is a fascinating man and a total and complete a-hole. My least favorite read was The Plague of Doves which I read for my local book club. I read and disliked another Erdrich novel years ago and after disliking this, I'm done giving that author a chance. She's very critically acclaimed but her books just don't work for me!
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson* - 5 stars
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella - 4 stars
Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt - 3 stars
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood - 4 stars
The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich - 2 stars