“The Anti 9 to 5 Guide” by Michelle Goodman

Michelle Goodman offers advice geared to women who want to work in nontraditional jobs but don’t know where to begin. Drawing from her years as a freelancer, Goodman suggests practical, step-by-step changes one can make over time so that a transition to the entrepreneurial life doesn’t lead you back to your parents’ couch. Particularly salient in our troubled economy, The Anti 9 to 5 Guide should be consulted by anyone contemplating “life outside the cube.”

“Lost and Found” by Carolyn Parkhurst

Lost and Found is the story of a mother and daughter struggling to mend a relationship torn by deceit and mistrust—in front of millions of TV viewers. The true story, however, is the gradual unfolding of the characters’ lives—the peeks through the curtained windows, the chinks in the armor. Lost and Found is a well-written novel of secrets and yearning, of self-knowledge and self-acceptance, that is simultaneously thought-provoking and entertaining.

Gaithersburg Book Festival: Be There or Be Square

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s kind of far, but don’t miss the First Annual Gaithersburg Book Festival this weekend! Join authors and fellow literary fans on Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Gaithersburg City Hall Grounds. With a panoply of author workshops and book signings, all for my favorite price of FREE, who could ask for more? OK, maybe a free shuttle from the metro, but no more than that. From the website: The Gaithersburg Book Festival []

Fare Thee Well, Lambda Rising

More than a quirky and inspiring place to shop, Lambda Rising has offered incredible opportunities to an otherwise marginalized audience while also providing the cozy feel of a local bookshop. The ability of a bookstore to unite otherwise disparate elements of a community never ceases to amaze me, and that is why I am proud to support local bookstores.

“A Whole New Mind” by Daniel Pink

If your work can be computerized, outsourced, or cast quickly away, you should rethink your field, Pink advises. Instead, he proposes, the jobs of the future will involve more creative activities, careers that focus on innovation and the human touch. In a very methodical, left-brained way, Pink breaks down the most important right-brain functions to six “senses”: design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning. He explains that developing these skills will aid in making your professional skills more unique and desirable—an important investment in this economic climate.

“My Prison, My Home” in Vogue!

The Woodrow Wilson Center held a launch on September 14 for Haleh Esfandiari’s new book. The book is an amazing account of one woman’s detainment and interrogation in an Iranian prison for months on end.

Fall for the Book

This is certainly the weekend for exciting local book events – not one, not two, but three book festivals! The 2009 Fall for the Book festival is a week-long event held at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia: What began as a two-day literary event in 1999, organized by George Mason University and the City of Fairfax, has expanded into a week-long, multiple-venue, regional festival that brings together people of all ages and interests, thanks to growing community interest and generous supporting []

Book Nerds Unite!

As if my own encouragement to attend the 9th annual National Book Festival on the Mall were not enough, Washingtonian also recommends the event. The magazine lists several headliners: novelists John Grisham, John Irving, and Jodi Picoult; children and tween favorites Sharon Creech, Judy Blume, Jeff Kinney, and Jon Scieszka (currently the Library of Congress’s national ambassador for young people’s literature); nonfiction authors Ken Burns, Gwen Ifill, and Jon Meacham. Others to look for include Paula Deen, Lois Lowry, Jerry Pinkney, David []

Small Press Expo Next Weekend!

The 15th Annual Small Press Expo will take place on Saturday, September 26, from 11 am-7 pm, and Sunday, Sunday, September 27, from noon-6 pm, at The North Bethesda Marriott Convention Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

“The Turnaround” by George Pelecanos

The Turnaround is a solid read that offers a valuable glimpse into the lives of members of different communities, even if those characters seems forced or stereotypical at times. It seems as though Pelecanos has produced another solid, if predictable, book—one that will appease his current fans with an entertaining, thrilling story while reaching out to readers and residents, like myself, interested in the ever-vibrant communities of D.C.

A View of Haleh Esfandiari’s Book Launch

“Esfandiari recounts her harrowing experience in a newly released book called My Prison, My Home: One Woman’s Story of Captivity in Iran (HarperCollins).The story began in Tehran when, while visiting her 93-year-old mother, Esfandiari was stopped by knife wielding intelligence officials who accused her of plotting to overthrow the government. This incident, which occurred December 30, 2006, led to four months of house arrest and intense interrogation, followed by another four months in Evin Prison. She was released in August 2007, following a robust diplomatic effort that involved her colleagues at the Wilson Center and members of the U.S. Congress.”