Nicole’s Favorites: Digital Must-Reads

Sometimes, speaking up or putting yourself out there can be extremely difficult. It can take all the confidence and bravery you can muster to finally speak your mind, stand up for yourself or go out on a limb in pursuit of your dreams. But, when you have models of those who have gone before us — those who have busted down doors or pointed out double standards — it can make it a little bit easier for the rest of us who are trying to find our way.

This week, I’ve chosen two pieces that I think are very important to read, albeit for different reasons. One teaches us to speak up in the midst of the most difficult or trying circumstances, while the other offers insight on the roadblocks women may face when striving for success. Both, however, will leave you feeling stronger and inspired. Here are my two favorite online reads for this week:

Gretchen Carlson: What Speaking Up Against Sexual Harassment Did for Me—and Why I Encourage Other Women to Do the Same 

(Trigger warning) The former Fox News host reveals details the sexual assaults she faced as a Miss America candidate and later sexual harassment she faced working her way up the media industry. Her experiences — and the countless others she heard from women with similar stories — then inspired her to write Be FierceStop Harassment and Take Back Your Power, due out on Oct. 17. Read her essay on InStyle here.

Jewel Eliese: How to Get Published: Be Male?

Writer Jewel Eliese breaks down the barriers to success in the world of publishing, which she concludes may be a function of gender, as males — and even females writing under male pseudonyms — have an easier time getting manuscript requests and even published. However, Eliese argues that we, as a society, can change things if we remove gender and its adjoining stereotypes from the equation and focus on the quality of the storytelling, not the name signed at the bottom of a query letter. Read her full article here.

While these pieces certainly point out the many trappings that can go along with gender, they should serve as a source of inspiration, letting us all know that change is possible if we have the courage to pursue it.

XO,

Nicole

Marley Dias to release book with Schol

She may only 12 years old, but Marley Dias certainly has a lot to say — enough to fill an entire book.

According to The Cut, the young author who gained public acclaim after creating the #1000BlackGirlBooks drive —  a book drive just for books where black girls were the main characters — will be releasing a title of her own with Scholastic.

Due in Spring 2018, Mic reports that the nonfiction work will serve as a guide to helping kids pursue their dreams. The Cut cites a release announcing the news that describes her forthcoming book this way:

“In her forthcoming nonfiction book for ages 10 and up, Marley Dias, the powerhouse girl-wonder who started the #1000blackgirlbooks campaign, shows kids how to make their own dreams come true. In this accessible “keep-it-real” guide, Marley tells how she’s turned her passion into a literacy crusade that has captured the attention of the media, policymakers, and young people throughout the world.”

While Vice President and Executive Editor for Scholastic Andrea Davis Pickney said they are “thrilled to welcome her to the Scholastic family,” the excitement is certainly not lost on Dias.

“I am so excited to be doing this book with Scholastic,” she said in a release. “All my friends can probably only name one publishing house and that is Scholastic; they are everywhere. Scholastic is the perfect partner for spreading my message of diversity, inclusion and social action.”

Take a time out with THL

We are 27 days into 2017, and the new year has already ushered in a host of new challenges. But don’t let the stress get you down — take a time out with THL to recharge and gear up to tackle head on whatever concerns are plaguing you.

Take some R&R time

If you’re too busy to head to a nail salon, try pampering yourself with an at-home manicure and pedicure. Better yet, use a nail polish with an empowering name so every time you look down out at your nails, you’re reminded to keep calm and carry on.

THL recommends: Essie’s “Power Clutch,” available at Ulta for $9.

Take some creative time

If makeup and spa days aren’t your thing, relax your mind with a little art therapy. A new trend, adult coloring books offer a brief respite from the daily grind and allow grown ups to be a kid once more. But make no mistake: adult coloring books aren’t all roses, sunshine and puppies designed to numb your mind. Some incorporate your favorite television shows, while others may even teach you something new while you’re coloring away.

THL recommends: “The Badass Feminist Coloring Book,” available at Barnes & Noble for $25, is complete with images of “40 badass feminists and bonus essays on feminism” that are sure to simultaneously relax you and inspire you.

Take some alone time

Everyone loves to read something that is both enlightening and engaging, so there’s no better way to steal a little time for yourself than by curling up with a good book. Whether you decide to read something brand new or choose to revisit an old favorite, reading allows you to escape from the present or become engrossed in a new tale — or may even make you aware of a previously unconsidered point of view.

THL recommendsWe Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, available at Amazon for $6.39 (or $2.99 for the Kindle Edition). This short essay, which was adapted from Adichie’s famous TEDx talk, lays out the basic premise of feminism and explains the logic behind an inclusive feminism.

These recommendations will surely provide an escape from the stresses of the new year. But don’t rest for too long — those challenges won’t resolve themselves.