Tag Archives: book review

Blogher Book Club Review: Lunch Wars

Posted by: Maggie

When I heard that Amy Kalafa’s Lunch Wars was next up in the BlogHer Book Club*, I was thrilled.  The food we feed our kids is such a big deal for me. Since Eleanor was born, I’ve read a number of books and watched a bunch of documentaries about health, nutrition and the food industry in this country. But, aside from watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution series on ABC,  I haven’t heard much about the state of food in our schools.

Kalafa explores the state of school lunches today and tells her readers exactly what they can do about it.  Lunch Wars give a brief but compelling overview of the harmfulness of the foods available to our children at school and the very real health consequences associated with that food. Kalafa follows by explaining step-by-step what a passionate parent can do to make a change in their community.

Each chapter ends with a list of action steps you can take to make a difference in your children’s school. The book is filled with stories of parents, chefs, nutritionists, writers, and others who have worked to change the school food in their communities. Many of the stories are disheartening. It’s sad to hear about the challenges these individuals have faced when they try to make food healthier for children. But so many of the stories are incredibly inspiring. It’s amazing to hear some of the success stories, where food has not only become healthy, delicious, and sustainable, but many of the programs have become financially profitable for the schools.

The book made me worried for the day when Eleanor starts school, but also prepared and excited to start my own Lunch War when the time comes.

Head over to the Blogher Book Club to join the discussion and read what other bloggers are saying about Amy Kalafa’s Lunch Wars.

*This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

BlogHer Book Club: Faithful Place Review

Posted by: Maggie

I’m excited to join the BlogHer Book Club! For my first book I had the chance to review Faithful Place by Tana French. Although, I’m not usually into mystery novels this seemed like it would be a fun read and it didn’t disappoint!

“From the class conflicts, to sibling rivalry, to first love, and family loyalty, French weaves a complex story of a family and a neighborhood that I found hard not to lose myself in.”

You can read the rest of my review HERE and then wander around BlogHer for other reviews in their Book Club.

A Belated Fabulous Friday:
Delivering Happiness – A Review & A Giveaway

Posted by: Maggie

I’ve blogged before about what a fan of Zappos I am, so when the good folks at Zappos sent me a copy of their CEO Tony Hsieh’s new book to review I was excited. I had already read a number of articles online about their focus on customer service and their unique company culture and I was eager to learn more.

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a combination memoir and business book. Tony Hsieh leads us from his very first successful business, a mail order button making venture bringing in $200 a month in middle school, to the sale of the company LinkExchange he co-founded just a few years out of college to Microsoft for $265 million, to his current success with Zappos doing $1 billion in sales a year.

It really is an entertaining read. He writes in a casual style. It feels as if you’re just reading a series of personal blog posts about his life.  You really get a sense of his enthusiasm for creating a new business and can understand his boredom and urge to move on when work isn’t fun and challenging anymore. For Hsieh it really seemed to be about truly enjoying his work, or else what is the point?

He makes a point of illustrating how he made each job he had fun, and why each job he had did or did not make him happy. To him it seems to be about building close relationships with the people he worked with and always finding his work challenging. And be brought those values into the business he helped to build to it’s current success. It seems that more on instinct than anything else, although Harvard educated and business-savvy, he strove to create a strong sense of community amongst his employees, a workplace that truly values each employee, allows them to grow and be creative in their jobs. He’s helped to create the kind of workplace he wants for himself.

I love that throughout the book are stories from friends, business partners, employees, and customers. So that we don’t only hear Hsieh’s voice, but the voice of those around him as he helped to build Zappos. In the section where he outlines each of the Zappos 10 Core Values he follows each with a concrete example of how that value shows in Zappos’ work or in the lives of those it touches, with stories from the CFO/COO, customers, and various employees.

My very favorite quote from the book is where he talks about how popular it is for a business to be all about social media and generating buzz. He says, “I can tell you that my mom has zero buzz, but when she says something I listen.”

I could go on and on about all the things I love about this company from the amazing customer service to the cultivation of creativity in it’s employees, to the ultimate goal of it’s CEO to contribute to the growing Happiness Movement and make all companies as great employers as Zappos is, but I really think you should just read about it yourself. So I really recommend you go buy yourself a copy of the book, which I just learned has already made it to #1 on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com in it’s first week.

Or better yet, win a copy right here! No, not my dog-eared copy! Zappos was kind enough to send an extra copy for me to give away to my lovely readers. So comment here if you’d like to read it and I’ll pick the lucky commenter at random this Friday (the real Friday) June 18!