Monday, 4 April 2016

What I Told My Daughter: Lessons From Leaders on Raising The Next Generation of Empowered Women

Author: Nina Tassler
Genre: Non-Fiction, Parenting
Type: e-book
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Atria Books
First Published: April 5, 2016
First Line: "I was forty when my daughter was born."

Book Description from GoodReads: In What I Told My Daughter, entertainment executive Nina Tassler has brought together a powerful, diverse group of women—from Madeleine Albright to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from Dr. Susan Love to Whoopi Goldberg—to reflect on the best advice and counsel they have given their daughters either by example, throughout their lives, or in character-building, teachable moments between parent and child.

A college president teaches her daughter, by example, the importance of being a leader who connects with everyone—from the ground up, literally—in an organization. A popular entertainer and former child star urges her daughter to walk in her own truth, to not break glass ceilings if she yearns to nurture a family as a stay-at-home mother or to abandon a career if that’s her calling. One of the country’s only female police chiefs teaches her daughter the meaning of courage, how to respond to danger but more importantly how not to let fear stop her from experiencing all that life has to offer. A bestselling writer who has deliberated for years on empowering girls, wonders if we’re unintentionally leading them to believe they can never make mistakes, when “resiliency is more important than perfection.”

Contributors include: Geena Davis, Cecile Richards, Dolores Huerta, Rabbi Sharon Brous, Peggy Orenstein, Debora Black, Ayelet Waldman, Pat Benatar, Whoopi Goldberg, Dr. Susan Love, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandra Pelosi, Marie Osmond, Dr. Juliet Garcia, Jehan Sadat, Ph.D, Joanna Kerns, Madeleine Albright, Gloria Estefan, Nannerl O. Keohane, Jennifer Dulski, Dr. Marcia McNutt, Pamela Fryman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Brooke Shields, Laura Bush, Mona Sinha, Gloria Allred, Joy Marcus, Judy Vredenburgh, Sharon Osbourne, Beverly Johnson, Michelle King, Dr. Karen Antman, MD, Dr. Amy Antman Gelfand, MD, Mary Steenburgen, Kimberley Hatchett, Cheryl Saban, C. Noel Bairey Merz, Alex Guarneschelli, Dana Walden, Mia Hamm, Margaret Abe-Koga, Roma Downey, Chirlane McCray, Blythe Danner, Sheila Bair, Ruth W. Messinger, Norah O’Donnell, Donna de Varona, Nancy Josephson, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Jeanne Newman, and Christine Baranski.

In a time when childhood seems at once more fraught and more precious than ever, What I Told My Daughter is a book no one concerned with connecting with a young girl can afford to miss.

My ReviewWhat I Told My Daughter is a compilation of short narratives written by various female leaders and celebrities to empower and educate the next generation of women.  There are actors, politicians, athletes, musicians etc - including Geena Davis, Pat Benatar, Marie Osmond, Whoppi Goldberg, Sharon Osbourne, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Laura Bush, Aylet Waldman, Mia Hamm ... the list goes on.  These are women from many different walks of life who impart life lessons, based on their own experiences - both professional and personal - that they wish their own daughters to learn.

The book touches on several different topics facing todays girls and young women.  Overall it has an empowering feel that encourages girls so that they grow into strong, well-adjusted young women who are happy with their own individualities, quirks and strengths.  I admit to enjoying some narratives a lot more than others, and even glossing over some of the stories that didn't engage me.  Part of the reason that I didn't connect with the authors was due to the fact that I didn't recognize many of their names.

Overall, this was a good read but not quite as inspiring as I was hoping for.  I applaud the fact that women are sharing their struggles and triumphs - in the home, within the workplace or in the world at large with the next generation of women.  I like its message about finding your own voice and what makes you an individual and fostering that difference but this was not a riveting, 'can't put it down' kind of read for me.  That said, What I Told My Daughter tries to encourage and advise the next generation of women to be proud of the the strength innate in all women if we are only make/take the opportunity to shine.

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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