Enough! Book Club Winter/Spring 2021

These four books are all selected in the spirit of ‘a retweet is not an endorsement’ to provoke discussion and reflection – that’s the point of a book club, right?

3rd February: Mason Currey, Daily Rituals Women at Work (Picador 2019)
I invite you to read this one with a sense of curiosity. You can read in order or just skip around. As you do, you might notice: Which of these habits sound appealing, like something I might try? Which sound appalling, like something I would never do, and why not? You might wonder, what do my reactions reveal about me, my own rhythms, priorities, and values?

17th February: Cal Newport, Deep Work (Piatkus 2016)
This book does two things at once, which is a pretty neat trick. On the one hand, it (unintentionally) sets up our critique of the macho, neoliberal model of productivity. On the other, it offers some quite interesting research and some truly useful ideas. So I suggest you read it with two hats on: both as feminist alert to sexism and patriarchal assumptions, and as person looking for useful ways to work more efficiently and consistently. And I will challenge you, when you are through, to sit down and ask yourself, ‘What are my own Deep Work (& Life) Rules?’

3rd March: Darlene Cohen, The One Who Is Not Busy (Gibbs M Smith 2004)
This short one by a Zen priest from California is subtly brilliant, though it doesn’t always land. I read it myself several times over the years before it finally clicked. As I wrote here, it is hard to explain the effect Cohen’s Zen approach of ‘simultaneous inclusion’ can have. Work starts to feel less like work and more like, just, life. And when that happens, some of the resistance you may feel to actually doing it starts to slip away. It becomes less about work/life balance and more about both living and working with ease. May need to be ordered from US, so best to purchase well in advance.

17th March: Kate Northrup, Do Less (Hay House 2019)
I suspect Northrup’s book may be the most polarising of the four. Intended as an alternative to ‘leaning in,’ it is about letting natural cycles – of menstruation, the moon, the seasons – guide your work and effort. Personally, I alternate between nodding in agreement and rolling my eyes into the top of my head when I read it. Really looking forward to discussing it with you. 

These four follow-up books were selected to address interests of the Enough! 2.0 group.

10th May: Sebene Selassie, You Belong  (HarperOne 2020)
I’m suggesting a focus on Chapter 3, “Ground Yourself,” as it picks up the theme of embodiment we’ve been working with, but the whole book is terrific. Selassie is a Brooklyn-based meditation teacher. (MB facilitates.)

24th May: Brittney Cooper, Eloquent Rage (Picador 2018)
This is a very US-centric book, but I still think we’ll get some juicy stuff out of it. I suggest we focus on “The Problem With Sass,” “Capital B, Capital F,” “Strong Female Leads,” and “White-Girl Tears.”

14th June: adrienne maree brown, Pleasure Activism (AK Press 2019)
Let’s discuss the introduction and Section One. I also suggest taking 20 minutes to listen to Audre Lorde’s 1978 talk “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power,” which is on YouTube. It’s included in the book, but so powerful read aloud.

28th June: Laura Vanderkam, I Know How She Does It (Portfolio 2015)
Selected by a participant as means of looking at how some women organise their time.

The Enough! Book Club Guiding Principles: 1. Having read the whole book is optional. 2. Wine is encouraged.