Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fabulous True Stories

For anyone who loves reading humorous, honest and heartfelt stories about women, the professional obstacles they encounter and the moments that challenge and inspire them, take a look at this just-released book--WATER COOLER DIARIES: Women Across America Share Their Day At Work (http://www.thisdayinthelife.com/).

This new and exciting installment in the THIS DAY series is brought to us by editors Joni B. Cole and B.K. Rakhra, the brilliant minds who compiled (along with Rebecca Joffrey) two wonderful prior collections: THIS DAY: Diaries From American Women (2004) and THIS DAY IN THE LIFE: Diaries From Women Across America (2006). All three of the collections feature true-life entries selected from the journals of approximately 500 women, all of which were written on one "typical" day in their life.

Of course, I'll admit to a bias here: I was a proud participant in the second THIS DAY project (back on June 29, 2004) and have such fond memories of taking notes throughout that day and then, after much deft trimming by the editors, finally getting to read the insights of hundreds of other American women who were journaling on that same day. My contribution to the project was very small and my day not especially exciting, but reading about the intriguing experiences of other women reinforced the many similarities we share despite outward differences in situation. We are, after all, so very much alike, and it's a priceless gift when writers can remind readers of our shared humanity.

Publishers Weekly called WATER COOLER DIARIES an "entertaining collection" and said that the glimpse into the lives of these women is "both fascinating and eye-opening."

And Booklist explained it all: Take one day—in this case, March 27, 2007—and ask 515 women to chronicle their thoughts and activities. This "day in the life" (third in a series from Cole and Rakhra) features what could be called "average" occupations—including stay-at-home mom, librarian, teacher—as well as the more glamorous work, from fashion designer and Lake Wobegon actor to a boxing promoter and, yes, the World's Sexiest Magician. In all, 35 full-day accounts are included. Skimming through this collection is not a good idea. There are sentences that will make readers stop, laugh, tear up, nod, and otherwise savor common and out-of-the-ordinary experiences. Judging from these excerpts, who could resist uncovering the rest of the story? "She was a poster child for why you don't wear six-inch heels and get drunk at a post-St. Patrick's Day party." Or "I love the satisfaction of the home being our canvas." And "So can a person ever be a failure if they are doing what they love?" Worth rereading.

I couldn't agree more :-).

1 comment:

L.A. Mitchell said...

These stories sound great. I'm afraid my day would pale in comparison. The richest thing that happens around here is when someone stumbles upon an Oreo hidden in the back of the pantry.