“The Best of The Notable Woman: 2016” is my look back at everything I loved about this year. In all fairness, it’s been a pretty short year. Though in gestation for a very long time (like an elephant pregnancy, I’m telling you!), The Notable Woman is barely 4 months old. I love me some year in review / round-up posts so I thought you might too. Here are my favorite quotes, book recommendations, tips, habits, and more!

Top 5 Book Recommendations

The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall
Recommended by Tia Shearer Bassett
You can find it in The Notable Woman Podcast, Episode 1
Summary from Amazon:

A thrillingly original novel published in thirty-three countries to worldwide acclaim, The New York Times Magazine called The Raw Shark Texts a genre-founding work of fiction.

Eric Sanderson wakes up in a house he doesn’t recognize, unable to remember anything of his life. All he has left are his diary entries recalling Clio, a perfect love who died under mysterious circumstances, and a house that may contain the secrets to Eric’s prior life. But there may be more to this story, or it may be a different story altogether. With the help of allies found on the fringes of society, Eric embarks on an edge-of-your-seat journey to uncover the truth about himself and to escape the predatory forces that threaten to consume him. Moving with the pace of a superb thriller, The Raw Shark Texts has sparked the imaginations of readers around the world and is one of the most talked-about novels in years.

Tia recommends it for anyone who loves a good novel.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
Recommended by Reverend Lorraine Peterson
You can find it in The Notable Woman Podcast, Episode 3
Summary from Amazon:

“One of the most extraordinary works of fantasy, for adults or children, published so far this century.”—Time magazine, on the Fairyland series

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.

With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when author Catherynne M. Valente first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Fiction title for 2011.

Lorraine suggests it no matter your age; it’s a great book for adults too!

The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle by Steven Pressfield
Recommended by Boom Shikha
You can find it in The Notable Woman Podcast, Episode 4
Summary from Amazon:

Internationally best-selling author of Last of the Amazons, Gates of Fire and Tides of War, Steven Pressfield delivers a guide to inspire and support those who struggle to express their creativity. Pressfield believes that “resistance” is the greatest enemy, and he offers many unique and helpful ways to overcome it.

Boom suggests it for those struggling to find life’s purpose.

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan
Recommended by Victoria Ng
You can find it in The Notable Woman Podcast, Episode 6
Summary from Amazon:

“Funny and scary … an utterly believable critique of society. A+”—THE WASHINGTON POST

“The best graphic novel I’ve ever read.”—STEPHEN KING

“This year’s best movie is a comic book.”—“ALL THINGS CONSIDERED,” NPR

“A seriously funny, nuanced fable…. Grade A.”—ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Y: THE LAST MAN, winner of three Eisner Awards and one of the most critically acclaimed, best-selling comic books series of the last decade, is that rare example of a page-turner that is at once humorous, socially relevant and endlessly surprising.

Written by Brian K. Vaughan (Lost, PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, EX MACHINA) and with art by Pia Guerra, this is the saga of Yorick Brown—the only human survivor of a planet-wide plague that instantly kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome. Accompanied by a mysterious government agent, a brilliant young geneticist and his pet monkey, Ampersand, Yorick travels the world in search of his lost love and the answer to why he’s the last man on earth. Collecting issues #1-5.

Victoria suggests this graphic novel for a great read, whether or not it’s your first graphic novel or not.

Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
Recommended by Laura Macauley
You can find it in The Notable Woman Podcast, Episode 8
Summary from Amazon:

The incredible story of the man behind TOMS Shoes and One for One, the revolutionary business model that marries fun, profit, and social good.

“A creative and open-hearted business model for our times.”—The Wall Street Journal

Why this book is for you:

  • You’re ready to make a difference in the world—through your own start-up business, a nonprofit organization, or a new project that you create within your current job.
  • You want to love your work, work for what you love, and have a positive impact on the world—all at the same time.
  • You’re inspired by charity: water, method, and FEED Projects and want to learn how these organizations got their start.
  • You’re curious about how someone who never made a pair of shoes, attended fashion school, or worked in retail created one of the fastest-growing footwear companies in the world by giving shoes away.
  • You’re looking for a new model of success to share with your children, students, co-workers, and members of your community.

You’re ready to start something that matters.

Laura suggests it for those who are looking at what’s next for them in their life.

Habits to Pick Up in 2017

Micro meditation from Boom’s episode The Notable Woman Podcast, Episode 4

Like the idea of meditation but scared of sitting in silence thinking about your to do list for 30 minutes? Don’t worry! You don’t have to start there. In her episode on meditation, Boom suggested micro meditation as a good place to start when developing a meditation practice. 2, 5, 10 minutes a day is where you can begin! It’s much easier to start a practice when it just feels like you’re dating (2 minutes) instead of marrying it (30 minutes, ack!).

Tia’s tip about stress from The Notable Woman Podcast, Episode 1

Tia brought up an interesting thought about stress, which is that we choose stress. We don’t actually need to stress. We just feel like we have to, when in fact, we can just continue on as we were. Tia believes she picked this habit up from her family, but realized she could stop it from spreading to her son if she chose right now to not choose stress.

This tip really resonated with me because I can clearly see it myself. Since Tia shared this nugget o’wisdom with me, I have been NOT choosing stress, and I feel so much better about everything from work to Mom life.

Top 5 Quotes

“What I think is that God is right there holding us up, and strengthening us, and weeping with us, and helping us to face unspeakable heartache.”
-Reverend Lorraine Peterson on God and hardship

“I would want anyone who’s listening to be proud of who you are. Accept that where you are is where you need to be right now. And that’s totally okay.”
-Victoria Ng on loving who you are right now

Definitely put your intentions out there and good things will follow.”
-Yanran Carpenter on manifesting your dreams

“You have to make a decision that you want your life to be better. And then you just take one small step, and another small step, and another one, and it’s just doing that over and over again to help build up to the goals you want to reach.”
-Shelly Robinson on getting to a better place with your health

“So every time you go on self sabotaging or self loathing activities, thinking all negative stuff, then pull out that piece of paper and read all the positive things you wrote about yourself, and that helps to get your mind from negative to positive instantly.”
-Susan “Suz” Adhikari

The Best Free Resources

Boom’s Group – The Millionaire Hippie – Money and meditation, what could be better? 🙂

Shelly’s Group – Healthy Mama Hustle – Health support for Mamas who run their own businesses or side hustles

Julie’s Group – Nest Egg Chick – Personal finance tips

From Rosemarie – A Guide to Building Your Self Confidence – Free guide / workbook

From Mikayla – 5 Day Guide to Crushing Burnout – Mikayla’s tips on how to say goodbye to overwhelm and control your own time


That’s it for me! I’m looking forward to doing this again next year!


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