I’d like to keep this short today as my beautiful daughters will be taking me out to lunch soon. This is a day we celebrate our mothers. (Duh) I want to also celebrate all of the fierce awesome women who’ve come before me, and will come after me that have inspired me in my life. Thank you! Thank you for fighting for women’s rights, for leading in the workplace, for taking chances, for running for office, for inventing, for writing, for having children and working, for breaking into traditional men’s work, for overcoming so many obstacles in life. Just…thank you.
I felt the need to write today, but my brain is misfiring in so many directions, that I decided to do something simple…a book review. So, please indulge me while I talk about one of the books that I’m reading. I hope you’ll give it a try. It’s a little bit outside the realm of leadership, but hey, it’s my blog, so why not?
I sing of Artemis, whose shafts are of gold, who cheers on the hounds, the pure maiden, shooter of stags, who delights in archery, own sister to Apollo. The Homeric Hymn to Artemis, circa 6th century BC
This is from the book titled The Immortals, by Jordana Max Brodsky. Ancient Greek Gods are alive and well in 2016, with some residing in New York City. They’ve taken on common names, as well as jobs, (the horror!) so as not to stick out. Artemis’ name is Selena DiSilva. Her twin brother, Apollo, is now Paul. Her half brother Hermes, is known as Dash, and so on with other Gods. Much like the movie Highlander, or most immortal type books and movies, they must disappear and reinvent their lives after a few decades. Artemis/Selena, the Huntress, has done many versions of police work, detective work, protector of women and crime fighting. Most of the Gods and Goddess’s powers are weakening over the centuries, until they finally go mad and/or die. They are gradually aging and losing their powers, because not too many people these days are praying directly to the ancient Gods. There are a few cute things, such as Hermes starting the clothesline, Hermes, which enables the God to still retain some power.
I would describe the book as part historical, part mystery, part suspense, and even some humor. There are many flashbacks of Artemis’ Goddess life, and her past lives living on earth, making for fascinating reading and premises. Fast forward to NYC, and Selena is a hard, lonely woman, patrolling the nights looking for abusers of women. Two incidents jolt her into further action. She finds the mutilated corpse of a woman with signs of an ancient ritual long forgotten committed on the woman, and power has begun to course through Selena’s body again. Someone is praying to her and sacrificing women for a ritual. Her sense of justice and ire has reminded her of who she really is, Artemis, daughter of Zeus and Leto, the Punisher and the Huntress.
I liked the writing style, and the obvious research that went into writing this book. The dialogue is witty, biting, and real. It’s a series, so I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books.
Something happened to me this week that made me start thinking about human connections and our careers. Social media is great for connecting, networking, educating, and marketing, but wow, nothing beats the human connection.
Let me tell you some back story. I’ve been in the book business since 1996 and of course, have met many people. Coworkers, bosses, customers and vendors, just to name a few. It’s the vendor aspect that I want to talk about. I’ve noticed over the years that a lot of people in my position don’t always respect vendors. They are sales people, to be sure, but that’s their job. I’ve always treated them with respect, not as a nuisance. Truth be told, most are a delightful way to break up the day. Not to mention, learning about new products is always interesting. That respect tends to pay off in all kinds of ways.
So, a few days ago I got a phone call from a former co-worker who told me that a vendor we both knew left me some books at my old office. My feelings: surprise, curiosity and warmth. I’ve known the vendor, (we’ll call him Tim) for a long time, probably since 2004. He represents all types of genres in books. Tim is quiet, smart and very knowledgeable about books. We’ve always had a good working relationship. Him selling, me buying for the business. He knew what would sell at our store, and between the two of us, we had a relationship of give and take. One of the best things about Tim was that he remembered the subjects that I personally liked. Once in a while, he brought me free samples and galleys. (book talk for a preview of a book that has not been edited, nor has the right cover, and is not for sale).
Tim didn’t know that I had left my last job, yet still, he asked my coworker to contact me. To his honorable credit, my coworker did! I stopped by the old office. Imagine my surprise that Tim had remembered that I love Dr. Who, and left me a book set of Dr. Who books! To say I was excited and touched is an understatement. Now, I’m not saying make a human connection to get free stuff. I’m saying, make those connections to make work more interesting. Make those connections to help each other succeed. Make those connections because maybe you will need a job someday and that vendor can vouch for you. You can bet, in my current job as a book buyer, that I’ll be thinking of Tim now and wondering how I can sell the products that he represents.