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THE STEELE MAIDEN BOOK CLUB: CHAPTER FIVE

The Steele Maiden: Fall Reading List

August (and much of September!) has flown by, so I figured I better jump in with another round of #SteeleMaidenBookClub picks before we officially kick off Fall this weekend. I kept to my plan of reading a wide variety this past month and find it so much more interesting than sticking to just one genre. Below, everything I read since August and what I’ve got stacked up on the shelves for the rest of September/October. Happy reading!

Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta: If you’ve got a spare afternoon and don’t want to waste it on reality TV but want that same kind of laughable drama-type escape – I suggest this book. About a single mother in her 40s grappling with her son leaving for college and the dating scene now in front of her. Nothing ground-breaking here, but pretty fun nonetheless.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: Man I love when a book surprises me. Not in a thriller, edge of your seat kind of way (although that’s great too), but in a ‘I didn’t think I’d love this book and now I do’ kind of way. This book really did that. This is a YA book (which I never read.. and now realize perhaps I should change that) recommended to me by one of my closest friends – so I figured I’d give it a shot.¬†Beautifully imagined, it tells the story of a not so distant future, post-apocalypse. There are a lot of different character stories but I found myself interested in all of them and weeks later – I’m still thinking about this book.

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen: Not for the faint of heart, this is a long book. Which is why I didn’t get to my fourth book (The Female Persuasion) at all last month. In spite of the length, it’s magnificent. And I don’t use that term lightly. I’ve always been really interested in the lives that shaped my favorite famous creatives (from Yves Saint Laurent to Joan Didion to now, Bruce Springsteen) and the way that this autobiography takes you inside his upbringing, his early days, years on the road and relationships – all through that classic American voice of his – is really incredible. I promise you will never hear the song Born to Run the same way again. Highly recommend. And now, I’ll be busy looking up how to win the lottery tickets to see his broadway show.¬†*Note: my friend listened to this on audiobook while I was reading the actual book and since it’s read by Mr. Springsteen himself I almost wish I had done it that way. Also, I think you may be able to get through it a bit quicker with this approach.

SHOP THIS MONTH’S BOOK CLUB:

The Steele Maiden: Fall Reading List

For the month ahead, I’m tackling The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer first, then jumping into David Sedaris’ new book Calypso (he balances heartbreak with hilarity in such a perfect way – his writing is some of my very favorite), then Educated (a recent best-seller based on a true story that I’ve been itching to get my hand’s on) and finally Marlena by Julie Buntin (looks like a quick fiction read about a troubled friendship and flashbacks of youth).

SHOP NEXT MONTH’S BOOK CLUB:

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CASUAL FRIDAY + BEST BLAZERS FOR FALL

The Steele Maiden: Blazers and Denim - Casual Friday Outfit

Ahhh.. hello Casual Friday! We’ve made it to the end of my “Work” themed week (see the post here that mentions each week’s theme for the month of September) and so a focus on everyone’s favorite day of the work week seemed to be fitting. I’m lucky in that my office has a ‘creative casual’ dress code so my everyday outfits might be considered ‘Casual Friday’ by other people’s standards. That being said, if I’m wearing jeans to work I do try to dress them up a bit so it doesn’t veer too far into the weekend territory. Basically: casual… but make it fashion.

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FALL OFFICE OUTFIT INSPIRATION WITH LONDON TIMES

The Steele Maiden: Fall Office Outfit Inspiration with London Times

I always call this time of year ‘Back to Work’, like the grown-up version of ‘Back to School’. After the Summer it feels like the perfect time to brush up your workwear game before heading into Fall. So I teamed up with London Times (the sister brand of Maggy London – both of which are 2 of my favorite brands to wear to work) to serve up a bit of office outfit inspiration for the season ahead.

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SPILLING WHAT’S IN MY WORK BAG

The Steele Maiden: What's In My Work Bag

You know what they say – you’re only as strong as the bag you’re carrying. Okay maybe that’s not exactly it, but the bag I carry to work quite literally has to have my back throughout the day, whether I get invited to a last minute event after work I need to spruce up my look or I’m running on empty and desperately need a snack. Below – the things I never leave home on a Monday-Friday without.

SHOP WHAT’S IN MY BAG:

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DEALING WITH STRESS AT WORK

As I write this I am so tightly tied in a knot of stress about upcoming work deadlines that it is going to take approximately 2 episodes of Gilmore Girls and 1 large cup of tea to unwind. A really bad day and you can replace that tea with tequila. Which leads me to the first topic of this week’s ‘Work’ theme: How to deal with stress at work. In my experience there are two main stressors when it comes to your 9-5 (or 9-6/7/8… whatever you’ve got). The first is when you’re at your desk up to your neck in deadlines and you have no idea how you’re possibly going to get it all done. I feel this way several times a week at least. The second, is the type of stress that hits when you’re not even at the office. It wakes you up in the middle of the night. It ruins your Sunday brunch. I experience this a couple of times a month. That inability to keep work at work. To me it’s the worse of the two. Either way, over the years I’ve developed a few tactics I can fall back on to help me. Below – the best tricks I’ve got.

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Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.