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In Conversation with Exceptional Women, Edited by Monica Bhide


All my life, whenever I’ve had to list my interests, reading and writing have been at the top of the list, always together. They are a logical matched pair, I think. And as a writer, I’ve found that reading is absolutely essential to improving myself and my writing.

Though I normally stick to fiction that allows me to escape from the present, I am always looking for nonfiction that inspires. When I received an email from award-winning author Monica Bhide, who has written three cookbooks, contributed to a number of top magazines like Food & Wine, Saveur and Bon Appetit, and writes her own food blog called A Life of Spice, asking if I would to see a review copy of her new eBook, In Conversation with Exceptional Women, I said absolutely and am so glad I did.

I am better for having read this book.

The book is a collection of interviews that Bhide has conducted with women that inspire her — amazing women like Amanda Hesser, Ruth Reichl, Dorie Greenspan and Kim Severson. Among the more than 50 interviews are also a number of women who have profoundly touched and inspired me as well like Allison Winn Scotch, Aviva Goldfarb, Meagan Francis and Melissa Clark, who inspired me to start blogging more than six years ago.

Every interview contains valuable advice and insight on work, life-balance, inspiration and success. I found myself considering my own views on success and inspiration again and again as I read, driven by what I was reading.

What struck me most about the interviews is that time and again, it came up that writing was all they ever wanted to do — even from a very young age, something I can relate too because it’s the same for me. I was a mere 6 or 7 when I wrote my first “book.”

Something miraculous happened when I read Monica Bhide‘s new eBook, In Conversation with Exceptional Women, as well. In addition to being inspired, I found myself approaching this book differently.

See, I’m greedy when it comes to reading. If I love a book, I will devour it as quickly as I can, digesting every word in breakneck speed. Sometimes that means reading a whole book cover to cover in less than a day. Other times, it means staying up until my eyelids are too heavy to open and waking early the next day to finish. On the other hand, if I don’t love a book, I will drag through it either until I finish or I give up. Thank goodness that doesn’t happen often.

With this book I loved it, but I didn’t pile through it. I read, rested, reflected and read some more, until I had read the whole thing. It was about savoring every interview and taking time to really read every word slowly and carefully. I didn’t just want to devour it, I wanted to internalize it.

I can’t recommend this book enough.

If you are a woman writer, buy this eBook (it’s a mere $4.99!) and read it. Then read it again, whenever you need that little kick in the pants to keep going toward your goals. It’s worth it.