Author: Jessie Funk
Basic Overview: When you hear the phrase, “How to be a lady,” what do you think of? Tea, crumpets, corsets, sitting up straight, and crossing your ankles? That isn’t what you will hear when you read Jessie Funk’s extraordinary book about how to be a lady—in today’s world that is.
Each of the 12 skills that the author teaches has its own chapter as well as specific steps to gain that skill and keep it. Some of the skills she discusses include confidence, motherhood, and personal power. For example in the chapter on motherhood, she explains that if you are a mom, you should know that your children will embarrass you. (I should probably remember that for when I am a mom!) And in the chapter about personal power, she goes into detail about how to say no to people in an iffy situation, how to forgive others, and how to stop being a bully.
Parts I liked best: I loved the way Jessie Funk put short videos on QR codes at the beginning of each chapter, so you can watch a video of her discussing each skill. It made the chapters more meaningful, and I looked forward to the beginning of the chapters because of those videos.
I also really enjoyed the way the author told her own stories, which she titled “Tales of Adventures,” in every chapter. It was nice to learn from someone’s real-life experiences and helped me relate to her better.
The last thing I loved about this book is that in each chapter there was a section where we could write down our feelings about that skill. As I have looked back on my reflections, I see that it made me want to practice the skill even more.
How this book made an impact in my life: This wonderful book taught me many things. One of the skills that I especially liked was number three: gratitude. Yes, I am grateful for things, and I’ve thought about gratitude (at times other than Thanksgiving– gasp!). But one thing that she mentioned really stuck out to me: “Your thoughts are powerful. You’ve heard, ‘You are what you eat,’ right? I’ll take it a step further: ‘You are what you THINK.’ If you choose to focus your thoughts on things you are grateful for, happiness is a natural byproduct” (pg. 50).
I’ve realized that if I really do focus on the simple, daily things I am grateful for (clean underwear, electricity, medicine, sunshine, etc.), I become happier. This book is a must-read for all teen and young adult ladies, but there is also something in it for everyone to understand and work on.
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Edited by Aubrey Degn and Sarah Monson.