Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Mayda Leather-Buckle Sweater

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Mayda Leather-Buckle SweaterI really like this cozy sweater from Lauren. The high neckline looks cozy to me, not stuffy, and the wrap detail and leather buckle look really flattering. I also think it’s unusual to find a “luxurious stretch knit with touches of lambswool, cashmere and angora” in this price range. Nice! It was $139, but is now marked to $49.99 at (available in highland green heather and purple heather). Mayda Leather-Buckle Sweater

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]


  1. Yay! I was dying for a new corporette post! (I was obsessively clicking “refresh.”)

    The sweater looks completely inoffensive, and I kind of like it in purple heather. I could see myself wearing this to the office, but it seems to lack a certain charisma. It’s just not that interesting or sharp to me. I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable in it, but I wouldn’t feel like I was at the top of my (fashion) game, either. YMMV, of course!

    Sadly, I’m a nocturnal person who has switched to a very early schedule (I used to arrive at the office at 8:30am, but have now switched to the 7am arrival because of certain projects dumped on my group recently), so I need my corporette while my brain slowly defrosts.

    • this is one of those pieces where the impact really depends on your body shape. i could see it being super flattering and interesting for ladies with a bigger chest and a relatively small waist, or more of an hourglass figure. the model looks pretty straight-up-and-down so she doesn’t really show it off that well, IMO.

      if you had the right shape, though, i think this could look great with, say, heels/boots and sharply cut pants or a skirt.

      • I recognize this as something that would look good on my silhouette – broad shouldered and long waisted. If the wool is itchy, however, all bets are off.

        • I have a much thinner profile, so this would NOT sit well on me. I would also refuse to wear anything to tight b/c it would ONLY feed into the manageing partners’ purrient interests. FOOEY!

      • AnonInfinity :

        Agreed. Shirts in this shape are typically very unflattering for me. I have small shoulders, a small bust, and am pretty straight up and down. They make me look like my body has no shape whatsoever.

      • Yeah, I think the combo of the line across the chest and the small v-neckline makes one’s bre*sts (avoiding moderation) look smaller and farther apart. Which is fine if you have a big enough chest to overcome that, although this would look terrible on me. Pretty color, though.

      • soulfusion :

        I’m in the smaller breasted, short waisted, broad shoulders category and this would look terrible on me. A few years ago I set a blanket rule against any wrap-type tops. Wrap dresses for some reason work but any sort of wrap top seems to add bulk where I don’t need it and emphasize how little I fill out the chest area.

  2. So this is a bit embarrassing, but I’m a lawyer with a non-profit organization and things are a bit tight financially. Is there any part-time contract work that people know of that would be interested in hiring a lawyer in my position? I feel slightly bad about doing contract work when there are a lot of unemployed lawyers, but I also took a huge paycut to do this work and it’d be great to do some extra stuff on the side. Any suggestions? Oh, I’m in NYC, went to a top ten law school, and am in my fourth year of practice.

    • You shouldn’t feel bad. You need to pay rent, and buy a pair of shoes, just like everyone else.

    • Gooseberry :

      Batgirl, just a thought (and I assume you have already considered this!) — do you have a sense of how much professional liability insurance costs to take out a policy on yourself? I just wonder if the costs of protecting yourself would eat half of your lunch. I’ve never looked into this issue, but if you have, I’d be really interested in what you find.

      • MissJackson :

        If what Batgirl wants contract work of the standard variety (i.e. doc review and similar), this shouldn’t be an issue. Agencies/firms pick up the tab for your professional liability insurance. My husband did some non-traditional contract work (he was working with a brand new firm that wasn’t ready to hire full-time associates yet) and they also purchased him professional liability insurance. So I would be surprised if this would become an issue at all unless she wants to hang a shingle.

        Batgirl, I’m not in NYC, so I don’t have any specific suggestions. But I think it’s certainly worth contacting some agencies to see whether they ever have evening/weekend part-time work available.

        • Gooseberry :

          Ah, got it. I was assuming she meant contract work directly for companies.

    • I don’t know what type of law you practice, but I work for a nonprofit, and I have made some money on the side by serving as an expert witness in asylum cases (where the case is taken pro bono by a law firm and the firm pays me as an expert witness). I provide testimony about human rights in certain countries. I also take in some legal translation work, which pays well.

      Most contract agencies want you full time. You’d have better luck doing something like what I do, or taking your own paid clients on the side.

    • I realize this isn’t what you asked, but I’ll throw it out there just in case. A friend of mine, who is not a lawyer, works for a non-profit and also started working a shift or two a week at a coffee shop. She likes that it’s something totally different from her normal job (which is stressful and office-based), and the few hundred extra dollars a month that it gives her. You might hate that kind of work, and it might not be as much money as you’re looking for, but I just wanted to let you know that people do do things like that for all kinds of reasons, and for some people it’s a good fit.

      • Not directly related, but being a barista was my favorite job ever. If I could make a living wage and get dental working for anyone other than Starbucks, I’d go back to it in a heartbeat.

        • Haha, I feel the same way about babysitting. I loved babysitting in high school, and if I weren’t so foolish as to have swallowed the you-must-achieve-as-much-as-you-possibly-can-in-your-career-in-a-conventional-way koolaid, I might have become a nanny and loved it.

    • If you went to a top 10 law school, you are probably qualified to teach or tutor for the LSAT. I tutor students for the LSAT, and I plan to do so as long as time allows. I love working on my own schedule and not having to worry about juggling a second boss, second schedule that’s already set for me, etc. There are referral services that take a small cut but still leave you with much more than the hourly pay rate working for a test prep company. It’s pretty lucrative- much more so than picking up a shift at a coffee shop or retail place. Even if you have to put some time in to getting your skills sharp again, I think it’s worth it. However, I enjoy teaching and mentoring, so it’s a natural fit for me.

      I’m not sure how we’d get in touch on this site without posting personal info., but if you’d like to talk about it, feel free to try to get in touch or reply to this.

      • E-beth – I would love to find out more about how you do LSAT tutoring. My boyfriend (brilliant, top 10 law school) is looking to do something like that. He is in nyc now but looking to relocate to dc soon. What is the referral service you use? how would you suggest getting started? thanks so much in advance.

    • Another option is to teach a LSAT or GRE prep course through Princeston Review or Kaplan. I used to teach GRE prep courses for the Princeston Review in DC at night. Pay was good (25/hour in 1998-99) and the class only met a couple nights a week.

    • You could also adjunct university-level classes, in person or online. There is a need for business-law instructors, even at community colleges and many CCs have online classes. You could also look into teaching ethics/law for non-profit degrees like Masters in Not-for-Profit Management and Masters in Public Administration.

      You can teach classes on a routine or occasional basis according to your schedule.

  3. I’ve seen this sweater at TJ Maxx recently. The wool is pretty itchy, definitely not a cozy sweater.

    • Me, too. They had a nicer cashmere Cynthia Rowley one, as well. I think it was $69.

    • I have a similar version from Lands End that is super soft and comfy.

  4. Threadjack – book talk!

    There’s comfort-food and in that vein, there’s comfort-reading. I’ve been really stressed out lately, and I find that indulging in a bit of comfort-reading before I fall asleep at night has really helped. What books do you read that serve as “comfort-reading”?

    Here’s my list (what I’ve got now on the reading pile)
    1. Harriet the Spy by by Louise Fitzhugh
    2. Emma – Jane Austen
    3. Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones (I’ve got all her books; they’re delightful!)
    4. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
    5. Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery (I’ve read all of her books, but this one stands out to me, because I like the idea of Anne as an independent woman, working, living on her own, and it’s mostly an epistolary novel)
    6. Herris Serrano (trilogy) – by Elizabeth Moon (this one is pure space opera and oh-so entertaining– tough (lady) captain teams up with a “cool [email protected]” granny and foil corruption and space pirates.)

    • AnonInfinity :

      This might sound completely odd, but “Crime and Punishment” is my comfort-reading book. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of the time when I first read it, which was a very happy time in my life. Maybe it’s because I just love the way the words are put together. Who knows. I always have it on my night stand and will read through it on days when I am really stressed. I’ll put it on hold while I read other things, but I always come back to it. When I finish, I just restart it.

    • Oh, good question! The three things that come to mind first are:

      1) Noel Streatfeild’s “Shoes” books. These were my favorite when I was a kid, and they always make me feel better as an adult. They’re all about girls going out and following their passion usually, but not always, in theater or dance-related fields and are both charming and awesome.

      2) Sophie Kinsella novels. The Shopaholic ones make me feel competent when I’ve had a bad run of things, and the Undomestic Goddess is pure, delightful fantasy.

      3) Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan books. More space opera, but I especially like the later ones. Memory is great when you want to wallow in your emotions, and A Civil Campaign is just hilarious.

      • I also love Remember Me and Can You Keep a Secret. They may be written under Madeline Wickham instead of Sophie Kinsella. I was thrilled when I found out she had another pen name!

        • Second Sophie Kinsella! Love them all – can’t wait for her new one next month.

        • Totally did not realize that Madeline Wickham and Sophia Kinsella were the same person! She’s one of my favorite comfort-reading authors. :)

      • Ekaterin Nile :

        OMG, another Lois McMaster Bujold fan!!! Love, love, love her books.

      • I loved the “Shoes” books! I had totally forgotten about them; thanks for ther reminder! Oh, the childhood memories you’re bringing back…

    • British murder mysteries are the BEST comfort reading. Agatha Christie, and PD James. (Yes, reading about murder is comforting. Hmm..) Alexander McCall Smith is also great comfort reading.

      Love a bunch of your choices. Harriet the Spy always kind of stressed me out because of the social embarrassment angle, but DWJ, LM Montgomery, and Jane Austen are all fantastic.

      • ha. to anon above from anon below, i obviously share your british murder mystery obsession.

        • Right?? They are all basically the same. And a few people die but typically “off-camera” and usually right at the beginning of the book. It’s so deliciously comforting. And yes, PG Wodehouse too! Also great.

          • i love them. LOVE them. the rhythm of the books … e.g. setup of big rich unhappy family living in big old manor house (etc). forboding arguments and events. murder. enter detective hero, accompanied by local police chief/constable/gossipy old lady. move to interviews with standard character archetypes. the rich but unhappy lady. the wastrel son. the clueless parson. the old evil rich man (usually he’s the victim though). the gossipy neighbors. the all-knowing butler. the crazy old gardener. evidence resting on train and boat timetables. the teashops where all kinds of incriminating conversations are held. then, plus or minus a few more deaths, it all gets sorted out and usually at least one new couple is minted by book’s end, and that’s it. it’s all tremendously reassuring and makes me want to shut the computer off and go curl up and read The Seven Dials Mystery or something like that.

            …..aaaaand it’s time to get back to work. good luck, OP.

          • Heh. I’m actually reading Elizabeth George’s newest Lynley book, Believing the Lie. And it’s got a number of those elements. Rich, unhappy family, wastrel son, local constable, detective hero…

            For comfort books, it’s usually Pride and Prejudice for me. But I love reading so much, I don’t tend to re-read much. I just download something new on my kindle. Right now I have 11 books waiting to be read and 3 on order. I read 102 books last year.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Bunkster, you inspired me to read more this year. I’m currently halfway through my third book of the year. I’d forgotten how much I love to read, so thank you for your inspiration!

          • girl in the stix :

            Love Elizabeth George–so engrossing. Pretty much all detective novels are comfort reading for me.

      • British mystery lovers — check out Martha Grimes’ series, with Inspector Jury — they are all named after British pubs….. mmm.

        • I actually really like her other series set in the old hotel in the South, too.

          • Barrister in the Bayou :

            Bunkster, per your comment above… Does your local library let you check out books on your Kindle? I check out loads of books on my NookColor and it has saved me a ton of money.

          • Yes, it does. But the ones I’m interested always have long waitlists. So I do a combination of both. I also lend any lendable books to my mother.

          • Bunkster, really? I’ll look at them again, based on your opinion. :)

      • Agreed with all of the original suggestions except Harris Serrano- need to try- and yes to Agatha Christie. Christie’s world is so comforting and bonus, combines comfort eating with comfort reading…I love the descriptions of all the delicious british teas and foods. Bertrams hotel has particularly good descriptions. Scones, muffins, jelly donuts, murder, what more could you want?

        And I am at this very minute re-reading Anne’s House of Dreams.

        • Adore Bertram’s Hotel. 10+ years ago when i finally made it to London i went to Brown’s (supposedly the inspiration for Bertram’s) and had tea there. No one was murdered and everyone looked very 2002. I was a bit disappointed.

      • To that great list of Brit murder mystery authors, I’d also add Georgette Heyer. She’s mostly known for Regency romances (that are actually quite good – I totally recommend them and I don’t even typically like romance novels all that much), but her murder mysteries are also really really enjoyable.

      • Forgot to mention that I’m hooked on 2 new British mystery series: the Miss Dido Kent books by Anna Dean and the Harriet Westerman books by Imogen Robertson. Both are historical mysteries. Both have 3 books out, but only 2 are currently available for the Kindle. I’m anxiously awaiting their releases.

      • For those British fans willing to branch out a bit, try Louise Penny’s Inspector Gomache series, set in small-town Quebec. I listened to all of them, I think 7, within the span of a month or six weeks from Audible!

    • love it. my comfort reads:
      – agatha christie mysteries (b/c they’re all the same, yet not the same, but mostly the same) …
      – dorothy L sayers mysteries (little more literary, but same impact)
      – PG Wodehouse / Jeeves and Wooster
      – lots of old kids’ books, mostly random titles but the Lois Lowry Anastasia series and the Little House series were favorites.
      – really, it’s whatever i can find lying around the house that doesn’t take much brainpower.

      • ha, totally second Jeeves and Wooster! I want a Jeeves!

      • Oh yes, Jeeves and Wooster for sure!

      • I remember reading every Lois Lowry book during 6th grade and still love them. I think A Summer to Die was the first book I encountered where I just cried my eyes out at the end.

    • Pillars of the Earth (was so sad when that epic ended!)

      B/c I’m a nerd, Bill Bryson’s Short History of Nearly Everything (I’ve also liked other books of his, and am a big fan of short stories at bedtime)

      Sherlock Holmes

      • Try Tarquin Hall… he’s a British author who writes murder mysteries set in modern-day India, revolving around this private investigator. Very entertaining.

        • I like to READ US magazine. It is FULL of stories that I do NOT read about any where else!

      • How could I have forgotten the British/British-style mysteries?? Cat and anon- your posts remind me to go digging for those books. I have them somewhere in my messy study room.

        I loved Sherlock Holmes novels as an adolescent. I loved the way Sir Arthur Conan Doyle described Victorian England (especially London). Also, I really loved the way Holmes would lounge about in a dressing gown all day long, indulging in his chemical vices, but all so he magnify his fabulous powers of deduction! Anybody who’s able to sweet-talk a landlady into letting you “write” the letters V.R. into the drywall via pistol is a winner by me.

        Dorothy L. Sayers is wonderful, but I admit, when she breaks out the Greek and Latin, I start googling and wikipedia-ing like crazy.

        Anybody for Ngaio Marsh? True, she’s a New Zealander, but her detective, Roderick Alleyn was British! :-)

        • Ekaterin Nile :

          I’ve only read a couple of books by Ngaio Marsh. I thought they were quite good.

      • anon in Texas :

        Cat, you know there is a sequel to Pillars of Earth, right? just came out recently.

        • I don’t know if I would really call World Without End a “sequel” in a traditional sense, but it was equally if not more compelling. I also really enjoyed Follett’s newest epic novel — Fall of Giants. Great characters including some strong women, compelling storylines, and lots of history, but set in the lead-up to WWI. I’ve heard it’s supposed to be the first book in a “trilogy”.

    • A Confederacy of Dunces will make me cry laughing every time.

      • THIS! Mr. Monday and I wanted to dress up as Ignatius and Myrna for Halloween–partly because it would be so unattractive–but unfortunately most people wouldn’t recognize the reference.

      • Love this book!

      • Absolutely the greatest.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I seem to be the only person on the planet that hated that book. I can’t stand reading a book entirely devoid of any characters I wanted to spend any time with, which is what that book was for me.

        • You are not alone! I couldn’t get into it AT ALL …

        • This! And I lived in New Orleans for 4 years. I didn’t finish it.

          • same here — I also lived in NOLA for 4 years (Shaw – I wonder if we know each other?!) & *loathe* that book

        • You are definitely not alone! I rarely abandon a book once I start it, but I did stop reading that one.

    • Anything by Laurie Colwin, especially her two collections of essays about cooking.

      • So true. RIP Laurie.

        • Yes! Love “At home in the kitchen”. I think there’s a pattern here…all my favorite comfort books involve food to some degree. Another great one- I capture the castle.

      • Totally agree! Her characters were wacky but the stories were great. Home Cooking and More Home Cooking were her best, but I also read all of her novels.

    • John Galsworthy – the Forsyte Saga.
      A literary palate-cleanser for me.

    • Also for laughs – the Dortmunder novels by Donald Westlake. Hilarious!
      They are in the comic caper genre.

    • What an excellent topic.

      A Little Princess
      The Blue Castle
      Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (this is a gem, and the movie isn’t bad either!)
      Betsy-Tacy (the whole series!)
      A Wrinkle in Time
      Tam Lin, by Pamela Dean
      Shining Through, by Susan Isaacs
      I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
      Anything by Robin McKinley, especially Spindle’s End and Sunshine
      Little Women
      Jane Eyre
      Pride and Prejudice
      Ballet Shoes/Theater Shoes/All Other Types of Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild
      The utterly delightful mystery novels of Sarah Caudwell, starring a quintet of urbane and hilarious barristers

      • This is wonderful– thank you, corporettes! I’ve got a big list of books now to add to my comfort-reading pile.

        I will get through this stressful period and you will all have helped. (And helped the margins of this little used bookstore that I sometimes pop into on the way home from work.) *smiles*

      • Whoa, totally forget about Ballet Shoes! Also I *heart* Betsy-Tacy. My friend recently went on a Betsy-Tacy tour in Minneapolis! She said it was awesome.

        I love re-reading Girl of the Limberlost — anyone ever read that? Also The Winds of War and War and Rememberance totally got me through the bar exam. Much easier to feel better about yourself when you’re worried about fictional romantic characters in war.

        • In House Counsel :

          Wow fellow Betsy-Tacy fans! Most of my big time reader friends have never heard of the series so I always find myself wondering if I was the only one who stumbled upon and loved these books:) Also love the turn of the century All of a Kind Family books.

          And continue to echo the love for anything Austen, LM Montgomery and Mildred Taylor (Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry and its prequel and sequels)

          • Another huge Betsy-Tacy fan here! I do think she’s a great role model for independent women. I just re-read “Betsy and the Great World” last weekend.

            Also add me to the list of British mystery fans . . . I re-read favorite Agatha Christies all the time. And buy the newest P.D. James as soon as it comes out. If you like those, and/or Dorothy Sayers (esp. “Gaudy Night”), try “The Daughter of Time” by Josephine Tey. I’ve also *loved* all the Ian Rankin books — these are crime procedurals rather than the Christie-style British country house mysteries. They’re closer to P.D. James; he’s a great writer. All set in Edinburgh; I think “Knots and Crosses” is the first one.

            Other favorites — all comfort reading (good phrase and good topic!):
            All the “Shoes” books by Noel Streatfeild
            “Death in the Garden” by Elizabeth Ironside (Christie-style mystery — that same era)
            Agatha Christie’s Autobiography
            “The Keeping Days” series by Norma Johnston
            Sue Grafton’s mystery series (“A Is for Alibi,” etc. I just finished “V Is for Vengeance,” which I thought was great.)
            Lindsey Davis’ Roman detective novels, starting with “Silver Pigs.”

            For lawyers and other professional women who like Sophie Kinsella, make sure you track down a copy of “The Undomestic Goddess”! I’ve never read the Shopaholic books, but I re-read this one.

            And my frequent comfort reading . . . Rick Steves’ guidebooks for Europe!

          • SoCal Gator :

            If you like both PD James and Jane Austen, check out PD James’ new book, Death Comes to Pemberley. It picks up where Pride and Prejudice leaves off. I really enjoyed and and it made me re-read Prode and Prejudice!

      • We might be “comfort book” twins — in particular, Shining Through (and most other Susan Isaacs), Madeleine L’Engle, Robin McKinley (have read The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown more time than I would like to count), and of course the childhood favorites of A Little Princess and The Secret Garden.

        My elementary school had an illustrated version of A Little Princess that as a grown woman, I would kill to have in my personal library. The images of her transformed bedroom were magical.

        It comforts me to know that obsessive re-reading of “old friends” is not uncommon. Other well-worn (and feel-good) classics for me are:

        – Chronicles of Narnia (although I have to admit, I never re-read The Last Battle, because who wants that?)
        – Animal Dreams and The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
        – Time Traveler’s Wife (because who doesn’t like a good cry?)

        • Narnia. YES.

          • This isn’t comfort reading, necessarily, but if you loved Narnia, you should try the Lev Grossman books — the Magicians and Magician King. I’m in the middle of the latter now and it’s terrific.

          • Barrister in the Bayou :

            I’ll second Grossman! These books caused me to do some serious soul searching because I identified with the protagonist.

        • soulfusion :

          Ah, I’ve been scanning down the list to see if I would be the first to mention Kingsolver, glad to see a fellow fan. Her writing is just so beautiful and comforting. I love both Animal Dreams and The Bean Trees and will also add The Lacuna to the list. I race through her books not wanting to reach the end.
          Also, Jane Austen is probably my absolute favorite author. I go back to her books over and over – especially Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion.
          Now I want to chuck the book I’m slogging my way through (1Q1984) and go back to a comfort book – love the term!

          • i just finished IQ84. it was a slog.
            love murakami, but this one kind of took epic amounts of effort to read.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            I also just slogged through 1Q84 and was rather dissatisfied by how nonsensical it was. I guess this means I like dumb books, not Important Works. Sigh.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Loved The Bean Trees, The Lacuna, and Poisonwood Bible though.

          • soulfusion :

            glad I’m not alone. My kindle tells me I’m only 49% of the way through and I feel like the action is just starting. Of course, just as I think something is starting to happen, the book takes three giant steps backward. Will definitely turn to some suggestions listed here next if I ever finish.

        • Tired Squared :

          Love the Chronicles of Narnia … but you’re right, I won’t re-read the Last Battle. I just stop after the Silver Chair.

          • I never reread The Last Battle, either.

            Narnia lovers… can I geek out and ask in which order you read them? I am emphatically on the side of chronological (within the story) order, as opposed to publishing order.

            Also, am I alone in finding out really late that the books were biblical allegory? I didn’t grow up in a religious household and was shocked to find out the truth in college.

      • karenpadi :

        The Blue Castle! My favorite book of all time! I literally ask myself which Valancy Jane I want want to be: pre-diagnosis or post-diagnosis. I wish the BBC or a production house in Canada would make a movie based on that book. Project Gutenberg has a bunch of LM Mongomery’s short stories available. There are some gems in there.

        My other comfort reads are old romance novels. Kathleen Woodiwiss(?) and Judith McNaught are my favorite authors. Julia Quinn’s early novels are gems.

        • I have reread The Blue Castle so many times – so happy to see it mentioned on this thread! I might have to reread it again soon; it’s been years.

    • Snarky In House :

      I’m about to sound like a teen here but……

      I love reading and re-reading the twilight series.
      Also, one of my favorite books of all time is “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”

      And I’ll read anything Jennifer Weiner puts out…

    • Many books by Georgette Heyer – sort of Austen-esque, but easier to read, while still appropriately maintaining the language and cadence of the time.

      • Me too. I LOVE Heyer, and the characters become more and more real to me the more I read the novels.

      • Speaking of Heyer, can I just say how awesome a book title _Envious Casca_ is?

        Hubby got that for me because he saw me lingering over the description in the Bas Bleu catalog. I’ve bought a number of fun books (and received a number of excellent titles) from there. (

      • Oh, Heyer. *sigh* I will love These Old Shades to my dying day.

        (although not her historical novels about the Normans, which I found immensely dull)

    • Janet Evanovich’s ridiculous series about the about a female New Jersey bounty hunter- is funny, easy to read, and little bit like watching garbage tv.

      • Dunno how I forgot about Stephanie Plum, but those are great! I’m not usually too into murder mysteries, either, but her misadventures are hilarious.

      • Have you heard who they cast for the movie? Katherine Heigl. I’m disappointed in that pick.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Have you seen the preview? It doesn’t look at all like the way I pictured it and all the actors seem a little off. I’ll still go see it on the 27th and cross my fingers they didn’t ruin what could be a great franchise like Sahara did for the Clive Cussler books.

          • I haven’t read the Plum novels, but now I want to! The movie Sahara was just SOOOO awful. I don’t know why no one has ever been able to successfully transfer Cussler to the screen. If you like him, have you tried Jack DuBrul? Similar vein, and pretty good. Also, I just read Reamde by Neal Stephenson and it was fantastic! I haven’t read anything else by him — I think his stuff is usually a little more sci-fi maybe? But Reamde is a great adventure/mystery/action/terrorist/thriller kind of novel, and super long.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Thanks AT! I’ll check out the authors you mentioned. I like sci fi so I’ll try more of the Neal Stephenson ones too. Didn’t DuBrul co-author one of the non-Dirk Pitt series with Clive Cussler? If so, I have read at least one of those.

            The Cussler books had such great promise to be made into movies, and it just makes me sad.

          • I thought Ranger looked perfect

    • I go re-read all of my adolescent fantasy books–Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, Patricia Wrede, Merdeces Lackey, and Terry Pratchett would be my go-tos. I love it because it’s all so escapist and divorced from real life. I’ll also do Jane Austen occasionally. Or Michael Chabon, who everyone should read: he’s smart and funny, and writes beautiful literary work while simultaneously not taking himself seriously at all. Kavalier & Clay is an all-time favorite.

      I’ve got a long weekend coming up, so I actually wouldn’t mind some recommendations for other fantasy, preferably with a brain. I just finished all the George R. R. Martin stuff a couple of weeks ago, so it’s prompted a mini-renaissance, but I haven’t been reading the genre in so long that I have no clue where to begin.

      • Anne Shirley :

        Try the Sally Lockhart series by Phillip Pullman. Young adult, a bit different, and diverting. I also love Shadow of the Moon and The Far Pavillions by M.M.Kaye, and anything by Noel Barber. At heart, I’m just a grown-up Noel Streatfield fan.

        • M. M. Kaye is wonderful!

          I first read _The Far Pavilions_, fell in love with India, the romance and adventure of it all, and then found a children’s book that she wrote and illustrated herself– _The Ordinary Princess_. I loved that book….must go find a copy of it!

          _Shadow of the Moon_ really made me sad/angry at first, because of how the heroine’s treated initially, ugh, but when she gets a bit of her own back, I’m totally into it.

      • Castle Perilous series by John DeChancie

        • Mercedes Lackey has a YA series now! It’s really good. For other fantasy, I love Melanie Rawn’s mage series, or Sara Douglass is excellent.

      • Did you ever do the Anne McCaffery Pern series? That was another big one from my high school days. And her Tower & Hive series, and the Brain & Brawn Ship series (The Ship Who…)

        • Oh yeah! I forgot to mention her. I was a total Pern junkie, but I haven’t re-read because my library had them all, so I never bought them, ergo they’re not sitting on my shelf reminding me about their awesomeness.

      • MeliaraofTlanth :

        Me too! That’s pretty much my list (though not so much the Terry Pratchett and Mercedes Lackey), plus all the Pern/Anne McCaffrey, Sherwood Smith, Diane Duane, and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.

        Lately, I’ve added Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series (well, up to book 10, after which they leap headfirst into super trashy territory), and, yes, Twilight, to the “mindless reading” category. (sensing a vampire theme, here). And of course George R.R. Martin and Wheel of Time+Brandon Sanderson’s stuff, though that requires a bit more energy. (speaking of which, if you want fantasy recommendations, start with Brandon Sanderson–I like his Mistborn trilogy best, though everything by him is good (including his young adult series). Then read Patrick Rothfuss’s (spelling?) The Name of the Wind trilogy (which isn’t done yet–waiting on the last book)

        • I was defeated by the horrible outfits everyone wears in Laurell K. Hamilton’s books. Not the s*x, not the ridiculous drama – it was the see-through shirts, which did me in.

          For fantasy readers, I just finished the first book in NK Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and thought it was pretty amazingly awesome.

        • Hope this means you’ve read the first book of the Stormlight Archive. I thought he had already blown my mind and then he went and blew it even more. It’s projected to be 10 books! Ack!

          I also love love love the Name of the Wind trilogy, but once again, the wait is going to kill me. When am I going to learn to read serials only after all the books come out.

          • MeliaraofTlanth :

            Yep:-) I think I’ve read everything of Brandon Sanderson’s except for the last two Alcatraz books. He’s definitely my favorite, both because he’s a fabulous writer and because he seems so nice and responsive to fans (he’s one of the few authors I’ll go for book signings for)

            When I started Name of the Wind, I thought the trilogy was already done. It about killed me when I got to the end and realized it wasn’t.

        • Oh, Laurel K. Hamilton… I stuck with her through maybe book 14? And then I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. I don’t mind a good s*x scene — I enjoy them actually — but when she threw aside actual character development, interesting plots, and dynamic conflict for sloppy storylines and more extreme s*xual and romantic pairings that seemed designed more for shock-value or to draw ire from readers and critics so that she could then criticize everyone as being too prude, I stopped reading because I just didn’t enjoy the new books and would rather spend my money on someone else.

          For my money, my favorite paranormal/urban/fantasy/romance novelist is Kim Harrison. I just read book 10 and she’s still got it. I also enjoy Patricia Briggs, and I have read a fair number of Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld books, though I definitely enjoyed some more than others.

      • Its been recommended here before, but if you liked Tamora Pierce I highly recommend the Sabriel series by Garth Nix for its strong female heroine (and the talking cat/free magic creature is pretty awesome too).

        • Ha! Disreputable dog. I wish my name was “disreputable lawyer,” or something like that.

        • I loved Sabriel :) Filed it on the “to reread” list after that other thread.

        • Loved the Abhorsen Trilogy (although there’s to be a fourth book?)!!

          Sabriel was my favorite; loved that it was a rollicking good adventure story, with lots of excitement plus coming-of-age story. LOLed at her reaction when she was staying at this inn and was listening to this amorous couple at the baths and her jumping to an incorrect conclusion… Mogget was a really fun character. If I could cast the movie/anime version of Sabriel, I’d have Rupert Everett do the voice of Mogget. Jeremy Irons would be too menacing, I think, because Mogget does have an air of ridiculousness about him, too.

      • Seattleite :

        Robin Hobb. She’s written several series, but start with “Assaassin’s Apprentice.”

    • Notalawyer :

      Everyone has already mentioned most of my favorites, but another suggestion might be Kage Baker. I LOVE her ‘Company’ series. ‘In the Garden of Iden’ is the first book. They are a combo of history/mystery/sci-fi/romance. Tons of action, surprises, humor, complicated plots and time travel. I love her sly sense of humor.

      Some really great historical mystery series:
      -C.J. Sansom ‘Matthew Shardlake’ series starting with ‘Dissolution’. btw Matthew is a lawyer. Set during Henry the 8th reign. Very exciting and well-written.
      -Patricia Finney has a great historical mystery series. First book is ‘Firedrakes Eye’.
      -She also writes under the name P.F. Chisholm. The first book in that series is ‘A Famine of Horses’.
      I also like Ruth Downie’s ‘Medicus’ series. Set in and around ancient Rome. She has a sparkling sense of humor that shines through (imo).
      I pretty much love everything by Judith Merkle Riley, and Ariana Franklin (also wrote under the name Diana Norman).

      • I love the Matthew Shardlake books! Similar but sexier: C.S. Harris’s Sebastian St Cyr mysteries. You have to start with the first one, When Angels Fear, because they’re story-arced.

        After reading Ruth Downie’s Medicus series, I’ve plugged my way through Steven Saylor’s Roma Sub Rosa series. Also ancient Rome, also with some light moments, although there’s a /lot/ of speechifying and monologuing.

        • Notalawyer :

          I haven’t tried Saylor yet, although I’ve heard it recommended.

          • I will have to try both Matthew Shardlake and Patricia Finney.

            I tried a few of Steven Saylor’s Roma Sub Rosa series and they just never grabbed my attention. For historical mystery set in ancient Rome, I have to put in a plug for my favorite — Lindsey Davis! So, so much better than Saylor, and she has a great female protagonist (Helena).

    • Great Gatsby and I am Charlotte Simmons

    • If by “comfort” you mean a book I return to again and again, it’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. I’m on my 6th re-reading.

      I’m weird. I know.

      • I would think you were weird if you said Ulysses. A Portrait of the Artist is very readable. And very good :)

        • Ulysses was on my bedside table for 2 years and I never finished it. I tried, I really did. No other book has ever gotten the better of me like that.

        • Cool. Because I’ve only read Ulysses three times.

    • Dorothy Dunnett – I’ll just dip into her books and read my favorite bits to myself.
      Dorothy Sayers’ Gaudy Night (the best bookish heroine ever).
      Brideshead Revisited, which is my favorite book ever.
      Julia Quinn’s romances.

      • Notalawyer :

        We need to start a Corporette book group on GoodReads. It seems that a lot of us are readers and with similar tastes.

        • This is a great idea – I’m so inspired by all of these suggestions!

          • Notalawyer :

            Someone suggest a title–I know Corporette is trademarked–and I’ll start one.

        • Anastasia :

          Yes! I will totally join — I’ve picked up a lot of books based on Corporette recs and I haven’t found a dud yet.

      • Seattleite :

        cbackson, with all the online ‘what’s your favorite book’ threads I’ve ever participated in, you are the ONLY other person who has ever mentioned Dunnett. I am eagerly awaiting my mini-vac next week so that I can start reading Lymond all over again.

        I haven’t seen anyone mention Rosamund Pilcher – specifically, her longer novels: “Shell Seekers,” “September,” and “Coming Home.”

        • When I was a teenager, a friend’s mom gave me a full set of The Lymond Chronicles with the warning “Francis Crawford will ruin you for any other man.”

          …and it was true.

          • Seattleite :

            Lucky you, getting to know Lymond as a teen. I didn’t find him until I was 45. So many lost years…

          • Oooh! I’m adding these to my list. I seem to recall my mother saying something similar about Jamie Fraser (Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series) and Jolandar (Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cavebear series)…

          • bibliophile :

            So glad someone mentioned these books! I am a die-hard fan but can not convince anyone I know to read them. I read the first when I was thirteen and haven’t looked back since.

            I actually really enjoyed the Niccolo books as well. Although I find that I prefer the Francis/Philippa love arc over Nicholas/Gelis.

          • Anonymous :

            I think that some people have trouble with how long the long-haul is in the Lymond Chronicles. I recommend him to people, but have to warn that they’re the opposite of instant gratification.

            AT, I must warn that I truly, madly, deeply hated Outlander and found the hero detestable. Lymond is at times detestable, but he’s supposed to be, while I think Gabaldon intends Jamie to be a straightforward romantic hero.

    • I recently discovered China Mieville (Embassytown, The City and The City). Love, love, love. He describes himself as “weird fiction,” for what that’s worth.

      • THE CITY AND THE CITY. I was already a Mieville fan, but that book DESTROYED me.

    • SoCal Gator :

      Harry Potter — any one of the seven. I have read them countless times and can never tire of them. They are like a nice big hug when I need comfort or cheering up.

      • THIS. I honestly do not know how I forgot to mention HP before. I’ve read Sorcerer’s Stone, Prisoner of Azkaban, and Goblet of Fire so many times that my copies are falling apart. Harry gives me hope for the world.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Yep. I’ve read each at least a half-dozen times cover to cover, and the last two probably ten times each. Cannot wait for them to be issued on ebooks so I can re-read any of them at any time.

    • Three of your favorites are the same as mine (Harriet the Spy, Emma, and From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler)–I haven’t read them in so long, I forgot just how much I love them. I’ll have to read the others you listed!

      I sometimes read myself to sleep with White Teeth (Zadie Smith), The Custom of the Country (Edith Wharton), and, most frequently, anything at all by Wodehouse.

    • Can I just say how happy it makes me to know that so many of my fellow Corporettes are big bookworms as well?! :) When I have a few extra minutes, I’m going to be writing down some of these titles/authors.

      To throw in a few of my own recommendations: I love Agatha Christie (seriously, I’ve been reading her stuff since I was in middle school and never tire of it). For those who love politics and political satire, I highly recommend Christopher Buckley (yes, son of William F. Buckley). His stuff is positively hilarious. For slightly more heavy/intellectual reading, I love C.S. Lewis (his non-Narnia writings) and my favorite book of all time is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

    • Any of the old Calvin and Hobbes comics.

    • Anonymous :

      Meg Cabot books. Any of them- YA, mystery, romance, chicklit, all of it.

    • And I just pasted this entire thread into Evernote.

      My favorite comfort book is Watership Down – it traveled around the world with me for those stressful nights when I just needed to take my mind off my surroundings.

  5. Last Friday, someone posted a 40% off code to Talbots. Anyone who used it, here is a heads up. Apparently, there was a fraudulent 40% off code going around that actually worked. I’m not sure if it was the one that was shared here or not. There is info about it on Talbots Facebook page. I guess when they pulled the code, a bunch of purchases got charged full price to people’s credit cards even though they confirmed the purchase at 40% off. There are complaints all over the Facebook page.

    I used the code and got a dress. I checked my debit card and I was never charged for it at all! I have no idea what is going on there. The dress is way too tight in the chest, which is tragic, because it is beautiful and fits me everywhere else, but I’m going to most likely take it back unless a flatter chested friend wants it. I have no idea what will happen when I take it back though since it looks like I haven’t even been charged.

    I really hope they don’t end up charging my card the full price amount b/c I bought it on a debit card that is my “fun” money and I keep a very low balance on it. It would be a huge issue if my $23 purchase suddenly became $160 (the original full price amount.) If anyone else knows any more info about this, I’d love to hear it.

    • Geneticist :

      Data point: I used the one posted here last week and I was charged the correct amount (as of now).

      • MissJackson :

        Same. I used your code and was also charged the correct amount. My items have all shipped, but I don’t have them yet.

        I appreciate the heads up!

      • Same, and my products were shipped, no problem. I don’t have facebook, so would you mind copying and posting the info from their facebook page?

        • PS – the charges from Talbot’s on my debit card show up as final, not pending. So they’d have to do a totally new transaction to increase the charge. Needless to say, I’d dispute it if they did – I can’t see how it’s legal. The 40% off code was posted here and on a couple other reputable blogs. It’s not like the people who used it were at fault, and I can’t see how a supposedly fake code would work – doesn’t their website have to be programmed to accept the code and assign a discount? Something’s really fishy.

    • I posted the original code.

      I also ordered and while I haven’t gotten the items, it shows the correct amount having gone through my credit card, and has for about a week.

      Also – my mom used it and she was fine, too.

      However, there’s another 40% code that you get once you place an order and we both received the 40% code that time. My thought might be that Talbots messed up that 40% off code that was given to all the customers and that’s where it’s coming from. It sounds like the mistake is on Talbots part, so hopefully they’ll rectify it for anyone who has a problem.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I also used the one posted here and everything looks a-ok now. My credit card was charged the same amount as in the original confirmation email.

    • There is no formal announcement on Facebook. There are just replies from Talbots to specific customers with issues. I also don’t have Facebook and read it on a friend’s computer. Several people posted that they bought something at 40% off and were charged full price on their credit card instead. Talbots responded to each of them to email them privately with the transaction number, card number, name, etc. and it would be fixed.

      Other people posted that they had a 40% off code good though Feb. 1st but it wasn’t working. Talbots responded to them that there was a fraudulent 40% off code circulating on the net. It was meant for one time use but was being used by multiple people. They had since disabled the code and apologized for the inconvenience.

      Then there were a bunch of people posting that appeared totally out of context, like Talbots had posted something and then deleted it. A girl posted “I got sent a 40% off code, I used it. I don’t consider that stealing, it is their mistake and I’m going to enjoy my skirt.” I couldn’t find an original post that put those comments into context.

      Others said things like “talbots should stop taking their mistake out on their loyal customers.” A few people said they were going to report them to the AG or BBB. Others replied and said “it was an honest mistake that they are fixing, can’t you forgive?”

      One comment said “no wonder they are in financial trouble if they operate business like this.”

      It was all very strange. Oh, and as I said, I haven’t been charged at all, not even in pending, and I’ve already received my dress.

      • Thanks! This is so strange.

        If it’s meant for one-time use, they need to set up their system to only accept it once. The people using it have no way of knowing that they’re not supposed to use it!

    • not sure the size and such but feel free to email me about this, I might be able to take it off your hands! munchkin 1616 at juno dot com

  6. AnonInfinity :

    I asked a couple of days ago for legal or career-advancement type podcasts. Thanks to the ladies who chimed in! I’ve been listening to Career Tools while reviewing documents, and it is completely awesome.

    I’ve also listened to a few episodes of Judge John Hodgman. Hilarious.

    • I missed that discussion, but I’ve gotten a lot out of Slate’s podcast series on negotiating.

  7. Snarky In House :

    I have a mascara question…

    I have a constant problem with mascara – I end up with “spider legs” on the top of my lid/brow bone every day!! I don’t know how to make this stop. And I’m not talking about right after I put it on – no… it’s like 3 hours later and as the day progresses. Any suggestions?

    I use “Falsies” right now and love it. This happens with ALL mascara!


    • Do you put your base/foundation on your eyelids (or use cream-based eyeshadow)? That may be loosening/wiping off your mascara with each blink.

      • Snarky In House :

        I do put foundation/concealer (I don’t know why… just thought I was supposed to?) on there… good call! I’ll try not tomorrow and see what happens… it’s so ANNOYING! (and trashy looking)

        • I do put foundation on my eyelids as well, but only to provide a nice even base to help my powder shadow stay put (use a sweep of light cream on my browbone, and a medium brown in the crease). Maybe the powder shadow on top makes the difference?

          (I also use a not-super-creamy foundation because I need it most on my slightly oily t-zone – Clinique superbalanced makeup – which may help the lack of mascara bleeding as well).

          • Have you checked out Urban Decay Primer Potion? I think it works better than foundation to get eye makeup to stay put. It’s a little pricey, but a little goes a long way and it lasts forever.

    • Do you wear waterproof mascara? Mine doesn’t move all day, and it used to run all the time when I was wearing the non-waterproof kind.

    • Someone on here recommended Blinc mascara, and I’ve been using it for the past few weeks with really good results. It dries to almost a rubbery texture that doesn’t smudge — I’ve even worn it to the gym, walking through the rain, etc, and it stays put. It’s a bit weird to take off, but for me it’s totally worth it to not have to worry about having raccoon eyes after a couple of hours.

      • Second the suggestion to wear Blinc. It seems to be the best in terms of not moving. Unfortunately, I really did not like the eyeliner. I ended up getting more over my hands, face, and eyelashes than I got on my eyelid.

  8. ooh! pretty sweater- too bad it would look super terrible on me :(
    and books books books because I don’t want to post twice – the Judi McCoy dog walker mysteries are splendid and completely brainless which lately is all I want… and who can forget good old Stephanie Plum?
    The only thing wrong with today is the fact that it is insisting on snowing this week- ugh! MA winters are not my cup of tea when the buses aren’t running and I have to work far away from my dorm :(

  9. Hi ladies — quick question for the hive. I work in an organization where I and two other people report to the CEO. So the second-in-commands are me (30-year-old woman handling external affairs), a woman in her 60’s who oversees operations, and a man in his 60’s handling internal affairs. I and my two peers supervise the rest of the organization’s workers (about 50 in total).

    It’s no secret that my 60-year-old male peer is less of a go-getter in his job than me and my female peer. My boss (also a male — probably in his late 40’s) understands this and he is taking steps to encourage my male peer to retire.

    HOWEVER: our organization has been in crisis mode for the last few weeks, and it’s required all hands on deck. You really see peoples’ true colors when times are bad (IMHO), and my male peer has totally and completely refused to step up. It’s getting to be ridiculous — he’s sticking me and others with things that are his job, simply because he thinks certain steps are unnecessary (i.e. grief counseling for staff). I’m finally fed up enough to make a real complaint to my boss.

    I’m worried that in doing this I’m going to come off as a whiny little kid — I’m hyper-aware of the role my age and gender might play in perceptions. My male peer is very old-school patriarchal, and while my boss isn’t like that himself I also don’t want to hijack the success of my complaint (does that make sense?). My peer is simply not invested in our organization’s success the way I and others are — I think some of it may be that he came out of retirement to do this job, has no connection back to the community, etc.

    Any tips for going in and making this complaint? It is a big deal not only to me, but to my female peer and many who work under us. This person is going to damage the long-term health of our organization if he doesn’t step up, and I can’t do his job and my own at a time when we’re totally overloaded.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you might have…

    • Stick with the facts of what he has actually said and done (or hasn’t done, as the case may be), just like any other employee, and the direct consequences of his actions/inactions as they relate to the company.

      You are coloring the picture with your read of his age and implied attitudes about coming out of retirement, investment in the firm etc – and while they may all be true, they will only serve to hurt your credibility and tip your legitimate concerns into more personal waters. (And that’s where the “whiny brat” stuff may come from.) It’s good to be aware of gender perceptions etc., but mainly so you can act like it’s a non-issue and focus on the salient factual aspects of the situation.

      “Joe does not support the concept of grief counseling for our staff, so the management of that initiative is falling entirely on the shoulders of X. If Joe was more involved in this I believe it would be more successful and effective for our employees.”


      “Joe thinks grief counseling is a waste of time b/c he’s old school and thinks everything is the same as it was in his day … he’s not invested in this company (the way I am) and he’d secretly just rather go back to retirement.”

    • Without your complaint, would the CEO be left completely in the dark about these issues?

      If it’s something that needs to be brought to his attention, I would be prepared to document clear examples and their impact on the organization’s success. As a way to mitigate any “little girl whining” tactics he’s likely to use, you might say I am prepared to do x, y, and z to assist temporarily in this matter, but slacker bob needs to be held accountable for his functions which are 1,2,3. If your plate is full, you might consider another staff member who may be ready for additional responsibilities and use them to bridge the gap while setting them up for potential future success/promotion.

    • There’s some good advice above about toning down your subjective input about the guy’s motivations. A couple of things to consider before you do your complaint :
      First, might you be better served by stepping back and giving the guy enough rope to do himself in ? eg. don’t pick up his slack, instead nicely but firmly redirect his staff back to him if they come to you with issues. I am enormously sympathetic to your desire to get an immediate fix because I know I would feel the same way in your place but the reality is also that in a small besieged organisation, there will really be very few places which an under-performing manager can hide for any length of time.
      And second, might it be better form for you to approach the guy first with your concerns ? Raise them as “here are some things which seem to be happening, with consequences XYZ, I’m a little concerned, what do you think ?” Then a few things may happen : he is responsive and subsequently makes more of an effort to pull his own weight, he gives you some new insight on the issue or his priorities, or he is dismissive. In the last case, speaking to him first does not limit your capacity to go to your boss and when you do, will head off some of the ‘whiny kid’ impression because you’ve done the mature and transparent thing of going to your peer manager first.

  10. I need an opinion because my school’s career services will no longer help anyone who graduated in 2010. I’m reading “Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams,” as recommended by my career services office’s website. That book recommends that mothers state that fact in their cover letters. They say it shows you can balance work and family, lets employers know they won’t have to train you and then you leave to have kids, etc. I have read elsewhere (everywhere) not to ever mention that you have children or the reader will be compelled to throw your resume straight in the trash. My extracurriculars are weak mostly due to family responsibilities and I know that makes my resume weaker. Does anyone have any opinions on this?

    • That is awful about career services. My school’s site says they’ll help you for the duration of your career, I have yet to use their services anyway except for the resume workshop in school and applying to some of their postings.

      I have weak extra curricular and not stellar grades because I worked full time and went to law school at night, and state this in my cover letter and how this makes me able to handle multiple responsibilities blah blah. Is it possible to mention family obligations or something like that in the letter without saying your a mother? for all they knew it could have been an ill parent or a special needs sibling.

      Depending on the firm, I don’t know how much the extra curricular matter if you have a great writing sample and current knowledge in relevant fields. Have you been attending CLEs in your the fields your interested in or blawged on it or anything? One of my law professors who graduated in the late 80s told us he know’s times are tough but just try to do SOMETHING. Write an article, blawg, do per diem or contact work. Having things like that on your resume will help.

      • also since I commuted a distance to law school I wasn’t involved in school organizations but was involved in local organizations and boards that were relevant to some practice areas.

    • sorry to post again, but don’t dwell on what’s missing from your resume in the past and try to improve it with current activities.

      • Thanks for the advice! The author of that book is huge on CLE’s. I’ll have to start working on that. I went to law school wanting to work for the government in any capacity and there was a hiring freeze for a while. I wonder if they have CLE’s for that. I would take any job by now. I am proud of grading on to law review while caring for an infant and a grade schooler and I almost want to brag about it. It took up so much of my time though. I’ve been doing various contract work since 2010. I love the flexibility and the pay but I don’t want to do it forever.
        It does stink about career services because they were not too much help when I was in school. One of the career services advisors tried to “help” by giving me a lecture on the education bubble. I think that was the longest conversation I ever had with any of them. I was pretty disillusioned by the time I left school.

        • I currently work for the government in a non legal capacity and am trying to get out! You may meet presenters and attendees at CLEs who are outside council to government agencies/departments/boards etc.

          • I interned at a government job and everyone was desperate to leave. I still thank God I don’t have to work there, even though I don’t really have a job and I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do “when I grow up.” I will take the CLE advice, thank you again.

        • You may want to check out your local government bar association. We have one in my city that offers monthly lunchtime CLEs and it’s a good way to meet people in the community who work in government. It’s also a good way to get a feel for which agencies have relatively good working environments and which will make you miserable.

    • Looking for Bunkster's Bark :

      This sounds like bad advice. As a practical matter, I’m not sure how you “state that fact” in your cover letter – “By the way I have two kids and my tubes are tied, so I’ll never do it again”? But anyone who thinks about it for half a second would realize that motherhood brings on it’s own set of distractions that an employer may not want to deal with – this is called life. Unless you don’t out yourself as a woman, you can’t win. Unless you are me. If I followed this (bad) advice to it’s logical extreme, my cover letter would say “I’m 47 and chose not to have children and now that I’m this old, you can be doubly sure nothing will happen.”

      What I most dislike about this advice is that it pits women who have made one choice or who are at one stage of life against other women.

      Not sure if this book should be called “Guerilla tactics” or “Desperate tactics.”

      • I agree. It’s terrible advice. You’re encouraging the employer to make judgment calls about you based on your lifestyle choices that are none of their business, and also implying that you as an employee and a person feel entitled to do the same … to other colleagues, to clients, to whomever.

        Your cover letter should focus on what objectively makes you a good candidate – objective in the eyes of the firm that is hiring you and the position they are looking to fill. Unless the firm has advertised that they want to hire a working mother I can’t imagine why it’s relevant to put that in the letter.

      • She says that the employer will think I am an alcoholic or incredibly lazy because I didn’t do more in school. I kind of see her point on that, but I agree that it does not seem at all appropriate information to share.

        • Huh? Going to law school is really time consuming and it’s hard work. I can see thinking that a 22-year-old with no extracurriculars beyond his fraternity might be lazy or a drinker, but a law graduate? No.

    • I am not a lawyer, but I would NEVER mention my family/personal status in any job-seeking communication, either written or oral. I am 51, have a 25 year old daughter and realize there are some valuable skills learned in childraising, but would completely disagree that as an employer, I would see this as a positive. It is a real fact, yes, but it has nothing to do with the set of professional skills for which I am presumably hiring you. This is incredibly bad advice.

      • That’s what I have read everywhere else.

        • I’ll take the opposing side here. I was a single mom through law school. I included a statement in my cover letter about it. Something along the lines of:

          I achieved X, Y, Z in school, all while balancing the the demands of raising a small child.

          It came up in my interview (Oh, you have a child, how old, etc.). I was also told (after being hired) that this was a huge plus for me, because the interviewers viewed it as demonstration of ability to balance both demands. FWIW, my firm has a flex work schedule and is pretty laid back about working from home some times, as long as you meet your billables.

          So, my point is that I think you can word your family obligations gracefully, and couch it as an asset, not an excuse as to why you didn’t do more.

          • I think the way you handled it is quite different than what the handbook OP refers to is suggesting. You focused on what you accomplished in law school (X, Y, and Z) – this is factual. And you mention that you did this while raising a child, also factual. Your point is, you know how to handle lots of conflicting demands.

            That’s different than saying “I am raising a small child (fact)” and then expecting that single fact to convince the employer that they should ascribe all sorts of other skills to you (such as balancing work and home or multitasking or whatever) or, worse, that you deserve special consideration.

            I still wouldn’t disclose personal info in a cover letter, but I see your point that it can be used in different ways.
            1) as an asset – I accomplished ABC job-relevant achievements and oh by the way, did XYZ at the same time
            2) as an excuse – I may not have done ABC, but that’s only because i was busy with XYZ
            3) as a ploy for sympathy or special treatment – I do XYZ and therefore you should be think certain things about how and whether I can do ABC.

      • Former MidLevel :

        Agreed – I would never volunteer family information at the cover-letter stage.

    • I disagree. I think it’s irrelevant that you’re a parent, and I also don’t think you should draw attention to perceived weaknesses (i.e. your lack of extracurriculars) in your cover letter. I work for a very family-friendly employer, but if I got a cover letter that explained you have kids, I would just find it very odd and also think you might be the kind of person who wants special accommodations for her family responsibilities. Similarly, my employer doesn’t really care about extracurriculars, and I wouldn’t even notice that yours are weak unless you drew my attention to it.

      I think that some employers might appreciate this information – for instance, if you applied to a child protection agency, it might make sense to say that you were moved to work in the field of child protection when you became a parent. But as a general matter it’s just not relevant.

    • No advice for the OP, but I wanted to comment that my career services office has been considering charging for grads wanting to use its services. I got an email asking whether I would be willing to pay a subscription fee for a year of services or individual fees per service (like a flat fee to review a resume). Does anybody else’s school do this? It seems ridiculous to me that they would charge (or refuse to offer services like the OP’s school) to support their grads when it’s important to their stats that new grads are employed and we paid so much to attend the school!

      • Mine charges – they charge $40K per year for tuition and then you are an alum, and entitled to lifetime services from the CSO, complementary CLEs they offer, etc, in the hopes that you’ll both donate and hire their new grads. If they came and asked me for money to use the CSO I would never donate another penny to them nor would I participate in OCI. Unreal.

        • My grad school (not law) offers services free-of-charge for the first six months following graduation. After that you are SOL. I discovered this last year when I lost my job. Tons of well-meaning family and friends suggested I turn to the career services department to help with my job search; I had to explain a million times that it was not an option. The consensus reaction was to be shocked and appalled.

          On the other hand, the career center at my undergrad university reaches out to alums regularly, most often by offering webinars on various topics (social media, entrepreurialsim, women in the workplace, etc.). I’m more than 10 years post-graduation and appreciate their efforts to support alums.

          I’m not looking for in-person counseling (for one thing, I don’t live near either school), but in this day and age, I would think any college or university could make at least some career-oriented resources available online – especially when you consider the vast sums paid in tuition.

        • This. I don’t live or practice near my law school (and never did, really, so the CSO was of limited use to me), but it should be available to all alumni without additional cost. As others have mentioned, it seems incredibly shortsighted. Why wouldn’t they want to help all alumni and encourage those whose firms or companies may have jobs available for more seasoned graduates post them with the CSO?

      • The issue with the stats is that they really only go 9 months out for purposes of USNews. Schools get so focused on boosting the 9-month stat that they forget about the long-term goals of steady donations and a good alumni network that will hire other alumni. Most people are like E- the second you abandon your alumni or start charging for services is the second your alumni abandon you for life.

        • That’s true on the stats, and I think the email did say that services would be free for the first year. AKA we’ll help you find a job to protect our stats, but we don’t care about you after that. Charging for services makes it seem as if only the alum is benefiting and completely ignores how mutually beneficial the support can be!

    • karenpadi :

      No, do not share this information. It’s funny. Because of my niche, I mostly interview men and each has mentioned his wife and kids–especially young kids. We just hired a guy who is moving to the area to be close to family so he and his wife can have kids–he mentioned this in the interview!

      On the rare occasions I interview women, they never mention husband, kids, or plans to have kids. None wear a wedding ring. I don’t know if they take their rings off (because the women we hired aren’t actually married so it makes sense they don’t have a ring).

      I don’t have a husband or kids so it doesn’t come up. But it’s such a double standard. Men can talk freely about family but women can’t. Because women never volunteer this information, I honestly don’t know how it would affect my perceptions about the candidate.

      • I’ve noticed that a lot more men than women overshare in interviews! I always wonder why.

        • Also anon :

          I think it’s simple. Men who have wives and kids are not looked down upon (or looked at with suspicion), so there is no reason not to mention it–or to be carefully circumspect, as savvy women know they have to be.

          • I don’t mean just oversharing about family. I mean oversharing about all kinds of things!

  11. The buttons on my wool coat are getting really loose. I can barely sew a button on a thin shirt (woman fail!) — what kind of needle do I need to tighten buttons on heavier fabric? Or should I just get myself to a tailor and call it good?

    • You can use regular doubled thread. If you want the buttons to stay on well put a second button on the back so the material is between two buttons. This keeps the thread from ripping through the fabric. This explains it better and has pictures:

      • Midwest, if your buttons are still attached, you can skip down to Step 10 of the tutorial. Some of my clients are dry cleaners and I use this step when the buttons just need a little snugging up to the coat. Winding the thread around the back side of the button makes a “shank”. It tightens the button, while creating space for the other side of the coat to fit when the coat is buttoned. Use any needle that is strong/thick enough to penetrate the fabric. Good luck!

    • The needle I usually use for stuff like that is like an inch and a quarter long, but really, use whatever you’ve got, as long as it will go through the fabric without bending. It’s also a good idea if you double the thread (so you would thread the needle like you normally would, but then pull it through and knot both ends of it together).

      • a passion for fashion :

        the needle i use for this is my nearest drycleaners. its usually like 5 bucks and, in my opinion, well worth it.

    • You may need a thimble to push the needle through heavy fabric.

    • I would use a thicker/heavier needle – although I don’t have a specific gauge in mind. A thimble might also be helpful, but you can try greasing the needle slightly by running in through your hair if you are having trouble pushing it through the fabric.

    • if it’s your daily wear coat or one that takes a real beating, you might want to have the buttons professionally tightened. my dry cleaner does this complimentary with a dry clean (which reminds me that a button has fallen off my daily wear coat and the coat is covered in cat hair because i am too lazy to put it away when i come home and my cats play hide and seek with it….)

    • My tailor will tighten up all the buttons on my coat when I bring it in for dry cleaning for no extra charge.

  12. I have an interview today with my entry level dream job (to eventually get me to the ultimate goal job) and I’m going slightly crazy waiting for it. Any advice to keep myself level headed leading up to it?

    • Former MidLevel :

      Do you have a good book on hand (or a Kindle to download one)? That kind of distraction always helps me. This assumes, of course, that you’re already prepared for the interview and don’t need to use the time to cram. :)

    • Head over to and check out her interview tips.

  13. Etiquette Help :

    A coworker’s mom unexpectedly passed away this week. I don’t have a close relationship with this coworker or work with her directly, but we were in the same cube farm for awhile. Also, she’s fairly new to the office and her work team isn’t very good at acknowledging people’s major life events, so I’d like her to know that others are thinking about her. Would it be terribly tacky to send her a sympathy email? Or is a handwritten card the only way to go?

    • An email would not be tacky but a handwritten card would be a nicer gesture. Can you get your officemates to pony up some money and send her a food basket from the office? That would probably make her feel more supported, especially since she’s so new.

    • send both. a quick email to let her know you’re thinking of her. then mail a card (signed by your team members, if possible) to express your concern and broader support.

      i don’t think there is a bad way to express concern for someone, as long as you’re focusing on them and not you.

    • My father passed away after I had been with my current firm for several months, and it was certainly appreciated when people sent an e-mail (adding at the end- “Please do not feel that you need to respond to this at such a difficult time).

    • Not tacky to send an email, although it’d be weird to me to write about something like that in an email.

      Handwritten card in a day and age where many people (esp. if they are young’uns) communicate mostly online might perplex her or seem like overkill, esp. if you don’t have a close relationship with her.

      Perhaps just pop by her cube and offer your condolences in person.

    • I should have added that when my mother passed away, I received quite a few cards from co-workers I barely knew. They were much more meaningful to me than the emails although I appreciated both. I would hesitate in stopping by her cubicle. When I returned to work, my mother was the last thing I wanted to talk about. It was hard enough to keep it together without constantly being asked how I was doing.

      • When my father passed away suddenly a few years ago… I was very touched when I received sympathy cards at my home. What was equally as touching.. based on timing… I know many of my co-workers went and bought a card on their lunch hour or after work that night. The gesture was noticed and appreciated.

        Several of my co-workers purchased a gift card to a local nursery and I bought a tree the following Spring. It’s a great gift and a great memorial that lives on. We named the tree after my dad and talk about how Ralph is doing in the yard.

      • Good point. I should have thought of that. But that’s why I read corporette– for other (often better insights!)

    • MissJackson :

      My dad passed away very unexpectedly, and I was extremely touched by all of the coworkers that reached out to me (some that I barely knew).

      When I saw a card on my desk or in the mail, I knew it was a sympathy card and I could brace myself for the emotions that would come with reading it (I’m a crier). Emails … well, they just pop up on your screen without much warning, so I would not have had the opportunity to do the same kind of bracing (and door closing, or trip outside, or whatever I needed). Go with a handwritten card.

    • I would send a card. It’s only a bit more time out of your day, but the thought will matter.

  14. Yesterday there was a question about finding a mentor in one’s field. I posted today in the comments from yesterday, but I wanted to include it here also that the National Association of Women Lawyers has a mentoring program. I have not yet used their mentoring program, but I contacted them when I was still in law school and they were extremely helpful. They weren’t mentoring to law students, but encouraged me to sign up when I could. It would be worth checking out.

    I copied and pasted from the website:

    In 2007, NAWL established a nationwide Mentoring Program intended to empower women lawyers and help promote their social, political and professional advancement. The Mentoring Program matches attorneys who have been practicing for more than ten years in a variety of legal fields with attorneys who have practiced for less than five years. Mentors play a central role in the advancement of women in the legal community by providing encouragement, motivation and support to their mentees.

  15. Help – my (non-indigent, but on a limited fixed income) pro bono client found my wedding registry online and sent me a $100+ present off my registry. I didn’t tell him where I was registered or mention gifts in any way whatsoever, but I did mention that I was getting married and going on a honeymoon in the context of explaining why I would be unreachable for a couple weeks. Apparently took it upon himself to figure out where I was registered and send a gift. How unethical is this? I know he’ll be really hurt if I have to return the gift, but gosh. I got the box yesterday and stared at it open-mouthed for a good five minutes in shock.

    • I don’t think it’s unethical at all as a general matter. If your employer has a specific ethics or business conduct policy, you should check and make sure it doesn’t violate the policy (it wouldn’t violate mine – mine sets a $200 limit on the value of gifts you can accept). The way my firm’s policy works, you don’t have to return the gift; there’s some procedure to donate it. I think this is pretty common, so even if you can’t take the gift, you won’t offend your client.

    • karenpadi :

      I can’t see any ethical violations here. I think it’s lovely that your pro-bono client sent you a gift. It was a way for him to show that, even though he can’t pay you, he does appreciate all that you are doing for him.

      Write him a very nice thank you note (not included in your business correspondence) and be grateful you have such a wonderful pro bono client.

    • You should accept the gift in the spirit it was given. Your pro bono client probably can’t afford your hourly rate, but wanted to express his appreciation for the work you are doing pro bono. He and is probably also excited for you that you are getting married.

      Note that my answer would change if you suspect the client has ulterior motives (e.g., he has come off as “creepy” before or you think the gift is some sort of ploy to make you feel indebted to him). But from my limited knowledge of the situation, I think the client just wanted you to have the gift and would probably be hurt if you try to give it back.

    • Salit-a-gator :

      I don’t think its unethical. Your client wanted to show his appreciation for your hard work and chose to buy you a present. Send him a thank you card and enjoy the present. I have a pro-bono client who bought me a $50 restaurant gift certificate – felt awkward, but I graciously accepted because I understand he wanted to show his gratitude and this was the only way he could.

  16. Barrister in the Bayou :

    @Sydney Bristow – I saw your question in the previous thread. I went to a bunch of different places to look for workout clothes. I’m not ready to splurge on anything so I was mainly looking for good deals. I bought a few sports bras and a pair of great leggings at Ross (like Marshalls & TJ Maxx), some leggings and a top at Target and another tank top and some shorts at a local sporting goods store. I think that will hold me up for a while because I can mix and match with what I already had. Most of the items I purchased were strictly utilitarian, but the sports bras were in some really cute colors.

    Hope you get lucky with your gym bag!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Thanks! I always forget about TJ Maxx and the like. I need to get a couple things to get me through as well but I’m planning to spend a little more on the bag since I’ll have to drag it around the city with me a few times a week. I already use a laptop bag and my current gym bag is just way too big. The hunt continues!

      • My current gym bag is from TJMaxx. I just got it a couple of weeks ago. It’s a navy Tommy Hilfiger duffle. It’s completely line and has many pockets, including a separate one for my sneakers.

  17. Ekaterin Nile :

    OMG, another Lois McMaster Bujold fan!

work fashion blog press mentions