The FWSF Book Club, A Year in Review

by Lysa Wollard

Each year on January 1, I endeavor to create a list of life-improving resolutions. Inevitably by December 31, I end up reflecting on the resolutions I failed to follow through on. For the past several years, “joining a book club” has been at the top of this fateful list. January 1, 2016 was no exception. I even included “for real this time” in parenthesis with multiple exclamation marks to signify my determination! You can imagine how thrilled I was to see “Book Club” on the Upcoming Events for the Financial Women of San Francisco. What could be better than joining a book club with a group of smart, motivated and inspiring women who share similar interests?

Book Club Group

Julianna Iran launched the book club in January 2016 through the Interest Group program that the FWSF promotes. As a member of this club I can tell you that it has been an inspirational group to be a part of. We meet monthly to discuss the prior month’s agreed upon book and to ponder its relevance to our professional and personal lives. While the books themselves may vary in their substance, the conversations that ensue are always richly rewarding.

Initially our book selections focused on female-authored books about personal growth and self-examination. We explored the concept of being limited only by our fixed mindsets in Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, in which she encourages individuals to reach their highest potential of success and achievement.

Later we contemplated how to negotiate on our own behalf through Mira Brzezinksi’s Knowing Your Value. This book triggered an incredible conversation surrounding our challenges as women when negotiating on our own behalf and offered ways to represent our value without coming across as arrogant, pushy or entitled.

One of my favorite discussions came after reading Marshall Goldsmith’s book Triggers. The group did not agree as to how beneficial (or realistic) some of the author’s recommended behavioral changes were but every one of us found the discussion of triggers to be incredibly relevant. Whether the triggers are of the “getting irritated with your spouse” sort or the “trying not to procrastinate at work” variety – we all struggle with very real and challenging triggers in our daily lives.

The overall theme of each book was to encouraged us to explore the self-imposed limitations and mindsets that hold us back from reaching our maximum potential, both in the workplace and in our personal lives. I am pleased to say that on January 1, 2017 ‘’joining a book club’’ was not on my list of resolutions, as I determined this resolution was a great success in 2016.

The book club took a break over the holidays, but resumed in January with Ehsan Masood’s The Great Invention. The San Francisco Book Club meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the First Republic Bank Conference Room D. More details are available on the FWSF website.

The next San Francisco Book Club meets February 21st. Please contact Julianna Iran at if you are a prospective member and would like to attend, or if you are interested in leading a group or participating in the book club.

For those of you in the South Bay who are interested in participating in a book club, please join us on February 16th for the Silicon Valley Book Club. Can’t make that date, contact Abby-Gail Chaffatt to find out about other opportunities to get involved.

We look forward to meeting many new members in 2017!

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