Blog & News

W2WM’s Staff Picks for Summer ’23

Summer is a season to get outside and get active! It is also a great time to check in on yourself and continue to develop yourself in a positive way. So, W2WM is back at it with our top books and podcasts that our team will be enjoying this summer!

Read more about what’s influencing Ashley, Amy, Eileen, and Alex this summer.

Ashley’s Top Picks


Lessons in Chemistry

If you’re looking for delicious hilarity, characters filled with competency and quirk, and pure entertainment, then read Bonnie Garmus’ exuberant novel Lessons in Chemistry. Elizabeth Zott is an ambitious and accomplished scientist and is determined to be just that—and only that. But as we all know, life has a way of upending plans, and that’s exactly what happens to the inspiring (and at times, hilariously infuriating) Zott: Cupid’s arrow hits and the next thing you know she’s a mother and a TV cooking star. But in changing the kitchens of 1960’s America, Zott also challenges the status quo and that’s not exactly welcome in some circles. Lessons in Chemistry is a lot of fun to read: giddy laughter will bubble up but so too will your respect and admiration for a fearless and strong-willed woman who dares to be herself, in any circumstance. —Al Woodworth, Amazon Editor

Subtle Acts of Exclusion

Our workplaces and society are growing more diverse, but are we supporting inclusive cultures? While overt racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination are relatively easy to spot, we cannot neglect the subtler everyday actions that normalize exclusion. Many have heard the term microaggression, but not everyone fully understands what they are or how to recognize them and stop them from happening. Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran offer a clearer, more accessible term, subtle acts of exclusion, or SAEs, to emphasize the purpose and effects of these actions.

The Career Contessa Podcast

A weekly advice podcast focused on women, work, and all the answers to your career questions so you can be more fulfilled, healthy, and successful at work. Each Tuesday, we’re here to help you make progress in your career. We uncover hush-hush topics like how to talk about salary at work and we demystify common career advice that simply doesn’t serve you. Expect “aha” moments and step-by-step career advice you can implement today. Listen and subscribe so you never miss an episode!

Amy’s Top Picks

Atomic Habits

Do you struggle with bad habits? Do you try to create good habits that will bring positive changes to your life, but have trouble making them stick? In Atomic Habits, James Clear argues that adopting the right habits will drastically improve your life—but to do so, you must understand how habits work and how you can change yours. In this guide, you’ll discover why habits matter and the three mindsets you can use to create them. You’ll then learn how habits form and the four keys to changing yours. Finally, you’ll learn how to continue improving habits you’ve implemented.

Wiser Than Me

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the Emmy Award winning-est actress of all time, is diving into her first-ever podcast with touching, funny, personal conversations with wise, fascinating women who have lived long enough to know a thing or two about a thing or two. Tune in to laugh, cry and just maybe… get wise.

We are Liars

A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.


Eileen’s Top Picks


Carrie Soto is Back

“Taylor Jenkins Reid of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoDaisy Jones and The Six, and Malibu Rising fame, is back! And so is Carrie Soto. Carrie Soto—who fans might recall from Malibu Rising—has the winningest record of any female tennis player, and she is determined to hold onto it, even if it means coming out of retirement, wrecking her reputation, and losing her endorsements. Yes, this book revolves around tennis, but the best part is Carrie’s fiery, unapologetically ambitious energy and her heartwarming relationship with her dad, who is also her coach. Carrie Soto Is Back brilliantly captures the double-standards powerful women face and offers a euphoric portrait of a woman who dares to follow her dream. Get ready to root for Carrie in what can only be described as another ace from Taylor Jenkins Reid.” —Al Woodworth, Amazon Editor

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye, novel by J.D. Salinger published in 1951. The novel details two days in the life of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield after he has been expelled from prep school. Confused and disillusioned, Holden searches for truth and rails against the “phoniness” of the adult world. He ends up exhausted and emotionally unstable. The events are related after the fact.


Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Podcast

Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is an hour-long weekly news radio panel show produced by WBEZ and National Public Radio (NPR) in Chicago, Illinois. On the program, panelists and contestants are quizzed in humorous ways about that week’s news.

Alex’s Top Picks


The Know for Sure Podcast

What is the secret to a long lasting friendship of 20 years? Respect, Genuine love, and difficult conversations! Every week comedian, actress, and business mogul B.Simone along with her best friend, assistant, and business partner, Megan Brooks will share the stories and experiences that have allowed them to grow together throughout the years although their lives are completely opposite. B.Simone is still trying to find her forever love and manage a very public life while Megan discovers what her version of the “white picket fence dream” really looks like for her as a mother of 3. The weekly conversations will be thought provoking and challenge your beliefs. We invite you to join us on our journey of self discovery and evolution.

Sunflower Soul

“Sunflower Soul” is a collection of 200 poems divided into five chapters discussing themes of growth, pain, love and so much more. Written as an evolution from seed to full bloom, this series of prose takes readers on a journey from facing defeat to taking control.



For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts

For generations, Brown girls have had to push against powerful forces of sexism, racism, and classism, often feeling alone in the struggle. By founding Latina Rebels, Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez has created a community to help women fight together. In For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts, she offers wisdom and a liberating path forward for all women of color. She crafts powerful ways to address the challenges Brown girls face, from imposter syndrome to colorism. She empowers women to decolonize their worldview, and defy “universal” white narratives, by telling their own stories. Her book guides women of color toward a sense of pride and sisterhood and offers essential tools to energize a movement.


P.S. Don’t forget – If you are in search of a new book to add to your summer trip, come say hi and check out one of our awesome books in our empowerment library at our office. Frederick Community College Annapolis building A101 (7932 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, MD 21702)


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