Pin It
Favorite

Book Review 

You Can Do It!
by Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas
by Sheri Boggs


Remember merit badges? Every Girl Scout worth her salt knew not only what the various emblems - a tent, the trefoil, a red cross - represented but how to get them. You'd go to the official handbook, pick a skill or a hobby you wanted to master, do the steps -- et voila, a new merit badge to sew on your sash. Eat my shorts, Troop 674.


Of course with adulthood, you're supposed to take on new respon-sibilities and learn new activities without all the hoo-hah of a reward. In fact, you're supposed to do it because "the process is its own reward." Well maybe, but the first time I edited the entire Arts & amp; Culture section of The Inlander and did it both on time and without all my usual beginner's mistakes, I wanted a badge. A big one.


You Can Do It! caters to my mindset: Within its hefty 495 pages are meritorious tasks from the ordinary ("gardening" and "home maintenance") to the downright adventurous ("skydiving," "firewalking" and "aviation"). Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, herself a former Brownie and Girl Scout, envisioned the book as a way for grown women to connect with the fun of taking on new challenges and learning along the way. She had worked on the book for about a year before she died on 9/11, flying home from her grandmother's funeral on United Airlines Flight 93. Aware of her dream project, her sisters Vaughn and Dara located experts, fleshed out the projects and got the book published for her.


Each "Badge Chapter" is set up to engage the imagination and quell any self-doubts. Readers check out the payoffs from learning the described skill and are introduced to real-life mentors, women who have mastered a given skill themselves and know how to teach it to others. There are "Badge Steps" to follow, as well as "Expert Tips," and the mentors are for the most part really well-chosen; I noted two Bust editors, the founder of the first Our Bodies, Our Selves clinic, a pilot who first flew solo at 17 and a prominent Seattle painter. The only disappoint-ment, of course, is that the book's Merit Badges are merely stickers. I'm just geeky enough to want real ones I could maybe sew onto a denim jacket or show off to the other Inlanderites. One can only hope I'll be too busy scuba diving, learning Spanish or making a real camp fire to care.





Publication date: 05/26/05

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Recall and Response
  • Recall and Response

    The attempt to remove Spokane Mayor David Condon from office may be a long shot, but he isn't taking any chances
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Shades of Black Lives
  • Shades of Black Lives

    A Spokane County detective's Facebook post about Black Lives Matter sparks debate among local law enforcement
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Fires Hit Home
  • Fires Hit Home

    Tens of thousands of acres burn around Spokane on Sunday and Monday; plus, DOJ weighs in on concerns over bail system
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Spokane Social Sketch

Spokane Social Sketch @ Boots Bakery & Lounge

Last Sunday of every month, 2-5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Sheri Boggs

  • BOOKS
  • BOOKS

    From puppies to a new James Bond adventure, there are tons of great reads this season
    • Dec 3, 2015
  • Beer and Branding in PDX

    • Sep 15, 2005
  • Rural Revolution

    All the farms I remember from growing up in North Idaho and Eastern Washington were not what you'd call stylish. In fact, what I do remember are blocky sofas covered in that ubiquitous mauve upholstery, copper Jell-O molds lining the kitche
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • 'Unreasonable Threat to Life and Property'

    Spokane's rental housing has problems, but landlord and tenant groups are split on a solution
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • 'End of Story'

    Condon administration aims to close the controversial Frank Straub chapter — but last week's scathing report has irrevocably changed the narrative
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


election 2016


green zone


marijuana


trail mix


Readers also liked…

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation