Park Avenue Summer Book Review

It’s not exactly a secret that men underestimate women. But that is often our secret to success.

Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen was released earlier this year. Alice Weiss is 21 in 1965, a transplant from Ohio and dreams of becoming a photographer. But like many young people who come to New York City with a dream and not much else, Alice has to get a job.

She gets a job as the secretary for the late Helen Gurley Brown, the author of Sex and the Single Girl and the new editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan. At that time, the magazine was on it’s death bed. It was up to Helen to turn the magazine around, but it seemed to be a Herculean task. The magazine was shedding employees like a snake sheds it’s skin and the men who run the parent organization are more than ready to shut the magazine down.

When a fellow employee tries to pull Alice in into a plan to spy on her boss, Alice goes the other way. She will do everything in her power to help Helen succeed. Along the way, Alice learns a few things about life, men and success.

Described as a literary love child of The Devil Wears Prada and Mad Men, this book is more than the story of a young woman discovering herself. It is the story of an unconventional woman who succeeds in a man’s world on her own terms.

I recommend it.


I saw ad on craigslist (it’s craigslist, go figure) with the following title “Busy office looking for Energetic Gal Friday”.

Three of the qualities that the company was looking for in a potential candidate were listed as the following : “Cute, Classy and professional demeanor”.


First of all, being considered cute or attractive is entirely subjective.

Secondly, I thought the Mad Men days where women can only go as high as a secretary or an assistant were over. Last time I checked, it was entirely plausible that the job could be done competently by a male.

To clarify, the more formal term is Girl Friday. Back in the day, Girl Friday was layman’s terms for a female secretary or assistant. It is also the title of a very funny movie called His Girl Friday.

I know that we live in an imperfect society. Women still judge themselves and others by the external image that we share with the world. While the glass ceiling is slowly cracking, it has not come down completely.

I just wouldn’t put the word “cute” in a job advertisement.

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