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Time Off for Good Behavior: How Hardworking Women Can Take a Break and Change Their Lives Hardcover – January 11, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; 1 edition (January 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767918312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767918312
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #954,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Type A good girls" are the intended audience for this energetic but disjointed rumination on the transformative power of time off. Once a CEO of an advertising agency, Quinlan took a life-changing five-week break and then promptly started her own consulting company. Encouraging women not to bury personal happiness under career success, she offers anecdotes from 37 women who had similar time-off epiphanies, worksheets designed to spur readers to action (e.g., "Working Too Hard? Feeling the Burn?") and her own bubbly advice. For readers unable to quit or take long breaks, she suggests angling for flexible hours at work. She also recommends that her readers "develop a financial plan with an advisor and update it every year." Quinlan's cheerleading tone would work brilliantly in an auditorium, and the examples she draws from her own life are enlightening. But a cutesy tone (the term "good girl" appears on nearly every page) and a tendency to gloss over the nitty-gritty of life changes (just how did Isa quit her job to found her own fire dancing studio?) makes this more an inspirational text than a guide.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Quinlan (Just Ask a Woman, 2003) is all about work burnout among women, yet statistic after statistic (for instance, in 2003, employers recorded $21 billion in unused vacation days) moves her thesis to higher levels. She sticks to her guns, though, by profiling 37 women who have quit, taken a sabbatical, or transitioned into new jobs and new lives, plus she generously hands readers the tools (e.g., end-of-chapter questionnaires) to do the same. Much of her book is psycho-prescriptive, targeting the so-called type A "good girls" who take care of others but not themselves. Profiling complete, she adds diagnosis and remedies with specific steps to be taken with employees and selves. But will anyone truly listen? Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Mary Lou Quinlan is an author, actor and advocate for women. She has written inspirational features for Real Simple, O, the Oprah Magazine, and MORE magazine and is the author of the books Just Ask a Woman, Time Off for Good Behavior, and What She's Not Telling You.

Mary Lou's latest venture is The God Box Project, led by her keepsake memoir of her mother, The God Box: Sharing my Mother's Gift of Faith, Love and Letting Go (Worthy Publishing, October 2012.) She also co-wrote The God Box, A Daughter's Story, a solo show she has performed around the US and is taking to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014. The God Box Project also includes a free mobile app on iTunes, a series of short films and a vibrant online community, all built around Mary Lou's remarkable discovery of her mother's unique ritual for resolving her most heartfelt wishes and worries.

She is the founder of marketing and production agency Just Ask a Woman. She has keynoted hundreds of conferences around the world; has appeared on The CBS Early Show, Good Morning America, and the Today show; and has been profiled in The New York Times, the Wall St. Journal, and USA Today, among many other media outlets. She holds honorary doctorates from five US universities.

Mary Lou is Jesuit-educated with an MBA from Fordham University and an honorary doctorate in communications from her alma mater, Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, where she earned a BA in English. She and her husband, Joe Quinlan, live in New York City and Bucks County, Pennsylvania, along with their dog, Rocky.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I loved the combination of fact and anecdote that she has woven throughout.
L. A. Winslow
If you're thinking about taking time off, or are so tired that you can't even think, then you might want to pick this book up.
Diane K. Danielson
Mary Lou Quinlan's writing style is so conversational, it's like you're having a cup of coffee with a friend.
J. Silberman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Diane K. Danielson on February 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As I was reading this book, I felt like I had met my soul mate. I, too, am a Type-A "good girl." ("You need this report by Friday, would Thursday be better?") Fortunately for me, I was forced into a sabbatical before I really knew that I needed one (and then, of course, spent the next two years struggling with the fact that I had my entire identity wrapped up in my job/career, that only now am I beginning to enjoy life). I was floored when Mary Lou wrote about being so tired that incurring enough injuries to require a stay in the hospital (without being life-threatening) seemed an attractive way to take a break from the craziness. That thought had crossed my mind more times than I would like to admit. If you're thinking about taking time off, or are so tired that you can't even think, then you might want to pick this book up. Even if you can't financially swing a sabbatical, it's helpful to understand that you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed with your life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charles Decker on January 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have reviewed books for a major business magazine for over a year now, and I think this is one of the best I have seen. I worry, however, that the package makes this appear to be only for women. I think a lot of stressed-out men (particularly attorney friends of mine) will find some real inspiration and an action plan for taking control of what little life they have.

Some may think this is all pie-in-the-sky stuff, but it's achievable with a little pragmatism. Read it and see if you don't agree.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Holly K on January 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't put the book down because of how much I related to the stories. Especially reading the early years of the author...the spelling bee's, wanting to the best of the best at everything. As I was reading on the train, I heard myself say out loud, "me too!" I have so many friends who will see themselves in this book. Buying it for them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pamela M. on January 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I thought this book was great. I loved the different perspectives that were woven into it -- including the psychology behind type A's, the variety of women's issues that were presented relating to work, life stage and lifestyle choices, and the impact this has on corporations.

The actionable exercises at the end of the chapters were a great idea and can help women take the first steps towards assessing their own situations. Most of all, Mary Lou Quinlan acknowledged "taking time off for good behavior" was not easy, but the sharing of her own stories and her heartfelt honesty really makes this book a winner.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patricia H. Troy on February 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you are a hard-charging, hard-working professional woman who takes her laptop to the beach, you will recognize yourself in Time Off for Good Behavior. I could identify with many of the Type A "good girl" women Quinlan describes. She's right on target. She makes you think about your daily life in a whole new way. And, afterall, this is first step in making a change.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Gatewood on February 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I recently read Mary Lou Quinlan's book and enjoyed it because at times, Women Can't Do It All! Being a mother, a spouse, taking care of the house and managing a career doesn't always provide women with the time to take a break and consider what we want for ourselves. This Sunday's NYTimes (business section) interview with Mary Lou Quinlan made me realize that this is a much bigger issue.

We need to slow down, take charge of our lives and start

LIVING, rather than racing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Silberman on February 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a great read for anyone who might have forgotten there are roses out there - let alone take the time to smell them. Mary Lou Quinlan's writing style is so conversational, it's like you're having a cup of coffee with a friend. She takes you into her own life as well as into the lives of many others, which ultimately becomes an invitation to take a nice, fresh look inward. The book is filled with great anecdotes and experiences, poignant and pointed advice - and is even interactive. It offers you opportunities to explore, to create, and to examine life - your life - so that you can be inspired to live it fully and joyfully.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Strook on January 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Although we've all read a ton of inspirational books, this book finds a way into our hearts and minds like few others have. The reality is that we all want to do the right things in our lives but we sometimes just never find the time. Ms. Quinlan's attitude is full of good/smart heart-felt advice that I know many of us could benefit from.

Definitely worth the read for both women AND men.
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