Feminist Friday ⁠— My Favorite Female Authors

Happy Friday everyone! I haven’t written a Feminist Friday post in awhile (I know, I’m sorry!) but I’m back again to share with you some of my favorite female authors. These ladies write some of the best books and always manage to write such strong, female characters. Some of these authors are non-fiction writers but they do feminism such JUSTICE. I would consider all of these auto-buy authors as well! Here’s a list of some of my favorite female authors:

  • V.E. Schwab / Victoria Schwab

V.E. SchwabHer Goodreads Author Description:

“Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say “tom-ah-toes,” “like,” and “y’all.”

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.”

 

Listen, I will read anything that V.E. Schwab writes. I have read almost all of her books (I haven’t read the Archived or The Near Witch) and the ones I haven’t read are on my TBR already. I probably already own them too! I just recently got into her books last year whenever I read the Darker Shades of Magic trilogy for the first time. I fell in love with these books and the characters themselves. Her writing is impeccable — if you want to see intense world building at it’s finest, read a V.E. Schwab book. They’re always so intricate and captivating. I will continue to buy and read her books because they never fail to disappoint me. She’s also a female fantasy writer! I know that there’s more and more female fantasy writers nowadays, but it was a male dominated genre for so long. I’m pretty sure that’s why her adult books go by V.E. Schwab (bc sexism) but we still stan. Speaking of that, her female characters are always so BAD ASS. Lila Bard is the best but Marcella from Vengeful is insanely good too. I definitely recommend her books, if you couldn’t tell.

Read her books:

  • A Darker Shade of Magic (Darker Shades #1)
  • A Gathering of Shadows (Darker Shades #2)
  • A Conjuring of Light (Darker Shades #3)
  • Vicious 
  • Vengeful (Vicious #2)
  • the Truth Witch
  • & more!

 

  • Roxane Gay

Roxane GayHer Goodreads Author Description: “Roxane Gay’s writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, West Branch, Virginia Quarterly Review, NOON, The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Salon, The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy culture blog, and many others. She is the co-editor of PANK and essays editor for The Rumpus. She teaches writing at Eastern Illinois University. Her first book, Ayiti, is a collection of fiction and nonfiction about the Haitian diaspora experience. Her novel, An Untamed State, will be published by Grove Atlantic and her essay collection, Bad Feminist, will be published by Harper Perennial, both in 2014.”

 

Roxane Gay is an important author for me because her book, Bad Feminist, introduced me to feminist non-fiction. I’ve shelved every single non-fiction feminist book since I started to read her books because she made me genuinely excited about them. I loved Bad Feminist because it was the first non-fiction book that truly caught my attention and kept it throughout. I didn’t even need to listen to this on audiobook because it was so entertaining. This book was actually one of my Employee Recommendations when I used to work at Barnes & Noble. If you’re looking to start reading feminist non-fiction, I highly recommend all of Roxane Gay’s books, not just Bad Feminist. Hunger was one of my favorite books I read last year because Roxane Gay’s words are always so intelligent and well-spoken.

Read her books:

  • Bad Feminist
  • Hunger
  • Difficult Women
  • an Untamed State
  • Ayiti
  • & more!

 

  • Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow RowellHer Goodreads Author Description: “Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.”

 

Rainbow Rowell is the author who I started out with whenever I started venturing into the YA genre. I remember a picture of my first sort of  YA book haul that featured two of her books (Eleanor & Park and Landline) and I ended up loving them both. These two are obviously not my favorites now (Fangirl and Carry On are) but her books still remain so important to me. I buy all her new releases from the indie bookstore she signs at (Bookworm Omaha) and I’m always excited to receive them. Her character, Cath, made me feel so seen whenever I was in middle school/high school. I’m forever grateful that I found her books when I did and will continue to read anything she writes!

Read her books:

  • Fangirl
  • Eleanor & Park
  • Carry On
  • Landline
  • Attachments
  • Kindred Spirits
  • & more!

 

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieHer Goodreads Author Description: “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria.

Her work has been translated into over thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The New YorkerGrantaThe O. Henry Prize Stories, the Financial Times, and Zoetrope. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize and was a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist and a New York Times Notable Book; and Americanah, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named one of The New York Times Top Ten Best Books of 2013. Ms. Adichie is also the author of the story collection The Thing Around Your Neck.

Ms. Adichie has been invited to speak around the world. Her 2009 TED Talk, The Danger of A Single Story, is now one of the most-viewed TED Talks of all time. Her 2012 talk We Should All Be Feminists has a started a worldwide conversation about feminism, and was published as a book in 2014.

Her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, was published in March 2017.

A recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Ms. Adichie divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.”

 

I discovered her books around the same time that I read Roxane Gay’s books and I am so glad I found them. She has two shorter books on feminism — We Should All be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions! I loved both of them and actually used these for a feminist essay I did to finish off my COMP I class back in high school. Comp I is a college course but I took it early. I loved writing that essay and these books made me realize how badly I want to write my own feminist non-fiction. We Should All be Feminists is such a great intro read to feminism and it’s so short so anyone can read it. It’s also a TED talk but of course, I prefer the physical little book edition. I learned so much from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and I own several of her fiction books. I plan to finally read Americanah by her this year and I can’t wait.

Read her books:

  • Americanah
  • We Should All Be Feminists
  • Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
  • Half of a Yellow Sun
  • The Thing Around Your Neck
  • Purple Hibiscus
  • and more!

Goodreads Reading Challenge Update

Good afternoon! I thought it would be interesting to give you all an update on my Goodreads reading challenge. It’s half way through the year (OOF. Already?) and I haven’t been reading much but hopefully it’ll pick up!

So, at the beginning of the year, I pledged to read 50 books this year. I would say that’s an average for me but recently, I’ve been reading a lot less. I have no idea why — maybe it’s just college keeping me busy. Last year, I think I read 36 books and my reading challenge was 35. That’s pretty low for me so I wanted to aim higher this year but I’m pretty far behind on the challenge.

If you’re interested in seeing my year in books for 2018, here’s a link.

Right now, I’m at 13 books out of my pledged fifty. Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 5.45.16 PM So, I’m seven books behind and only 26% through. I’m not entirely too mad because I’ve enjoyed most of the books I’ve read this year. I don’t have a TBR set for this year either (just a little one I’m not paying attention to, really). I really want to finish fifty books this year so hopefully I can overcome this slump!

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So, here’s all the books I read so far this year! I have a review for so many of these which is exciting. I’m going to list these books and my ratings below. There will also be links for all the books I read as well. All my ratings are out of five stars.

  • Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh  ★★★★
  • Song of the Dead by Sarah Glenn Marsh [REVIEW]  ★★★★
  • This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins [REVIEW]  ★★★★★
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama [REVIEW]  ★★★★★
  • Saga Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples [REVIEW]  ★★★★★
  • Again, But Better by Christine Riccio [REVIEW]  ★★★★
  • What Makes Girls Sick & Tired by Lucile de Pesloüan [REVIEW]  ★★★
  • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab  ★★★★
  • Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid [REVIEW]  ★★★★ 1/2
  • Where I End & You Begin by Preston North [review coming]  ★★★★
  • The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah [REVIEW]  ★★★★ 1/2
  • Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor  ★★★★ 1/2
  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab  ★★★★★

 

Feminist Friday ↠ Feminist Classics

As some of you may now, feminism is literature is one of my favorite things. I still often read books on feminism or that have a feminist theme. But, have books always been feminist? Clearly, there’s several feminist classics that exist you might not know about. These books clearly paved the way for so many great feminist authors that are being published today. All the way from 1792 to present, we’ve been given feminist literature and non-fiction. So, without further ado, here’s some of the most essential feminist classics that were so influential for their time.

I put the date they were originally published so you can think about the time in which they were and why they would’ve been written and published. I also want to state that there are so many other feminist classics that didn’t make it on the list. I’m sure I’ll make more lists but as far as I’m concerned, these are some of the most popular ones!

1. A Vindication of the Rights of a Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

469334 “Writing in an age when the call for the rights of man had brought revolution to America and France, Mary Wollstonecraft produced her own declaration of female independence in 1792. Passionate and forthright, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman attacked the prevailing view of docile, decorative femininity, and instead laid out the principles of emancipation: an equal education for girls and boys, an end to prejudice, and for women to become defined by their profession, not their partner. Mary Wollstonecraft’s work was received with a mixture of admiration and outrage – Walpole called her ‘a hyena in petticoats’ – yet it established her as the mother of modern feminism.”

Published: 1792

 

2. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins

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‘The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing.’

Written with barely controlled fury after she was confined to her room for ‘nerves’ and forbidden to write, Gilman’s pioneering feminist horror story scandalized nineteenth-century readers with its portrayal of a woman who loses her mind because she has literally nothing to do.”

Published: 1892

 

 

 

 

3. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

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“A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on the 24th of October, 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women’s colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers of and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled Women and Fiction, and hence the essay, are considered nonfiction. The essay is seen as a feminist text, and is noted in its argument for both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.”

Published: 1929

4. The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir

9684227Newly translated and unabridged in English for the first time, Simone de Beauvoir’s masterwork is a powerful analysis of the Western notion of “woman,” and a groundbreaking exploration of inequality and otherness.  This long-awaited new edition reinstates significant portions of the original French text that were cut in the first English translation. Vital and groundbreaking, Beauvoir’s pioneering and impressive text remains as pertinent today as it was back then, and will continue to provoke and inspire generations of men and women to come.

Published: 1949

 

 

 

5. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan

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“Landmark, groundbreaking, classic—these adjectives barely do justice to the pioneering vision and lasting impact of The Feminine Mystique. Published in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of “the problem that has no name”: the insidious beliefs and institutions that undermined women’s confidence in their intellectual capabilities and kept them in the home. Writing in a time when the average woman first married in her teens and 60 percent of women students dropped out of college to marry, Betty Friedan captured the frustrations and thwarted ambitions of a generation and showed women how they could reclaim their lives. Part social chronicle, part manifesto, The Feminine Mystique is filled with fascinating anecdotes and interviews as well as insights that continue to inspire. This 50th–anniversary edition features an afterword by best-selling author Anna Quindlen as well as a new introduction by Gail Collins.”

Published: 1963

 

6. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

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“We follow Esther Greenwood’s personal life from her summer job in New York with Ladies’ Day magazine, back through her days at New England’s largest school for women, and forward through her attempted suicide, her bad treatment at one asylum and her good treatment at another, to her final re-entry into the world like a used tyre: “patched, retreaded, and approved for the road” … Esther Greenwood’s account of her year in the bell jar is as clear and readable as it is witty and disturbing.”

Published: 1963

 

 

7. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

45864574.jpg “The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population.

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.”

Published: 1985

Feminist Friday ↠ Feminist Non-Fiction by POC Authors

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Intersectional feminism is the only feminism we allow here! It’s time to open a book written by someone who isn’t male, straight, or white for a change. Many of my favorite (literally all of them) feminist books are written by POC women. These women not only write about their struggles as a woman but being both black and a woman. While I’m pretty sure some of these authors identify as LGBT+ as well, I’m not quite sure so I don’t want to mislabel anyone’s sexuality. But for now, enjoy this list of some of my favorite and anticipated feminist books by POC!

1. This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins

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From one of the fiercest critics writing today, Morgan Jerkins’ highly-anticipated collection of linked essays interweaves her incisive commentary on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny, and racism with her own experiences to confront the very real challenges of being a black woman today—perfect for fans of Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist, Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me, and Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists.

Morgan Jerkins is only in her twenties, but she has already established herself as an insightful, brutally honest writer who isn’t afraid of tackling tough, controversial subjects. In This Will Be My Undoing, she takes on perhaps one of the most provocative contemporary topics: What does it mean to “be”—to live as, to exist as—a black woman today? This is a book about black women, but it’s necessary reading for all Americans.”

I actually have a review of this book on my blog here.

 

2. Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Era edited by Dionne Espinoza, Maria Eugenia Cotera, Maylei Blackwell

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“With contributions from a wide array of scholars and activists, including leading Chicana feminists from the period, this groundbreaking anthology is the first collection of scholarly essays and testimonios that focuses on Chicana organizing, activism, and leadership in the movement years. The essays in Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Activisim and Feminism in the Movement Era demonstrate how Chicanas enacted a new kind of politica at the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality, and developed innovative concepts, tactics, and methodologies that in turn generated new theories, art forms, organizational spaces, and strategies of alliance.

These are the technologies of resistance documented in Chicana Movidas, a volume that brings together critical biographies of Chicana activists and their bodies of work; essays that focus on understudied organizations, mobilizations, regions, and subjects; examinations of emergent Chicana archives and the politics of collection; and scholarly approaches that challenge the temporal, political, heteronormative, and spatial limits of established Chicano movement narratives. Charting the rise of a field of knowledge that crosses the boundaries of Chicano studies, feminist theory, and queer theory, Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Activisim and Feminism in the Movement Era offers a transgenerational perspective on the intellectual and political legacies of early Chicana feminism.”

 

3. How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

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The Combahee River Collective, a group of radical black feminists, was one of the most important organizations to develop out of the anti-racist and women’s liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s. In this collection, founding members of the organization and contemporary activists reflect on the legacy of its contributions to black feminism and its impact on today’s struggles.”

 

 

 

 

4. I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

17851885.jpg “I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.”

 

5. Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China by Leta Hong Fincher

37861785“How the Feminist Five and the rise of China’s feminist movement threatens China’s authoritarian government

On the eve of International Women’s Day in 2015, the Chinese government arrested five feminist activists and jailed them for 37 days. The Feminist Five became a global cause célèbre, with Hillary Clinton speaking out on their behalf, and activists inundating social media with #FreetheFive messages. But the Feminist Five are only symbols of a much larger feminist movement of civil rights lawyers, labor activists, performance artists and online warriors that is prompting an unprecedented awakening among China’s urban, educated women. In Betraying Big Brother, journalist and scholar Leta Hong Fincher argues that the popular, broad-based movement poses the greatest threat to China’s authoritarian regime today.

Through interviews with the Feminist Five and other leading Chinese activists, Hong Fincher illuminates both the challenges they face and their “joy of betraying Big Brother,” as Wei Tingting—one of the Feminist Five—wrote of the defiance she felt during her detention. Tracing the rise of a new feminist consciousness through online campaigns resembling #MeToo, and describing how the Communist regime has suppressed the history of its own feminist struggles, Betraying Big Brother is a story of how the movement against patriarchy could reconfigure China and the world.”

6. Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks

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“Acclaimed cultural critic bell hooks offers an open-hearted and welcoming vision of gender, sexuality, and society in this inspiring and accessible volume. In engaging and provocative style, bell hooks introduces a popular theory of feminism rooted in common sense and the wisdom of experience. Hers is a vision of a beloved community that appeals to all those committed to equality, mutual respect, and justice. hooks applies her critical analysis to the most contentious and challenging issues facing feminists today, including reproductive rights, violence, race, class, and work. With her customary insight and unsparing honesty, hooks calls for a feminism free from barriers but rich with rigorous debate. In language both eye-opening and optimistic, hooks encourages us to demand alternatives to patriarchal, racist, and homophobic culture, and to imagine a different future.”

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll Be There For You: The One About Friends [MINI REVIEW]

39703569“This definitive retrospective of Friends incorporates interviews, history and behind-the-scenes anecdotes to offer a critical analysis of how a sitcom about six twentysomethings changed television forever

When Friends debuted in 1994, no one expected it to become a mainstay of NBC’s Must See TV lineup, let alone a global phenomenon. In the years since, Friends has gone through many phases of cultural relevancy, from prime-time hit to 90s novelty item to certified classic. Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe have entered the pantheon of great television characters, and millions of people around the globe continue to tune in or stream their stories every day.

I’ll Be There for You is the definitive retrospective of Friends, exploring all aspects of the show from its unlikely origins to the elusive reasons why we still watch it. Journalist and pop culture expert Kelsey Miller relives the show’s most iconic moments, analyzes the ways in which Friends is occasionally problematic and examines the many trends it inspired, from the rise of coffee-shop culture to Friendsgivings to the ultimate 90s haircut, the Rachel.

Weaving incisive commentary, revelatory interviews and behind-the-scenes anecdotes involving high-profile guest stars, I’ll Be There for You is the most comprehensive take on Friends, and the ultimate book for fans everywhere.”

 

Edition: Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook
Page Count: 304 pages
Publication: October 23rd, 2018
Publisher: Hanover Square Press

My Rating: 4.5 ★★★★/5 stars★★★★

I picked this up from my online library in an audiobook format because I had seen it on Goodreads and immediately added it to my TBR. Friends is something I’ve loved all throughout my teenage years and I still watch re-runs to this day. Whenever I can’t sleep, Friends is on. Whenever I don’t feel well mentally or physically, Friends is on. It’s definitely my comfort show. I recently bought this book and sent it to my friend after finishing it because she’s the one who showed me Friends and I can guarantee she’d love this book.

This book was incredibly fun to listen to on audiobook because of my love for Friends. I’m always into the behind the scenes type stuff so this was an easy read for me. I loved learning about the production of the show and what went into the writing. It’s interesting because Friends is really such a huge show and even 20 years later, it remains one of the most re-watched shows on air. In fact, I’m pretty sure this book mentions that the viewer count is only growing for Friends re-runs. In the height of Friends fandom, Netflix recently paid $100 million dollars to keep Friends on their streaming service because people re-watch it THAT much. It’s crazy, really. But again, I’m one of those re-watchers. No shame here.

This book also goes into details about Friends and how they approached the LGBT+ community at the time. It’s something I definitely noticed but it was oddly progressive for it’s time. I’d go more into this but I think the book explains it well enough. I also listened to this one on audiobook so hearing the author speak about it all really made it more entertaining for me. I love it when authors read their own audiobooks. You can totally hear the passion of the subject from the author and it makes an even better reading experience!

I gave this book 4.5 stars overall because it’s not something I’d re-read, but I definitely loved every minute of it. It made for a great audiobook and I’m glad I’ve added to all the useless Friends knowledge I have in the back of my head. Brb while I go watch “The One with the Embryos” again.

Find this book at your local bookstore!

 

 

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