the Perfect Reads for New Years

Happy New Year’s Eve! New Year’s Eve/New Years are for some reason my favorite days of the year. I just love the feeling of something new even though it’s just a date. I love feeling so hopeful about the upcoming year. I love setting goals for myself and feeling as if I can really achieve them. I also love reading cheesy self help books at the beginning of the year. We sold a lot of these types of books last year in January and I get it. They’re just so much better when you read them at the beginning of the year because you feel like you’re ready to take on the entire year after reading them. I made this little list of books that I feel like you could benefit from reading at the beginning of the year.

I revisit a few of these books at the beginning of the year because they make me feel so good. I also added some new interesting ones that may be good for this time of the year!

  • Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey

45754997“For readers of Rachel Cusk, Lydia Davis, and Jenny Offill–a compact tour de force about sex, violence, and self-loathing from a ferociously talented new voice in fiction

Miranda Popkey’s first novel is about desire, disgust, motherhood, loneliness, art, pain, feminism, anger, envy, guilt–written in language that sizzles with intelligence and eroticism. The novel is composed almost exclusively of conversations between women–the stories they tell each other, and the stories they tell themselves, about shame and love, infidelity and self-sabotage–and careens through twenty years in the life of an unnamed narrator hungry for experience and bent on upending her life. Edgy, wry, shot through with rage and despair, Topics of Conversation introduces an audacious and immensely gifted new novelist.”

This book comes out on January 7th, 2020!

  • Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

43848929. sx318 Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Outliers, offers a powerful examination of our interactions with strangers — and why they often go wrong.

How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn’t true?

While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers, you’ll hear the voices of people he interviewed–scientists, criminologists, military psychologists. Court transcripts are brought to life with re-enactments. You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There’s even a theme song – Janelle Monae’s “Hell You Talmbout.”

Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know. And because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.

 

  • the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

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“Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international best seller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home – and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.”

Money Diaries by Lindsey Stanberry

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“Does it feel like you’re NEVER going to finish paying back your student loans?
Do you spend more on coffee per month than you put into your 401(k)?
Do you avoid looking at your bank balance because it’s easier to live in denial?
The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend.

Money Diaries, the breakout series from Refinery29, offers readers a revealing and often surprising look at the personal finances of others: what they spend, how they save, and even the purchases they hide from their partners and friends. Featuring all-new Money Diaries, valuable advice on how to get rich (and afford life in the meantime) from a handpicked team of female financial advisers, and money challenges that will save you up to $500, Refinery29 Money Diaries will empower you to take immediate control of your own money.

With a vision of what your dream bank account balance looks like, some expert advice to help you achieve it, and the support of a powerful community with the same goal, you’ll be a step closer to taking control of not just your wallet, but your life.”

  • No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg

48188086“The groundbreaking speeches of Greta Thunberg, the young climate activist who has become the voice of a generation, including her historic address to the United Nations

In August 2018 a fifteen-year-old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, decided not to go to school one day in order to protest the climate crisis. Her actions sparked a global movement, inspiring millions of students to go on strike for our planet, forcing governments to listen, and earning her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference brings you Greta in her own words, for the first time. Collecting her speeches that have made history across the globe, from the United Nations to Capitol Hill and mass street protests, her book is a rallying cry for why we must all wake up and fight to protect the living planet, no matter how powerless we feel. Our future depends upon it.”

 

 

Do you read motivational books in the beginning of the year?

 

Find any of these at your local bookstore!

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Books I’m Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving! I shared this on Instagram already but I thought it would only make sense to add it on here as well.

“I am doing the obligatory “books I’m thankful for” post because every year, there’s more and more books that I’m beyond thankful for. Yes, there’s some books that have been on the list forever (the Hunger Games, The Lightning Thief, etc.) but there’s some new ones! I think a Darker Shade of Magic and We Are Lost and Found are my newest editions. These books bring me immense joy, some made me cry, and some taught me things I could’ve only ever learned through reading. They showed me experiences of my own and experiences I’ll never truly know myself. This is a big reason on why I love books. Words are so easily capable of changing our lives.”

Here’s my list of books:

  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakaeur
  • The Lighting Thief by Rick Riordan
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

Don’t forget to #TAKEBACKBLACKFRIDAY by shopping indie tomorrow! Check out my post about it here

Find your local bookstore!

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Everything I Read in October | WRAP UP

I totally forgot that a wrap up was a post I needed to write so here I am, at 7pm after work, writing this. I’m also listening to Christmas music because it’s almost my favorite time of the year. It was below 65 today and it was glorious. October is finally over so here’s all the things I read in the last month:

  • The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

This year I realized how much I love Gillian Flynn’s books. I read Sharp Objects and Gone Girl and loved them both. I decided to give this short story a chance because it was all they had by her at my library. It was SO good. I’m not huge on short stories but this one is worth the read, especially if you want something short and spooky.

My rating: ★★★★ out of ★★★★★ (4/5 stars)

  • Why I March: Images from the Woman’s March Around the World by Emma Jacobs

I got this at my library because I wanted to buy it when it came out but couldn’t. It’s essentially just pictures from the Women’s March but I sat and read all the protest signs and it was lovely. I don’t quite know how to rate a book that’s only pictures but I liked it!

My rating: ★★★★ out of ★★★★★ (4/5 stars)

  • the Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

I got a bunch of graphic novels from the library and I loved this one the most. The illustrations are gorgeous and the story is the cutest thing in the world.

My rating: ★★★★ out of ★★★★★ (4/5 stars)

  • Carrie by Stephen King

I wanted to get in the spooky mood so I read Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie. I wish I had read the book before the movie. I knew what was going to happen and the movie didn’t seem to differ much. Glad I can say I’ve read Stephen King now though!

My rating: ★★★ out of ★★★★★ (3/5 stars)

  • the Library Book by Susan Orlean

Ugh, I loved this book so much. I really wish I had my own copy because I loved it so much. It’s about the Los Angeles library fire, the mystery of it all, and the history of libraries as well. I learned so much from this book and her writing is impeccable. There’s some passages from this book I just want to read over and over again because they’re so good.

My rating: ★★★★★ out of ★★★★★ (5/5 stars)

  • Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer

You can read my review for this book here.

My rating: ★★★★ out of ★★★★★ (4/5 stars)

  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I really wish I could give this five stars and obsess over it like everyone else is. I just couldn’t get into it. I was bored most of the time and I barely wanted to pick it up when I had time to read. Personally, I don’t think enough happened in this book for me. It’s not bad writing and the story itself isn’t bad, but the pacing wasn’t my favorite and I struggled with it because of that.

I also don’t agree with people saying this is an “adult Harry Potter” (lol I think Stephen King said that) but to me, it’s not. Just because it has magic in it doesn’t make it comparable. Also, I was kinda thrown off that this entire book essentially about drug use and selling? lol

My rating: ★★★ out of ★★★★★ (3/5 stars)

  • To Drink Coffee with a Ghost by Amanda Lovelace

I read this at like 11pm last night because I couldn’t sleep. It wasn’t my favorite work by her but I think that’s just because I couldn’t relate to it. It’s not bad by any means — Amanda is a great writer and I think if you’re grieving, you’d find immense solace in this book.

My rating: ★★★ out of ★★★★★ (3/5 stars)

 

and that’s it! I read 8 books in October. What did you read this past month? I’d love to know. 🙂

 

Find any of these books as your local bookstore!

 

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Banned Book Recommendation | DAY THREE

It’s banned book week! This week, September 22nd-28th, I’ll be sharing with you some banned book recommendations. If you don’t know what a banned book is, here’s a little definition: A banned book is one that has been removed from the shelves of a library, bookstore, or classroom because of its controversial content. I’ll be highlighting one book per day and telling you why they’re banned.

Here’s the tag for all my banned book week posts!

9516Persepolis: the Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

“A New York Times Notable Book
Time Magazine “Best Comix of the Year”
San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-seller

Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.”

I read this book whenever I was in high school because it sounded interesting and I loved the fact it was a true story told within a graphic novel. I ended up loving it and I think I gave it around 4 stars. I had no idea the book was banned until recently!

Why is it banned?

“The day after Dignam’s email, district CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett sent another email to principals claiming that the intention was never to remove the book from libraries, but only from classrooms due to “graphic language and images that are not appropriate for general use.”” (source)

“Possibly as a result of publicity from the 2013 CPS ban, Persepolis faced three more school challenges in 2014, landing it the #2 spot on the American Library Association’s Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books for that year. First, a parent in Oregon’s Three Rivers School District demanded the book’s removal from high school libraries because of “coarse language and scenes of torture.” After some contentious school board meetings, the graphic novel was ultimately retained in the school libraries without restriction.” (source)

 

Here’s some interesting articles about this book being banned:

 

Find Persepolis at your local bookstore!

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Required Reading that I Loved

School is back in session and I’m so thankfully not attending high school ever again! I decided I would talk about some of the required reading that I loved in high school because it seems as if most people hated the books they read in high school. For me, some of these books became my favorites.

I want to clarify that I went to school in Florida and I took mostly advanced English, AP Lang, and a dual enrollment college course in high school. This means my required reading might be a little different than what some people may have read in high school. For example, I never had to read To Kill a Mockingbird. I know, shocker right? I’ve never read Animal Farm either! So, if you’re wondering why I might’ve not mentioned one of your favorites or ones you remember, it’s most likely because I didn’t have to read them.

1. Hamlet by Shakespeare

329519“Among Shakespeare’s plays, “Hamlet” is considered by many his masterpiece. Among actors, the role of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is considered the jewel in the crown of a triumphant theatrical career. Now Kenneth Branagh plays the leading role and co-directs a brillant ensemble performance. Three generations of legendary leading actors, many of whom first assembled for the Oscar-winning film “Henry V”, gather here to perform the rarely heard complete version of the play. This clear, subtly nuanced, stunning dramatization, presented by The Renaissance Theatre Company in association with “Bbc” Broadcasting, features such luminaries as Sir John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, Emma Thompson and Christopher Ravenscroft. It combines a full cast with stirring music and sound effects to bring this magnificent Shakespearen classic vividly to life. Revealing new riches with each listening, this production of “Hamlet” is an invaluable aid for students, teachers and all true lovers of Shakespeare – a recording to be treasured for decades to come.”

Listen, I’m not a huge Shakespeare fan. But, I did read quite a few of his works throughout high school. I mean, didn’t we all? I’m pretty sure I had read: Romeo & Juliet, Othello, King Lear, and Hamlet. Hamlet was the last one I read since I read it in my Comp I class senior year of high school. When I tell you I loved Hamlet, I LOVED Hamlet. It’s actually on my Favorites list on Goodreads. Hamlet is such a great character. The play is actually intriguing, family drama, literally everyone dies, and it’s funny. What more could you ask for? Oh, and I know what he meant by “To be or not to be” now.

I also remember my English professor showing us this scene from the Simpsons to summarize Hamlet and it was golden. “Nobody out crazies Ophelia!” made me laugh so hard.

2. 1984 by George Orwell

40961427. sx318 Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell’s nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff’s attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell’s prescience of modern life–the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language–and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written.

 

I wanna say that I read this book during sophomore year of high school but honestly, I can’t remember a damn thing about high school. I just remember we read a lot of dystopian and the only Orwell thing I ever had to read was 1984. To be quite frank with you, I loved everything about this book. I read ahead like I usually do and I remember being excited for the discussions. I’m finally glad to understand this book and all the references made in 2019.

 

3. The Crucible by Arthur Miller

17250. sy475 “I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history,” Arthur Miller wrote of his classic play about the witch-hunts and trials in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts. Based on historical people and real events, Miller’s drama is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria. In the rigid theocracy of Salem, rumors that women are practicing witchcraft galvanize the town’s most basic fears and suspicions; and when a young girl accuses Elizabeth Proctor of being a witch, self-righteous church leaders and townspeople insist that Elizabeth be brought to trial. The ruthlessness of the prosecutors and the eagerness of neighbor to testify against neighbor brilliantly illuminates the destructive power of socially sanctioned violence.

Written in 1953, The Crucible is a mirror Miller uses to reflect the anti-communist hysteria inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “witch-hunts” in the United States. Within the text itself, Miller contemplates the parallels, writing, “Political opposition… is given an inhumane overlay, which then justifies the abrogation of all normally applied customs of civilized behavior. A political policy is equated with moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical malevolence.”

We actually read this out loud in class as if we were the cast of characters. I remember being picked to read Elizabeth and my only other friend in that AP class read John Proctor. I wasn’t usually excited to read aloud but it was so fun reading this play. Even though this events took place SO long ago, they were so fun to read about. I think I would probably re-read this today if I felt like it.

4. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

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In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.

Out of all the books I’ve read in my life, Into the Wild remains in the top three. It’s funny because I originally only rated this book four stars and in my review, I mentioned not loving it. It’s been a few years since I read this book (I think I read in it 2016?) and it still manages to stick with me. I think about it often and I like to re-read a few passages of this book whenever I’m feeling upset. I left this book feeling so much and learning so much from Jon Krakauer and Chris McCandless. This is my bookseller rec at work because I just want everyone to read it. I’ve seen the movie and it was okay but I’ll never forget the feeling of reading it for the first time. I love this book for so many different reasons — it’s so atmospheric, it reads like fiction even though it’s not, it brings up the topic of transcendentalism, and some of the writing is just truly unforgettable.

 

What was your favorite required reading? Sometimes they’re hit or miss but I ended up really loving these!

 

 

 

Feminist Friday | Three Women

Feminist Friday Announcement!

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“Desire as we’ve never seen it before: a riveting true story about the sex lives of three real American women, based on nearly a decade of reporting.

It thrills us and torments us. It controls our thoughts, destroys our lives, and it’s all we live for. Yet we almost never speak of it. And as a buried force in our lives, desire remains largely unexplored—until now. Over the past eight years, journalist Lisa Taddeo has driven across the country six times to embed herself with ordinary women from different regions and backgrounds. The result, Three Women, is the deepest nonfiction portrait of desire ever written and one of the most anticipated books of the year.

We begin in suburban Indiana with Lina, a homemaker and mother of two whose marriage, after a decade, has lost its passion. She passes her days cooking and cleaning for a man who refuses to kiss her on the mouth, protesting that “the sensation offends” him. To Lina’s horror, even her marriage counselor says her husband’s position is valid. Starved for affection, Lina battles daily panic attacks. When she reconnects with an old flame through social media, she embarks on an affair that quickly becomes all-consuming.

In North Dakota we meet Maggie, a seventeen-year-old high school student who finds a confidant in her handsome, married English teacher. By Maggie’s account, supportive nightly texts and phone calls evolve into a clandestine physical relationship, with plans to skip school on her eighteenth birthday and make love all day; instead, he breaks up with her on the morning he turns thirty. A few years later, Maggie has no degree, no career, and no dreams to live for. When she learns that this man has been named North Dakota’s Teacher of the Year, she steps forward with her story—and is met with disbelief by former schoolmates and the jury that hears her case. The trial will turn their quiet community upside down.

Finally, in an exclusive enclave of the Northeast, we meet Sloane—a gorgeous, successful, and refined restaurant owner—who is happily married to a man who likes to watch her have sex with other men and women. He picks out partners for her alone or for a threesome, and she ensures that everyone’s needs are satisfied. For years, Sloane has been asking herself where her husband’s desire ends and hers begins. One day, they invite a new man into their bed—but he brings a secret with him that will finally force Sloane to confront the uneven power dynamics that fuel their lifestyle.

Based on years of immersive reporting, and told with astonishing frankness and immediacy, Three Women is a groundbreaking portrait of erotic longing in today’s America, exposing the fragility, complexity, and inequality of female desire with unprecedented depth and emotional power. It is both a feat of journalism and a triumph of storytelling, brimming with nuance and empathy, that introduces us to three unforgettable women—and one remarkable writer—whose experiences remind us that we are not alone.”

Edition: Hardcover
Page Count: 320 pages
Published: July 9th 2019
Publisher: Avid Reader Press / Simon Schuster

 

Happy Feminist Friday everyone! I decided today I would share with you one of the biggest and newest feminist releases. It’s called Three Women by Lisa Taddeo and it’s been on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list for three weeks straight. I put the description above for any of you that are interesting. I don’t think I’ll be picking it up anytime soon but it was a BOTM book which you can check out here!

 

Have you read this book? Are you planning to? Let me know!

If you would like, here’s a little button to add it to Goodreads: Related image

Buy this book at your local bookstore

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

April Book Haul (2019)

Well, I don’t see myself going on a book buying ban anytime soon. I never realize how many books I collect in one month until I’m creating these posts. This one is going up a little late because it takes me forever to take pictures of all of them. It’s just a lot of work to gather the millions of books I tend to buy in one month and take a photo of them. I blame this on the fact I work at a bookstore now. I’m surrounded by books way too often to not take them home with me. Without further ado, let’s talk about some of the books I got in April!

 

  • Why Buddhism Is True by Robert Wright

Since I’m getting a new job at this indie bookstore, I felt like every time I went in, I had to buy something. I mean, I wasn’t not going to. The books were discounted so I decided why not. This is also a book I’ve been interested in because I’ve studied world religions for fun since high school and Buddhism has always been the one that’s sparked my interest.

  • Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor

I was so kindly sent a copy of this book by Vintage books. I’m probably going to read it while on my way to Atlanta this upcoming weekend. Very stoked!

  • We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar

I requested this book the day it went up on Edelweiss. I emailed the publisher and they sent it to me so generously. It sounds like the perfect coming of age story set in the 1980s and I can’t wait to get to reading it! It was also an On My Radar book and it will have a review!

  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Listen, I bought this because of the hype and it was discounted. Maybe one day I’ll get to it.

  • Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

I was BookOutlet browsing and saw this sequel on there. I was shocked but immediately added it to my cart because I love V.E. Schwab. I haven’t read Vicious yet (lol oops) but I will soon, especially because I already own the sequel!

  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

I’ve been looking for some coming of age classics and this one would end up on the list so I bought a used copy from Amazon recently. I’m excited to get to it!

  • The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

I got this on BookOutlet as well because It’s a popular coming of age classic. Who knows if I’ll ever get to it but it was like $2 so I’m not mad.

  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

AH, I recently read The Great Alone and really enjoyed it. I have a review for it up already. I thought I should give her most popular book a try. This book has won awards (I’m pretty sure) and everyone loves it. So, I’m finally picking it up!

  • Turbulence by David Szalay

Before I left my old bookseller job, we would get sent ARCs. I saw this cover and died. The description also kind of reminds me of the T.V. show LOST so I snatched it. It’s a short read so I should be getting to it and reviewing it soon!

 

 

Have you read any of these? Also, what books did you buy in the month of April? I’ll admit, I buy too many books!

The Art of Sleeping Alone [REVIEW]

Instead of explaining the book since I read it a few weeks ago, here’s the description given on Goodreads:

Sophie Fontanel, bestselling novelist and iconic editor of French Elle, tells the provocative story of her decision to stop having sex—a choice that profoundly changed her view of herself and her place in the world.

At the age of twenty-seven, after many years of having (and, for the most part, enjoying) an active sex life, beloved French author, journalist, editor, and fashion blogger Sophie Fontanel decided she wanted to take a break. Despite having it all—a glamorous job, plenty of dates and boyfriends, stylish clothes, and endless parties to attend—she still wasn’t happy, and found herself wanting more. She chose to give up her sex life, and in so doing shocked all of her friends and colleagues. What she discovers about herself is truly liberating and raises a number of questions about the expectations of the society in which we live. As she experiences being the only non-coupled one at dinner parties, weekend getaways, and summer vacations, she muses inspiringly on what it means to find hap­piness and fulfillment alone.

Provocative and illuminating, The Art of Sleeping Alone, which spent eight weeks on the bestseller list in France, offers advice on love and sex while challenging modern-day conven­tions of marriage and motherhood, making this an ideal read for anyone who has chosen to do things a little differently.”

Review

Edition: Hardcover

Page Count: 160 pages

Publication: August 13th, 2013

Publisher: Scribner

My Rating: ★★/★★★★★ (2.7/5)

I bought this on a whim because I saw Whitney had recently read it and it seemed to fit that “feminist memoir” I had been looking for. Not to mention, I  really loved the idea of this book from just reading the title and the description. Also, the cover is so cute! But while reading it, I feel like the writing style was just too much for me? I wanted something much more straight forward which you don’t get while reading this. I don’t know if this is because of the way it was translated but it seemed almost too focused on word choice and what not rather than getting the actual point across. Not only that, but sometimes she came off kind of offensive which I didn’t get offended by personally but some other people might. (men hating talk if you will)

While the premise was fantastic because she did focus on how she went without sex because she felt almost suffocated by the men in her life, it felt lost near the end of the book. The book is very short (like 150 pages?) but she walked the line most of the book. I got bored and kind of confused through out it because she would tell stories that kind of related but not really? This also was worse due to the writing style I just couldn’t get around.

But the most disappointing part to me was the ending. I felt like that short book was a waste of my time. I didn’t understand how that ending was supposed to mean anything and it didn’t make me feel anything as a reader so it just seemed pointless. It made me give this book a lower rating, sadly.

 

**This is an archived review. I’m transferring old reviews from my previous blog. If you want to see whenever I first wrote it, here’s a link**