Feminist Non-Fiction Recent Reads

Hungry to learn more about feminism and feminist topics? Here are some of my recent reads that are highly recommended for your bookshelf.

  1. Big Girls Don’t Cry by Rebecca Traister. A look at the 2008 presidential election through a feminist lens. Why do feminists love or hate Hillary Clinton? What does Sarah Palin’s bid say about the state of feminism in politics? What was accomplished and how far do we have to go for how the media treats women in politics? This book will make you angry, but it will also make you think.
  2. The End of Men by Hanna Rosin. She examines the decline of men from an economics perspective and the rise of women. There are some fascinating anecdotes and chapters—for example did you know that the once purely masculine field of pharmacy is now dominated by women? Important book for your library, but do be aware that it has some issues including an over-emphasis on ‘hook-up’ culture.
  3. The Birth of The Pill by Jonathan Eig. What led to the creation of the oral contraceptive? Why haven’t there been many advances in this science? This book provides a thorough and engaging look at this important scientific discovery and will make you understand the battles fought to even reach the current reality of family planning and sexual health in the U.S.
  4. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. Gay is my favorite cultural critic. She takes a look at pop-culture touchstones and considers why they’re problematic for women, why they’re popular in the first place, and why she likes them even as a feminist. She is funny, poignant, and a must-read. She doesn’t put feminism on an altar, but shows how important it is to critically engage with the books, movies, and artists that you love from a feminist perspective.
  5. Unspeakable Things by Laurie Penny. She takes a look at gender and power in the 21st century through a series of essays. These are at times heart-breaking, but necessary reads.
  6. Missoula by Jon Krakauer. This is an enraging, upsetting, powerful book about the difficult topic of rape in a small college town. Between 2008 and 2012 there were 350 reported sexual assaults in Missoula. Krakauer investigates rape culture, how rape victims are treated in the justice system, and by academic institutions. If you ever wonder why so many sexual assaults go unreported, this book will enlighten you.
  7. Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott. This historical account looks at 4 female historical figures on both sides of the Civil War. During a time period where we know a lot about the men who made history, but very little about the women who influenced events–Abbott spotlights: a woman who dresses as a man and becomes a solider in the Union army, a Southern Belle who uses her wiles to aid the Confederates, a woman who led a spy ring, and a woman who organized prison escapes and other countermeasures in the South. This book reads like a historical adventure novel and really shows that truth can be stranger than fiction.
  8. Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff. Speaking of historical feminist non-fiction, I would be remiss in not including Stacy Schiff. She peels back the myths that surround Cleopatra to reveal her political genius, her affairs, and her leadership. A great look at one of the most powerful and mysterious female historical icons of ancient times.
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Feminist Non-Fiction Recent Reads

Culinary Reading

The interplay of taste and memory is fascinating. For some of the books from my childhood, I can remember what I snacked on while reading, but very few details about the book. Inkspell was enjoyed with a flaky scone and the Harry Potter books were accompanied by many a chocolate bar.

Reading writing about food when done well is like enjoying a spectral meal that is simultaneously satisfying and frustrating. Food writing can be inspirational because it focuses on the enjoyment of a necessary aspect of living. We all need to eat to survive, but do we savor our food? Do we get any meaning out of the experience?

Good food writing makes you slow down and consider that while not all meals are life-changing, some can have a profound effect.

Here are a few books that will make you crave a good meal:

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Culinary Reading

Holiday Book Haul!

Hope you had a holiday filled with books and chocolate. I was so fortunate to be gifted with many books this Christmas.

Usually, the curse of being a bookworm is that people are afraid to give you books. This is a shame; don’t be afraid! Gift the books! Even if already read, they can still be enjoyed either through a re-read or by sharing the gift with someone else who would appreciate it. There are tons of lists out there and sources to help people decide what to buy for their bookish friends and family.

This year, I cheated and created a holiday book list on Goodreads in order to leave non-subtle hints to my family and friends.

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Holiday Book Haul!

Books with Books!

A quick Holiday post featuring a list of books with books in them. These are stories where authors have created fictional worlds within worlds. What’s cozier than reading a book? Reading a book within a book! Enjoy!

  1. & Sons  by David Gilbert
  2. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  3. The Magicians by Lev Grossman
  4. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
  5. Fangirl and Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  6. Treasure Island!! by Sara Levine
  7. The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl
  8. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

What are the books? Some are fictional, some are real, all play important roles in these novels.

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Books with Books!

Where are my lady detectives at? (Part 1)

Mysteries that feature strong heroine characters are my catnip. Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy novels were enjoyed with milk and cookies after school. When I was in college, Veronica Mars scratched the itch (if you’re not familiar it’s a television series that features a girl detective from a town called Neptune).

After college, I’ve been turning back to books. They’ve been hard to find because they exist in a weird genre fiction ghetto that is a cross between chick lit and mystery. I’ve been digging into backlists and seeking out clues to where I can find some of these hard-boiled dames.

Continue reading “Where are my lady detectives at? (Part 1)”

Where are my lady detectives at? (Part 1)

Are You Checking Me Out?

The first in a weekly or bi-weekly series of posts library book hauls. I live within walking distance of a library and visit it often.

This week is a mix of literary fiction, mysteries, sic-fi, and young adult.

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List of books from top-down:

  1. The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden
  2. The Pirate King by Laurie R. King
  3. Requiem for a Mezzo by Carola Dunn
  4. Styx and Stones by Carola Dunn
  5. Adult Onset by Ann-Marie MacDonald
  6. Tracked by Jenny Martin
  7. The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman
  8. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
  9. Defending Jacob by William Landay
  10. Burial Rites  by Hannah Kent
  11. Under Majordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt
  12. What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton
  13. Lumberjanes Vol. 2 by Noelle Stevenson
  14. Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente [Not pictured]
Are You Checking Me Out?

So You’ve Read Harry Potter…And You Are Young or Young at Heart.

What do you read next?

  1. Young wizards. The aptly named Diane Duane’s Young Wizardry series should be the ticket. Begin with:

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So You Want to Be a Wizard is about a young girl named Nita who discovers a magical book at a library that reveals to her a world of spells. This is the beginning of a long and still ongoing series. There are alternate worlds, fights between good and evil, adventures in space, and a star named Fred. Duane also develops a wonderful friendship and partnership between Nita and Kit. Diane Duane blends fantasy and science fiction together in a way that adds complexity to a world in which both technology and magic exist. Threaded throughout are themes like mortality, grief, environmental disaster, and what it means to be a good friend and sibling.

Continue reading “So You’ve Read Harry Potter…And You Are Young or Young at Heart.”

So You’ve Read Harry Potter…And You Are Young or Young at Heart.