Reading… Essays & Feminism

I’ve gone on another little non-fiction binge in the last few weeks, and I thought I’d share a few of the books I’ve been reading! I’ll try to link to Amazon, Waterstones, and the Book Depository where I can, so you’ve got options, but I’d imagine that your local indie bookshop (thanks, guardian) would either have, or be able to get, any of these for you 🙂


solMum bought me Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things To Me as part of my birthday present, and I read it on the train(s) back to Edinburgh after the Talking Bodies conference in Chester. Rebecca Solnit inspired the term “mansplaining”, but this collection goes much further than just pointing at men patronising women. There are essays on domestic violence, rape, privilege, class, and poverty. Some of them are easier reads than others. I’m massively recommending it. Also, if you’re swayed by that sort of thing, the hardcover is beautiful 😉
AmazonWaterstonesBook Depository

I snaffled up a copy of Hadley Freeman’s Be Awesome in one of the lovely charity shops where all the books are £1 last week, having had it on my wishlist for a while. Hadley writes for the guardian, and the very first line of this book is a reference to what is possibly the greatest film ever made, The Princess Bride. (Rory, I don’t care that it fails the Bechdel Test, I love it too much. Its greatness outweighs TBT.) If that’s not being awesome, I don’t know what is.
AmazonWaterstonesThe Book Depository

As a leaving present, Rory & Sean (hi guyzzzz!) gave me Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay. I’ve read bits of Roxane’s writing on her tumblr, and she is great. These essays open with an open admisson of how Roxane herself is a “bad” feminist, how she sometimes likes to dance to music that is not very feminist-friendly, how she doesn’t feel like she has read all of the books she should’ve in order to call herself a feminist, but she still is a feminist, albeit a flawed one. That essay should be required reading for everyone. Imposter syndrome doesn’t need to extend to feminism. If I sometimes dance to Blurred Lines when I know I shouldn’t, but-it’s-on-the-radio-and-I-start-singing-along-before-I-remember, that’s okay. (N.B. This does not include my boycott of Chris Brown, who gets switched over immediately.) I’m only halfway through this because I’m savouring it, but put it on your lists. Yay!
AmazonWaterstonesThe Book Depository

*Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with any of the sites, or books/authors/publishers, I’ve linked to in this post – I just like them!


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