This is a list of books I have completed thus far! I have loved everything I have read so far (probably would not finish a book if I wasn't feelin' it.
Key: * means recommend and ** means must read.
My bookshelf at home. Since traveling I have switched to a Kindle (#SendMeBooks)
Started June 2016
Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein ** Great insight into the world of sex and women and pleasure. Peggy Orenstein interviewed a bunch of girls about love and sex (including oral sex).
All About Love by bell hooks * bell hooks does a great job of discussing the various kinds of love in our life and from an intersectional perspective that she introduces in a way that makes it digestible for those unfamiliar with intersectionality.
The Girls by Emma Klein ** a great novel about the complex nature of female relationships within the context of a fascinating story about a Manson-family like cult.
Shrill by Lindy West * Hilarious and honest, Lindy West was also featured on This American Life
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn **This is my second time reading this bizarre book about a carny-family.
AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ** This book is incredibly written, like poetry, with a story everyone can relate to, while also stepping outside their comfort zone. On Africa, on race, on being in America, on love.
Modern Loversby Emma StraubAn interesting novel on changing relationships, friends after college, and growing older.
My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem** This book came about at the perfect time for me, having just arrived in Zambia and looking to create safe spaces for women, and in face of this disturbing election. However, as Steinem astutely points out--there is power in circles rather than hierarchy, power in organizing. "If you want people to listen to you, you have to listen to them; If you hope people will change how they live, you have to know how they live. If you want people to see you, you have to sit down with them eye-to-eye"
Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski** Brilliantly written book by Sex Educator Emily Nagoski. This is a great book for anyone who has ever asked themselves "Am I normal?" (i.e. ALL OF US). The book is interactive and really does help you know that you are in fact NORMAL. It comes with interactive assignments as well that help you cope with everything from body image to why you aren't orgasming
Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury ** Another dystopian novel in the face of 2016. Although in light of the other ones, this was my least favorite. But I do like the message that books come in all forms and it is up to us what we do with the messages we find in books.
the princess saves herself in this one by amanda lovelace.**Tired of books where man saves girl, this book of poetry speaks to the need for independence and finding oneself.
I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson.**I could not put this book down, I read it in two days, maybe less. The story of two twins- Jude and Noah. It is a story about art and love and the secrets we keep to protect people. Plus there is some great romance that actually made me squeal with excitement.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi*** This has got to be one of the most incredible and in-depth books I have ever read. Following two separated sisters and their lineage, from the start of the slave trade in Ghana up to modern day. Yaa Gyasi eloquently explores the carried histories and traumas.
Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates Beautifully written and precise on the struggles of being black in America. It is also short so there is no excuse not to read it and take a moment to learn a thing or two.
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff* A very good fiction novel on the struggles of relationships (kind of reminded me of The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenidies)
Moving Beyond Words by Gloria Steinem ** A collection of essays on age, race, sex, power, money, and gender. I mean it's Gloria Steinem and you should give her a read. Brilliant.
Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape by Jaclyn Friedman & Jessica Valenti ** (Super MUST) I cant even go into how much this book has changed my life
Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti * While the writing jumps tenses (style-wise), the content is absolutely amazing. Jessica Valenti is a feminist goddess whose honesty and open dialogue continues to inspire me.
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay Roxane Gay ** is hilarious and shows that you can still like things that aren't "feminist" and still be a feminist.
The Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctorby Susan Wicklund Because I need to know what I am getting myself into. This book speaks to the dangerous realities abortion providers have to face daily. I am looking forward to Dr. Warren Hern's story on his experience as a provider as well, but he is one busy man!
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling Because it is free on Kindle and because they are GREAT (and TBH I never finished the series as a kid...better late than never!)
Half of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie** An incredible piece of historical fiction on the Nigerian civil war. Chimamanda is an incredible writer, activist, and feminist. Her words are like water to the soul.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley** This election has me reading dystopian novels. I opted to go back to one of the originals and was not disappointed. Whether it is escaping our problems through soma or coming to a world that is simultaneously exactly the same and different--this book is haunting in it's assessment of people and predictions of the world.
Sex & World Peace by Valerie Hudson, et al. Statistics and sex junkies rejoice (oh just me...oh well). This shocking book incorporates statistical analysis and women's own words on how world peace (from economics to war and more) and sex (gender and intercourse and all the other connotations) interact. If you are looking for some pull quotes or a reason to get involved with women, this may be the book for you. Shock friends at the dinner table with just how bad women can have it, yet how much we do for the world.
bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward.A beautifully written book of poetry by a female writer of Jamaican and Nigerian heritage.
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.* I read this book the first time when I was between 15-18, and considering I just started a fundraiser in it's namesake, I thought it was an appropriate time to re-read. This is the story of Dinah, Jacob's only daughter, and her experience as the one who learned her mother's stories in the Red Tent (the menstrual tent) and her work as a midwife. Beautifully written and speaks to the strength of women.
This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz. Having never read anything by Junot Diaz and yet hearing so many wonderful things about his writing, I decided to jump feet first. This book is heart breaking but really puts you in the heads of the characters .
Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation by Elissa Stein & Susan Kim ** Honestly not my favorite book--funny, sure. But this book is telling the Cultural Story of menstruation as it applies to wealthy or upper class women, often ignoring the multitude of problems encountered by women in foreign countries where periods are not only a hassle because they are, well, periods, but because there are not menstrual supplies and thus they are stuck at home. In places like this controlling menstruation is essential and incredibly difficult.
Animal Farm by George Orwell ** Because I had never read it...Given that I have been considering Cuba as my next country, this book was an interesting read as it describes the fears and concerns of the American people regarding communism, and the disappointment that comes when the hopes of a revolution are not met.
Villa Incognito by Tom Robbins Not my favorite book of Mr. Robbins (I mean not much compares to Even Cowgirls Get the Blues or Still Life with Woodpecker or Jitterbug Perfume....OK I am a massive T.R fan) Still the book is his style and is absurdly written. If you are an advanced/experienced T.R. reader, it's worth a read to add to your repertoire.
Dreaming In Cuban by Christina Garcia.
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions by Gloria Steinem ** One of my favorite essays is In Praise of Women's Bodies.
The Abortion Papers Ireland: Volume 2 Essays on the history of the abortion rights movement, reproductive justice, and feminism in Ireland.
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins * If you haven't read any Tom Robbins yet, I recommend reading Even Cowgirls Get The Blues FIRST (one of my all time favorite books)
Action by Amy Rose Spiegel A good read and written with a very interesting voice
The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenidies * The nature of love and life after college. I really like Eugenidies writing (see The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex).
Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel ** I am going to make anyone I ever partner with read this book...It is THAT important!
Harry Potter & The Cursed Child *** because you can't read all the Harry Potter series and then NOT read one of the most talked about books of the year. So good, I never wanted it to end.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie**A short and beautiful read by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. If you just want something to read briefly or do not think you have time to read or are debating whether you think you are a feminist (or even like feminists) you should read this. In fact, required reading for all.
1984 by George Orwell**Having never read the novel in school, I thought post-election madness and dystopic fears would be good reasons to read the book now.
Cherry by Lindsey Rosin. A young adult novel about friendship, love, and....SEX.
salt. by nayyirah waheed*Any Rupi Kaur fanatics out there? Perhaps its time to put down milk and honey and pick up salt. This book of poetry speaks to the African and African American and woman experiences. Her poetry is beautiful in a way that makes you cry and laugh and say yes, this is what I was looking for.
Why can we never talk
about the blood
the blood of our ancestors
the blood of our history
the blood between our legs
nejma by nayyirah waheed. I loved waheed's book salt., and this ebook was a nice followup.
All The Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister * A political science book on the impact of the rise of single women and what that means for the future of the American people. All hail I-N-D-E-P-E-N-T ladies.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell *A beautifully written story about young love and it reminds you what it means to be young and so enamored by another person. The love of music, the love of a book connecting two people. P.S I read this in two days.
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson ** In her second book Jandy Nelson once again eloquently describes what it is to be young and in love, to feel conflicted feelings. And once again I squeeled. While the subject of young love may seem trite, Nelson writes lyrically and encapsulates a feeling that we are all craving--the excitement, the confusion, the loss.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed I read this at a point on my Watson when I was struggling a lot with myself and my purpose (around December/early January). Cheryl Strayed is a fantastic writer and to be her memoir is a testament to her strength. That being said, I first got into Cheryl Strayed by listening to her Dear Sugars podcast (I even wrote into it!). If you haven't listened to Dear Sugars, IT IS A MUST.
The House of The Spirits by Isabel Allende This book has elements of magical realism and is beautifully written. Not an all time favorite book but definitely aesthetically pleasing.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood*** I first read this book my senior year of high-school and with the expansion of my passion since then and the new TV show, I thought there is no better time to reread this pivotal novel. There is not a single aspect of this book I dont love. From the historical contexts that the injustices are based in, to the accurate depiction that forced reproduction is a form of torture.