Last summer I had a goal of reading a while whack of books about politics and politicians to help me get ready for my Masters, but I planned, god laughed, etc. I ended up picking up new books for that pile from my father’s collection, some of which is still in my basement.
This summer I realized that I had – almost by accident – started reading stories of women and feminist memoirs, even some essays, so I decided to go with it if that’s what I feeling the need for right now.
For a little while I forgot how important reading is to me – how deeply it matters. And it’s been very interesting reading as an adult because I find myself more drawn to people’s true stories than I ever was as a child. I never used to read non-fiction. Ever.
So far this summer I’ve read two books of essays – Caitlin Moran’s Moranifesto and Me, My Hair and I. I’ve read four feminist memoirs – My Life on the Road, which I bought after seeing Gloria Steinem speak, Shrill by Lindy West, which spoke to me in so many loud and clear ways, The Year of Yes by the great Shonda Rhimes, and Sex Object by Jessica Valenti, which pushed me out of my comfort zone. Now I’m reading Valenti’s Full Frontal Feminism, just as she has taken herself off social media because of threats made against her daughter.
I’m also currently reading Birdie, a Canadian novel about the life of a Cree woman. We can’t forget great novels in our tour – I’ve got Dumplin‘ up there, which is a novel about a fat girl, and The Girls, which combines two of my interests – a story of women and a Manson family type situation. And in that pile up there you can also see Alias, the graphic novel on which the Jessica Jones series on Netflix was based. The series has been hailed not only for the portrayal of Jones – a strong, take no crap, feminist superhero – but also for it’s portrayal of Jones’ PTSD.
I wanted to include great black women in my summer as well, so I am planning to finally read the iconic I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and also Melissa Harris-Perry’s Sister Citizen. If you haven’t heard of Melissa Harris-Perry, seek her out. I recommend her interviews on the Another Round podcast.
If you have any suggestions for great woman that I’m missing I’d love to hear them. I am very much enjoying my summer of girl power.