Below are the books I read in May in the order I read them…a lot of feminist books, a few by African Americans and, yeah, I’m fired up and ready to “make trouble”. Starting with dusting off my own story on domestic violence and living in the Deaf community.
True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness: A Feminist Coming of Age by Christine Lahti
– Enjoyed it. Not sure why I chose to read it –I think it was recommended by an app and I saw “feminist” in the title. It opened with a blurb from Steinem, so I was on board since I had just finished Steinem’s memoir. There was one chapter about Lahti’s brother’s physical abuse of her that SO incredibly mirrored my own –like, it sincerely could have been ripped from the pages of Burn Down the Ground– that I’m compelled to reach out to her and commiserate. It’s comforting to know that there is someone out there who so totally understands what you went through and the frustrations and confusing emotions when your own parents–those who are supposed to protect you–play down the incidents and turn the blame back to you.
It’s Up to the Women by Eleanor Roosevelt
– It’s dated, obviously, but remarkably on point with some current day issues like equal pay for equal work which is disheartening.
Slave in the White House–
Biography about Paul Jennings who penned the first memoir of a slave who actually lived and worked in the White House. This book is not to be confused with his actual memoir. Learned a lot about James Madison and Dolley (not a fan, overall) and her treatment of slaves including Sukey.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
– Framed as a letter to his son, Coates speaks of what it is to be black in America and inhabiting a black body.
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
– Wow. I related to this a little too much when it came to sexual assault and how she downplayed it in the aftermath. The long aftereffects and how that manifested for her with eating and weight issues. It gave me some food for thought (no pun intended) on someday sharing my #MeToo stories.
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittany Cooper – Smart. Informative. She’s a rising star and feminist. I enjoyed meeting her and chatting with her after our gig during which we shared the stage with the authors of Oslo (Tony Award for best play) and Call Me By Your Name (a few Oscar nominations). So much so that I asked Christian to join me at SoHo House to hear her speak again. She’s got superpowers, indeed.
The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit – More smartness from a feminist. I’m still educating myself and feeling pretty damned angry and powerless and powerful and hopeful all at once.
Not That Bad– Edited by Roxane Gay
– A collection of stories by sexual assault victims. I added this after being inspired by Gay to maybe share my #MeToo story. I stopped reading very soon into it. Tried picking it up again for a few more essays. I dunno that I’ll revisit this one. It’s heavy. And triggering.
The Immortalists by Chloe
– Lovely read. Literary Fiction. Not something that will stick with me for forever but I enjoyed it. Can’t say that I’d recommend it over other literary fiction (I don’t read much of that genre) as time is short, man. Maybe read something that has more lasting impact? I feel bad typing that as it was a lovely read. I just know that I will have forgotten most of it very soon.
Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead by Cecile Richards
– I did not know much about Cecile before reading this book. I’m a big fan of Cecile’s late mom, Governor Ann Richards –I even threw a party for her once in NYC!– and, of course, I support Planned Parenthood and women’s rights. This book is *extremely* inspiring about both Ann and Cecile’s commitment to serving and women.