Thanks readers for all of your support so far! I’ve been busy over the past month getting married, so I’ve been unable to keep posting. I have got some great content lined up for the next few weeks to make up for it though. To kick things off again, here are my top 5 feminist reads of the year so far –
To Make Monsters Out of Girls – Amanda Lovelace
Lovelace’s poetry is a hard-hitting response to years of abuse and her struggle to come to terms with long-lasting affects of trauma. She deserves so much adoration for her clear cut honesty, writing every feeling into the page. We use the metaphor ‘blood, sweat and tears’ for when we work really hard at something, or give something our all, but somehow that term feels more literal in the way Lovelace writes. All the anger, depression, anxiety she has experienced is infused into the letters that form on the page. All of the love, healing, and forward steps that she has taken in her life, will stick with you at least until she brings out her next book. All of her books are worth devouring in quick succession.
Life Honestly – The Pool
This is a brilliant compendium of modern life and I recommend every self-identifying woman should read it. Life is messy and is honestly portrayed by articles first posted on The Pool – a women’s online magazine. It is a collection of essays regarding motherhood, LGBT issues, work/life balances, mindfulness, body image and more. This book is perfect for anyone who for a second believes that they are the ‘only one’ struggling with something. No-one is perfect, and if we are open about the life hurdles, we can change the collective mindset for the better.
The Poet X – Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara Batista is a protagonist to fall head over heels in love with. She is all fight, all warrior, all language extraordinaire. Xiomara is a teenage girl of Dominican Republic heritage growing up in Harlem, New York. Her family is deeply religious and she begins to question more and more how she fits in to God’s grand plan when she can seemingly never do anything right. She is punished for getting her period at the young age of eleven, told off for wearing tampons as it might damage her virginity, falls in love with a boy before going to college, and if she is sexually harassed it is her fault for attracting attention from men. Safe to say she has a lot on her plate and she has even more in the way of feelings to go with it. Those emotions get turned into poetry, and the poetry turns into confidence. The whole book is written in slam poetry form, and the whole tempo of the book will make you read it from cover to cover in one sitting. Acevedo is redefining great literature with this read and deserves every award that she is receiving for it.
The Outrun – Amy Liptrot
So this book has been out for a while and on my to-read list for a long time… but I was not disappointed when I finally sat down with it. An auto-biography of magical proportions, it takes a deep analytical look at drug addiction and mental health, combined with a longing for home and the nature that home provides. To read this book is to take a long breath of fresh Orkney air. Many may well be able to relate to Liptrot’s deep longing as a young adult to escape the shackles of small town living for big city living, but what happens when the dream doesn’t live up to expectation? Is going home admitting defeat? Is seeking help a sign of helplessness? NO. Sometimes, unlocking the door to healing oneself, begins at home, and in Liptrot’s case, it comes with a world of incredibly scenery and wildlife to discover.
The Hate u Give – Angie Thomas
This novel will leave you breathless. Angie Thomas proves that young adults today are not afraid to talk about serious issues, or be a political generation who are realising their collective voices can equal positive change. The Hate U Give is a stark look at racial profiling in America, especially young African American kids who are fearing for their lives every time they are pulled over by a police officer at the side of the road. There is little I can say about this book other than it is an essential political read this year.