Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Recommendations For Feminists

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by The Broke and The Bookish! I am so excited that Top Ten Tuesday is back, y'all! Putting these lists together is honestly so fun, both to do for my own blog and reading what other people have come up with. Anyways, today's topic is recommendations for a particular group of people, and I thought I'd put together some recommendations for feminists. I've tried to mix it up with both fiction and nonfiction so no matter what you read, you can find something here.

Bossypants: Tina Fey's book is one of the few comedian-writes-collection-of-amusing-essays that I thought actually lived up to the hype. It's not 100% on, but it's funny and insightful and a must-read for being an ambitious female in the world.

Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud: This recently-published collection of essays from Buzzfeed's peerless Anne Helen Petersen profiles the ways in which famous women exemplify culture prohibitions against being too much, and how they've escaped (or in some cases, haven't) from the consequences for violation. Anyone interested in both pop culture and feminism should get their paws on this.

The Creation of Anne Boleyn: She was Queen of England for only about 1000 days hundreds of years ago but she's been a subject of fascination ever since. Susan Bordo chronicles the ways that the perception of this long-ago royal have changed over time, reflecting overall shifts in how women are treated.

Under The Banner of Heaven: I considered adding Reading Lolita in Tehran instead of this book here, in the "religious fundamentalism leading to oppression of women" slot. But I think it's easy for white people in the Western world to look at a Muslim country in the Middle East and point the finger at them for oppressing women. It happens right here in the US, too. This is the best Krakauer, for my money.

My Horizontal Life: Sure, it's easy to respect "good" women, like Tina Fey, who for all her genuine feminist bona fides is still quite traditional in many ways. It's more challenging to look at a woman like Chelsea Handler, who is perceived as having slept her way into her E! show that she did before her current Netflix gig. But feminism includes women who don't necessarily do things the way other women approve of, and Handler's stories about being drunk and on drugs and sleeping with who she wanted when she wanted are pretty funny in her first memoir.

The Handmaid's Tale: This feminist classic has been recently revitalized by the Hulu production of it, and none too soon because it's just as relevant as when it was first published. Most chilling is the way that not only men control women, but the ways in which other women's cooperation is necessary and so easily given.

Americanah: Being a woman in the world is one thing, but we can't forget the necessity of considering how other identities intersect with femaleness. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel focuses on an African female experience, both in Africa and America, and her protagonist Ifemelu is as rich and complicated and ambiguous a character as any ever written, regardless of gender.

So Big: A recent book club exploration of a Willa Cather novel reminded me of how much I liked this book, which won Edna Ferber a Pulitzer Prize. She crafts a story of a woman who faces long odds and disappointments and changes in fate with good humor and cheer, without being saccharine about it, and it's a testament to women's perseverance.

The Group: For better or worse, many women I know are as much defined by their friendships as they are by their romantic relationships. It's not really a progressive view of femaleness in that the women involved are often catty, but it's worth reminding ourselves that the struggles we face (work or family life, breast or bottle) are ones that have been around for generations.

Wild Magic: For a younger reader wanting to explore female-driven adventures, any Tamora Pierce series will do. But for me, the series kicked off by this book was my favorite...I've always loved animals, so Daine's brand of nature-based power was right up my alley.


  1. Oooh - love the Under the Banner of Heaven pick for feminists! And it might be my favorite Krakauer as well.

    I also think Underground Girls of Kabul would be a great one for feminists.

    1. I'd read Into The Wild in college and HATED it and actually vowed to never read him again, but I was at an airport in law school and bored and it was the only thing that looked okay and I LOVED it. I've never read Underground Girls of Kabul, I'll have to add that to my own list!

  2. Bossypants is on my TBR, I cannot wait to read it. It's good to hear that it lived up to its hype. Plus, I like a lot of Tina Fey's work so I'm looking forward to checking that one out. I read The Handmaid's Tale for class and it is so incredibly thought provoking. I haven't watched the show yet but everyone seems to be raving about it. Thanks for sharing! Happy reading!


    1. I've been disappointed in "funny celebrity ladies write a memoir in essays" books from Amy Poehler and Anna Kendrick, but I thought Tina Fey's and Mindy Kaling's, as well, were good. The Handmaid's Tale was something I picked up during my late teens at some point and loved and actually just recently re-read and wow does it hold up. I haven't seen the show yet either, but re-reading the book made me reallllly want to

  3. I kick myself that I've had such a hard time getting into Americanah. I think the audiobook this week for Bout of Books might be just the thing. I also love that you included Under the Banner of Heaven, and your rationale was spot-on!

    1. It was a book I was a little apprehensive about because the hype was SO BIG but I ended up really loving it