Though I’m not a big fan of all the crazed shopping that goes on during this time of year, I do love two things very passionately: giving gifts and collecting books. As such, I’ve got some ideas for some of the wildly divergent feminists in your little circle of family and friends. Never fear, Courtsanta is here…
For your mom, the closeted reality TV show fan: Reality Bites Back by Jennifer L. Pozner:
This incredibly thorough look at the toxic patterns and stereotypes rampant in the country’s most beloved genre of television show will not only blow your mom’s mind, but get her to change the damn channel.
For your sister, the doula: Origins by Annie Murphy Paul:
Annie Murphy Paul, by some miracle of literary prowess and levelheaded analysis, manages to write a book about how every little thing can affect a baby’s development in utero without making you feel like you should never even attempt to reproduce. Great breakdown of complex science and fascinating big picture look at pregnancy from a narrator you can’t help but love.
For your sports fan b.f.: Lay the Favorite by Beth Raymer:
Beth Raymer is not eating, praying, or loving. She’s gambling. In this fascinating memoir, Raymer tells the story of her years in high-stakes, high-anxiety world of sports betting.
For your other b.f., the history buff: Heaven’s Bride by Leigh Eric Schmidt:
Ida C. Craddock lectured on phallic worship, defended belly dancing for its blend of sexuality and spirituality, established and appointed herself pastor of the Church of Yoga, and published explicit pamphlets counseling married couples about their sexual relations. Did I mention this was all going on in the mid to late 1800s? Check out this colorful biography of a way-before-her-time woman.
For your futurist mentor who fears the end of the world is coming: The Watchman’s Rattle by Rebecca D. Costa:
Costa, part sociologist, biologist, historian, and business maven, is concerned with the escalating complexity of just about everything and isn’t afraid to make bold, big arguments about where we’re headed. Confronting conventional wisdom that technology and innovation can get us out of any jam, she asks, “Are there limits to the kinds of problems humans can solve?”
For your honey, an international politics buff: Songs of Blood and Sword by Fatima Bhutto:
Fatima, niece of famous Pakistani leader Banazir Bhutto, exposes the corruption and violence that she’s experienced first-hand, and an inspiring and stalwart hope in a more just future. The big picture politics are anchored by a very personal story about a daughter searching for the truth about her father’s murder. Incredibly moving.
For fun: Zooborns (you know you want it):