Feministing Reads: What We’re Reading

Here’s what we’re reading this month:

Lori: I am so excited to dig into the recently re-released Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman. It feels especially relevant given the role that black women have played in protesting police brutality this year. With a foreword by the inimitable Jamilah Lemieux.

lowlandChloe: I’m about to finish The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. It’s gorgeous; enough history to make you feel like you understand the time and place the characters live in, but without being heavy-handed or overtly didactic. You can tell that an enormous amount of research, on a wide range of topics, went into this fiction. It was one of last year’s best-reviewed books for a reason. I also just read The Summertime Girls by my friend Laura Hankin. It does a great job of capturing the shifting nature of female friendship in your early twenties, of figuring out how you want to make a difference in the world, of growing into empathy and compassion, the real marks of adulthood. I devoured it in a day. Two biased thumbs way up.

Maya: Depressingly, I have not yet finished the books I was reading when we did this a month ago. But I’ve also started Being Mortal, which Courtney gave a shout-out to last time. And I’m revisiting Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English’s classic Witches, Midwives and Nurses: A History of Women Healers. So between the two of them, feeling pretty pissed about the white dude take-over of medicine.

Suzanna: This past month, I’ve read Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin, Citizen by Claudia Rankine, and a delightful young adult biography of Ida B. Wells — called Ida B. Wells – by Dennis Brindell Fradin and Judith Bloom Fradin. Relatedly, I fell asleep for the nth time working my way through the Robber Baron chapter of Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.

Katie: I’m reading Chasing the Scream: the First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by the brilliant journalist and writer Johan Hari. It’s a page turner and important and educational, which is a pretty rare combination.

Courtney: I read Miranda July’s Learning to Love You More in the bookstore the other day, fun quick read. It’s an archive of this project she did where she put a list of projects/ instructions on a website and people completed them and sent in the finished work. (i.e. take a picture of beneath your bed.) Basically, her ongoing quest to capture the human condition. I also just finished The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which is a novel about the unlikely friendship of a recluse concierge and a young 12 year old tenant of a fancy apartment building in Paris. They’re both preoccupied by the meaning of life. Not many strong feminist themes, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless.

Alexandra: I’m switching between Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment — to tide me over to the final Neapolitan Novel — and Hilton Als’ White Girls.


Washington, DC

Alexandra Brodsky was a senior editor at Feministing.com. During her four years at the site, she wrote about gender violence, reproductive justice, and education equity and ran the site's book review column. She is now a Skadden Fellow at the National Women's Law Center and also serves as the Board Chair of Know Your IX, a national student-led movement to end gender violence, which she co-founded and previously co-directed. Alexandra has written for publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Nation, and she is the co-editor of The Feminist Utopia Project: 57 Visions of a Wildly Better Future. She has spoken about violence against women and reproductive justice at campuses across the country and on MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, ESPN, and NPR.

Alexandra Brodsky was a senior editor at Feministing.com.

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