2015 Recap: Our favorite books this year

With 2016 fast approaching, we’re spending this week looking back on the last year of feminist writing. Here are our favorite books of 2015.

Ava: After the Ferrante quartet, definitely Alexandra Kleeman’s You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine. It’s feminist body horror dressed in lithe, lyrical prose. 

Sam: I read Robin Coste Lewis’s debut poetry collection Voyage of the Sable Venus in November, fresh on the heels of its National Book Award win, and I’ve since been singing its praises to anyone who will listen. The ambitious title poem, composed entirely from the titles of Western artworks representing or created by black women and queer people, is the best kind of difficult, and it left me changed. In what has often been a deeply demoralizing year for poetry, Lewis brings me joy and gives me hope.

Sesali: I just finished Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. It was really honest, super inspiring, and funny as hell.

Lori: In my little corner of progressive, do-gooder Brooklyn, Between the World and Me was everywhere this year (and by extension, Ta- Nehisi Coates was, too; there’s even a podcast episode about how much his life has changed). All for good reason. The book blew so much wide open, but its popularity makes it feel almost unhelpful to name it here. Two other books I really liked this year include Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson and The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries by Jessa Crispin.

Alexandra: Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts. I’m sure I’m not the only one on the team. Also, Women by Chloe Caldwell.

Dana: Seconding The Argonauts. I re-read it monthly! Other favorites: Jennifer Doyle’s Campus Sex, Campus Security and Between the World and Me, which both deal, in part, with how to raise a child on a planet full of violence and inequality and oppression, without hiding them from suffering (which is to say, from the world). “Making oneself vulnerable,” Doyle writes, “Is that not what we do in friendship, and in desire?”

Maya: I’m gonna have to shout-out The Feminist Utopia Project, co-edited by Alexandra and featuring pieces by me and a number of other Feministing writers.

Katie: So real talk. I actually really like young adult fiction, and I’m not just talking about John Green. I mean Rick Riordan young adult, and this year I finally caught up on the Heroes of Olympus series. It was amazing, and I am not ashamed to admit that I love Percy Jackson and company at 25. I also really loved Those Guys Have All the Fun by James Andrew Miller (which technically came out in 2011, but whatever. I’m behind).

Kim: Hands down, Catherine Hernandez’s queer children’s book M is for Mustache, reflective of BIPOC, queer, trans and gender non conforming families and available for sale at the Glad Day Bookshop, the oldest LGBT bookstore in the world!


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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