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Many of the brave, funny and outspoken voices contributing to the explosion of the women’s movement have books out in October. We’ve gathered six of the best here, so you can get up to speed.
From the writer-at-large for New York Magazine and The Cut – and the author of the best-selling non-fiction book All the Single Ladies – comes an all-too timely examination of women’s anger as political fuel in the United States. Through exhaustive (but never boring) research, Traister recasts women’s anger as a powerful political tool, one that has long been ignored as a potent catalyst for social change. As the US – and much of the world – is gripped by the sexual assault accusations against potential Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the book acts as a handbook for understanding the historical context of the current #MeToo moment. Furthermore, it unpacks the patriarchal structures in our midst and reveals the extent to which certain groups of men have sought to curb and marginalize women’s voices.
If you’re looking for a tough-love talk on intersectional feminism with plenty of ‘90s references like Doogie Houser and Dangerous Minds, along with passages that will make you chuckle in recognition, then this is the book for you. Author of You Can’t Touch My Hair and star of the podcast and HBO series 2 Dope Queens, Phoebe Robinson, is back with a new, hilarious, and timely collection of essays on race, gender, the “De-Peening of 2017” (a.k.a. #MeToo), and interracial dating (drawing from her own experiences with her #BritishBakeOff boyfriend). It’s ultimately the most fun and raucous a crash-course in American culture you can find.
When actor, producer and illustrator Abbi Jacobson, best-known for her work on Comedy Central’s Broad City, announced to friends and family that she planned to drive across the country alone, she was met with questions and opinions. Why wasn’t she going with friends? Wouldn’t it be incredibly lonely? Yet, after a difficult breakup she knew it was time to mull over the big questions she had been meaning to ask herself. Questions such as: What do I really want? How do I work out being alone? “I was working constantly; my heart was broken and I felt like a chicken with its head cut off,” says Jacobson, of how she was feeling before her solo three-week cross-country journey from New York to Los Angeles. “This book is me getting it all down on paper, in an attempt to figure myself out more. So… yes, I might regret this.” You won’t regret reading Jacobson’s book, no matter where you are in life and her self-reckoning might prompt one of your own. But don’t be apprehensive, it’ll be gentler and more humorous with Jacobson by your side.
When did you first see yourself in fiction? For Glory Edim, founder of Well-Read Black Girl, the book-club-turned-online-community sensation, it was in Eloise Greenfield’s poems. For Edim’s bedtime ritual, her mother would hold her tight and read from Honey, I Love and Other Poems. Five-year-old Edim, recognized herself on the page; “a Black girl with wide eyes, full lips, and thick braided hair.” Thanks to Greenfield’s work, “Edim felt proud to be Black.” In this anthology of essays, Edim asks a dazzling group of the most important African American thinkers of today – from Tayari Jones, Zadie Smith, Jacqueline Woodson and Pulitzer-winning playwright Lynn Nottage – to reflect on when they recognized themselves in literature, how they found their unique voices and what women influenced them along the way. The book is also an excellent resource and guide to African American literature. Throughout Edim has compiled lists like classic novels by black women, books on black feminism.
She taught us to dare greatly and now Brené Brown wants us to lead greatly too. As a research professor at the University of Houston, Brown has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Her TED talk—“The Power of Vulnerability”—is one of the top five most-viewed TED talks in the world with more than forty million views. For the past seven years she’s been working with transformative leaders and teams spanning the globe. From small organizations, entrepreneurial startups and family-owned businesses to nonprofits, civic organizations, and Fortune 50 companies, Brown has been busy working out how they cultivate braver, more daring leaders. Brown gathers her research here and it makes for an accessible and compelling read.
“You’re born naked and the rest is drag,” declares RuPaul, arguably the world’s most beloved and famous drag queen. This memoir-meets-life-guide is packed with more than 80 photographs that illustrate how to tap into your inner fabulousness and shed your identity-based ego. It explains and explores the philosophy of drag—that is, shedding and looking beyond the identity that was given to you—so you can explore what’s underneath and build a more beautiful life. With a moving forward by Jane Fonda, GuRu, is the antidote to these trying and chaotic political times.
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