March-Book-Wrap-Up

I Read 12 Books in March?!

It has been a GOOD reading month, which I think is partly due to the fact I had some time off this month and could curl up with a few more books. It’s also due to the fact I’ve spent a lot of evenings on my own, no one to talk to means you’re not ignoring anyone! Anyway on to my 12 March reads!

Ok so technically This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay was read in February but not in time for my last wrap up. I loved this memoir and think it’s an incredibly important read in modern Britain. I also read Lydie and Limited Edition, both graphic novels. Lydie was sweet but strange about a girl who believes her baby is still alive and the town who humors her. Limited Edition is about a woman in her 30s looking for love, it wasn’t my favourite but it was ok. Also I got an early release of The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R Pan, which wasn’t for me you can see why here.

Next up I finished the incredible Mysogynation by Laura Bates, once again Laura wrote a book that I wanted to shout ‘hell yeah’ at, not an easy task. Following this I read The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven which, no big deal, is currently my favourite read of the year you can read my review here. I also picked up the long awaited Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2, even more kick ass ladies and beautiful illustrations. Then I finally got around to reading The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin after I loved the film but, honestly, I was really let down by the ending.

After seeing Tony Walsh’s reading of This is The Place after the Manchester attack I needed to read his poetry. I picked up Sex & Love & Rock&Roll, it was a breath of fresh air for contemporary poetry. Next up Bygone Badass Broads by Mckenzie Lee a collection of stories about real women you might not know. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t my favourite. Following this I picked up A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggests by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a very short read but an important one I feel. I also finished Nobody Told Me which chronicles Hollie McNish’s life as a mother in poetry and diary entries from finding out she’s pregnant to her child at three.

Finally, I picked up Stacey Dooley’s On the Frontline with Women Who Fight Back which I fell in love with, review to come soon! Another poetry collection as well thanks to Netgalley of Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward which was an interesting collection. I also FINALLY got around to Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Allbertalli which I didn’t love as much as everyone said I would…sorry! And finally, I finished and fell in love with How To Stop Time by Matt Haig, amazing just amazing.

What have you been reading? Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to keep up with what I’m reading you can connect with me on Goodreads!

 

March-Book-Wrap-Up

What I Read in March

It has been a GOOD reading month, which I think is partly due to the fact I had some time off this month and could curl up with a few more books. It’s also due to the fact I’ve spent a lot of evenings on my own, no one to talk to means you’re not ignoring anyone! Anyway on to the 12 books that I managed to read this month.

Ok so technically This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay was read in February but not in time for my last wrap up. I loved this memoir and think it’s an incredibly important read in modern Britain. I also read Lydie and Limited Edition, both graphic novels. Lydie was sweet but strange about a girl who believes her baby is still alive and the town who humors her. Limited Edition is about a woman in her 30s looking for love, it wasn’t my favourite but it was ok. Also I got an early release of The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R Pan, which wasn’t for me you can see why here.

Next up I finished the incredible Mysogynation by Laura Bates, once again Laura wrote a book that I wanted to shout ‘hell yeah’ at, not an easy task. Following this I read The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven which, no big deal, is currently my favourite read of the year you can read my review here. I also picked up the long awaited Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2, even more kick ass ladies and beautiful illustrations. Then I finally got around to reading The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin after I loved the film but, honestly, I was really let down by the ending.

After seeing Tony Walsh’s reading of This is The Place after the Manchester attack I needed to read his poetry so I picked up Sex & Love & Rock&Roll, it was a breath of fresh air for contemporary poetry. Next up Bygone Badass Broads by Mckenzie Lee a collection of stories about real women you might not know, I enjoyed it but it wasn’t my favourite. Following this I picked up A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggests by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a very short read but an important one I feel. I also finished Nobody Told Me which chronicles Hollie McNish’s life as a mother in poetry and diary entries from finding out she’s pregnant to her child at three.

Finally I picked up Stacey Dooley’s On the Frontline with Women Who Fight Back which I fell in love with, review to come soon! Another poetry collection as well thanks to Netgalley of Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward which was an interesting collection. I also FINALLY got around to Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Allbertalli which I didn’t love as much as everyone said I would…sorry! And finally I finished and fell in love with How To Stop Time by Matt Haig, amazing just amazing.

What have you been reading? Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to keep up with what I’m reading you can connect with me on Goodreads!

 

Fantastic Feminist Authors

On the 8th March it’s International Women’s Day, so what better time to share some kick ass authors for you to get into. In a recent Twitter poll you guys said you wanted to see more bookish content on the blog which is fine with me, so let’s get started!

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Holly Bourne – YA Queen

From the first few pages of The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting, I fell in love and knew that Holly was one to watch. Her novels speak to young adults in a way I haven’t seen before. She talks about Feminism, without making you feel like she’s preaching. A fantastic author and you can read my review of Am I Normal Yet here.

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Laura Bates – Conquering Everyday Sexism

Laura created the Everyday Sexism project, started to show that sexism is very real and giving a platform to share it. She has just released her third book Misogynation, after Everyday Sexism and Girl Up. She’s factual as well as standing up for women’s rights. A must-read author.

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Caitlin Moran – The Reason I’m a Feminist

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, How To Be A Woman changed my life and perspective and, ultimately, made me a feminist. Caitlin says what she wants and has no time for bullshit. I’ve read all her non-fiction works as well as her novel How To Build A Girl, which is also a cracker. Great for getting the information with a great laugh at the same time.

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Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett – Taking on the Magazines

Holly and Lucy run their own blog of the same name but I found the book first. This is different to any I’ve read before, particularly as neither are that much older than me. This examines the way we take in magazines and the media industry. It was fantastic, absolutely fantastic. Here’s my review to wet your appetite.

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Rupi Kaur – Bringing Poetry Back

She’s become amazingly popular and for good reason. I haven’t seen poetry get this popular, well, ever. Rupi talks about the female experience in her poetry and it’s absolutely beautiful as well as thought-provoking. You can read my review of her second collection The Sun and Her Flowers here.

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Louise O’Neill – Tackling Taboo

For incredible, thought-provoking fiction Lousie O’Neill is the one to go to. Her novel Only Ever Yours freaked me out but I couldn’t stop thinking about it and later novel Asking For It has been raved about since its release. She’s not afraid of writing about taboo subjects and feminism, what more do you want? Review of Only Ever Yours here.

 

Who would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Feminist Friday: Summer Reading List

It’s been a few year since I embarked on my own summer of Feminist books. That said, I wanted to share with you some great reads for the summer if you want to get started or just find some new reads.

 

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If you haven’t started reading Holly Bourne’s incredible Spinster Club trilogy this is where to start. Novels about friendship, love and feminism, there’s nothing better! Review here.

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Personally, I see this as a classic for modern feminists. Caitlin is funny, loud but gives a great view on feminism today. This was what I started with and I read it within 24 hours. Caitlin also has a range of other books about feminism too so you’re sure to find something you like. Review here.

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Have you ever felt pressured by magazines or the media? What about the whole ‘beach body’ thing? Then you’ve found the book for you. A fresh look at women, the media and how we react to it. Review here.

 

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You might have already read Laura’s first book Everday Sexism, this is her second and my favourite so far. There’s more intelligent thought and there’s also dancing vaginas, you’re welcome. Read my review here.

What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: Girl Up – Laura Bates

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They told you you need to be thin and beautiful. They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night and move in groups – never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels. They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your apple, pear, hourglass figure, but not to be too tarty. They warned you that if you try to be strong, or take control, you’ll be shrill, bossy, a ballbreaker. Of course it’s fine for the boys, but you should know your place. They told you ‘that’s not for girls’ – ‘take it as a compliment’ – ‘don’t rock the boat’ – ‘that’ll go straight to your hips’. They told you ‘beauty is on the inside’, but you knew they didn’t really mean it. Well I’m here to tell you something different.

It’s no secret that I think Laura Bates is a feminist icon. The creator of the Everyday Sexism Project, author and ted talk member has stood up and said enough is enough. It is because of her that I realised that a lot of the ‘banter’ I’d felt uncomfortable with and fought against for years, only to be told I was overreacting, was actually assault. It made me feel better that I wasn’t ‘just overreacting’. After reading Everyday Sexism last year I eagerly pre ordered Girl Up and I’m so glad I did. I felt that in comparison to Laura’s last book this is much more about her finding her own voice within her writing. Not only was it funny but also distinctive in tone as well as topic.

While you could argue that this is aimed more at teenagers in some parts of the book, it’s fine with me because I really learnt a lot from this book. It’s true that there are some chapters that seem to be geared towards teenage girls but if I’d have had this book to clutch in my hormonal hands as a spotty teen I think I would have stood up for myself more. I would have been more vocal about my body, about sexism and about the fact that I have a voice too, something that was repeatedly silenced. Authors like Laura are using humor and wit to bring embarrassing subjects into the spotlight and make it easier for them to talk about. At the same time as a 21 year old, while reading I felt like Laura was an older sister I never had. She doesn’t shy away from the fact that she didn’t always call herself a feminist, that she too shied away from inappropriate comments and behaviour at the fear of ‘kicking off’. 

I one hundred percent feel that books like this alongside, How to be a Woman, The Vagenda, Letters to my Fanny and more will help to create a stronger set of young women who can feel proud to not only be women, but to be themselves. Oh and before I forget there are also dancing vagina’s because who doesn’t want a page of dancing vagina’s. I’m going to stop saying that now, even though I can’t explain how brilliant it is. All I want to say is READ IT, READ IT, READ IT! Of course I gave this 5 stars (*****), absolutely brilliant, well written and inspirational. Go and give it a read NOW!

Remember to connect with me on Goodreads here to see what I’m reading!

Sunday Seven: Seven TED Talks you need to watch

I have spent a lot of time in the past few years watching various TED Talks, it’s one of my favourite things to do when I need some motivation. I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite TED Talks, these are just 7 of many but I think they’re important because of the messages they give.

 

How do you define yourself? – Lizzie Velasquez 

Lizzie was deemed the ‘World’s Ugliest Woman’, she’s honest in the fact that of course she cried but what she did next was incredible. Lizzie came back fighting, not only does she educate people on her illness but she also knows when to joke and make light of the situation. Lizzie wanted to be a motivational speaker and after a google search and a few more steps Lizzie did what she set out to do and is one of the most inspiring people and even has her own documentary.

We gotta get outta this place – Piper Kerman

With all of the hype surrounding Orange is the New Black, a lot of people forget that it is somewhat inspired by a true story. For me the book and this Ted Talk are preferable and talk about the real issues and day to day life of prison. Piper’s talk was eye opening and a rally cry for change. I’ve also reviewed her book here.

A broken body isn’t a broken person – Janine Shepherd

I only came across this talk today and it was emotional to watch. Janine was in a horrific accident meaning which broke her neck and back and left her hospitalised for months. I love this talk because I understood a lot of what she was saying about your body breaking and letting you down, in fact it was very emotional to watch, because I’ve learnt similar lessons.

Everyday Sexism – Laura Bates

I watched Laura’s talk before buying her two books. I’ll be honest I wasn’t sure before I watched it but after I realised that there is so much that we are told to ‘just deal with’ when we shouldn’t have to. Laura took a stand and I’m so glad she did, we need more women like her.  

Confessions of a Bad Feminist – Roxanne Gay

This was so important to me when I was trying to embrace feminism because she said what I felt like. Roxanne understands that sometimes you like things that ‘aren’t feminist’ and makes fun out of it as well as reminding us that feminism is so huge that it means so many different things to different people.

I got 99 problems…and Palsey is just one – Maysoon Zayid 

I love Maysoon, she’s absolutely hilarious. One of the things that can make people more comfortable around disability is injecting humor into the situation, which Maysoon does perfectly. It’s also a great speech about determination.

We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

Like Beyoncé’s track Flawless? You partially have Chimamanda to thank for that. This is another great talk about feminism and how we teach kids about what’s expected of them. This isn’t her only great Ted Talk, she also spoke on The Dangers of the Single Story in literature (another talk I referenced in my essays for university).

Let me know your favourite TED Talks! I’m always looking for new and exciting ones to watch!

Sunday Seven: 7 of my Famous Feminist Heroes

This week I’ve been working on my dissertation, doing hours or reading on being a woman. On what a woman is, about feminism, motherhood and work. My dissertation may be on Plath, but the research goes further than that and it’s got me thinking about some of the famous feminists I look up to. So for this Sunday Seven I want to celebrate some of the most awesome feminists around.

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1. Malala Yousafzai

I don’t think there’s anyone who embodies the spirit of feminism like Malala. Even after the Taliban attempted to murder her, she carried on and made her voice louder than ever on an international stage. Malala stands for something that every feminist, I think, should fight for. Equal education for girls in all areas of the world. Malala’s story reminded us all that just because we have these things in the Western world does not mean we can take them for granted. Equal education should be for every child around the world, regardless of gender.

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2. Jennifer Lawrence

Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of The Hunger Games I caught on early that Jennifer Lawrence was something incredible. Not only does she not pretend to be an always glam, super cool actress, she reminds all of us she is just another woman. The quote above really hits home that alongside acting, Jennifer wants to change the way women are viewed by the media and the pay gap. Her, quite frankly, brave piece about why she gets paid less than her male costars made headlines around the world. I say brave because it could have made her career suffer. It could have meant that the film industry refused to work with her and that her fear of being called ‘difficult’ or ‘spoilt’ had come true. She make a point though and by raising this issue in public, she puts it in the spotlight for the rest of us in ‘normal’ jobs too. It get’s people talking, and that’s exactly what we need to do.

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3. Laura bates

While Laura might not be known internationally, she is a force to be reckoned with in the UK. Her Ted Talk and book of the same name ‘Everyday Sexism’ is an incredible piece of work. Personally, I read this and felt both sad and strengthened. I realised that it was ok to get pissed off when someone touched me, made me out to be just a sexual object or made fun of me for my gender. I basically did a U turn on a lot of things because I read her research, her statistics and her stats, I talked about things I’d never thought I could before  and it was all because of Laura. download (1)

4. Emma Watson

Again, a huge reason that I am now such a proud feminist. Emma’s He for She speech spoke to me as someone who didn’t want to use the label feminist and who resisted it at all costs.Emma is one of the amazing women of my generation who is reclaiming the word and what feminism means, as well as talking about real equality between the sexes. 0f6d1ce1e7f99e8b5a2be97b77a0ab8e

5. Sylvia Plath

There are a lot of arguments about whether or not Plath is a feminist. She is to me because she acknowledges the struggle between wanting a family and wanting a career. She believes she can be anything, but she also has self doubt. Her work on the 1950s and 1960s and the attitude towards women is something really incredible, as is the character of Esther in The Bell Jar. Plath is one of my heroes because she isn’t perfect and she doesn’t 100% seem to know what she believes, she changes her mind as as she gets older and I can’t help but resonate with that.

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6. Caitlin Moran

I have to include the woman who had me walking/ hobbling around my house shouting ‘I’m a feminist’, while clutching a copy of her book. Ah Caitlin Moran, what has the world done to deserve you. I’d read how to be a woman when I was about 12 and thought it was weird and terrifying and ended up throwing it in a fit of grossness. Fast forward to the age of 21 and it’s one of my favourite books. It’s funny, honest and makes you think. It’s thanks to Caitlin I am a feminist, I am a proud feminist and that I’m not afraid to say it loudly to anyone. All her other books are amazing too.

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7. J.K Rowling

Think about the women in the Harry Potter series they are almost all strong, independent and good. The fact that one of the main characters in one of the biggest selling series’ of all time was a girl with bushy hair, big teeth and a love for books,  while being friends with two boys and the smartest witch of her age. It gave those of us who didn’t always fit in someone to read about who was like us, it made being the smart girl cool! Women were not weak in the Harry Potter books (unlike some of the movies), they were often the strength and intelligence. For a lot of girls, she changed the way they saw themselves and saw the world, including me.

 

 

I do not own any of these images, they are the products of very talented people I found online.