Scholar, activist, provocateur, teacher, community-builder, inspiration: No one word can span the career of bell hooks or capture how much we love her work.
This classic from the 1920s makes a devastatingly eloquent argument with a simple takeaway: For a women artist to thrive, she must have space in which to work and some money for her efforts. This master work by Audre Lorde, a Caribbean American lesbian feminist writer, collects her prose from the late 70s and early 80s. How we did it (our pseudo-scientific methodology): After calling for nominations on September 9, 2011, we counted all reader picks that appeared on the Ms.
Checked out the list, proud to have read a good handful of the books mentioned, but figure I’ll make it my two or three year goal to read the rest. Although I agree that Facebook is an imperfect tool for getting a balanced, representative sample!
The story of the girl shot by the Taliban for speaking up for women’s education is one of idealism and stubborn courage, and a reminder that women’s rights and many children’s rights to education are continually threatened. Barr’s moving, funny, inspiring memoir of growing up gay in Motherwell is a virtuoso piece of autobiography that paints a vivid portrait of our country’s recent past. Through the life of radical poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, we gain a vivid portrait of how post-World War I Europe led to fascism. Heartbreaking but not without hope, this is a beautifully written love letter to the family lost in the 2004 tsunami and an account of grief and living with it. A 13-year-old Japanese autistic boy’s explanation of how he sees the world is fascinating and insightful.
This fascinating account of Britain’s biggest imperial disaster, the first Afghan war, is a lesson for our times.
Hastings’s immensely readable epic history runs from the outbreak of war until Christmas 1914. Laing explores why six masters of American modernism might have been so haunted by alcoholism. Solomon writes about the challenges of families who have been marked out as different by disability, illness, circumstances or desire. A book about the lives of others and others’ problems, clearly and persuasively written by a leading psychoanalyst, that may tell you a great deal about yourself.
This lavishly presented selection of works ranges from 1989 to 2012, across genres and continents.


As gripping as a Le Carre thriller, this is the remarkable story of two Germans who took radically different paths in life that converged when one tracked the other down as part of the British War Crimes Investigation Team.
An engrossing compendium tracing transatlantic pop from the post-war youth explosion to the digital revolution. The winner of the 2013 William Hill Sports Book of the Year award is a cracking yarn that brings together a criminal underclass, drugs, sex, gambling and royalty. She points the way forward toward a world where women are perceived as more than vessels of chastity. This book looks at the ways women today make sex objects of themselves, and she’s not impressed. She painstakingly refutes each insidious anti-feminist argument–for instance, that feminism is responsible for a supposed epidemic of unhappiness in women. She argues for the reclaiming of the tarnished word cunt, and discusses her personal experiences with self-protection, sex work, abortion and solidarity. Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti  Find it here.
The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World by Michelle Goldberg  Find it here.
America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines by Gail Collins  Find it here.
The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v.
The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions by Paula Gunn Allen  Find it here. A Woman Speaks: The Lectures, Seminars and Interviews of Anais Nin  by Evelyn Hinz, editor  Find it here. The Work of a Common Woman: The Collected Poetry of Judy Grahn, 1964-1977 by Judy Grahn  Find it here. Myths of Gender: Biological Theories About Women And Men by Anne Fausto-Sterling  Find it here. Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa Harris-Perry  Find it here.
Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America by Lillian Faderman  Find it here.


The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls by Joan Jacobs Brumberg  Find it here. I suppose I missed out on the vote somehow, but what I would love would be to hear a list of texts chosen by those who founded and continue to build on the legacy of Ms. The demographic made up by Facebook excludes a huge group of women: women without computers or internet access, women without free time for social networking, older women who have no idea what the facebook is . In 1982, the straight-talking Stibbe arrived as a nanny to a literary family in north London.
Running from her 1925 birth until the end of the Falklands War in 1982, this is a fair reminder of just how extraordinary Thatcher’s achievement as a woman was.
Still, you can enjoy Mislaid — it really is by some measure the funniest novel of the year — even if you don’t appreciate, like I do, Zink’s joshing of US journalists, which has already become a pastime for her.
She reveals that simply making ends meet is a silent struggle for many Americans, especially for women with families to support.
She urges all to live a feminism that finds commonality across differences and makes room for impassioned debate. I’d highly recommend it, especially as a sort of beginner’s book (like, for new feminists and stuff)! To judge by the final picks, issues of work, sex and intersectionality ranked highest among our reader’s feminist concerns. To break ties, we went first by whether books got votes on multiple platforms, then by Goodreads rank.
Otherwise, I’m really looking forward to reading some of these, especially some of the ones that I hadn’t heard of before!
She has been one of, if not the, most foundational authors, for myself and for many other women I know (young and old), in terms of building a real feminist movement.



Unturned guide to survival rate
The problem of education in africa
Bare minimum food for survival of


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