It will be painfully obvious quite soon that I only take the premise of the Twitterature link up at face value: these are definitely more than 140 characters long. Be warned and read on.
Can you imagine that soon I might get to write about books I read more recently than two months ago? Yeah, me neither. (Maybe that’ll be the day my proportions of fiction to non-fiction will be less lopsided. HA.)
Anyways. Here’s my reads for the month of March:
Honestly, it’s only been a month, but my memory of the details here are clouded. I do know that I loved this book. It follows an Australian teenage girl as she deals with starting a new school (which happens to be a boys school in its first year of enrolling girls — severely limiting her options for friends), figures out if who she was with her old group of domineering friends is who she actually is, and handles a family falling apart from her mother’s plunge into depression. Real issues, good issues, hard issues take precedence, but teenage angst and romance and drama still find their realistic place (because high school.) I’ll definitely be reading more Marchetta.
HYPERBOLE AND A HALF
Oh my, Allie Brosh is wonderful. Like multitudes of others, I found this wonderful woman’s work through her blog, and like multitudes of others, had lamented at how infrequent updates were and how little content was available.
Which is really one of the big mysteries of the internet, when one of the most popular blogs happens to be one that rarely updates and doesn’t have a ton on it. (Rendering all blogging advice completely useless, right?)
So when I found out there was a book, I was happy. And when sweet boyfriend bought me that book (before I caved and treated myself, which would have been inevitable (and I probably just went ahead and treated myself to a different book instead)) I was thrilled. Glossy colored pages with every story different color pages, I tried to space this out as best I could. I only mildly succeeded.
Last note: Brosh’s “essays” on her experience with depression were powerful tools to (at least better) understand the experiences of those close to me also living with it. I recommend them, as long as you don’t mind learning through comic.
The Lunar Chronicles: CINDER,
Marissa Meyer (WINTER releases in a year)
Oh these books. I like them significantly. Cyborg teenager in a Cinderella retelling (and then Little Red and Rapunzel in the sequels), with wonderful call backs to the fairy tales, but without a rigid need to stick to exacts? Wonderful ingredients. And the outcome is quite nice to.
Now, when I read books like this I pay very little attention to finer points of writing or plot or chatacter quality. As I move more and more into reviewing everything I read, this might change. But for now, what you need to know is that all I care about is how content I was reading these. How absolutely pulled along I was. How much I hated finding out that the final installment of the quartet comes out in TWO-THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN.
So, you know, yeah. Read these if you like YA, re-tellings, futuristic scifi fantasy, and great young female leads.
A YEAR OF BIBLICAL WOMANHOOD
Rachel Held Evans
I was taken in from the start. Actually, before the start — before reading the book, I read some of the critique and, based on the descriptive copy and Evan’s blog, already I could tell that the many of the main criticisms made little to no sense in light of what Evans seemed to be trying to do. So reviews like this made me curious:
“As I read the book, it became increasingly clear to me of one theme: God’s word was on trial. It was the court of Rachel Held Evans. She was the prosecution, judge, and jury. The verdict was out. And with authority and confidence, she would have the final word on womanhood.”
— Trillia Newbell, desiringgod.org
(After finishing, I cannot fathom coming out of this book with this conclusion, unless you went in to it determined to. Which, I suppose, is entirely likely. Let’s just say I don’t agree with some 98% of that review.)
I’ve mentioned beforethat in my quest to read more and better this year, the number one change I needed to make was reading more non-fiction (and not just essays on the Hunger Games). This was the second I started (after The White Umbrella), and it was a wonderful way to start into non-fic. Highly narrative, and frequently dabbed with happy sarcasm (Well, the whole book was sort of one big wonderful sarcastic concept, so that’s a given), I enjoyed this the whole way through.
My favorite part: The delving into what Proverbs 31 was intended to be: not a checklist for the perfect evangelical woman, but a way for men to honor their wives and the women around them.
I’ve had Rowell’s most recent books on my too-read list ever since I noticed they’d gotten quite trendy, but Attachments was far more available from my library — so I started here. Attachments was perfect. There was an unusual set up in the back-and-forth emails chapters, and the turn-of-the-century setting was a nice change of pace from my usual reads. Lincoln was pretty great; I could almost reread it just for him. (See? Even my shortest is still 422 characters.)
I’ll be honest, I dropped by via 20sb because you said ‘Jesus feminism’ and I was both amused by that phrase and because I was curious.
I’m glad I did- what an interesting post! I’ve definitely added a few books to my reading list :)
I don’t blame you! There seems to be plenty of feminists and Christians alike who think the two are entirely incompatible (and I suppose there are branches of both where that’s true), but it does work in its own way. One of my next reads is Jesus Feminist, by Sarah Bessey.
I’m hoping to do some reading on the academic side of feminism too though, so if you have any suggestions on starting I’ll check them out. I’ve already got Pinkola’s Women Who Run With Wolves waiting for me on the bookshelf.
I think bell hooks’ Feminism is for Everybody is always a good read for people dipping their toes into feminism and not exactly finding themselves in the worlds of Steinem (still important, but not nearly as relevant to my realities, I’d say) or even Baumgardner (though ‘Manifesta’ comes recommended and has its strong points, I found it so full of unchecked privilege and damaging to my understanding and vision of feminism; I flung it against the wall). I think ‘reading around’ feminism such as Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here or even Sex and the Citadel helps bring in other ideas of what feminism means and how it is applied (shifting away from a very Western-centric concept of feminism). I also really enjoy the work of Gloria Anzaldua and Audre Lorde. Cynthia Enloe’s ‘the Curious Feminist’ is also a good read. I personally identify as using intersectionality as a core part of feminism and my feminist ethics- I’d recommend reading Kimberle Crenshaw’s seminal article on that (mapping the margins).
‘Building Feminist Movements’ ed. Lydia Alpizar is another book that brings in a lot of transnational feminist perspectives and work around the world that’s grounded in their realities. I though ‘Defending our dreams’ ed. Shammilah Wilson was also a fairly decent read- some essays better than others but also featuring a lot of different kinds/approaches to feminism and feminist thought that’s probably valuable.
Sorry about the super long comment, happy to recommend more if you’d like? Also sorry about the delay in response- I’ve only just seen that you’d responded to my comment!
Your books look great. I just read RHE’s Evolving in Monkey Town (which I think is now called Faith Unraveled) and I really enjoyed it so I’m sure I’d like Year of Biblical Womanhood. I’ve also heard a lot about Rainbow Rowell’s books so I’m planning to check them out soon.
I bought the Kindle Faith Unraveled when I heard it was a new edition of Monkey Town, and I’m really looking forward to reading it!
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