Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer Reading List

Here are a few books I've read, am reading, or purchased with the intent to read in the near future this summer:

Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica ValentiThis is a great guide for any woman, but especially young women, who aren't quite sure what feminism is about (3rd-4th waves baby), why it's still around, and/or why they should care. I've got a couple of people I'm thinking about getting this book for partly to help validate concerns, partly to influence the next generation of self-sufficient women.

How to be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving by David RichoI bought this one last summer, and tried to read it then, but I only managed to actually do so after I devoured FFF and started my reading again. It's a really great guide to thinking about your behavior toward yourself and your partner or partners. The title sounds a little condescending (especially if you recieve this book as a gift) but it's definitely not presented that way. As they say, you can't judge a book by its cover.

He's a Stud, She's a Slut and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know by Jessica ValentiI love Jessica Valenti. Her second book lays out in blunt language just how fucked up our society is in the way it treats women. I highly recommend it, espceially if you're starting to get a sinking feeling that something's just not right here.

The Vagina Monologues by Eve EnslerThis is the 10th Anniversary edition (which came out last year) and has a forward by Gloria Steinem. I have to admit that I read the entire thing (200 pages!) in about three hours on a Friday night (then proceeded to write for an hour and a half about my vagina). It's really a great read. Now, I have seen it performed (well, part of the HBO special), but I had never read the words. It's got a huge impact and is a must-read for all owners of vaginas.

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder by Vincent BugliosiYes, this book actually has the shortest title of all the books I've read so far this summer. Vincent Bugliosi was the prosecutor who sent Charles Manson to prison, and he's written a number of prescient non-fiction books about legal matters. He wrote about the idiocy behind the prosecution in the OJ Simpson murder case, as well as the Supreme Court precedent that allowed Jennifer Flowers' civil case against Bill Clinton to go forward while he was still in office. Bugliosi is a brilliant legal mind, and I have to admit it's nice to see some of my opinions about our "president" being validated by someone who is not on the side of the Democrats or Republicans, but on the side of the truth and the side of the people whose lives have been destroyed by this motherfucking war.

The Essential Feminist Reader edited by Estelle FreedmanI just started getting into this one last night. It's my bathtime book. As you might guess it's a collection of feminist writing (theory, poems, speeches, plays etc) spanning the last 500 or so years. I figure it should be in my library if I'm gonna call myself a feminist.

Sex, Time, and Power by Leonard SchlainThis is from the same author who brought us the very heady Art and Physics. I haven't started reading it yet (you can see I've had a few books on my table for the last few months... and I keep picking up new ones to read! I love reading!) but I look forward to it. (A friend of mine has another of his books The Alphabet and the Goddess and we're planning to trade when we finish reading.)

I don't know how I'm ever going to read all the books I have, but I think I'm just going to figure out how to do it. Books are so great. They promote ideas, they promote imagination. Plus, they alleviate boredom better than the internet!

So go check out a book! I highly recommend any of the ones above.


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