Books and Writing

5 Great Books About Feminism (#2)

I love books by unapologetically badass women, even if they aren’t ostensibly about the female experience. All the better if they are, though. Two of these books are by “celebrities” – read: hardworking, talented, hilarious women. One of these books has sparked a performance-based, awareness-raising movement on college campuses and in community theaters across the country and the world. One of these books was adapted from an inspiring and provocative TEDx Talk. And one of these, thanks in part to the gorgeous illustrations, can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

Yes Please by: Amy Poehler

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Blurb: “Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central’s Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby MamaBlades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation? Do you wish you were in the audience at the last two Golden Globes ceremonies, so you could bask in the hilarity of Amy’s one-liners? If your answer to these questions is “Yes, Please!” then you are in luck. In her first book, one of our most beloved funny folk delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes, Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery haiku, to be specific), photography, mantras, and advice. Honest, personal, real and righteous, Yes, Please is full of words to live by.”

Bossypants by: Tina Fey

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Blurb: “Before Liz Lemon, before Weekend Update, before Sarah Palin, Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately half-hearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon – from the beginning of this paragraph, to this final sentence. Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.”

The Vagina Monologues by: Eve Ensler

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Blurb: “‘I was worried about vaginas. I was worried about what we think about vaginas, and even more worried about what we don’t think about them…So I decided to talk to women about their vaginas, do vagina interviews, which became vagina monologues. I talked with over two hundred women. I talked to old women, young women, married women, single women, lesbians, college professors, actors, corporate professionals, sex workers, African American women, Hispanic women, Asian American women, Native American women, Caucasian women, Jewish women. At first, women were reluctant to talk. They were a little shy. But once they got going, you couldn’t stop them.’ So begins Eve Ensler’s hilarious, eye-opening tour into the last frontier, the forbidden zone at the heart of every woman. Adapted from the award-winning one-woman show that’s rocked audiences around the world, this ground-breaking book gives voice to a chorus of lusty,, outrageous, poignant, and thoroughly human stories, transforming the question mark hovering over the female anatomy into a permanent victory sign. With laughter and compassion, Ensler transports her audiences to a world we’ve never dared to know, guaranteeing that no one who reads The Vagina Monologues will ever look at a woman’s body the same way again.”

We Should All Be Feminists by: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Blurb: “The highly acclaimed, provocative New York Times bestseller – a personal, eloquently-argued essay, adapted from the much-admired TEDx Talk of the same name – from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah. Here she offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now – and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.”

Bad Girls Throughout History by: Ann Shen

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Blurb: “Aphra Behn, first female professional writer. Sojourner Truth, activist and abolitionist. Ada Lovelace, first computer programmer. Marie Curie, first woman to win the Nobel Prize. Joan Jett, godmother of punk. The 100 revolutionary women highlighted in this gorgeously illustrated book were bad in the best sense of the word: they challenged the status quo and changed the rules for all who followed. From pirates to artists, warriors, daredevils, scientists, activists, and spies, the accomplishments of these incredible women vary as much as the eras and places in which they effected change. Featuring bold watercolor portraits and illuminating essays by Ann Shen, Bad Girls Throughout History is a distinctive, worthy tribute.”

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