What are the women of RASASC reading this summer?
For #BookLoversDay on August 9th, we asked our wonderful team to pick the books they love by women for women about women. Here is our list of recommended reading!
1. All About Love by bell hooks because it was the first time I saw society’s conflation of love & abuse named and challenged. “You don’t have to ‘love’ your family if they’re abusive. Love is an action not a feeling”!
2. Eat Up by Ruby Tandoh because it’s the book about food that I’d been waiting my whole life to read! Joyous, powerful, radical – everyone should read this book!
3. Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur – a stunning book of poetry, beautiful use of words & imagery to express pain, love & healing.
4. Mad, Bad & Sad by Lisa Appignanesi, a historical study of the female mind. A psychological look at women in society, the stereotypes of hysteria & the pervasive idea that we’re ‘mad’ or ‘bad’.
5. The Women’s Room by Marilyn French, an inspirational, historical feminist classic on motherhood, how we should put up and shut up (!) and a woman coming into her own.
6. The Outrun by Amy Liptrot, a beautiful memoir about alcohol dependency & reconnecting with home in Orkney. Puffins, constellations, farmland, sweeping sea & the landscape of the Scottish islands – it’s a wonderful meditation on a journey to recovery.
7. Your Silence Will Not Protect You, a collection of Audre Lorde’s writing published last year by Silver Press. A radical call to speak out, stand in sisterhood with ALL our sisters and keep fighting!
8. The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall because it changed my life! A novel on being lesbian in a time of physical isolation, vilification and institutionalisation.
9. Hunger by Roxane Gay because it is one of the most honest & beautiful books about bodies, food and sexual abuse I have ever read. I felt seen and like I wasn’t alone reading it.
10. White Oleander by Janet Fitch, a book about resilience, growing up & creating a life as best you can. Astrid teaches us how to see, how to find beauty in ‘neglected rivers’, how to survive.
11. The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, a series about the power of female friendship against the backdrop of a changing Naples. Spanning 60 years, truly fierce, layered and gripping, we deserve richly-drawn women characters like these!
12. And what list would be complete without Maya Angelou! I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a rich classic about racism, trauma, survivorhood and prejudice. Super powerful and incredibly moving, her memoir really conveys the impact of childhood sexual abuse.