A Baker’s Dozen Reviews to Look Forward to

Basically, I’m here to get y’all amped about some of the quality choices I’ve made lately; I’m going to fill y’all in on the next ten books I’ll be reading and reviewing, starting with the book I’m reviewing Friday and then listing the next ten in no particular order. I’m also going to fill you in on my next double book review (though I haven’t decided when it will be), and providing some insight on a book that’s high on my wishlist. That makes 13 books to look forward to, because I can’t help myself.

Part of my reading goal this year is to read as many books as I can that deal with issues that I feel strongly about. I want to read more writers of color, more pointedly feminist books, and more books that deal with mental illness. As I’ve mentioned before, I look for books wherever I can find them; several of these books were recommended to me by friends or through celebrity endorsements, others I have found at random through free book bins on campus or at 2nd and Charles, through browsing the shelves at Goodwill and other used book or thrift stores, or through suggestions on Amazon. A few of the books I’ll be talking about came into my possession in interesting ways that I’ll tell you about.

This is my invitation to you. Read with me, learn with me, grow with me…

I’ll go ahead and get started with the book I’ll be reading for Friday’s review; How to be a Bad Bitch by Amber Rose.

Book 1
Image credit: Amazon.com

Book 1: How to be a Bad Bitch by Amber Rose

Genre: Self-Help / Personal Growth

Just like Alida Nugent, I side with Amber Rose (former stripper risen to fame through celebrity relationships with Kanye West and Whiz Khalifa). I’m impressed with her activism so far,her slutwalk, her pointed statement outfits, and her choice to always respond to attacks on her character. That being said, I was fairly disappointed at her tweet to Kanye about anal play, as it definitely seemed to be an attempt at emasculation. I picked up this book around Christmas and I’m happy to say that I’m finally picking it up now. Expect a full review on Friday with all of my pros and cons.

How to Be a Bad Bitch

Book 2

Image credit: Amazon.com

Book 2: Bossypants by Tina Fey

Genre: Memoir

I’ll be honest, I can’t call myself a huge Tina Fey fan. I’ve heard too much about her being a white feminist (see definition here) to really vibe well with her, and I picked up this book in an effort to get to know a little more about Fey and her ideology. As a mainstream feminist, there’s a lot of speculation on her views and more, so I want to try to give her a chance.


Book 3

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Book 3: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

Genre: Current Affairs / Criminal Justice

I’m quite excited about this book; I need more knowledge on mass incarceration and the criminal justice system. I picked this up at my local B.A.M. when I got the chance to go on a book shopping spree courtesy of my mother. The New Jim Crow was high on my list because I feel that I need to have more information on race relations and institutional racism than I got through college alone. I’ve heard good things, saw Matt McGorry reading it on Instagram, and decided the woker I could be the better.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Book 4

Image credit: Amazon.com

Book 4: What You Really Really Want by Jaclyn Friedman

Genre: Sexuality

About a year and a half ago I had the privilege of attending the Gender and Women’s Studies Department’s fair at Kennesaw State (I got to speak with students about the Ecofeminism class I took and the trip that four of us took to NYC for the People’s Climate March in September of 2014). One of the tables was covered in books from Charis Books and More, and this book caught my eye (I’m also planning on picking up some really radical coloring books for my sisters if I get to stop by anytime soon). I picked this book up and knew I needed to give it a read. Friedman’s book is intended to help the reader get what they want out of their sex life, learn about themselves and what they like, and empower the reader in their sexuality. Though it’s been sitting on my shelf for well over a year, I haven’t taken the time to read this book and do the exercises. This year I vow to get it done.

What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety

Book 5

Image credit: Amazon.com

Book 5: An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison

Genre: Psychology / Memoir

This book stood out to me as unique because Jamison is both a manic depressive and a psychiatrist, giving her insight that others might not have. Her dual perspective is what drew me in, and my drive to understand more about my own mental illness. Psychology intrigues me, and I hope to get some useful information by reading this.

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

Book 6

Image credit: Amazon.com

Book 6: Raising Confident Girls by Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer

Genre: Parenting

I picked this book up out of the free bin at 2nd and Charles about a year ago. I’m aiming to glean some decent advice that I can use to help guide my sisters, and eventually raise my children with. The cover advertises 100 tips for Parents and Teachers, and the formatting of the book clearly divides the two. I definitely like the fact that the commentary is directed at teachers as well as parents, because I think that teachers (as a former EDU major myself) can definitely use some guidance at times. This will be a quick read, so I’m sure it’ll come during a particularly busy chunk of time in my life.

Raising Confident Girls: 100 Tips For Parents And Teachers

Book 7

Image credit: Amazon.com

Book 7: Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Genre: Memoir / Women’s Studies

I went browsing through a local used book store in downtown macon recently, and I added this book to my wishlist. When it showed up on the shelves of the Goodwill Bookstore about a week later, I picked it up with no qualms. An interesting title, premise, and genre means that I should likely enjoy it. I’ve seen some less than excellent reviews on Goodreads, most of them due in part to a lack of context. I plan on giving it a go sometime later this year. I enjoyed Persepolis and I’m definitely interested in learning more about Iran during the time period.

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books

Book 8
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Book 8: In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens by Alice Walker

Genre: Essays / Women’s Studies

I found this gem in a free book box sitting outside of the restroom on the ground floor of the English building on a particularly nice day. I’d seen this when I saw that assortment from Charis and added it to my wishlist. Fate sent it my way (fate and a generous professor), and I’m looking forward to reading my first book of womanist prose. The womanist movement is something that I would like to learn a lot more about, so I’m pretty excited! The only thing better than a good books,is a good book that you get for free.

In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose

Book 9
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Book 9: Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Genre: Memoir / Psychology

I picked this book up because I enjoyed the movie; I’m sure I’ll see a lot of differences when I’m finished, but I’ll probably also do a rewatch so I can let y’all know about it. As I mentioned before, I have a few mental illnesses of my own, and I’m looking to get more perspective from other people like me. Kaysen had what seems to have been a horrid experience when she was hospitalized for almost two years. The idea of being hospitalized deeply terrifies me, so I’m hoping to stay calm through the read.

Girl, Interrupted

Book 10
Image credit: Amazon.com

Book 10: The Rose that Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur

Genre: Poetry

I’ll admit, I don’t know much about Tupac. I’ve heard that he was an excellent commentator on social issues, and I’ve heard that he was incarcerated for sexual assault. I’m not one to believe that false rape accusations are frequent, and I have SERIOUSLY mixed feelings about this. I’m interested in reading his works because of how highly praised he is in social justice communities for his choice to speak out on the criminal justice system and corruption. I also want to read Assata Shakur’s (his mother) memoir when I get the chance.

The Rose That Grew From Concrete

Book 11Book 12

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Books 11 & 12: This is Chick Lit edited by Lauren Baratz-Logsted and This is Not Chick Lit edited by Elizabeth Merrick

Genre: Fiction

And here we have my next double book review! It’s one I actually plan on finishing… I found these two in the free book box at KSU that I mentioned when talking about Alice Walker’s book above. After seriously disliking The Hazards of Sleeping Alone within the first 25 pages, I vowed to give Chick Lit another chance; here’s that chance! Both books look promising, they’re both full of works from varied authors, and I think they’ll be fun to compare. I have no clue when I’ll get to this, but I’m planning on having it done before September.

This Is Chick-lit

This Is Not Chick Lit: Original Stories by America’s Best Women Writers

Book 13
Image credit: Amazon.com

Book 13: Me, My Hair, and I edited by Elizabeth Benedict

Genre: Non Fiction / Essays / Memoir

I saw this sitting on the wrong shelf at B.A.M. a couple of months ago and went back for it on Valentine’s Day (when I picked up You Don’t Have to Like Me) but it was out of stock. I’m still waiting to pick it up, though it’s next on my purchase list. It’s not a long book, and I really like the concept. I’ve read somewhere that Anne Lamott discusses her choice to dread her hair in her essay (though I’m definitely not down for cultural appropriation, I’m interested to read her stance). I’m hoping to get it sometime soon, but we’ll see!

Me, My Hair, and I: Twenty-seven Women Untangle an Obsession

I suppose this isn’t quite a concept piece, but I felt like I should give y’all a chance to pick up what I think will be quality reading material in case you’d like to read them and interact. As a feminist, and as a reader, I try to make sure that I’m able to learn something from every book that I pick up, and I honestly think these books will prove to be quite educational.

Expect my review for How to be a Bad Bitch to be up Friday, I’ll see you babes here later this week!