The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House by Audre Lorde – Book Review

This book is a collection of essays on the power of women by the self-described black, lesbian, mother, warrior and poet, Audre Lorde.

The collection has four essays: Poetry is Not A Luxury, Use of Erotic, The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House, and Uses of Anger. Every single one of these essays touches on different topics that concern women, and black women in specific; focussing on issues of womanhood, black identity, the LGBTQ community, and the vital roles that art and community must play in overthrowing the patriarchy.

This little book is loaded with heavy, theoretical ideas but Lorde’s writing is amazing enough to draw most of us in, and I found myself nodding along to must of it. These essays remain true to this day and her judgement and criticisms are as sharp and insightful now as they were when she first wrote them.

My favourite essay was, without doubt, the Uses of Anger. I found it to be as important as fitting with the times, while also being unapologetic and brilliant.

Her urge to unity and intersectionality is flawless due to the assurance that these do not mean conformity but accepting everyone’s individual traits.

Overall, I would highly recommend this essay collection about feminism and intersectionality to everyone, but especially if you’re looking for intersectional texts.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Bye, keep on reading. 

Why She Wrote: A Graphic History of the Lives, Inspiration, and Influence Behind the Pens of Classic Women Writers – Book Review

First of all, I want to thank Chronicle Books for the ARC.

I found the premise for Why She Wrote by Lauren Burke, Hannah K. Chapman and Kaley Bales to be super interesting, the introduction made me super excited to read the rest of the book and I thought this book was a neat take on a biography.

It’s such a unique idea, and honestly one of the most informative books I’ve ever come across. However, I found the transition from written biography to graphic novel mode was often disorienting. Within the illustrated sections, I found that the script font used was difficult to read and the font used in the rest of the book quite unattractive. The images themselves I liked, they were cute but nothing out of this world.

I found the stories of the women interesting, but the writing of the stories not so much, which is sad. More often than not, I was reading just in hopes to see if the chapter on the next writer/author was any better. 

With that being said, I think this book has a place on a shelf of a child with interest in literature and whose parents/teachers are enlighted enough to want their kid/student to read about the power of female authors. 

To sum up, I ended up liking the concept more than the actual book itself and maybe it was just not that well executed. I think the book has potential but needs significant editing and changes before being published. I think it is also very important to mention that the book is very euro-centric and I think it’s time to stop associating classics exclusively to white authors. 

Women, Race & Class by Angela Davis – Book Review

Woman, Race & Class is a non-fiction book about the connection between racism, class prejudice and white feminism.

Having read Angela Davis before (Freedom Is a Constant Struggle) I had already been introduced to the political activist’s narrative. However, this book was a pleasant surprise. Freedom Is a Constant Struggle is a collection of interviews and speeches, so it ended up being a bit repetitive, whereas Woman, Race & Class was objective, concise and exactly what I was hoping from it.

Angela Davis breaks down how misogyny, racism, and classism have shaped our society. She pays special attention to how white-dominated middle-class social movements have repeatedly forsake solidarity with both working class and black people in behalf of political convenience, as well as displaying how the biased goals of white reformists have allowed capitalist oppression throughout history.

This book moved through the atrocities of slavery, lynching and, overall, racist discrimination, especially by the feminist movement of the 20th century. Reading it, I felt outraged and angry towards my very own privileges.

Women, Race & Class is organized in such a way that everything you read sounds like new information even though we know it’s all connected which was exactly the book’s intent. The biggest take from this book is an extremely important one: INTERSECTIONALITY MATTERS, and sometimes we forget how much.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 starts.

She Represents: 44 Women Who Are Changing Politics . . . and the World, by Caitlin Donohue – Book Review

She represents is a non-fiction title written by Caitlin Donohue. It brings light to 44 powerhouse women around the world.

First of all, I’m glad African and South American women were mentioned, however, in my opinion, the book would have had more impact if the approach had been even more global (more Asian and European women) since it focused mainly on women in the United States. The author gives us a summary of these diverse and interesting women in less than 3 pages per person. Not to mention, I was extremely happy to see a wide range of political ideologies represented.

The background stories come to life as a result of the references to their personalities or personal anecdotes. Those make the woman in power feel more relatable. I found the artwork to be both inviting and full of life (and I believe there might be more artwork to come, given it was only an arc).

I reckon this book would be nice for those seeking to learn more about women in politics, current political circumstances.

Thank you to Caitlin Donohue, Zest Books, and Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Don’t forget that She Represents releases on September 1, 2020.

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur – Book Review

More than its predecessor, The Sun and Her Flowers discusses an even wider range of topics. This poetry collection discusses sexual assault, gender inequality, racism, feminism and family.35606560._sy475_

With this new collection, Kaur opens up the dialogue to even more important topics, giving emphasis to friendship, to how we treat our planet, greater attention to social stigmas of beauty while giving focus to bonds between mothers and daughters, which made me enjoy this second book by Kaur a lot more. By expanding her topic range, she allowed more people to feel connected not only her work but to other individuals as well. Which means, so many more people can find comfort through the words printed on these pages.

I read The Sun and Her Flowers in one sitting, and while I enjoyed it for the most part, there was a good chunk of poems I just couldn’t connect to. I don’t blame the author, it’s normal given that not everyone feels connected to the same topics.

Just like I stated in my review of Milk and Honey, Kaur writes in an emotive way, not to mention that the metaphors she uses are exceptionally powerful and have the capacity linger on your mind.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. And I truly recommend it if you are into contemporary poetry.

Bye, keep on reading.

 

Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard – Book Review

Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard is an adaptation from two speeches she made in 2014 and 2017 where she tracks what women’s relationship with power has been, from ancient myths to current online discourse.36525023._sy475_

The book starts with Beard stating “Women in the west have a lot to celebrate; let’s not forget.”, reflecting on how times have changed since her own mother was born, a time when women did not have the right to vote. At the end of the text reflects on what can be done and ventures that power needs to be redefined, not womanhood.

Beard draws connections I had never before thought about, between classical imagery and modern politics, the cultural precedents for the oppression of women in the oldest literature, managing to completely blow my mind. Though in contemporary times women have achieved much more “power” as traditionally defined, such as political power,  she notes that women’s political is rather curtailed.

Overall, I really enjoyed it, I underlined so many passages from it, and I really liked thinking more about our understanding of power as a society. I can not recommend it enough!

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Bye, keep on reading.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur – Mini Book Review

‘milk and honey’ is Kaur’s debut poetry collection. I consider that the main purpose of this book is to bring light to important topics such as violence and abuse, as well as celebrating femininity and love.123

This book is dived in 4 parts: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing. This division makes you feel like you are going on an internal journey the entire time. Kaur’s poems give an incredible message about how important it is to love yourself and not change who you are to please others.

She writes in an emotive way and some of the metaphors were exceptionally powerful, but they didn’t make me feel all that much, which made me sad. Unfortunately, it didn’t speak to me on a deeper level. But I do see it as poetry, and good poetry nonetheless.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. And I truly recommend it if you are into modern poetry.

Bye, keep on reading,

What Makes Girls Sick and Tired by Lucile de Pesloüan – Mini Book Review

The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. (It will be published on the 18th of March.)

What Makes Girls Sick and Tired is a short feminist manifesto mixed with a graphic novel. Its aim is to denounce discrimination against women of every social class, age, sexual orientation and ethnic culture.41427834

For me, this book is a collection of extremely valid points and I really enjoyed it for what it is. Not to mention, I love how every sentence comes together with the illustrations on the page.

My main complaint is that it’s too short which made it have a somewhat superficial approach to the topic in hands. I believe that if it was longer it could have had a deeper concept. Not to say it isn’t important to have this approach sometimes because it is, not everyone knows what sexism is or that it even exists.

What all that being said, I did enjoy this book and recommend it if you are new to the topic of feminism.

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Bye, keep on reading.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly – Book Review

Hidden Figures is a non-fiction book that tells the story of three African American women who worked for NASA during the Space Race. The book takes place from the 1930s through the 1960s, time when most people still viewed women as inferior to men and many parts of the US still practised segregation.DzTexxxXcAAB0T5

This book was very well researched and it was definitely an eye-opener for me. The narrative is for sure helped by the author’s personal familiarity with the subject, not to mention the relevance of the topic. I loved not only the history and science aspects of this book (because I’m a nerd) but the stories of the women and their intelligence and courage as well.

I really enjoyed this book even though its writing was somewhat dry which may be a negative point to some. What annoyed me a bit was the fact that the narrative jumped around quite a bit, both in time and between individuals.

Overall, I think this is a really good book and its strengths outweigh any negative aspect I could find while reading. I also really recommend the film if you read the book and felt a bit lost at one time or another.  If you like science, history, stories about civil rights, this book is a must-read for sure.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Buy, keep on reading.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Mini Review

I see this book as a short introduction to feminism, a topic I am incredibly passionate about. The author talks about her own experiences as a native Nigerian and now an American.

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She used real-life events from her life and those whom she shares her life with in order to present her viewpoints and that really stepped up the game and she also makes many good points. I only had a few issues with heteronormative language, but I don’t believe she was being intentionally exclusionary.

There’s not much else I can say about this book (because it is the tiniest thing on earth) other than it reminds me of the reasons why I believe we still need to fight for gender equality. AND THAT IS EXTREMELY  IMPORTANT

I think this essay is a good starting point for people wanting to learn more about feminism. It is a must read if you are into the topic.

Bye, keep on reading.