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Activist Malala Yousafzai is unstoppable. In the past year, she has gone from surviving an assassination attempt to speaking at the United Nations to being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Did we forget to mention the fact that she just celebrated her 16th birthday? Malala’s powerful message is one of gender equality, especially in the world of education.   Yesterday, in her self-proclaimed second home of Birmingham, Malala continued her quest for ... Read More
Memoirs from children of celebrities and politicians abound, but the offspring of our country’s leading intellectuals have been less effusive. That gap has started to close, however, thanks to Najla Said’s Looking for Palestine, a memoir from the daughter of the late Edward Said, the outspoken advocate for Palestine who single-handedly founded post-colonial studies. Said grew up with her Palestinian father and Lebanese mother on the Upper West ... Read More
In her guide for women looking to gain political office, Rebecca Sive argues for the necessity of such a book by opening up with the noteworthy statistics that, “Women occupy fewer than 20 percent of the seats in the U.S. Congress. Only 5 of our 50 states have women governors. And though thousands of women hold local and state offices, those percentages are dismal as well.” This lack of women in political office compelled Sive, who has served in ... Read More
  Remember books?  Before I developed a crippling internet addiction, I was an avid book reader. My trips to Barnes and Nobles actually involved me purchasing something other than a Hazelnut macchiato. It was a magical time.  Most of all because with each page I'd find literary heroines to look up to, sisters that were bold and intriguing. They had their faults and flaws, but if it didn't make them more relatable, it at least made for good ... Read More
Oh, the woes of the disastrous first date: the silences, the bad smells, the off-putting comments… it's all be enough to make someone lie in bed weeping for days while scrolling the pages of “Forever Alone." Or it could provide excruciatingly exhilarating stories to share with friends, grandchildren, or the entire Internet community! The date may have been shitty, but it sure is fun to laugh about! That's the attitude Rhodri Marsden takes with his ... Read More
She’s 27, she’s Jewish, and she wears Gucci: she’s Mindy Budgor and she’s the first female Maasai warrior in recorded history. For that reason alone, it’s important to read Warrior Princess, but that’s not the only reason. It’s also surprisingly funny; you will LOL a lot, probably very hard. Budgor hails from Chicago and, out of a hazy sense of purpose, was applying for a master’s in business when she heard the ... Read More
Chelsea Clinton is one of the classiest young ladies I can think of. Also, she’s awesome. Not just because she’s a Clinton Foundation leader or a board member for Common Sense Media,  but because she loves a good book—especially one with a strong, intelligent female leading by example.  In her Our Friends’ Favorites segment, she dropped some literary names that made me love her a whole bunch: Ramona Quimby, Meg Murray, Claudia ... Read More
Since childhood, we’ve been taught over and over again – don't judge a book by its cover – but this seemingly golden maxim is getting harder to follow.  Earlier this month, we reported on the unyielding gendering of book covers. The trend is particularly persistent in young adult fiction, where “regular” books are marketed towards both genders, and then there are the books for girls: unabashedly decorated in frills, lace, and ... Read More
The fight for gender equality in fiction lives on. For the past year, gendered book covers and the people fighting against them have highlighted the inner workings of sexism in the publishing biz. Who could forget the outcry over The Bell Jar’s 50th anniversary cover?    By the way, that cover is still featured on Google’s results page for the novel. Thanks for listening, publishers. And what about author Jim Hines’ genius photo ... Read More
Following her debut novel, The City is a Rising Tide, Rebecca Lee presents a collection of seven biting stories about the luxury we take in life’s ordinary comforts, and the threats, real or imagined, that lurk beyond the surface. As of this writing, Bobcat was longlisted for the international Frank O’Connor Prize for story collections, and the praise is due: with deadpan humor, Lee’s light touch illuminates the contrasts in everyday ... Read More