What a month! I've been experimenting with posting to Booklikes and Wordpress and it's been interesting. Not everything goes completely in both directions, but I like getting the book covers from Booklikes instead of Amazon Affiliates, since that's where I used to get them. I hate feeling pressured to sell stuff just to so the covers can appear on posts about the books. Irritating, but I don't have to do it anymore! It's been nice, but definitely an adjustment.
What I'm reading -
I picked up The Opposite of Loneliness for the Read Harder Challenge. It counts as my book of essays, though it has more short stories than essays and I'm not passed the stories just yet. Keegan's writing style is beautiful, it's unfortunate that we won't have more from her in the future, but the preface includes that the book was published posthumously.
I know I normally read women authors, but the title All the Light We Cannot See was just too compelling and there was such notoriety around it not too long ago, I just couldn't help myself.
Read this month
Fiction: The Yellow Wallpaper, Heartburn, The Bell Jar, Euphoria, and Manners and Mutiny. It's been quite the month for older fiction. It wasn't until just now that I realized all of my fiction was either written a long time ago or takes place a long time ago. It's pretty odd for me to not have books that take place in the future on this list!
We got through Joshua and even started Judges!
I'm starting to feel like I'm getting a handle on this project and it might scare me a little. Again, this is to take a look at the Bible, the primary religious text of Christians, and see just how misogynistic it really is. Or isn't. Sometimes people read that into it and it can come from either side of the argument. The Old Testament isn't exactly a girl's best friend, but I have a hard time seeing where anyone gets the idea that this is the basis of how to treat a woman these days. Not so far.
But I do see how bad it all can be when people think it's okay to pick any line out of any spot and recite it as if that line is representative of the whole work. That's a problem, and a big one for more than just women.
I also see that the treatment of women at the time that the Old Testament takes place isn't great, but it isn't altogether awful. The lack of agency for women so far is a problem, but in a time without good and consistent birth control, I can see how it would be easy to have traded agency for security, or for it to be taken. The women may not be mentioned nor does most of the conversation seem to include them or their point of view, and that may be sexist but it's not inherently misogynistic. No one appears to be hating on women. Even the whole red tent thing seems to be more about a time before adequate feminine products and germ control, but that takes me back to Leviticus and Deuteronomy and we're in Judges now, so I need to stop.
Read Harder (brings total to 13 books read!):
The Yellow Wallpaper - a book under 100 pages
The Bell Jar - a book with a main character that has a mental illness
Euphoria - an audiobook that has won an Audie Award
First They Killed My Father - a book by an author from Southeast Asia
Yes, you may have noticed from previous posts that I had to change the Audie award book because Heartburn did not actually win, it was a finalist.
Reading Women of Color (brings total to 8 of 20 books read!):
First They Killed My Father by Luong Ung
Should I count the whole Shatter Me Collection or each book individually? It feels like cheating because I devoured them like one long book and I have the collection listed in my shelves as one. Eh, I'll leave it to future Heather to decide.
Life and Feminism:
You really must check out the Feminist Texican Reads. I found her down a string of posts in the Our Shared Shelf group on Goodreads when a discussion was talking about April's book, How to Be a Woman - Caitlin Moran. There is some debate as to it's merit as a feminist manifesto. I've read it, it wasn't a bad read, but it has it's feminist flaws. All of my complaints are hashed out by the Feminist Texican when she reviewed here. My issue with the discussion is that we must read all kinds of books, even problematic ones in our quest for a more unified feminism. It's when we rant and then agree on a new foundation that progress is really made and this book definitely brought up LOTS of discussions and brought people together on the problems facing feminism. I support Watson on that it was a good idea to read, despite not being the best book in the world. If you want to know why, check out the above Feminist Texican review. Seriously, I can't say it better than she did.
As for the next book in the Our Shared Shelf group, I'm totally looking forward to it and actually have easy access to it! (I'd already read April; have a hard time with non-ebooks these days because clutter, so March was out; was not incredibly interested in February, no judgement, it just didn't excite me; and I was in the middle of a book by the same author in January, so I didn't feel the need to read the exact one) Okay, I'm a fan, but not a follower, so sue me. I am gonna try to get with them on this one because you may recall me mentioning one Friday that this is one of the memoirs I want to read anyway.
Anyway, how's your book-loving or feminist life?
See you next month!