Give us your ten top books. – Jess
Aw geez. Really coming in hot here with the questions. This is a toughy, but one I get asked a lot. So here goes nothin’…in no particular order.
A Room of One’s Own – Our favorite feminist asserts privacy is key for a lady to really do her thing. That and enough money to support herself. I found this book after sort-of-kind-of being dumped and used it to put myself back together.
Glass Castle – This book really breaks the heart. It’s a memoir essentially about a woman who grew up in abject poverty with nutso parents whom she laters sees homeless on the streets of New York. Is a beautiful, inspiring read for those of us who grew up…shall we say below the middle class cut off.
Seat of the Soul – Essentially my Bible. I’m not religious per-say, but very spiritual. This book came into my life when I was angry for no reason. It’s extremely New-Agey, but I challenge you to challenge your belief system and give it a try.
The Alchemist – Okay, now I’m getting into airport-fiction territory, but you asked! This book is magical, and perfect for those who don’t typically enjoy reading. The take-away from The Alchemist is that we want what we want for a reason. Note: Not to be used to justify late night snack cravings.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Honestly, this should be required reading in schools. Michelle Alexander peels away the (extremely racist) layers of the American criminal justice system to expose how it unfairly targets black men in a manner equally as disenfranchising as the Jim Crow era. Read it. Get mad. Go protest.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma – While we’re on the subject of shit that’s fucked up…let’s talk about the food industry! Tasking himself to uncover exactly how our food is made, Michael Pollan follows four meals from soil to table. He breaks the food system into four categories: Industrial, Big Organic, Small Organic, Hunter-Gatherer. A good read for anyone who has put something edible in her mouth in past 24 hours.
Everything is Illuminated – This book made me want to be Jewish. Don’t ask. But it’s one of the most beautifully written things I’ve read and super surreal. Like reading a Dali painting.
Alice in Wonderland – She’s my spirit animal. We’re all familiar with the Disney movie, but have you ever actually read the book? Very trippy. Best after a bowl or two.
Americanah – My new favorite human is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. You’re actually already familiar with her. Remember Beyonce’s “Flawless”? Well, that’s Adichie’s TEDTalk sampled there in the middle. It’s titled “We Should All Be Feminist,” so yeah, go watch that.
The Female Brain – Again, this should be required reading. Described as a book for “women and the men who love them,” The Female Brain is a neurological dissection of why we do everything that we do from birth through menopause. Sick of being called “crazy” or “emotional”? Just cite science!