The dawn of the pandemic, working from home, closed restaurants, and not seeing loved ones has tested all of us. We know who you are- driven, passionate, sedulous, funny- but everyone has had difficult battles during the past few months. No matter how much of a boss you are, we all deserve a break to immerse ourselves in some good reading. What better time to empower yourself than the new year? Let go of all the baggage from 2020 and welcome 2021 with inspiration and perspective. We’ve put together a list of books we love that will empower you and cultivate a stronger understanding of yourself and the world. Check them out below!
1. Hood Feminism
Written by Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism goes into critical detail of the feminist movement as we know it today. While it has brought attention to many issues, it falls short in recognizing the intersectionality between feminism, health care, food security, education, and much more. Kendall further points out the importance that race and sexual orientation play in the related topics. If you are looking to take a deeper look into your values and inspired to create change within your own community, look no further than this book!
2. A Woman is No Man
This book by Etaf Rum interweaves two stories to describe the experience that many women immigrants face because of gender norms. Focusing on a Muslim family from Palestine who moved to Brooklyn, A Woman is No Man includes twists and compelling prose to balance out the heaviness of the topic at hand. By the end of the book, you will definitely be left reflecting on your own life and taking things into perspective.
3. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life
Samantha Irby captures moments in her life as applied to present day in this collection of essays. Both witty and relatable, Irby opens the door to her experiences that will have you laughing and remembering similar moments in your life. But, amidst all the humor are personal anecdotes that are so real that they can make even the most sangfroid souls shed a tear!
This novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explores the lives of a young couple from Nigeria who had always dreamed of moving west, growing up on books such as Mark Twain and James Baldwin. After following their own journeys out west, the book delineates the different tribulations each one faced and shows their journey back to each other. In a lively and enchanting story, this book touched on issues such as gender and immigration. You won’t be able to place this one down.
5. Last Night at the Telegraph Club
This coming of age novel takes place during the Red Scare. Written by Malinda Lo, the book explores the racism that occurred during this time towards Chinese Americans from citizens and the government itself. Following the story of two young teens who fall in love- Lily and Kathleen- this book is observant, brave, and nuanced. If you want to travel back in time and follow a young love story, this book is for you. Keep an eye out, Last Night at the Telegraph Club comes out on January 19th!