With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.
"My favorite book of the year, so far"
Based on seven years of ground-breaking research and hundreds of interviews, I Thought It Was Just Me shines a long-overdue light on an important truth: Our imperfections are what connect us to each other and to our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses; they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we're all in this together.
"Good self-help book; not well-suited for audio."
Why is it so difficult for men and women to get along? In this phenomenally popular and effective work, Dr. John Gray illustrates how differences in communication styles, behavior, and emotional needs can drive the two sexes apart, and offers ways to help keep them together.
"May I suggest..."
A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay. In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking listeners on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown).
"Exemplifies what it means to me to be a feminist"
In a provocative, groundbreaking work, National Magazine Award finalist Rebecca Traister, "the most brilliant voice on feminism in this country" (Anne Lamott), traces the history of unmarried women in America who, through social, political, and economic means, have radically shaped our nation.
"Excellent book, destroyed by narration"
What is masculinity? Ask ten men and you'll get ten vague, conflicting answers. Unlike any book of its kind, The Way of Men offers a simple, straightforward answer - without getting bogged down in religion, morality, or politics. It's a guide for understanding who men have been and the challenges men face today. The Way of Men captures the silent, stifling rage of men everywhere who find themselves at odds with the overregulated, overcivilized, politically correct modern world.
"A book I plan on reccomending my sons"
Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven't been burned as witches since 1727, life isn't exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them? Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women's lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother.
"Hysterical manual for the 21st century woman"
What Wild at Heart did for men, Captivating is doing for women: setting their hearts free. This groundbreaking audiobook shows listeners the glorious design of women before the fall, describes how the feminine heart can be restored, and casts a vision for the power, freedom, and beauty of a woman released to be all she was meant to be.
Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls is a manifesto and call to arms for women of all sizes and ages. With smart and sassy eloquence, veteran blogger Jes M. Baker calls on women to be proud of their bodies, fight against fat shaming, and embrace a body-positive worldview to change public perceptions and help women maintain mental health.
"Yes, Yes, Yes!"
Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, a work of "autotheory" offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author's relationship with the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes Nelson's account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, is an intimate portrayal of the complexities and joys of (queer) family making.
"A relaxing meditation on identity, gender and art"
When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the direst section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood';s most vivid chronicler. Woven into the ongoing tales of her life in the East End are the true stories of the people Worth met who grew up in the dreaded workhouse, a Dickensian institution that limped on into the middle of the twentieth century.
"Nice followup to "Call The Midwife""
The author of the celebrated Victory tells the fascinating story of the intertwined lives of Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first and second women to serve as Supreme Court justices.
"Insightful and thought-provoking"
A groundbreaking women's leadership expert and popular conference speaker gives women the practical skills to voice and implement the changes they want to see - in themselves and in the world.
When 22-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the poorest section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood's most vivid chronicler. Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End is the last book in Worth's memoir trilogy, which the Times Literary Supplement described as "powerful stories with sweet charm and controlled outrage" in the face of dire circumstances.
"Hated to see it end..."
With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, offering listeners accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population.
"A Wonderful Memoir"
The most important issue in a gay man’s life is not “coming out”, but coming to terms with the invalidating past. Despite the progress made in recent years, many gay men still wonder, “Are we better off?” The byproduct of growing up gay in a straight world continues to be the internalization of shame, rejection, and anger - a toxic cocktail that can lead to drug abuse, promiscuity, alcoholism, depression, and suicide.
"Must read for any gay man"
Once upon a time Martians and Venusians met, fell in love, and had happy relationships together because they respected and accepted their differences. Then they came to Earth and amnesia set in: They forgot they were from different planets.
The book that changed the consciousness of a country - and the world. Landmark, groundbreaking, classic - these adjectives barely describe the earthshaking and long-lasting effects of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. This is the book that defined "the problem that has no name", that launched the Second Wave of the feminist movement, and has been awakening women and men with its insights into social relations, which still remain fresh, ever since.
"Great material - poorly read"
When it comes to sex, common wisdom holds that men roam while women crave closeness and commitment. But in this provocative, headline-making book, Daniel Bergner turns everything we thought we knew about women's arousal and desire inside out. Drawing on extensive research and interviews with renowned behavioral scientists, sexologists, psychologists, and everyday women, he forces us to reconsider long-held notions about female sexuality.
"Masterfully read, depressing yet thoughtful book"
A Room of One's Own, based on a lecture given at Girton College Cambridge, is one of the great feminist polemics. Woolf's blazing polemic on female creativity, the role of the writer, and the silent fate of Shakespeare's imaginary sister remains a powerful reminder of a woman's need for financial independence and intellectual freedom.
"Required reading for literary critics, feminists,"
In 1963's The Feminine Mystique, she identified "the problem that has no name" afflicting women pressured to devote themselves to domestic life. After World War II, society fostered the idea that women wanted different things from men - namely, to run homes and live through the achievements of their husbands and children. In reality, rigid gender roles left housewives frustrated and depressed and caused tensions both in their marriages and in how couples raised their children.
Philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft's 1792 work A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is a key text in the development of what we now know as feminism. Written in the atmosphere created by the French Revolution, which made radical change seem possible, Wollstonecraft's work challenges the idea that society's oppression of women is entirely natural. While her male contemporaries happily argued for the fundamental freedoms of all men, few were interested in extending these revolutionary rights to women.
Even as recently as the 1920s the historical lack of great female writers was often considered as evidence of women's inferiority. Virginia Woolf disagreed. In her 1929 essay A Room of One's Own, she argues that creativity is impossible without privacy and freedom from financial worries - and that throughout history women have had neither. As a result, no tradition of great female writing existed to inspire women. Woolf's focus on the everyday suppression of women was a turning point.
If you're like most modern women, you feel beat down by and fed up with the ads, marketing, and well-meaning people promoting the message of musts. "You must have the perfect body, make lots of money, and have a college degree. Must, must, must!" Debra Fox's Finding Your Moxie is a refreshing eye-opener for women trying to thrive in life but struggling to keep up with the myths, lies, and half truths surrounding success that women have to face head-on every day.
"BEWARE AMWAY Network Marketing!"
How do you learn to be a black man in America? For young black men today, it means coming of age during the presidency of Barack Obama. It means witnessing the deaths of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, and too many more. It means celebrating powerful moments of black self-determination for LeBron James, Dave Chappelle, and Frank Ocean. In Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, Mychal Denzel Smith chronicles his own personal and political education during these tumultuous years.
For decades, we've discussed our insecurities in the face of idealized, retouched, impossibly perfect images. We've worried primping and preening are a distraction and a trap. But have we focused too much on beauty's negative influence? In Face Value, journalist Autumn Whitefield-Madrano thoughtfully examines the relationship between appearance and science, social media, sex, friendship, language, and advertising to show how beauty actually affects us day to day.
This work presents the first in-depth look at how this "girl next door" became one of Manson's "girls". It also tells about Karlene Faith's 30-year friendship with Leslie van Houten, whom she met while teaching in prison. To everyone who encountered Leslie - including prison staff and television journalists - she was not the demon typically portrayed by the media but rather a gentle, generous spirit who mourned her victims. But why didn't this intelligent young woman see the evil in the "messiah" who had sexually exploited her and ordered her to murder?
With insights and personal anecdotes from Sheryl Sandberg, Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Nancy Pelosi, Nicholas Kristof, Melissa Etheridge, and many more, this book addresses timely, provocative issues involving women, politics, and power. With a broader goal of encouraging women and girls to be leaders in their lives, their communities, and the larger world, Schnall and her interviewees explore the changing paradigms occurring in politics and in our culture with the hope of moving toward meaningful and effective solutions.
De Beauvoir's book charted the oppression of "the second sex" in terms never before seen in the academic world. Her most startling theory became a rallying cry for the feminist movement: "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman." She argued that gender identity was shaped by upbringing in a world ruled by men. A leading light in the existentialist movement, de Beauvoir applied the radical philosophy of personal choice and freedom to argue that women were subjugated in every area of life.
Philosopher Judith Butler's 1990 work, Gender Trouble, shook the foundations of feminist theory and changed the conversation about gender. While many thinkers already accepted that "gender" was a category constructed by society rather than defined by one's genitalia, Butler went further and argued that gender is performative - it exists only in the acts that express it. Society determines that wearing makeup is "feminine" - but some men wear makeup. Are they "women"?
Why has gender inequality persisted for so long without revolutionary change? That's the central question Joan Wallach Scott poses in her 1998 collection of essays, Gender and the Politics of History. Scott notes that obvious economic, social, and class inequalities have produced large-scale social change, but uncovering the reality of gender inequality has not done the same.
For more than a decade, Katherine Zoepf has lived in or traveled throughout the Arab world, reporting on the lives of women, whose role in the region has never been more in flux. Only a generation ago, female adolescence as we know it in the West did not exist in the Middle East. There were only children and married women. Today, young Arab women outnumber men in universities, and a few are beginning to face down religious and social tradition in order to live independently, to delay marriage, and to pursue professional goals.
Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, a work of "autotheory" offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author's relationship with the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes Nelson's account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, is an intimate portrayal of the complexities and joys of (queer) family-making.
All the Single Ladies is an examination of the role of marriage in the lives of women in the United States today and a historical accounting of how the institution arrived at its current juncture. Following an academic investigation into the state of marriages for American women in the past, Traister describes the ways women are reclaiming the institution on their own terms - or avoiding it altogether.
Kate Andersen Brower's First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies examines how women from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama have negotiated the personal and political challenges of being married to the president of the United States.
Would you believe that 86 percent of LGBT people - from the proud marcher at the Pride Parade to the quiet, closeted teen - spent their childhood in church? More than half of them left those religious communities as adults; three out of four would be happy to come back. For decades now, we have found ourselves caught up in a culture war: us versus them. Good news: There is no them. Our culture war has been a civil war: us versus us. And there is a path toward meaningful peace.
A short, accessible and practical handbook for women on speaking out safely and confidently. Worldwide, less than one out of every four people we hear or read about in the media is female; in Australia men outnumber women in parliament by more than three to one; and women are even more underrepresented in leadership roles and peace negotiations. If women and girls remain voiceless, half of humanity's experiences, perspectives and possible solutions to world problems go unheard.
Beyond Bombshells analyzes the cultural importance of strong women in a variety of current media forms. Action heroines are now more popular in movies, comic books, television, and literature than they have ever been. Their spectacular presence represents shifting ideas about female agency, power, and sexuality. This book explores how action heroines reveal and reconfigure perceptions about how and why women are capable of physically dominating roles in modern fiction.
Women define career success in a wide variety of ways. But whatever a woman's personal definition, if she is in a traditionally male-dominated career - virtually all high status, highly compensated fields - her career is at risk because of pervasive gender stereotypes. This highly practical book makes clear that women don't need to change who they are to succeed in their chosen careers, and they certainly don't need to act more like men.
Today, feminism is no longer a dirty word, and women purporting to stand up for women's equality now include high-powered names like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Emma Watson. Hip underwear lines sell granny pants with "feminist" emblazoned on the back. In every bookstore, there are scores of seductive feminist how-to business guides telling women how to achieve "it all".
"Fantastic book despite shoddy narration"
When an unexpected medical crisis sends Naomi Wolf on a deeply personal journey to tease out the intersections between sexuality and creativity, she discovers, much to her own astonishment, an increasing body of scientific evidence that suggests that the vagina is not merely flesh, but an intrinsic component of the female brain - and thus has a fundamental connection to female consciousness itself.
The bestselling classic that redefined our view of the relationship between beauty and female identity. In today's world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before. Alongside the evident progress of the women's movement, however, writer and journalist Naomi Wolf is troubled by a different kind of social control, which, she argues, may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of homemaker and wife.
It's the 21st century, and although we tried to rear unisex children - boys who play with dolls and girls who like trucks - we failed. Even though the glass ceiling is cracked, most women stay comfortably beneath it. And everywhere we hear about vitally important "hardwired" differences between male and female brains. The neuroscience that we read about in magazines, newspaper articles, books, and even scientific journals increasingly tells a tale of two brains, and the result is a validation of the status quo.
"Gender differences are exaggerated"
When Linda Babcock asked why so many male graduate students were teaching their own courses and most female students were assigned as assistants, her dean said: "More men ask. The women just don't ask." It turns out that whether they want higher salaries or more help at home, women often find it hard to ask.
"A Motivating Read!"
Feminism isn't dead. It just isn't very cool anymore. Enter Full Frontal Feminism, a book that embodies the forward-looking messages that author Jessica Valenti propagated as founder of the popular website, Feministing.com. This revised edition includes a new foreword by Valenti, reflecting upon what’s happened in the five years since Full Frontal Feminism was originally published.
Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne’s life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: Neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne’s death more than her life.
"Most Enjoyable Biography--Win!"
Kate Bornstein - gender theorist, performance artist, author - is set to change lives with her compelling memoir. Wickedly funny and disarmingly honest, this is Bornstein's most intimate book yet, encompassing her early childhood and adolescence, college at Brown, a life in the theater, three marriages and fatherhood, the Scientology hierarchy, transsexual life, LGBTQ politics, and life on the road as a sought-after speaker.
"I'm grateful to have read this book."
In Pushback, top leadership consultant Selena Rezvani argues that self-advocacy is critical to success. Yet women initiate negotiations four times less often than men, resulting in getting less of what they want - promotion opportunities, plum assignments, and higher pay. This book shines a light on the real rules of holding your own and pushing back for what is rightfully yours. Drawing on interviews with high-level leaders, Rezvani offers listeners the truth about how women have asked their way to the top.
"Straightforward Advice for Women Professionals"
As second-generation members of the royal family who have benefited from Saudi oil wealth, Maha and Amani are surrounded by untold opulence and luxury from the day they were born. And yet, they are stifled by the unbearably restrictive lifestyle imposed on them, driving them to desperate measures. Throughout, Sultana and Sasson never tire of their quest to expose the injustices which society levels against women.
Women are standing up and #shoutingback. In a culture that's driven by social media, for the first time women are using this online space (@EverydaySexism www.everydaysexism.com) to come together, share their stories, and encourage a new generation to recognise the problems that women face. This book is a call to arms in a new wave of feminism and it proves sexism is endemic - socially, politically, and economically. But women won't stand for it.
Meet the Female Chauvinist Pig - the new brand of "empowered woman" who wears the Playboy bunny as a talisman, bares all for Girls Gone Wild, pursues casual sex as if it were a sport, and embraces "raunch culture". If male chauvinist pigs of years past thought of women as pieces of meat, Female Chauvinist Pigs of today are doing them one better. They think they're being brave, they think they're being funny, but in Female Chauvinist Pigs, Ariel Levy asks if the joke is on them.
First published in 1999, the groundbreaking Exile and Pride is essential to the history and future of disability politics. Eli Clare's revelatory writing about his experiences as a white disabled genderqueer activist/writer established him as one of the leading writers on the intersections of queerness and disability and permanently changed the landscape of disability politics and queer liberation.
"Narrator Horror -- book outdated"
Romance, dating, sex and - Muslim women? In this groundbreaking collection, 25 American Muslim writers sweep aside stereotypes to share their search for love openly for the first time, showing just how varied the search for love can be - from singles' events and online dating, to college flirtations and arranged marriages, all with a uniquely Muslim twist. These compelling stories of love and romance create an irresistible balance of heart-warming and tantalizing, always revealing and deeply relatable.
"Sex, Love, & Feminism, in the Muslim Women's World"
Raising My Rainbow is Lori Duron’s frank, heartfelt, and brutally funny account of her and her family's adventures of distress and happiness raising a gender-creative son. Whereas her older son, Chase, is a Lego-loving, sports-playing boy's boy, her younger son, C.J., would much rather twirl around in a pink sparkly tutu, with a Disney Princess in each hand while singing Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi".
"Every Child Matters"
A worldwide best seller, The Female Eunuch is a landmark book in the history of the women's movement and a ground-breaking feminist tract. Drawing from history, literature, and popular culture - past and present - Germaine Greer's searing examination of women's oppression is both an important social commentary and a passionately argued polemical masterpiece. This is one of the most famous, most widely read books on feminism ever written.
For more than a century before gay marriage became a hot-button political issue, same-sex unions flourished in America. Pairs of men and pairs of women joined together in committed unions, standing by each other "for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health" for periods of 30 or 40 - sometimes as many as 50 - years. In short, they loved and supported each other every bit as much as any husband and wife. In Outlaw Marriages, cultural historian Rodger Streitmatter reveals how some of these unions didn’t merely improve the quality of life for the two people involved but also enriched the American culture.
"very well documented and interesting"
Transitions of the Heart is the first collection to ever invite mothers of transgender and gender variant children of all ages to tell their own stories about their child’s gender transition. Often transitioning socially and emotionally alongside their child but rarely given a voice in the experience, mothers hold the key to familial and societal understanding of gender difference.
"These stories are important and helpful."