September’s book list, because at least for the moment, I’m not going to go back to August right now. Looks like I landed on seven books yet again this month, unintentional and slightly interesting.
- “Present over Perfect” – Shawna Niequest: This was such a great book for me. I have strong perfectionist tendencies and many years ago I wrote out 5 traits I wanted to be known for or themes I’d like to be key for my life and being present is one of them. This was one of my first ebook reads and I made extensive use of the highlight function, a departure from my usual folding down of pages. Of course, I’m also pretty sure I just accidentally erased all my highlighting when I went back to review them for this post.
- “We Should All be Feminists” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi: “I looked the word up in the dictionary, it said: Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes… My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.” Her discussion of the baggage associated with the word feminism as well as the importance of reclaiming and continuing to use it meshes with my developing thoughts on the topic as well as multiple conversations with grad school friends.
- “Assimilate or Go Home” – DL Mayfield: For 75% of this book I was unsure what I thought of it, but there were a handful of moments where it really made me think or challenged me. I’m still thinking about this quote: “And beneath all of that seemingly ‘good’ stuff was a girl who had placed herself on a pedestal, someone who believed I am destined for something special, because I am special… And it was unspoken, of course, but the flip side of this belief was an ugly little hierarchy, a drive to be out on the top that came more from desperation than idealism: I am special because I have to be. Because God loves the special more.
- “The Pearl that Broke its Shell” – Nadia Hashimi: I loved her “When the Moon Hung Low” and also thoroughly enjoyed this one as well. I read most of this on the plan over and was thoroughly caught up in the narrative. It follows two Afghan women of the same family, a couple generations apart who each at some point in life for a period of time act out the custom of bacha posh and function as males in order circumvent some of the gender role restrictions. I’ve heard of the custom, but am not overly familiar with it nor how common it has been at any point, but it left me curious and the book was fantastic. Part of the GoodReads description of it encompasses it well: “searing tale of powerlessness, fate, and the freedom to control one’s own fate.”
- Emily Series (“Emily of New Moon,” “Emily Climbs,” “Emily’s Quest” – LM Montgomery: These were my first of LM Montgomery’s outside of the Anne series, while I read, or rather listened to for the first time all the way through a couple years ago. They were easy, enjoyable reads that fit great as airplane/ferry/jet lag recovering reads. They also made me wonder how many other lesser known books I’ve missed out on from key authors of childhood.