Want to cozy up to a good book this fall and feel empowered doing it? Here, some of our favorite feminist-friendly new reads:
Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks, and Other Misfits Are Taking Over the World, by Leslie Simon: This fun little lifestyle guide had us at that subtitle. And we’re all for any chance to celebrate Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Bjork, and Zooey Deschanel — all cited here as geek role models of our time. Why should guys soak up all the geek love?
The Girl with Three Legs, by Soraya Miré: Terrifying and inspiring, this memoir of a Somali girl’s life after female genital mutilation will remind you exactly why we need feminism now more than ever — and why we need to remember our sisters overseas in our activism.
A Home of Her Own, by Nancy R. Hiller: This gorgeous book full of coffeetable-worthy photos (by Kendall Reeves) of droolworthy homes also offers a great read: Each set of photos is accompanied by the story behind the homes’ transformations, all at the hands of skilled women. Hiller, as a premiere cabinetmaker herself, knows of what she speaks.
Irrepressible: The Life and Times of Jessica Mitford, by Leslie Brody: Now out in paperback, this juicy biography tells the story of Mitford, a subversive who broke ties with her aristocratic British family by eloping with Winston Churchill’s son, then went on to become an activist in the United States throughout the ’40s and ’50s. You’ll be there as she campaigns for civil rights, becomes and investigative journalist, and even coins the term “frenemies” (but as a member of the American Communist Party during the Cold War, she wasn’t talking bitches who don’t like your taste in shoes).
Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman, by Patricia Bowsorth. Actress, activist, fitness guru, unabashed sex symbol well into her seventies, Jane Fonda is the poster woman for feminist evolution. Bosworth’s biography captures the highs and lows of Fonda’s life–from her empowering success stories (war activist! outspoken women’s rights crusader!) to a few feminist missteps (a co-dependent marriage and plastic surgery later in life, for which she atones). Above all else, Jane Fonda is an honest, outspoken badass of a woman who continues to be a role model to generations of women.