TTT: Top Ten Books for the Revolution


I know, it sounds a little dramatic but I was inspired by the women’s marches this weekend. I don’t know if you attended one or not, but they were amazing. I’m in awe of the numbers of women who showed up in DC and the countless sister marches all over the world. I honestly didn’t see it being that big until it happened. Big, but not quite what it was. It’s incredible.

One of my favorite signs that popped over and over again was the line “A Woman’s Place is in the Revolution” that was consistently plastered over the images of Princess Leia. I also got a kick out of the pictures I saw later on Twitter of signs with a big NC emblazoned on them in the font used to mark the Non-Compliant women of Bitch Planet. I really do have to catch up on that series.

At first, I wanted to share some book quotes from some favorites that I’ve read but then I reconsidered. Here are the books that inspire me to continue the work of feminism in whatever capacity I can at any given moment and that remind me how to keep it intersectional. Some are specifically written to be feminist and some aren’t even meant to help but deal with glass ceilings and cliffs. Still, if you’ve gotten far enough into feminism, you’ve probably past a few books about it. Maybe you’ve read these already, most of  them were mentioned in my Suggested Reading for New Intersectional Feminists but that post has 31 books (some may have been mentioned in more than one category) and this is just 10 to keep you going if you’ve already read the really starter stuff like Full Frontal Feminism or The Feminine Mystique.

These are about the work that continues to be done and that encourage to do so.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead - Brené Brown

Not written to be feminist, but to inspire the reader to do just what the  title says, Dare Greatly.

This book is great, especially paired with one of Brown’s other works, Rising Strong by Brene Brown, that is written to showcase the important middle step between falling and getting back up again. This is first on the list because it is people who don’t stay down that are getting this done. It’s people who are going to get back up and dust themselves off and not leave the arena where the things are getting done that will eventually achieve equality for all. (my review)

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity - Julia SeranoI still have issues with not treating the feminine as the thing that’s wrong with me and it spills out into my dealings with other women sometimes.

Honestly, I don’t feel like we’ll never get anywhere without dealing with this issue. The feminine isn’t weak and it isn’t inherently the problem. The problem is the way we devalue it, take it for granted, and let other people tell us it’s the problem. (my review)

Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community - Andrew MarinThis was lent to me by my pastor. It’s a compelling idea and one that has shaped my thoughts on how to deal with between faith and the LGBT community quite a bit since reading it. I was just starting to pack away the negative feelings I was raised with when he gave it to me, I think it might be why he gave it to me, but this put into words the way I was feeling about it and gave some very helpful history and tips for me.

It’s not “love the sinner, hate the sin” which still involves your judgement of what that person does. It’s about moving past what anyone does because someone’s faith should be (and otherwise is with heterosexuals) about that person’s walk with God alone. It’s not about what any of us do. If you are part of a faith community and struggling with reconciling this extent of your feminist views, this is a great place to turn. (my review)

All the Rebel Women: The rise of the fourth wave of feminism (Guardian Shorts) - Kira CochraneRemembering this tiny book inspires me almost everyday. It’s not that it tells me to do anything, but it brings into focus the emerging fourth wave and all the things that have been getting done, the small victories that books like Hope in the Dark would ask us to remember. It reminds me that though there is still plenty of work to get done, we are attacking it from many flanks and no one side is less important than the other.

I know that some people put down feminists and feminism because there are always other women that have it worse or that need tending to more than whatever we are doing, but we are can’t afford to think like that.

Number one, that thinking sets many Western women up in the thought of being the great white savior, which we will not be even if we think we are saving people. This book goes beyond the Western world and talks about things in other parts of the world, but does seem to focus on Western women most of the time. Number two, it assumes that feminists in other parts of the world aren’t doing good work toward educating people on and ending their issues. If you want to know what women are doing in other parts of the world, try some of the other books on the link at the top or some of the books further down this list (numbers 8 and 9).

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead - Sheryl SandbergYeah, I know what people say about this one and how she leaves out women who aren’t already privileged and rich and already leaning so far in that they’ve fallen on their faces. I know but it still has value for me and the fight.

It’s on the list because it started me down the path and I still remember it when I remember that we are in the midst of our own revolution. It’s the “first” woman to do this or that thing that will help the rest of us, even unintentionally. It’s stories like no one in a meeting knowing where the women’s bathroom was and that it never occurred to anyone to have pregnancy parking somewhere she worked that makes this book revolutionary to me. If you are the first woman in or the woman at the top, you should be making way for others and you should be mentoring other women and there are more suggestions for making way for us all to come after. (my review)

The Abramson EffectThis one serves as a reminder to me that there is no height too high for us to not topple off of once we get there. Sometimes a step forward will lead us careening off the top of a cliff and that’s just the way it’s going to be. That doesn’t make us failures and it doesn’t make the problem our fault. Sometimes we’re set up to fail and while we can’t say no in those impossible situations, we can always hope and we can always hold out a safety net to break the fall of the other women around us.

I don’t know if you remember the Abramson firing a few years ago, but it’s covered in depth here alongside the reasons why so many women fall off the “glass cliff” and gives other examples and suggestions. (my review)

Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers - Lois P. FrankelI like putting this one right next to the two above it because while it can be ridiculous that we must change so many things to be considered credible and have the right kind of potential and so many of these appear to contradict because it covers both sides of a problem, like being too aggressive or not aggressive enough, it also leans on what goes on in the other books. As women get into higher positions, we’ll be able to make way for other women and we’ll be able to do away with some of the things mentioned here and argue in the room against things that are typically female being something that is wrong with us or that makes us “not good enough” for the corner office. Until then, it doesn’t hurt to bear these things in mind and be among those who get there and make the room for them. (my review)

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban - Malala Yousafzai, With Christina LambIf you ever doubted the power of educating all girls, check out Malala Yousafzai’s story. I know many people know who she is already but there are lots of important things in here.

Yousafzai still advocates for children everywhere to be able to get an education but she also makes a clear point of the importance of educating girls alongside boys. She is one of many voices in this and her foundation is one of many that seeks to educate girls and unlock the potential that is scattered all over the world. With all of the problems in the world, we can’t afford to discount the ability of anyone, let alone huge pieces of the population.

Her story also proves that men know that. They know that things like the revolution can only really happen when women are educated enough to know that we can get our rights and to know how to fight for them. Alongside books like Half the Sky and Paradise Beneath Her Feet, we know that if we help women in these countries get their education, they’ll take care of the reformation on their own. (my review)

Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War - Leymah Gbowee,Carol MithersSpeaking of women who can reform their community on their own. If you aren’t familiar with Leymah Gbowee, you should be. She started a movement that brought peace to her country. It was a non-violent protest inspired by Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. and her story is incredible.

This one is for whenever I doubt what women are capable of when we stick together. (my review)

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches - Audre Lorde  I’m still reading this one but I know it’s concepts and ideas will stay with me as those of the rest of the list have. Some books were good reads and provide good information, but others we are reminded of every day in our dealings with the world.

This will be one of those for the many times I am reminded to include the experience of women of color, to remove my heel from their necks as I attempt to climb to a place of more privilege, to be not in their way as they climb up too, to not rob myself of them, to not just include them but to hear them, to recognize our differences and celebrate those differences as much as our similarities.

These are the books that keep me inspired to be a feminist, to be intersectional, and to keep fighting the good fight for more than just myself. Check out the other Top Ten Tuesday topics that were chosen for this Freebie from the Broke and the Bookish!

4 thoughts on “TTT: Top Ten Books for the Revolution

Add yours

  1. Great List, and I haven’t actually read any of these yet!

    At least one of the books on my TTT this week is due to my involvement in the Women’s March (I went to the Sister March in Charlotte), BLM marches, and Moral Monday’s (an NC thing organized by NC NAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber – an amazing individual!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I haven’t read bell hooks yet. For some absurd reason she hasn’t been available at my library and I’ve been putting off buying books lately but I have been wanting to read her books for a while!


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