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What are you reading right now?

(140 Posts)
shovetheholly Wed 07-Oct-15 14:56:05

Me: some old feminist stuff. Bubeck's 'Care Gender and Justice' Sara Ruddick's 'Maternal Thinking'. I wouldn't necessarily recommend either of them - but Ruddick in particular was important in opening up the idea that women didn't just mother on autopilot, but thought about their practice.

I'm also reading Dickens's Bleak House for the third or fourth time. I am a bit shock at how vicious and misogynistic his portrait of Mrs Jellyby is - she's the 'telescopic reformer' whose house and family are a mess while she focuses her attention on the fortunes of Africa.

squidzin Wed 07-Oct-15 16:11:16

Naomi Klein "This changes everything"

This has been made into a film, releasing Oct 20th. I knew about the book but didn't download it untill I heared about the people's pilgrimage from Rome to Paris, calling for action ahead of the climate conference in Paris.

Not especially "feminist" (but female author!).

My position is that society's patriarchal design stems from and is greatly rewarded by unfettered capitalism, with it's inevitable vast divide in wealth, power and destruction of the environment.

Equality leads to liberation.

shovetheholly Wed 07-Oct-15 16:26:15

I'd agree 100% with that perspective, squidz. I take it you'd recommend a read of it?

GinGinGin Wed 07-Oct-15 16:33:54

I'm currently reading Game of Thrones so not particularly feminist! But I have just finished reading "From Outrage to Courage" by Anna Firth Murray, which details the plight of women in the third world - very compelling reading

squidzin Wed 07-Oct-15 16:39:21

Yeah absolutely. I'd say read the book, film adaptations are usually disappointing!

TeiTetua Wed 07-Oct-15 19:27:30

Re Mrs Jellyby in "Bleak House", remember that at the end of the book it says: "She has been disappointed in Borrioboola-Gha, which turned out a failure in consequence of the king of Borrioboola wanting to sell everybody who survived the climate for rum, but she has taken up with the rights of women to sit in Parliament, and Caddy [her daughter] tells me it is a mission involving more correspondence than the old one."

So you see, she took up a useful cause in the end. But did Dickens intend it to look less foolish than the previous one?

Most recent book "The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins. It's nothing like the same story, but it reminded me of "Bridget Jones". Only this woman is a full-blown alcoholic, who's lost her marriage and her job and yet, she's still able to think. And she goes from boozy imaginings to realizing that someone near her is a murderer.

slugseatlettuce Wed 07-Oct-15 20:39:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IShouldBeSoLurky Wed 07-Oct-15 22:23:10

No Surrender by Constance Maud www.persephonebooks.co.uk/no-surrender.html

TBH I'm taking a while to read it. It's not brilliantly written and has lots of annoying dialect. But the pace is picking up a bit, it seems to be very accurate historically and I am a massive fan of Persephone books.

blibblobblub Wed 07-Oct-15 22:30:04

"Ms Marvel: No Normal". Bought it when I was still pregnant; DD is now 4.5 months old and it's a comic ffs, no excuse for taking this long to read it. It is excellent though.

HarryLimeFoxtrot Wed 07-Oct-15 22:33:17

'Thud' by Terry Pratchett - I'm making my way through the books about the night watch. Not terribly feminist I'm afraid.

I'm open to recommendations - I'm going on holiday in a week and a half smile

SenecaFalls Wed 07-Oct-15 22:36:24

I'm reading A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler.

PausingFlatly Wed 07-Oct-15 22:45:48

"How Not to be Wrong: The Hidden Math of Everyday Life" by Jordan Ellenberg.

Very, very enjoyable so far. How not to have the wool pulled over your eyes by abusers of statistics and general bullshitters.

Well written, accessible and mathematically correct.

Quite political, too, though the examples are mostly American, eg Mitt Romney's campaign innumerately trying to claim the Obama administration must be worst ever for women's employment.

IShouldBeSoLurky Wed 07-Oct-15 22:50:38

I love Anne Tyler, Seneca smile

PausingFlatly Wed 07-Oct-15 22:51:05

(I am frequently seized with the urge to thump some MNers over the head with it. And not just on political threads.)

SenecaFalls Wed 07-Oct-15 22:57:19

So do I IShould. She says this one is her last novel. sad

IShouldBeSoLurky Wed 07-Oct-15 23:06:48

Nooooo sad She has been writing for ages though, and not been all that prolific - I love how measured and thoughtful her books are.

When I was growing up in the 1980s my mum had a few of them in the bookshelf, and I tried over and over to read them - it felt like such a rite of passage when I was old enough to enjoy Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant.

EBearhug Wed 07-Oct-15 23:17:58

I am currently reading... well, in theory, I am reading a pile of techy info for an exam next week. So I'm actually reading Our Longest Days, which is extracts from Mass Observation diaries in WW2.

I have just finished reading Katrine Marcal's Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner? (which I think would not have been his mother - I am sure she would have spoken to the servants to make sure his dinner appeared, rather than doing it herself.) It's an interesting book, but I wish it had had an editor who insisted on proper sentences. I got increasingly annoyed by the style. There's a whole paragraph which says, "In short." That's not even a whole sentence, let alone a paragraph, and it made it more difficult to keep track of what she was actually saying. She'd have been better off using commas.

Rather than starting new paragraphs.

I think she was probably writing as she speaks (and I did see her speak at Hay Festival), but it really did detract from the content, and I'm annoyed with it for that reason, because otherwise, it was an interesting book.

shovetheholly Thu 08-Oct-15 08:19:25

There's a whole paragraph which says, "In short."

This made me laugh out loud!! On a similar note, I am reading a book on altruism by an American bloke who eschews punctuation (as so many American writers seem to do these days)... it is a nightmare! I have to read every sentence twice.

The Mass Observation diaries sound fascinating, too.

Teitetua - facepalm at Dickens for racism AND sexism in one sentence!

To me, the implication is that Mr Jellyby is getting worse. The problem with her 'telescopic' philanthropy, for Dickens, seems to be that it takes her out of the private and domestic sphere (where she 'belongs', thanks Chaz), into a world of campaigning and letterwriting. Her family gets more and more chaotic while her attention is elsewhere. So something that involves 'more correspondence' is a deterioration, and likely to impact her family even more negatively than her campaigning on Africa. (By extension, the cause of womens' rights is to Dickens as 'ridiculous' as the cause of African rights. And this is quite a liberal guy for his era. Eurgh).

shovetheholly Thu 08-Oct-15 08:19:50

*MRS Jellyby, not MR!

BlackBetty Thu 08-Oct-15 08:21:16

the woman who went to bed for a year

Greybe Thu 08-Oct-15 11:32:58

Lost symbol by Dan Brawn . It's very fascinating.

NiNoKuni Fri 09-Oct-15 10:06:48

HarryLime Oh, I dunno. I think Pratchett managed to write some quite astonishingly good female characters. Sybil is a force to be reckoned with, Angua subverts the beautiful blonde trope quite nicely and Cheri - who doesn't love a lady with ribbons in her beard? <still mourning Pterry's loss, sniff>

I'm currently reading The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. Brilliant story, not feministy though!

CoteDAzur Fri 09-Oct-15 11:00:08

I just finished a sci-fi speculative fiction book called The Echo and am currently on The Moscow Club, apparently one of the most respected spy books of the last couple of decades.

I have trouble with most female authors, unfortunately, and would like to find some that I would enjoy. Can anyone recommend me women authors who don't focus on feelings, and who write books that are not about family stuff or love? If it helps, I loved The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

NiNoKuni Fri 09-Oct-15 11:55:05

Naomi Novik? The Napoleonic wars but with dragons.

Shan Sa's Empress is one of my favourites, it tells the story of Empress Wu, the only female emperor of China.

slug Fri 09-Oct-15 12:33:30

I'm on a bit of a Sci Fi run at the moment. I particularly enjoyed Ancillary Justice not only because it was written by a woman, but also because the main protagonist's language contains no word for gender, so , by default, all characters are referred to as 'she'.

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