In the unofficial rules of gift giving, our culture shies away from gifting any items that carry responsibility. While gifting someone a puppy might be adorable, that is far too big a commitment to assume an unexpecting recipient can take on. Gifting a book this season strikes the perfect balance between responsibility and thoughtfulness! While your recipient has no obligation to read the contents, gifting a book provides the gift of knowledge and includes an educative, forward-thinking component to your holiday season. Even better, you can tailor your book gifting to individual recipients’ interests and needs! In Part I of a book gifting round-up with Joseph Beth and Lexington Green, I’m bringing you someone of my favorite titles – both new and old! – to gift this holiday season. They are, of course, not without a feminist component! What are your favorite books to gift at the holidays?
1. You are a Badass – Jen Sincero
This book’s subtitle says it all: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. With advice on a variety of life obstacles rooted in personal experience, Sincero offers a guide book that attempts to meet anyone struggling with self-doubt where they are and set them on a path to achieving their individual greatness. Reading closely as a feminist, don’t get too attached to the language Sincero uses to light a fire in readers – this book is for someone familiar with and accustomed to self-care! Follow her through her stages to badassery, laced in humor and wit.
Gift to: Loved ones with a sense of humor, who appreciate sarcasm, and are general go-getters!
2. Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay
Low-key one of my favorite books of all time, Bad Feminist captures the soul of all feminists in their struggle to strictly adhere to feminist practices, but also live life with all of its idiosyncrasies. Through essays and stories, Gay hilariously recounts her experiences with modern feminism and is quick to identify shortcomings of the feminist movement and of her own efforts to be inclusive. Integrating popular culture with her take on feminist theory, you don’t want to miss one of my favorite essays in the book, “Blurred Lines, Indeed!”
Gift to: Family members who leave questions on the feminist Facebook articles you share!
3. Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit
In her collection of seven essays, Solnit provides one the best examples of current feminist literature – perfect for the young professional or young feminist coming into her own. Again fusing popular culture and theory – one of my favorite literary tactics – Men Explain Things to Me touches on issues of silencing voices, violence, credibility, among other modern feminist concerns. Solnit is honest and refreshing in her articulation of both points of frustration and strategy. This book is a quick read, but chock-full of hard-hitting and thought-provoking topics for activists of all types!
Gift to: Friends and family concerned with social issues in the current political climate!
4. The Opposite of Loneliness – Marina Keegan
Although author Marina Keegan’s life was tragically cut short before she could see the success of her published work, The Opposite of Loneliness is a complex journey of achieving self-awareness and discovering the purpose of relationships, love, loss, and much more in the journey of life. Keegan’s work resonates greatly with millennials striving to find their place in the world and render purpose from complicated events.
Gift to: Recent college graduates and young professionals who might feel a little overwhelmed by the hammer of life!
5. The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck – Sarah Knight
Written as a blatant parody of a popular 2015 self-help book, Knight’s book is targeted a satirical inspiration to rid readers of irrational notions of life revamping. Called “mental decluttering” by the author, Knight’s book is a lengthy agenda of general action items for individuals striving to succeed in an overwhelming world. It doesn’t read like a traditional self-help book, however, because Sarah Knight employs funny and often profane language to derail modern pictures of success and perfection. Let The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck help you explore your own mental clutter this holiday season!
Gift to: New parents, social media addicts, and anyone stressed to the max trying to keep up with celebrities, bloggers, or other unique lifestyles!
6. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
You might be thinking…”One of these is not like the others.” Wrong! Although Crime and Punishment may not totally resemble modern feminist lit, this book includes themes of authenticity, social justice and capital, and leadership – all value elements to fruitful feminist discussion. An oldie but goodie, Crime and Punishment is one of my all-time favorite books. Pro-tip: If you get caught up on the Russian names/lingo, download a free audio book from iTunes to help you read along and pronounce correctly!
Gift to: Your fiction-loving friend who thrives on psychological mysteries and is always up for a challenge!