Book lists - aren't they fun? They're actually the reason why I keep joining reading challenges even though I keep saying I'm more or less over them. And because I want to have my cake and eat it too, I decided to make a list for the Women Unbound challenge that I'm not going to be forced to follow. See, this is more of a book coveting post than anything else. These are all books that I won't yet own, that I think would be perfect for the challenge, and that I want to keep in mind when making the Christmas/birthday wishlist that my family always asks that I make. (And if you're wondering, my book acquiring ban will be temporarily lifted during the holiday season. I'm weak.)
- Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters - Of course. I've been saving this "Victorian lesbian romp" (to use Waters' own words) for...I don't even know when. But I can only deprive myself for so long, and I know that when I finally do read this, it will be An Event.
- Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers - another Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane book, and one that is often referred to as the first feminist mystery. Plus it's set in Oxford back when women were just starting to be allowed to get degrees. What's not to love? (I will, of course, read Have His Carcase first.)
- The Group by Mary McCarthy - This book, about a group of women graduates from Vassar College in 1930s Manhattan, is not only highly recommended by Claire, but it's also one of Sarah Waters' favourite books. I have complete faith that I'll love it.
- The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart - Why haven't I read this yet?! Awesome feminist YA! Set in a boarding school! Plus it has the Renay Stamp of Approval, which I think of as highly as, say, a Printz Honor Medal. Which, by the way, this book also won. (Along with Tender Morsels! And Nation! Need I say more?)
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore - as above. Well, except for the boarding school and Printz bits. But it did win the Mythopoeic Award, which is just as awesome in my book.
- The Robber Bridegroom by Margaret Atwood - "by Margaret Atwood".
- Alas, Poor Lady by Rachel Ferguson - A Persephone book! I had to include at least one. Originally published in 1937, and by the author of the lovely The Brontës Went to Woolsworth, it's about the fate that awaited unmarried upper-class Victorian women, who were told that it was undignified to work but did not have any way to support themselves without a husband.
- The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman - because someone ought to smack me for not having read it yet.
- Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards - the title says it all, doesn't it? A look at what feminism means to young women today.
- Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape edited by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti - if I end up only reading a book from this list, I want this to be it. This collection of essays sounds incredibly powerful and important. And I hope that Heather won't mind if I link to her brave and very personal review.
- Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angie - I first heard of this book via Katha Pollitt, which told me right away that I'd probably love it. Angier is a Pulitzer Prize-winning and awesome-sounding science writer, and here she tackles the female body, as well as the misconceptions and myths that bad science has helped perpetuate.
- The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution by Elisabeth A. Lloyd - Writing about the previous book reminded me of this one. I love science, I really do, but I realize that a lot of biased researchers have pushed their agendas or tried to perpetuate their preconceptions in its name. This book, which if I'm not mistaken I first heard of from Debi and Rich, is about how scientists have dealt with female sexuality over time.
- Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800 to the Present by Lisa Appignanes - And on a similar note, how awesome does this sound? I'd be a perfect follow-up to all the Victorian literature I've been reading, where concepts like "madness" and "hysteria" seem irrevocably linked to femaleness, and where madness is often used as a tool of control.
- Learning to Drive and Other Life Stories by Katha Pollit - because I love Pollit's essays. J.S. Peyton tells me this collection is more personal than political but still very much concerned with feminism. Sounds great to me.
- Her Way: Young Women Remake the Sexual Revolution by Paula Kame - apparently based on surveys and interviews with young women about how they deal with their sexuality. As much as the topic interests me, I can see dodgy methodology causing this to go horribly wrong. But I won't know until I try it, will I?
- Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace by Ayelet Waldman - a collection of essays about motherhood and the feelings of guilt and inadequacy so many women are cornered into feeling when it comes to raising their children.
- Catching a Wave: Reclaiming Feminism for the 21st Century by Rory Dicker and Alison Piepmeier. Amazon suggested this when I was looking up the details of Manifesta. It sounds sort of similar, but more focused on the question of why so many younger women reject the word "feminism" despite the fact that they embrace its ideals.