It’s fall. It’s raining as I write this. Dark long hours of rain on a Monday. As promised last month I am looking for a little deeper reading and often but not always that means non-fiction.
I picked up Reading Women by Stephanie Staal last spring and now have devoured the part memoir, part feminist text and am recommending it for a review or a first meet up with the classics of feminist writing. Our author returns to college as a mother and wife to revisit Womens Studies curriculum as a grown up woman. Sylvia Plath, Mary Wollstonecraft, Kate Chopin, Simone Beauvoir, Betty Friedan, Erica Jong, Carol Gilligan, Riverbend and more authors are relived, reviewed and reimagined from this very different perspective. No longer a college coed, with few experiences and few responsibilities Staal finds her older self both more thoughtful, and more limited. We go along for the ride and think it all through anew with her.
After three well trusted readers suggested I read The Untethered Soul: the journey beyond yourself by Michael A. Singer I did. Wow tells you nothing, but I just have to say it. Wow. If you’ve ever noticed, and don’t feel bad if you haven’t, that’s part of the human suffering Singer is out to confront, the voice in your head that won’t shut up, read this book. Notice your mind and from there magic, really, magic. You’ll say wow too. And maybe you’ll begin to reread this book the same day you finish it. That’s what I did.
I love bell hooks, more than almost anyone. I want to be her friend, her sister, her college roommate, or maybe nursing home roommate. When my reading group decided to read her third book in her love trilogy, Communion for our October meeting, I almost didn’t want to begin, because I knew I wouldn’t want to finish. Love the world, love yourself, love another difficult human being. Hooks makes us believe we are capable of all of this and that it’s worth talking about and working at and playing at, hard. All three of these books on love are worth your winter season attention. Welcome love, welcome bell, have some tea, or a glass of wine, grab that blanket and snuggle in for deep comfort and inspiration. It’s a very loving thing to do. If you ever wanted to love more, study hooks.
Also deep warm winter fiction books, because we need them too:
Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker
The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
The Invisible Circusby Jennifer Egan