Posting about books on this blog is new to me! I'm excited that my first foray into writing about writing is to celebrate four books by women, detailing their four very different stories in different ways.
I Am Malala How One Girl Stood Up For Education and Changed the World - Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick.
Bit of a publishing history, first. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban was published in 2013, just one year after Malala made headlines all over the world. That book was written with Christina Lamb. A young reader's edition (the one I have) was published one year later. This edition is a re-release which promotes the upcoming film - 'He Named Me Malala'. It includes an epilogue which details Malala's life and work in the period after the first book, and as it is intended for young people, has a great Q&A and some discussion points at the end.
I read this book in one sitting and it was clear, sad, inspiring and triumphant. Full review on my channel soon! [x]
#GIRLBOSS - Sophia Amoruso
Hmm, an author who proclaims very early on in this book that it is not a feminist manifesto. '#GIRLBOSS is a feminist book, and Nasty Gal is a feminist company in the sense that I encourage you, as a girl, to be who you want and do what you want. But I'm not here calling us "womyn" and blaming men for any of my struggles along the way'. Amoruso is the founder and CEO of clothing company Nasty Gal, and admittedly, I was a little disappointed that her attitude seems to be 'women can do anything if they work hard enough', a la Taylor Swift before she met Lena Dunham. I am about a third of the way through this book, and would have appreciated a little nod to America's wage-gap, or some acknowledgement of privilege, perhaps? HOWEVER, this book is still all about empowering women. Young women; those of us too young for 'Lean In' (it has a hashtag in the title, for goodness' sake.) So far, I'm enjoying Amoruso's honesty and coolness, but as far as serious career advice and inspiration go, I was hoping it would dig a little deeper. [x]
Not That Kind of Girl - Lena Dunham
This garnered such a Marmite reaction from most of my friends that I was a little hesitant going into it. I have never watched Girls. I don't know anything about Lena Dunham. I read a memoir of a complete stranger. And it was funny, highly competently written, and absolutely unapologetically confessional. People have issues with this book, mainly to do with race - and those I can get behind- and then another odd one regarding a scene in the book about child Dunham and her little sister and some pebbles. That one was completely innocent. I was a bit indifferent to this, if I'm honest. I didn't really understand why I was reading Dunham's past food diary, a 'secret and humiliating document' that was actually neither to an outside eye. I have a lot of respect for Lena Dunham as an actress and a writer, but perhaps if I was more in touch with her work, I would feel more connected to her and therefore more connected to this book. [x]
In Order To Live - Yeonmi Park
The only one of these books I haven't started!
'I wasn't dreaming of freedom when I escaped from North Korea. I didn't even know what it meant to be free. All I knew was that if my family stayed behind, we would probably die'.
Park Yeon-mi is a human right's activist who escaped her native North Korea when she was just a teenager. This hardback is her story, and I hope I find it as inspiring and educating as I found Malala's book. [x]
That's your lot! Thanks to Penguin for sending over the Park and Amoruso books, and to Hachette for I Am Malala. Not That Kind of Girl was purchased by me. Click on the little Xs if you want to purchase any of the books.