September & October Wrap Up

September

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf – 3 stars I reread this for my Feminist Theory course, and it actually went down a star for me. It’s an important piece of women’s literature, but Woolf’s blatant classism put me off.

Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines edited by Alexis Gumbs, China Martens, and Mai’a Williams – 3 stars This collection of essays on motherhood was also for Feminist Theory. Like most collections, there were some I thought were excellent and some I wasn’t fond of.

What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo – 3 stars This YA horror is extremely strange. It’s wonderfully atmospheric, but also rather confusing. Full Review

Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives edited by Carole R. McCann and Seung-kyung Kim – 3 stars This anthology was for Feminist Theory. It’s a well-put together collection, and there were some essays I enjoyed quite a lot. Others not so much, which is to be expected.

Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga – 5 stars This coming-of-age story set in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) follows a young girl named Tambu as she gets an education. I read this for Feminist Theory, and it is one of my top books of the year. It is absolutely beautiful, and it needs to be taught in more schools in the USA.

October

Gender Trouble by Judith Butler – 2 stars This is a classic work of feminist theory, but god is it hard. I had such a hard time understanding Butler’s points or even focusing on what she was saying. Not my cup of tea (and yet I get to work with it again for my qualifying exams).

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling – 4 stars This horror novel was delightfully scary and disturbing. I enjoyed the characters and all the twists and turns Starling throws at the reader. Full Review

Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene by Donna Haraway – 1 star I haven’t hated a book this much in a long time. It was for Feminist Theory, and it just…it’s so weird. Haraway’s points made no sense to me, and I came out feeling like she’d written this on an acid trip. But most of my classmates loved it, so maybe I’m missing something.

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw – 2 stars This horror novella ended up being disappointing. It’s plenty scary, but the lack of character development and the Khaw’s attempt at metafiction caused it to not work for me. Full Review

Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times by Jasbir K. Puar – 4 stars This was another read for Feminist Theory, and I thought it was great. “Enjoy” isn’t necessarily the word for it; Puar discusses a lot of truly upsetting things. But I felt like I learned a lot.

Middlemarch by George Eliot – 3 stars My complicated relationship with Eliot continues. There were parts of this that I loved, but other sections were a complete slog. But I’ve now read one of the most prominent works in my field, so I don’t need to feel like a fraud anymore!

Willful Subjects by Sara Ahmed – 3 stars Ahmed uses affect theory to explore will as an emotion, particularly in women. There were parts that really interested me and others that I just skimmed, but I’m ultimately using it in my final paper.

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