Book Recommendations

Happy intentional woman’s day 2021

So today is international women’s day and like last year I wanted to do a post that was about some really good books that are worth checking out this year. This has been an amazing year for women, even as a British person I cried so much when Kamala Harris stood up on the podium and was sworn in as the first female Vice-President. But anyway, let’s go! 

The Truths We Hold: An American Journey

Kamala Harris

By reckoning with the big challenges we face together, drawing on the hard-won wisdom and insight from her own career and the work of those who have most inspired her, Kamala Harris offers in The Truths We Hold a master class in problem-solving, in crisis management, and leadership in challenging times. Through the arc of her own life, on into the great work of our day, she communicates a vision of shared struggle, shared purpose, and shared values. In a book rich in many home truths, not least is that a relatively small number of people work very hard to convince a great many of us that we have less in common than we actually do, but it falls to us to look past them and get on with the good work of living our common truth. When we do, our shared effort will continue to sustain us and this great nation, now and in the years to come.

The Purpose of Power: From the co-founder of Black Lives Matter 

Alicia Garza

Black Lives Matter began as a hashtag when Alicia Garza wrote what she calls ‘a love letter to Black people’ on Facebook. But hashtags don’t build movements, she tells us. People do. Interwoven with Garza’s experience of life as a Black woman, The Purpose of Power is the story of how she responded to the persistent message that Black lives are of less value than white lives by galvanizing people to create change. It’s an insight into grass roots organizing to deliver basic needs – affordable housing, workplace protections, access to good education – to those locked out of the economy by racism. It is an attempt not only to make sense of where Black Lives Matter came from but also to understand the possibilities that Black Lives Matter and movements like it hold for our collective futures. Ultimately, it’s an appeal to hearts and minds, demanding that we think about our privileges and prejudices and ask how we might contribute to the change we want to see in the world.

My Own Words 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (author), Mary Hartnett, Wendy W. Williams

My Own Words offers Justice Ginsburg on wide-ranging topics, including gender equality, the workways of the Supreme Court, being Jewish, law and lawyers in opera, and the value of looking beyond US shores when interpreting the US Constitution. Throughout her life Justice Ginsburg has been (and continues to be) a prolific writer and public speaker. This book’s sampling is selected by Justice Ginsburg and her authorized biographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams. Justice Ginsburg has written an introduction to the book, and Hartnett and Williams introduce each chapter, giving biographical context and quotes gleaned from hundreds of interviews they have conducted. This is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America’s most influential women.

Make it Happen: How to be an Activist

Amika George 

The world is waking up to the fact that society is arranged to benefit some more than others. There is much that needs changing. And you can be the one to do it. Anyone can make history, including a teenager launching a global campaign from their bedroom. And Amika will show you how, in this essential and inspirational step-by-step guide to being an activist. Are your favourite brands making little effort to be diverse? Are the people who’ve been hardest hit by COVID-19 not getting the support they need? Is the environment being overlooked in favour of driving profits? Amika George succeeded in campaigning to get the government to fund free period products in every school across England. Make It Happen is her guide to being an effective activist. With chapters on finding your crowd and creating allies, how to get those in positions of power and influence to listen, how to use social media effectively and how to look after your mental health while protesting. Amika will you show you how you can make real and lasting changes in your world.

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit

Jeanette Winterson 

This is the story of Jeanette, adopted and brought up by her mother as one of God’s elect. Zealous and passionate, she seems destined for life as a missionary, but then she falls for one of her converts. At sixteen, Jeanette decides to leave the church, her home and her family, for the young woman she loves. Innovative, punchy and tender, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a few days ride into the bizarre outposts of religious excess and human obsession.

Becoming: Adapted for Younger Readers

Michelle Obama

Now adapted for younger readers, with new photographs and a new introduction from Michelle Obama herself, this memoir tells a very personal, and completely inspiring, story of how, through hard work and determination, the girl from the South Side of Chicago built an extraordinary life. A tale of ups and downs, triumphs and failures, this is an incredibly honest account. It’ll take you from the early years – first kiss, first school, first love – to the wonders of the White House, and the moment Mrs Obama shook hands with the Queen of England. A book to read, share, and talk about with the adults in your life, this is a call to action and compassion, and hope for change in uncertain times, and in a scary world. You’ll be inspired to help others, and understand that no one is perfect. Just like Michelle Obama, you too are finding out exactly who you want to be (and, actually, so are the adults in your life). Above all, it is a book to make you think: who are you, and what do you want to become?


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