Blogmas 2020 Book Recommendations

Time 100 must read books of 2020.

Welcome to Blogmas day 13. As I’ve been saying on Instagram, it’s like the world’s worst advent calendar.

So it’s hard work to come up with 25 post ideas but the lucky thing is with it coming to the end of the year we’re getting a lot of ‘books of the years’ lists. Perfect blog content!!! Today we’re going to look at the Time 100 must read books of 2020. These books are a mix of fiction and none-fiction with things like poetry and anthologies. There’s a lot of diversity with both authors and the subjects of their books. I’ve picked out a couple of the books I like but you can find the full lift here. 

Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation

by Anne Helen Petersen

Can’t Even goes beyond the original article, as Petersen examines how millennials have arrived at this point of burnout (think: unchecked capitalism and changing labor laws) and examines the phenomenon through a variety of lenses—including how burnout affects the way we work, parent, and socialize—describing its resonance in alarming familiarity. Utilizing a combination of sociohistorical framework, original interviews, and detailed analysis, Can’t Even offers a galvanizing, intimate, and ultimately redemptive look at the lives of this much-maligned generation, and will be required reading for both millennials and the parents and employers trying to understand them. 

I love the idea of this book so much, I’m a strong believer that Millennials get a bad wrap. The amount of times I’ve heard about how if I stopped eating avocado on toast I would be able to afford a house or the fact I needed to get off my phone. So to see a book dedicated to fighting on our side is amazing. 

Culture Warlords: My Journey Into the Dark Web of White Supremacy

by Talia Lavin

Talia Lavin is every skinhead’s worst nightmare: a loud and unapologetic Jewish woman, acerbic, smart, and profoundly antiracist, with the investigative chops to expose the tactics and ideologies of online hatemongers. Culture Warlords is the story of how Lavin, a frequent target of extremist trolls (including those at Fox News), dove into a byzantine online culture of hate and learned the intricacies of how white supremacy proliferates online. Within these pages, she reveals the extremists hiding in plain sight online: Incels. White nationalists. White supremacists. National Socialists. Proud Boys. Christian extremists. In order to showcase them in their natural habitat, Talia assumes a range of identities, going undercover as a blonde Nazi babe, a forlorn incel, and a violent Aryan femme fatale. Along the way, she discovers a whites-only dating site geared toward racists looking for love, a disturbing extremist YouTube channel run by a fourteen-year-old girl with over 800,000 followers, the everyday heroes of the antifascist movement, and much more.

I really can’t wait to read this book, I think it’ll be a nice mix of funny and emotionally straining. I just really think this’ll be interesting. 

Is Rape a Crime?: A Memoir, an Investigation, and a Manifesto

by Michelle Bowdler 

In the summer of 1984, when Michelle Bowdler was a 24-year-old living in Boston, two men broke into her apartment and raped her. Bowdler did what the justice system asked of her: She completed a rape kit and was interviewed by the police, whom she never heard from again. Hers would not be one of the mere 2% of reported rapes in the United States that result in conviction or incarceration. In her stellar, unsettling book, Bowdler, now a public health executive, seeks answers—about why her own case disappeared, but also why America seems so comfortable continuously, systemically failing survivors.

Rape culture is something I’ve always been passionate about, the fact a person can be abused yet it can be totally ignore. Often even the rapist is protected and cared about while the victim is left to fend for themselves. I feel like right now is the perfect time for this book too, that now more than ever we need someone to hold up a mirror and force us to look at ourselves. 

The Pink Line 

by Mark Gevisser

“To see things from a ‘queer perspective’ is to look at the world askance, to see it afresh,” writes South African author and journalist Mark Gevisser in his latest work, The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers. Seven years in the making, Gevisser introduces readers to the lives of LGBTQ people around the world, including a gay Ugandan refugee traveling to Canada for resettlement, transgender software engineers in Bangalore and queer Egyptian activists in Cairo. Each chapter telling a personal story is interwoven with analysis of how questions of gender identity and sexual orientation have risen to prominence in global discourse over the past 20 years—from the culture wars over transgender rights to the way globalization has both broken down boundaries between nations and built up international movements for LGBTQ rights. Through his storytelling and analysis, Gevisser transports readers to the frontiers in the fight for LGBTQ rights and identities.

This book is so interesting to me. I’m a gay woman myself and I think it’s important to look at my community and work hard to understand the people in it. 

We Ride Upon Sticks

by Quan Barry

In Quan Barry’s delightful, pop culture-packed novel, the 1989 Danvers High School field-hockey team is willing to do whatever it takes to play in the state finals. Danvers, a quaint town in Massachusetts, is known for its ties to the 1692 witchcraft trials, and the field-hockey squad decides to consult some dark magic in order to start winning games. Their powers may or may not come from a special pledge made to a notebook with Emilio Estevez’s face on the cover. If the plot sounds zany, that’s because it is, but Barry pulls it off through her sharp attention to detail, filling We Ride Upon Sticks with plenty of ‘80s references and teenage angst. In revealing the team members’ individual histories, the book becomes more than just a story of field hockey and witchcraft—it’s an energetic and original examination of young people wrestling with all the complicated parts of growing up.

Well for a start I love books with 80s references in so that already makes this book a winner. I had known about this book for a little bit but I had no idea there was some form of magic involved. Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about that yet.

Here’s the Bookshop list for this post.


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