What We’re Reading

bad feminist

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay’s wide-ranging critiques of pop culture, literature and film capture the challenges and strengths of the “third wave.”  By creating an accessible, funny, moving and compelling book of essays, Roxane Gay reminds us that the definition of what it means to be a “feminist” is far from fixed.  – H

price of salt

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

The Price of Salt, also called Carol, is an example of lesbian pulp fiction at its best.  When it was first published, Highsmith’s tale of lady love was a fast bestseller, and is now gaining new attention with the recent film adaptation.  The novel is slow, atmospheric and utterly seductive.  Rarely do we get a chance to enjoy such narrative simplicity in stories of lesbian love.  No one dies, no one turns straight… what a miracle.  – H

I’m like 30 pages in, but so far I feel like this is a read you’ll really enjoy if you are a fan of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (which I definitely am!) -M


Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild is about resilience and forgiveness and grief and it will make you think and cry and love. We love Cheryl Strayed here. Read everything she has ever written, it will be so good for your heart.  – M



Tiny, Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed will destroy you and put you back together again. This collection, taken from her advice column Dear Sugar, is always relevant to your problems. When you finish this and are longing for more you can find the archives of Dear Sugar on The Rumpus, or listen to her Dear Sugar podcast.  – M

all about love

All About Love by bell hooks

This book destroyed me… in the best possible way.  Full of insights into the fundamentals of love, hook offers inspiration, comfort and wisdom to anyone who has ever experienced heartbreak.  She also explores family, spirituality and social justice from a place of deep emotional engagement, asserting that love is the most radical act one can commit when working to create a better world.  – H

joy luck

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

I am a sucker for a book about mothers and daughters so it is not surprising this book is on our list, but beyond that Amy Tan writes with beauty and honesty about the relationships between women across generations and culture. The Joy Luck club is a modern classic for a reason!  – M

daylight gate

The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson is better known for her amazing novel “Oranges are not the only fruit,” which is a semi-autobiographical story about growing up working class in an evangelical home, and coming out as a lesbian. Her recent autobiographical book “Why be Happy When You Could Be Normal?” is also pretty incredible, and I’d recommend them both to you also, but I want to gush for a hot second about her fiction.

The Daylight Gate is a fictional retelling of the Lancaster Witch Trials in England, but it is also about magic, intrigue, gendered power dynamics, and queer love. It’s weird and gruesome and poetic and beautiful and you can read it in 2 hours if you try hard enough.  – M


Arts of the Possible by Adrienne Rich

I would love to fill an entire page with books by Adrienne Rich, but I am choosing to highlight this particular work because it has been my first foray into her prose — and it has been utterly mind-blowing.  In this collection of essays and speeches, we are able to trace the development of Rich’s feminist philosophies and ideals over the course of several decades. Of particular interest: an essay entitled “Notes on Lying.”  (Hint: includes very valuable wisdom for the broken-hearted amongst us).  – H

More to Come