Smart & Sassy Memoirs I Just Couldn’t Put Down

Being a woman is…just…you know? Sometimes? There’s something really wonderful and comforting about reading the words of other women and knowing you have that shared experience. Even if it’s the ONLY experience that we might share, I just love hearing the stories that women tell.

I’m an escapist when it comes to reading and generally default to fiction. In fact, I go through long periods where I refuse to read non-fiction outside of work. (Especially after long days of editing academic writing, I just needed to immerse myself into some YA fiction.) The one constant exception to this role was for comedic memoires. Then that expanded to women’s memoirs.

Funny, poignant, captivating, infuriating, and thought provoking. When a woman has something to say, listen up.

Here’s a list of some of the memoirs that I was just enthralled with – the ones that I devoured. The ones that I just could not put down. They’re not all recent publications, but they are all definitely worth a read.

B3D50C59-7FF0-4DC8-9B14-C9F3EC6F5125How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell

I’m the opposite of a stylish party girl but the need for external approval resonates with me deeply. I found myself captivated by a morbid curiousity about the glamour and chaos of her life. How she built success in between binges and pill popping is infuriating and fascinating. Highly recommend.

“I extracted a pink Addy, put the blessed thing on my tongue like I was taking Communion, and chewed it up like it was baby aspirin.” 

FCAD8922-EB70-41C3-B759-CCD16458F582How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

“I’m 16 I’m 16 I’m 16 and these are my best clothes, and this is my best day”

I don’t think any line in any book has resonated with me more than this. So easily can I put myself back in my 16 year old mind, picking out my “coolest” outfit, waiting to see my crush.

Caitlin Moran is siginificantly cooler than me, but I found words on feminism and womanhood ones that I could hang on to.

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Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay is a brilliant mind and I so enjoyed reading about her brand of feminism, as well as her life experiences that shaped who she is.

I relate to her love of Scrabble and adoration of Ina Garten but more importantly, I learned so much by reading from a perspective that culturally, and racially, is so different from my own experience.

“At some point, you have to surrender to the types of privilege you hold.”

450ADC18-423B-43E7-B902-338E34AF765CI Feel Bad About my Neck (And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman) by Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron was an iconic culture maker and I related deeply to her aversion to purses and love of food. She somehow simultaneously speaks for everywoman while still having this unattainable quality charm and grace. More aspirational than instagram, if you ask me.

“your purse is just a big dark hole full of stuff you spend hours fishing around for. A flashlight would help, but if you put one into your purse, you’d never find it.”

583FD45D-C052-4621-A40A-EC8103B5B7EAGirl Walks into a Bar by Rachel Dratch

I was crying laughing at the horse anecdote. Personally, I think the cliché of girls who love horses is lame (horse culture is dumb — cash me outside) and lost it at this recap of a terrible date.

Bonus: If you want a teaser, listen to Rachel tell the horsemeat story on The Moth. It’s a slightly different telling than in the book, but still so funny.

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The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman

Life highlight: Sarah Silverman showed up unannounced to a Christmas Eve show at the Comedy Cellar when I was in NY a few years ago. The best.

I had no idea of her struggles with mental health as an adolescent and learned so much about how her young life shaped her creativity and comedy as an adult.

“Make it a treat.”

Words to live by.

What are you reading these days?

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Quintessential Feminist Gift Guide

While every pal loves a bottle of vino to help keep their holidays merry and bright, sometimes it’s nice to give a gift that shows you know and respect them on another level. 2017 has been a year of pushing back against the patriarchy. Show your feminist friend you’ve got their back when the misogynist muck hits the fan with one of these fun feminist finds.

Quintessential Feminist Gift Guide

For the Feminist Closet

For the Cozy Feminist

 
 
 

For the Feminist Home

West Elm ceramic mug


Howard Miller vintage home décor


 Kate Spade New York For Reading Large Spiral Notebook


Planter with Tan Lines


Be You Tray


Feminist AF Candle

For the Feminist Bookshelf

We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Subscription Gifts

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A subscription to Bitch Media gives access to print and digital content on all things feminism, including activism, art & design, books, culture, music, politics, and more.
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What better way to make sure our feminist ideals “stick” in someone’s mind? Also, who doesn’t love stickers?

Donation Gifts

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Nothing says Christmas like the gift of reproductive justice!

This post is NOT sponsored but all recommendations have been vetted by a Festive Feminist (yours truly).

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Designing a Home Office

 

Although the nature of my profession has always allowed for remote work, I’ve never put the effort into a dedicated home workspace. In the past, whenever I’ve worked from home, I’ve just set up in the dining room – big table, natural light, why not?

Now that I’m working on unpacking and getting set up in our Baltimore row house, I’m going to make the second bedroom an official home office (except I’m going to call it “the library” because I’m a dork). I need it to be conducive to full-time working from home but also still have the capacity for hosting our overnight visitors.

The other challenge is that this home is a rental so I’m not going to be making any long-term investments or permanent changes. Though I wish I could change the wall colour (it’s a hideous pinky beige), the room is otherwise a blank slate.

First and foremost, I need a desk. I’m a fan of rustic, vintage or used when possible, and I try to avoid MDF, veneer, and particle board whenever possible. The real trick is balancing budget with longevity. I think it’s important to be mindful of environmental impact by buying second hand, sustainable, or pieces that won’t need replacing after a short time.

These are a few of the styles that I’m drawn to. (These are NOT affiliate links, just some inspiration that I like.)

 

So, I’m on the hunt! Which of these get your vote?

Do you have any suggestions as to how I should go about choosing?

Leave a link to your favourite recommended desk in the comments below.

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