WHAT BAD ASS FEMINISTS READ THIS YEAR: REBECCA GEORGE
We LOVE top 10 lists, and top 100 lists, and Oprah's Favorite Things, and even lists of the worst things of the year. Lists are magic they usually bring a smile to our face, and remind us EVEN IN 2017 ... joy was had. We wanted to come up with our own list for this year and decided what we really want to know is what our favorite BAD ASS FEMINISTS read this year. So we'll be bringing you a list of books from some of our favorite women.
Today we're bringing you Rebecca George. Rebecca co-owns your favorite bookstore in Wicker Park ... Volumes Bookcafe with her sister Kimberly. The two have always been tied up with books, academia, and learning, but wanted a career that could bring their passion for learning to the community at large. So they gifted us with the adorable and charming AND AMAZING Volumes. Surely you've spent some time there? We love Rebecca and Volumes and you will too. If you haven't FIX YOUR LIFE! Get there right now, if you were waiting for a sign THIS IS IT GOOOOOOO! What did you read and love this year? We'd love to hear from you!
by Camille Bordas
To say that Bordas has a unique voice is an understatement. Reading her work is akin to having a quiet friend - albeit a far smarter and more interesting friend - tell you an unexpected story that you'll absolutely never forget. Not only will you never forget it, you'll likely remember the feel of the chair beneath you, the smell in the air, and the particular sound of the world outside your windows. How to Behave in a Crowd is a story about grief, about emotion - and beyond that, it highlights the peculiar way we all process a shared tragedy. There is a graceful and yet menacing subtlety to Bordas' work that will leave you wanting more.
by Kristen Iskandrian
This debut novel from Iskandrian feels anything but. We find our protagonist, Agnes, a young woman with a dark and cutting sense of humor - riddled with insecurity as she begins her college career with a mother who has gone missing. To deal with the absence, Agnes writes letters to her mother - sometimes a casual retelling of her days, as one might do with their mother on the phone. Sometimes the letters fall into a more philosophical quandary about life, absence, motherhood and grief. Set in the early 90s when the loss of Kurt Cobain was palpable and the quiet absence of the noise of today is ever-present, iskandrian's execution of a young woman grappling with wanting to be her own woman & at the same time yearning for her absent mother is an absolute must-read.
by Kamila Shamsie
A modern day Antigone - I am still floored by this book months later. Shamsie has managed to perfectly insert her reader into the shoes of a perspective so often forgotten in today's world. HOMEFIRE asks the question: What happens to the family of those who flee to become jihadists? Without being given a choice, the ripples of the decision of one are cutting and seemingly permanent. The choice of one creates and shapes the lives of three London orphaned children. Now adults, they each struggle with loyalty to family, loyalty to country and loyalty to the self. This book forever changed me.
by Eve Ewing
One part poetry. One part fiction. One part autobiography. Electric Arches reaches beyond the pages to engage with you, instead of the other way around. What Eve Ewing has achieved here is nothing short of brilliant. Electric Arches weaves raw humanity, edible surrealism and exquisite prose into a modern tapestry of womanhood in America. I can't say enough good things about this experience - as that is what Electric Arches is - an experience.
by Jeff Vandermeer
Borne is a book for sci-fi lovers and a book for sci-fi avoiders and a book for everyone who simply likes reading amazing books. Vandermeer is soon to become a household name with the first in his Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation, hitting the big screens in a few months. Vandermeer is incredibly adept at creating worlds that feel palpably and yet nominally adjacent to our own. Borne is a tale of a scavenger woman in a post-apocalyptic city who spends her days dodging a terrifying flying bear the size of a Cost-Co. Still with me? In her scavenging, she finds a young being she names Borne. Much akin to the relationship many of us have with our cats or dogs, Rachel is fiercely protective of Borne, and in a world destroyed by biotechnology gone awry, this proves incredibly difficult. Borne is surprising. It is weird. It is masterful. It is 100% worth it.
by Valeria Luiselli
After reading and being blown away by Luiselli's novel The Story of My Teeth last year (which, btw, is about an auctioneer with a formidable dedication to his job), I essentially begged and bribed to get my hands on Tell Me How It Ends. Luiselli has such a fascinating mind, and here in this long-form essay on child immigration, her sense of the world is the perfect voice for this timely piece. Having worked as a translator for immigrant children in New York's immigration court, Luiselli has the chance to see first hand the effects of the overall immigration journey has on these children. From violence on the road, the perilous border trek, to the perplexingly abstract questions they're forced to answer, this book provides a quick and incredibly powerful insight into the intimate lives of those directly affected by our immigration policies. It is eye opening. It is one of the more important books we all should read right now.
Rebecca George has worn several hats in her career - educator, writer, editor, publicist - and now co-owner of a Volumes Bookcafe, a new bookstore in Chicago's Wicker Park. Her writing has been published in a variety of literary journals, and her 2011 chapbook Minutes was a Pushcart Prize nominee.