ItsJaneLindsey came up with this Feminist Lit February concept and I’m really excited to participate! It’s a month long readathon, sort of, but really it’s just making sure that you’re specifically picking up books that are celebrating women and feminism. While I have specifically chosen a TBR that focuses on black women writers I do want to clarify that I’m not advocating you only read books by black women in the month of February and then ignore them the entire rest of the year. However, this Readathon is providing me an extra level of motivation to tackle some of the literary fiction novels that I drag my feet on. So that’s enough disclaimers, let’s jump to my TBR based on the five challenges Jane came up with!
Challenge One: Read a Book of Feminist Fiction
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is my choice for this challenge and I’m so excited to get to it. I have put it on a TBR before and then just never got around to it, but listen, it’s going to happen this time. Homegoing is about two sisters from Ghana, but one sister gets sold into slavery and one sister marries a rich guy and lives a pretty cozy life. The book follows their descendants through multiple generations and sounds like it is going to be SO GOOD so I’m really excited.
Challenge Two: Read a Book of Feminist Nonfiction
I’ve already started listening to one of my choices for this, which is Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde. The first essay is fascinating to me because it’s about her time in Russia, which she seems to have really enjoyed. It’s really interesting and also weird to be listening to right now with all the things going on in the world. The New Jim Crow, which is on my February TBR, qualifies as a book of feminist nonfiction, though I’m not sure people would immediately classify it as such. I’ve started it before and need to actually make it the whole way through it this month.
Challenge Three: Read an #OwnVoices Book
I chose Song of Solomon for this one, but I suppose most of the books on this list qualify. Song of Solomon is one of the two Toni Morrison books on this book and that are currently in my possession. I’m pretty sure I’m going to love her writing so I’m so excited to get to this one! Here’s the Goodreads blurb: Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world.
Challenge Four: Read a Book Written by a Black Woman
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemison is on the list this month and I honestly feel like I’ve been torturing myself by not finishing the series, but also like… the series is going to end. I CAN’T. So many emotions. If you haven’t picked up The Fifth Season and you like fantasy at all, you should hop to it because it is just such a good and unique series. You don’t even have to take my word for it because the first two books won the Hugo Award and fingers crossed, The Stone Sky will win it this year.
Challenge Five: Feminist Freebie
I’m going to go ahead and try to knock out Beloved this month as well because WHY NOT? I will say that this has me reading three books with a slavery narrative (I’m currently reading Indigo by Beverly Jenkins) so I’m a little concerned I’m going to get overwhelmed by that content so I may wind up subbing in something a little lighter, like one of my many romance novels available to me.We’ll see. Anyway, here’s the Goodreads blurb for Beloved: Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.
Are you participating in Feminist Lit February? If so, please link me to your posts about it! If you have any suggestions for books you think I would like, feel free to leave them for me down below.