Some of these books are out now. It’s close enough to 2018, though, that I’ll never get to them this year! A little disclaimer: I’m not much of a non-fiction person, so you won’t find much from that world here. You’ll find health, history, human rights, comics, and more, though!
Ask Me About My Uterus: A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Women’s Pain by Abby Norman
Abby is at the top of my list for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I’m lucky enough to know her. She is a large part of why I share the realities of living with chronic illnesses. I won’t ruin Abby’s story by sharing it here, but it’s a harrowing journey full of gaslighting and sexism from medical providers due to being a young woman with excruciating pain. As a fan of Abby’s, I’m so excited to see her writing journey blast off.
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore
The Radium Girls tells a harrowing story that many don’t know – one of girls working in radium factories. At this point, the dangers of radium weren’t known. Concerns about side effects were ignored and corruption ran rampant. Still, thanks to the women who went through this process, we have tighter regulations on harmful chemicals today.
Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen
If you’re a fan of the Sarah’s Scribbles comics? She talks openly about anxiety, relationships, and adulthood in this latest edition of her work. This came out in March, but I’ve been slow on the uptake!
When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele
Khan-Cullors is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter in addition to being an artist, speaker, activist, and Fulbright scholar. Oh, you know, she also won the 2017 Sydney Peace Prize, right? Bandele is a world-renown journalist and activist with the Drug Policy Alliance. Together, the two explain the founding of BLM while debunking the many myths floating around.
So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Oluo is one of the most prolific writers of our time. She’s not afraid to call-out racism and discrimination when she sees it. In this work, Oluo highlights how racism affects our society from microaggressions to overt actions. In order to become a better accomplice, it’s important to face these issues head-on.
Not That Bad, edited by Roxane Gay
With pieces from notable activists such as Gabrielle Union and Ally Sheedy, this book covers the many ways sexism pervades our society. With the response to the MeToo movement, this is timely and so very needed – especially as many of us recognize how much we shirk off inappropes comments. Topics include immigration, sexual violence, and more.
The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America by Isaac Butler
It’s been two decades since Angels in America hit it big, sweeping awards shows and gaining international praise for its portrayal of queer life and HIV/AIDS activism. This book offers a written oral history account of conversations and debates between many players over the years – actors, producers, and more.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
This is the only piece of fiction on the list! I’m a sucker for historical pieces that add in zombies. In this novel, zombies pop up during the Civil War. Jane, the main character, is a black woman who learns everything she can about fighting in order to use her skills in the ‘service’ of others. Race, humanity, and survival all come together in both familiar and new ways.
Invisible: How Young Women with Serious Health Issues Navigate Work, Relationships, and the Pressure to Seem Just Fine by Michelle Lent Hirsch
Like Abby’s book, this one highlights the story of many women who are gaslit, not believed, or try to ‘tough it out’ when they fall ill. Lent Hirsch highlights how various identities play into these issues, such as how women of color and trans women often find it even harder to be heard. I am beyond excited to read such an intersectional take on paternalism in healthcare.
Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun
What happens when a lonely alien is outcast and is supposed to write about humans on a foreign planet? Friendship, sads, happiness, and cool drawings you can color in. It’ll make you cry, but then remind you to smile. Even Lin-Manuel Miranda said “Jomny Sun’s incredible writing knocks you to the floor, breathless, then scoops you up and gives you a kiss where it hurts before it occurs to you to cry. Read this book only if you want to feel more alive.”
You can find these all and more of my favorites at my Amazon page. Go get your read on!