By Eugenie Fontugne
By now, like many of us, you are tired – and a bit depressed – by the constant flow of bad news related to Covid19.
To distract yourself, we have selected our favorite reads. For our first reading list, we decided to select female writers only (because we can!), a more “inclusive” will soon follow. In the meantime, please share with us all your good books in the comments!
- Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez
I personally love this book which researches how our world has been built – knowingly or not – for men (and by men – but this is not news). Using data, Caroline Criado Perez explores different areas of life (city organization, snow plowing, car seats, iphone size) and visits a wide array of countries to show that gender inequality goes beyond getting equal salary or having more women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies.
Discover more here.
*As a volunteer at Girls in Tech this book shows me the importance of having organizations trying to counterbalance the “general” narrative.
- Chez Soi by Mona Chollet*
Mona Chollet is a Swiss writer, well known for her book Sorcières that talks about the root of gender inequality, which could apparently go all the way back to witches. Chez Soi, which translates in English as At Home, appears as the perfect book to read during a quarantine time. She tells us how staying at home has been ostracized and frowned upon for decades (which is nowadays obviously THE only thing to do). For Chollet, staying at home should actually be a celebration of the self, of learning and of well-being. In our fast-paced and well-travelled society, which were suddenly stopped by an invisible virus, Chollet manages to cheer us up and forces us to uncover the grounding quality of staying at home.
Good news: the publishing house Les Decouvertes offers free access to the book during the quarantine period.
*This book only exists in French as far as I am aware of.
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ifemelu leaves her hometown in Nigeria to study in Philadelphia in the USA, leaving behind her, her whole world, family and especially her childhood friend and love of her life, Obinze. After years in the USA, she considers moving back to her natal Nigeria, but fears how this “step back” could be like, and whether Obinze will be there to welcome her.
In a culture and country, where living in the USA is perceived as the ultimate life achievement, will Ifemelu succeed in changing her destiny?
Americanah tells the tale of the millions of expats leaving their home for what seems like a better life and struggle to really feel at home in their country of adoption, even after years there.
The book is about to be turned into a TV show starring Lupita Nyong’o.
*I loved every single book of Chimamanda so whilst you are it, don’t hesitate to read them all.
- Plan B by Sheryl Sandberg
Made famous for her Lean In book that translated in a global movement with thousands of women chapters around the world, Sheryl Sandberg is also known for being one of the earliest Google employees and Facebook COO.
Plan B gives us tools to keep the spirit up and embrace opportunities even when life does not go as planned; when the Plan A is no longer an option.
Sandberg wrote it when her husband suddenly died of a heart attack while on vacations, leaving her suddenly with two young kids.
*If you haven’t had the chance to read Lean In, it’s also time to do it!
- American Marriage by Tayari Jones
American Marriage tells the story of Celestial and Roy, a young African-American couple living in the US. Shortly after getting married, their perfect life is put upside down, when Roy is arrested and put in jail for no reasons. Whilst unfair, they will both have to keep moving with their lives, and try to do what is fair for the other one and themselves.
The book was awarded The Novel Prize for Fiction and made it to Oprah’s book list.
- Why not starting an online book club with your friends?
- Our favorite book account (in French): https://www.mademoisellelit.com/