I used to read a lot when I was younger. Then I got to college and I only had time to read school-related things and that sucked! Now, I’m trying to read more for me and my enjoyment, instead of turning into one of those people who hates reading because they associate it with grades and stress.
So, here are a few of my favorite pieces of recreational reading material.
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. Christopher Moore is my favorite author. His stuff is funny, weird, usually paranormal, and very, very funny. Did I mention his stuff is funny? Lamb is my all-time favorite book of his. It’s hilarious, delightful, kind of thought-provoking, and just a smidgen sacrilegious, depending on how little you can laugh about Christianity. It is my top recommendation to pretty much anyone wanting to read anything for any reason ever.
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson (aka the Bloggess). A friend of mine recommended this book to me about a year ago and I read it every morning on my commute to work. It made me laugh, and cry, and laugh so hard I cried, which was all very awkward at seven in the morning on a bus literally packed with people standing shoulder-to-shoulder like sardines. But, honestly, that awkwardness just made me appreciate and relate to this book more. I highly recommend it (and her blog) to anyone who suffers anxiety and/or depression. I’m also currently reading her first book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and it’s also a winner.
Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio. Maybe new-agey granola feminism is more your thing. I want to preface this recommendation with this: Cunt is extremely problematic, and not because of the title. Trans representation is either non-existent or handled horrifically. If I recall correctly, she uses the T-slur at least a couple times. She promotes a festival which is trans-exclusive. This book is going to suck if you’re trans and honestly, I haven’t been able to read it in years for that reason. So, why am I recommending it? Because as a young female-bodied person, it taught me a lot about learning to love my body and getting in touch with my feminine energy. It was one of the first “feminist” books I ever read. It has good, helpful information in it. It helped me love myself in my late teens–a time when I couldn’t have hated myself more.
Bitch Magazine. If you prefer your feminism to be inclusive (who doesn’t?), might I suggest you give Bitch a read? It is one of the best pieces of feminist media I’ve seen… probably ever. They may not always hit the mark, but they make a concerted effort to promote voices that belong to those other than the straight, white women with which feminism is so often conflated.
Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, and Brooke Allen. I. Fucking. Love. Comics. I love them from an entertainment viewpoint (short and read quickly; perfect bus reading). I love them from a media standpoint (solid storytelling with beautiful imagery). I love them from a sociopolitical standpoint (“art imitates life” and, of course, the unending debate on whether or not comics are “legitimate art”). Lumberjanes is good, wholesome fun with an incredible and inclusive cast of characters, dealing with life, love, friendship, and supernatural beings. What? Check it out.
Lady Killer by Joelle Jones and Jamie Rich. For something considerably less wholesome, check out Lady Killer. It’s got everything you need: gratuitous violence, bloodshed, and a complete flip of what we think about the typical 1950’s housewife. Definitely one of my favorites.
And in the spirit of reciprocity, go ahead and sound off in the comments with some recommendations of your own! I could use more books/comics/magazines to throw on the eternal stack of “things to read.”
I love you all.