Here's What I've Been Reading In The Last Few Months: Nonfiction Book Ideas 2022
I have been on a serious nonfiction reading kick lately. It's such a new genre to me that I've been slowly easing into since I started reading it while working at the bookstore that it still feels vastly endless in what there is to read. I'm going to get back to fiction and YA very soon (I recently bought a ticket to Casey McQuiston's book event in May that I'm so excited for), but since I've been so busy, I've been relying on audiobooks to get me through. There's only one more month of finals prep and school busyness, so I'm hoping I'll have more time soon to delve into some good fiction. But for now, here's what I've been reading since my last review.
by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman
by Reeves Wiedman
by Danielle Friedman
by Jill Gutowitz
by Emily Ratajkowski
This book had quite a moment a few months ago. From the women I heard talk about it online, it was a well received, emotional read. From the reviews online, the reception seems much more mixed. Her writing style is stark, bold, and unflinching. They feel like stories mulled over time and time again–smoothed to their most essential form by time. She wrote this book knowing exactly what she wanted to communicate, and she does it well. She captures naivety. She captures fear and sadness. She captures how dangerous and difficult the world is for young women. A lot of the dissatisfaction from the public seems to be from a lack of declaration of how to fix the system or a lack of commentary on the effects of the modeling industry on women as a whole. But that's not what this book is really about. She's faulted for wanting to have the benefits of fame and free trips and her body be viewed as an object of desire but also power over her art and her body and her intellect and her ethics. But, really, she's just willing to admit that she's human. Rarely do all of our desires perfectly align.
The book isn't perfect. But it resonates because Emily is willing to tell stories of harassment, assault, being looked at as a body and not a person with a stark bluntness that leaves no room for ambiguity that your bad experiences are not unique. That your worst moments are not a one off but one that has happened to so many women. She charts awful moments before fame and afterwards. So few of them depend on her fame or her status as a model. Some, like the fact that she's shot nude being weaponized against her, simply further make a point about how there's rarely a way to truly find empowerment through choices with one's body. There's always going to be unwanted subtext in our society that's inescapable. The book set out to tell one specific story, and it succeeded in that narrow point.