Books

The year is almost over, but  are our picks for our most-anticipated new books by women for the final month of 2018. Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield  Diane Setterfield's (The Thirteenth Tale) third novel is centered around a mystery: a wounded man carrying a dead child walks into an inn on the river Thames—and then, hours later, the girl comes back to life. Out Tuesday, December 4. Milkman by Anna Burns This Man Booker Prize-winning novel follows an unnamed 18-year-old girl in 1970s Northern Ireland who encounters...
It’s not easy dealing with online trolls or arguing with our friends and family about social issues. Feminists often take on the burden of emotional labor, which author Gemma Hartley defines as “emotion management and life management combined... the unpaid, invisible work we do to keep those around us comfortable and happy." Just as workers are expected to control their emotions during interactions with difficult customers, the same is expected in our intimate relationships. As advocates for gender equality, we are constantly pulled between teaching our...
My Sister, the Serial Killer opens with an intriguing two sentences: "Ayoola summons me with these words—Korede, I killed him. I had hoped I would never hear those words again." Because the dead man—Femi—is the third boyfriend that Ayoola has killed. And each time, Korede—a successful nurse with expert cleaning abilities—has helped Ayoola dispose of the body and cover her tracks. The first time she killed a man, Ayoola claimed self-defense. But then it happened again. And by the time Ayoola kills Femi, Korede is beginning...
Michelle Obama is an inspiration to countless women, including this writer. When I found out I had been approved to cover the kick-off to her Becoming book tour in her and my home city of Chicago, I was thrilled. The night was one of candid conversation and deep reflection. We all know Michelle Obama as the former First Lady, as a former lawyer, and as a graduate of Harvard Law School and Princeton. We know about her life in the White House and the microscope she lived under for...

For writer-turned-rare-book dealer A.N. Devers, collecting and selling titles exclusively by women is her way of challenging the male-dominated literary world. “It just became very clear to me one day at a rare book fair that [book collecting] is really messed up for women,” she says. “Essentially, the whole field is male, and they’re mostly interested in books by men.” In contrast, Devers’ online bookshop and quarterly print publication, The Second Shelf (TheSecondShelf.com), offers not only a way to get your hands on tough finds by...
Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers' Rights, recently released by Verso Books, is everything I hoped it would be. This is an important read for anyone interested in feminism, labor rights, racial equality, and immigration. The book is not focused on whether or not sex work is legitimate work (it is), but rather the “assault, exploitation, arrest, incarceration, eviction, and deportation” that often comes with it. The authors, Juno Mac and Molly Smith, are both sex workers and activists. Mac works with Sex Worker Advocacy...
When I Spoke in Tongues: A Story of Faith and Its LossBy Jessica Wilbanks (Beacon Press) Raised a “Holy Roller,” author Jessica Wilbanks drew strength from her family’s exuberant church. But when her parents discovered her flirting with drinking, drugs, and girls, they staged an intervention that drove her from faith and family. Even after renouncing Christianity, however, Wilbanks found herself in college on mushrooms, speaking in tongues. This compelling debut is shaped like a search for a long-lost friend, or an examination of a...
Michelle Obama is getting candid about fertility issues. In her new memoir Becoming, the former first lady opens up about her difficult road to the birth of her two daughters, Malia and Sasha. In an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts for a special on the book, she reveals she had a miscarriage 20 years ago, and eventually turned to in vitro fertilization to conceive her daughters. “I felt lost and alone, and I felt like I failed because I didn't know how common miscarriages were, because...
If your day job in the city is keeping you from your dream of living on a farm and filling your days with crafts, cooking, and creativity, let independent magazines Taproot and Making take you there. Both are published in Maine, and you can almost smell the maple syrup boiling down, hear the fire crackling in the woodstove, and feel the warm, hand-knit socks on your feet as you leaf through page after page of gorgeous photography, sweet illustrations, and inspired instructions on things like...
Relationships and sex have been topics of discussion and subjects of art since the beginning of time. We’ve seen sex depicted in cave paintings, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and Greek frescos. Due to the Christian Protestant history of the United States, our overall culture privileges heteronormative, monogamous relationships; however, things are changing. As our culture continues to shift, so do our views on what a healthy and happy relationship looks like. In Open Earth, author Sarah Mirk takes the subjects of sex, monogamy and climate change to a...