This Week’s Topic: Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught (?) 101 — And my 101 course would be: Books by and/or featuring feminists.
1. Persuasion by Jane Austen – I would teach this annotated version of Persuasion, because it’s perfect for anyone who thinks Austen wrote boring books and is missing the wit and brilliance built in to every page.
2. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart – This book is feminist YA, plain and simple, and it’s my all-time favorite.
3. Any contemporary romance by Victoria Dahl – She writes romance for the modern woman in the modern world, and it’s brilliant. She’s great in her books and fun on Twitter too. In my course, everyone would choose one to read and we’d compare/contrast, and study them all.
4. Any historical romance by Sarah MacLean – Another romance writer I love through her books and her Twitter account. She writes smart, forward-thinking historical romance characters. Just like with the previous selection, everyone would choose one and we’d work through them all.
5. The Essential Feminist Reader by Estelle Freedman – An anthology featuring writing by Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan, Emma Goldman, Sojourner Truth, and more.
6. Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained by Maya Rodale – Romance novels are a billion dollar industry. We’d take a look at why, what kind of reputation they have an treatment they receive, and what it means when a book genre is largely read and written by women.
7. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf – This book changed me, plain and simple (I’ll write about it sometime), and I know it can change others too.
8. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit – An essay examining “what goes wrong in conversations between men and women,… about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works.”
9. What Will It Take to Make A Woman President? by Marianne Schnall – A non-fiction work featuring “interviews with politicians, public officials, thought leaders, writers, artists, and activists in an attempt to discover the obstacles that have held women back and what needs to change in order to elect a woman into the White House.”
10. All The Rage by Courtney Summers – This book looks at rape culture in YA fiction form and it’s brilliant.
I basically want to take this course now. Maybe I’ll teach it to myself. 😉