Bad Ass Book List

Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the beauty that is the public library. I read a lot, and without access to free books I don’t think I would be able to do so. The opportunity for anyone, at any age, to learn about pretty much anything is life changing. Here is a list of some bad ass books I recently read courtesy of the public library, in handy subcategories, with links!

Feminism:

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran – An amazing take on what feminism actually means. Skeptical? Then take this quiz from the book:

“So here is the quick way of working out if you’re a feminist. Put your hand in your pants.
a) Do you have a vagina? and
b) Do you want to be in charge of it?
If you said ‘yes’ to both, then congratulations! You’re a feminist.”

Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran – In this most recent collection of columns from The Times writer, we get a fantastic read on a broad spectrum of topics. From misogyny on the internet, to Benedict Cumberbatch, Syria, how the Oscars are evil, wind energy and of course, her very own manifesto.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay – In this collection of essays, Roxane points out that it’s totally OK to suck at feminism sometimes, because at least we’re trying.

Punk Rock:

M Train by Patti Smith – My guiding light, Patti, invites us into her life of cowpoke dreams, a beloved cafe, routine solitude and detective shows. I loved this world so much I was sad when I finished it in a few days. I have since read it again.

Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution by Sara Marcus – Music would not be where it is today without the women and girls of the Riot Grrrl movement. I bow to them whilst loudly playing my electric guitar.

Memoir:

Just Kids by Patti Smith – The story of Patti’s beautiful relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe in 1960s and 1970s New York City. “I imagined myself as Frida to Diego, both muse and maker. I dreamed of meeting an artist to love and support and work with side by side.”

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah – There can be only one man on my list, and that man is Trevor! In his first book, the comedian tells us about his early life of being born during Apartheid in South Africa to a black mother and white father. It is a wonderful story about identity, solitude, the power of language and loving your mother. He grew up to be a really great human.

Fiction:

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran – The first novel from my love Caitlin was slightly inspired by her own British working class upbringing, and very nearly makes me want to go back to being 16. It is a true inspiration at any age, really, about being yourself and having a bit of fun along the way. “You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes—and build yourself.”

Awareness:

Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste by Bea Johnson – When I’m not smashing the patriarchy, I’m trying to protect the environment. Actually, I do both of these things all the time, every day, with every ounce of my being. Bea has helped me become further aware of the problem of waste and how to change it. Yes, we can all make a difference! It starts with you.

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Significance of the Lioness

The lioness hunts for food for herself and her cubs only to have the lion almost immediately take it for himself. She chooses her mate and lashes out at him if he is not satisfactory. He cowers away. The lioness does what she needs to do, while also making sacrifices. But she is the true leader of her den.

More and more throughout my journey of chronic pain I find myself needing to be in the natural world. I am my true self in the ocean, on top of a mountain or in a forest. If I don’t see or feel water for a long period of time I feel restless and off. I feel immediately healed when I return to it.

I feel more and more insignificant as a human when I see what nature can do.

Realizing this has helped me accept my health the way it is.

Realizing this has helped me stay positive during a stressful political era.

Realizing this has helped me change my lifestyle to one that harms the planet as little as possible.

Realizing this has made me see I am no lioness.

But I can learn from her while I am here.