Every Smart and Thinking Woman Should Read These Four Books
There are many books that inspired me in the last couple of months, but would like to share
"My Best Four"
"My Best Four"
1. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing:
The Story: One woman's struggle to write a notebook that contains all the compartmentalized facets of her life—her childhood, her politics and her lovers.
Why It Inspires Me: Lessing tried to do was to bring together a woman's brain and a woman's body, to show the delight in physicality. Womanhood is exuberant—and wonderful.
2. Memories of a Catholic Girlhood by Mary McCarthy:
The Story: The nonfictional account of Mary McCarthy's idyllic childhood, cut short by the death of her parents.
Why It Inspires Me: McCarthy was orphaned by the influenza epidemic that followed WWI; both of her parents died in a flash. She was then raised by her grandparents in Seattle. The wonderful thing she does in the book is to tell what happened, and then to write about what might have happened. It takes 'memoir' to a whole other level. It gives you a shot of adrenaline; it makes you ask yourself, What was the transformational moment in my life when my story really begins?
3. The Bell Jar by Silvia Plath:
The Story: A young woman suffers a breakdown while pursuing her dream of being a magazine editor.
Why It Inspires Me: Plath made it possible for women to confront our anger and make literature out of it. She made it acceptable to declare our rage.
4. The Country Girls Trilogy by Edna O'Brien:
The Story: The coming-of-age story of two young Catholic girls in Ireland.
Why It Inspires me: This is a writer who is a woman, a lover, a daughter, a mother and she tries to bring all that together in her work. So few women writers were doing that in the 1960s. Instead, they were writing through a male persona, because they knew that otherwise they wouldn't be taken seriously. But as O'Brien says, 'I am the mother of sons; my sons have given me joy. I am a lover of men, and men have broken my heart—but they've also given me joy.
Which Books Have Inspired You and Why?