Gross Anatomy by Mara Altman

Title: Gross Anatomy

Author: Mara Altman

Pub Date: 2018

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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The timely, funny and deeply relatable essay collection that celebrates the wonder of the human body and introduces Mara Altman as the love child of Mindy Kaling and Mary Roach.

Mara Altman’s volatile and apprehensive relationship with her body has led her to wonder about a lot of stuff over the years. Like, who decided that women shouldn’t have body hair? And how sweaty is too sweaty? Also, why is breast cleavage sexy but camel toe revolting? Isn’t it all just cleavage? These questions and others like them have led to the comforting and sometimes smelly revelations that constitute Gross Anatomy, an essay collection about what it’s like to operate the bags of meat we call our bodies.

Divided into two sections, “The Top Half” and “The Bottom Half,” with cartoons scattered throughout, Altman’s book takes the reader on a wild and relatable journey from head to toe—as she attempts to strike up a peace accord with our grody bits.

With a combination of personal anecdotes and fascinating research, Gross Anatomy holds up a magnifying glass to our beliefs, practices, biases, and body parts and shows us the naked truth: that there is greatness in our grossness.

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Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri

Title: Don’t Touch My Hair

Author: Emma Dabiri

Pub Date: May 2nd 2019

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Straightened. Stigmatised. ‘Tamed’. Celebrated. Erased. Managed. Appropriated. Forever misunderstood. Black hair is never ‘just hair’.

This book is about why black hair matters.

Emma Dabiri takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and on to today’s Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond. We look at everything from hair capitalists like Madam C.J. Walker in the early 1900s to the rise of Shea Moisture today, from women’s solidarity and friendship to ‘black people time’, forgotten African scholars and the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian’s braids.

The scope of black hairstyling ranges from pop culture to cosmology, from prehistoric times to the (afro)futuristic. Uncovering sophisticated indigenous mathematical systems in black hairstyles, alongside styles that served as secret intelligence networks leading enslaved Africans to freedom, Don’t Touch My Hair proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation.

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Just Eat It Book Cover

Just Eat It: How intuitive eating can help you get your shit together around food by Laura Thomas

Title: Just Eat It

Author: Laura Thomas

Pub Date: 10 Jan, 2019

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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This isn’t just a book. It’s part of a movement to give women power and control over our bodies. To free us from restrictive dieting, disordered eating and punishing exercise. To reject the guilt and anxiety associated with eating and, ultimately, to help us feel good about ourselves.
This anti-diet guide from registered nutritionist Laura Thomas PhD can help you sort out your attitude to food and ditch punishing exercise routines. As a qualified practitioner of Intuitive Eating – a method that helps followers tune in to innate hunger and fullness cues – Thomas gives you the freedom to enjoy food on your own terms.
There are no rules: only simple, practical tools and exercises including mindfulness techniques to help you recognise physiological and emotional hunger, sample conversations with friends and colleagues, and magazine and blog critiques that call out diet culture.
So, have you ever been on a diet? Spent time worrying that you looked fat when you could have been doing something useful? Compared the size of your waistline to someone else’s? Felt guilt, actual guilt, about the serious crime of . . . eating a donut? You’re not alone. Just Eat It gives you everything you need to develop a more trusting, healthy relationship with food and your body.

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Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History by Kurt Andersen

35171984Title: Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History

Author: Kurt Andersen

Pub Date: 2017

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The single most important explanation, and the fullest explanation, of how Donald Trump became president of the United States . . . nothing less than the most important book that I have read this year.”—Lawrence O’Donnell

How did we get here?

In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.

Over the course of five centuries—from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials—our love of the fantastic has made America exceptional in a way that we’ve never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies—every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails.

Fantasyland could not appear at a more perfect moment. If you want to understand Donald Trump and the culture of twenty-first-century America, if you want to know how the lines between reality and illusion have become dangerously blurred, you must read this book.

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My Year In Non-fiction Books

I read 12 non-fiction books this year. This number seriously surprised me, it’s a big chunk of all the books I read in 2017. I didn’t realize that I chosen so many non-fiction books this year. Topic of those books are really diverse, there’s book about Japanese art of getting rid of stuff (instead of cleaning and nicely storing stuff), book about last year’s elections in USA, books about faeries, polish immigrants in UK, Isle of Man, body image, shame and many others. Wow, I definitely learned a lot of new stuff thanks to those books. Here comes the list of all the non-fiction books I read this year sorted by rating I gave them.

– 1 star –

Non of the non fiction books I read this year was so bad that it deserved one start rating, at least in my opinion.

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Fat Is a Feminist Issue by Susie Orbach

12689566Title: Fat is a Feminist Issue

Author: Susie Orbach

Pub Date: first published 1978

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

This is the original anti-diet book is back – in one volume together with its best-selling sequel. When it was first published, Fat Is A Feminist Issue became an instant classic and it is as relevant today as it was then. Updated throughout, it includes a frank new introduction by Susie Orbach that brings this book to a new generation of readers whilst offering a current perspective for its original fans. With an increasingly dominant diet industry, costing the consumer millions of pounds each year, Susie Orbach’s best-selling classic is as important as ever in helping women to love their own body and face the demands of 21st-century living with confidence.

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Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

33585392Title: Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Pub Date: March 7th, 2017

My Rating: ★★★★★

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the best-selling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists comes a powerful new statement about feminism today–written as a letter to a friend.

A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response.

Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions–compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive–for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires; having open conversations with her about clothes, makeup, and sexuality; debunking the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, and that men can “allow” women to have full careers, Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century. It will start a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.

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