Skip to main content

2014 Holiday Feminist Gift Guide

It's that time of the year again!

As usual, I'm behind on my full book reviews, but here is a list of books I have read this year that should go on your gift list. Some are linked to their review, others to their publisher or author page. A reminder that if you click the link to buy from either Powells (P) or IndieBound (I), VLF gets a small cut from your purchase:
  • This is Not a Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education by Jose Vilson P | I
    • A challenging and honest look at our public education system through Vilson's own education journey and path to becoming a teacher-activist. 
  • What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know by Joan C. Williams and Rachel Dempsey P | I 
    • This is the book you need to read instead of "Lean In." Williams has studied women in the workforce for years. Academic work in everyday speak.
  • Rosie Revere, Engineer P | I 
    • A beautiful book about a girl who has amazing ideas and how she learns that fail is often the first step to success.
  • Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence edited by Lisa Factora-Borchers P | I
    • A painful, but loving collection of essays about sexual violence.  A slow read.
  • League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth by Mark Fainaru-Wada & Steve Fainaru P | I
    • An investigative look into concussions in the NFL and the NFL's attempt to hide the pain and injury that cause. 
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell P | I
    • This was a very uncomfortable tale of a young woman not ready to grow up and stand tall without her twin sister. It was a great read
  • It Runs in the Family by Frida Berrigan [not available at Powells or IndieBound]
    • Frida is the daughter of acclaimed peace activist Phil Berrigan. This book is part memoir of growing up in the peace movement and her journey as a mother. The biggest challenge in this book is that she is devoted to anti-capitalism and her judgement for those who do not adhere. It is uncomfortable, but in a good way. It will make you examine your choices. 
  • The Good Mother Myth by Avital Norman Nathman P | I
    • The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality looks to dismantle the myth of the “good mother” by sharing essays from women whose voices and stories are normally silenced or ignored within the mainstream narrative of motherhood.
  • MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood P | I
    • Personally, I'm still at the early part of the last book, but had to include the whole trilogy on this gift list.  
  •  Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor P | I
    • Another great vision of post-apocalyptic Earth, this tale occurs in Africa. A young woman with anger and power fights for her life. Okorafor writes in the tradition of Octavia Butler and Ursula K. LeGuin by interrogating gender roles and speculating on where humankind may lead.
  • Redefining Girly How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween by Melissa Atkins Wardy P | I
    •  One of my favorite parenting books..and not just because Melissa asked me to write a letter to the reader either. Ella is 11 and I have lost count of how many times I've been asked for advice on raising a strong and confident daughter. Not all my secrets are in Melissa's book, but until I get moving on my own parenting book, this will more than do.

Flipstir: I tried this baby out at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair and it was tough but a lot of fun. I did end up winning one for myself because I had one of the top times over the weekend. *YES* And because of that, I get to share with you a code for free shipping. CODE: SHAKESTIRSOLVE14

Catan Junior: Ella & I got a full game in at ChiTAG in about 30 minutes. Catan Junior is smaller and that makes the game go quicker. I know this is great for smaller kids who may lose interest in a longer game of Catan.

Sew Cool: This is definitely for the very junior DIY kids. I have no idea how it sews the felt-like material together, but I think it would be great for kids who are too young to have on a real sewing machine, but want to sew. You can see me in the collage above sewing a hamster pillow together. There was a line of kids who wanted to make their own pillows.

Family Challenge: This one was Ella's favorite. It has four types of questions, which include physical challenges, where it pits the kids versus the parents. We did note that in our home, that would pit Ella against two parents. But isn't that why we have only one? May the odds be our favor.

Make 'n' Break: If you are looking for a good game to help your kids with spatial skills, this is a great one for the younger set. You get cards with a design to build, a timer and blocks to build the design. Perhaps with competition will help make this game a family game, but Ella & I did think it was pretty easy. Then again, we didn't compete with the timer.

And some other ideas that fall under miscellaneous awesome gifts:

Bitch Magazine - Also check out the BitchMart full of feministy gifts
HipMama Magazine
Donate to their favorite charity! 

What other things are on your wish list?


Popular posts from this blog

Is there love after abortion?

Over two years ago , way before I started writing for Girl w/Pen, Alison Piepmeier wowed me with an essay about getting an abortion and how her decision made with her husband was a love story : ...the story I most want to tell—and one I have never heard—is of abortion as an intimate part of a couple’s life together.  Our abortion was a love story. I’d worried that Walter and I were rejecting a gift from the universe.  What I discovered, though, was that when we stripped away the distractions of everyday life so that we could make this difficult decision together, it bound us together as surely as if our choice had been different—and as it turns out, that was the gift. Every once in awhile their story returns to me. I often don't know why it stumbles into my brain and says, "Hey! Ponder me!" but it does. This morning it returned to me yelling, "Why?!" I was half-listening to WBEZ's 848 and some story about a man running away from his life. Original, I kn

Book Review: Wolfpack by Abby Wambach

Less than a year ago, Abby Wambach took the stage at Barnard's commencement and gave a speech that shook many, including myself, to the core . Her speech went viral and I made the above image in order to share the highlights of her speech. Earlier this month Abby released the speech in book form. Wolfpack : How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game is short (less than 100 pages) but is much more than just her speech . You get a peek into how the speech came together and why she said everything. And because the book is short and is an expanded speech, it moves quickly. I feel that it moves with the same ferocity that Abby use to move down a soccer field. And you might find yourself cheering as she takes you through the story. Abby has always been one of my favorite players. The way she ran amok on the pitch was exactly the way I felt I played sports. Never caring how you looked and giving it your all. Leaving it all on the field. When she retired from socc

Chicago Women Who Owned 2015

When I asked social media which Chicago women kicked ass in 2015, I got a list far too long to do justice. I also realized how many of my lady friends kick ass every day, but it's a constant kicking of the ass, not a lot of headline kicking. Ya know what I mean? So I tried to make this list a mix of Chicagoans who had some headline kicks and some who kick ass every day and deserve a shout out. Let's get started, shall we? Photos from social media or public domain pages Luvvie Ajayi Luvvie did my job and summed up her amazing year herself! I love it when women do that. Yes, let's take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments and dance at our own parties. Luvvie makes us laugh, even when we want to cry. She pushes us to be active, even down to our shoes. You'll never laugh so hard when learning so much than when you are in a meeting with her. From hanging with celebs to her epic travel schedule, Luvvie definitely owned 2015. Charlene Carruthers Carruther