If you want to take Emma Watson’s lead and start your own feminist book club in 2016, there is no shortage of books coming out that can help you get started. Watson’s book club is partnered with UN Women and off to a terrific start — the first book is Gloria Steinem’s “My Life on the Road” — but the three highlighted here are new and buzzy. Call your friends, grab the wine or whiskey and get cracking!
“Lean Out” by Dawn Foster
Sheryl Sandberg’s 2013 book “Lean In” became the business Bible for career women everywhere, but journalist Dawn Foster — who covers politics, social affairs and economics for The Guardian — says it’s full of bullocks. In “Lean Out” (out Jan. 19), she points the middle finger at businesses, capitalism and patriarchy, saying these outer forces should be what have to change, not women themselves. Whether you totally agree or respectfully disagree with her stance, the book is sure to spark a lively conversation for your book club about what women in the workplace should or should not be doing to get ahead.
“Scarlet Women” by Ian Graham
Journalist Ian Graham lets readers into the bedrooms and lives of some of the most famous mistresses and courtesans of all time in “Scarlet Women” (out Jan. 26). While many were severely judged, Graham shows that there’s more than meets the eye, and many of these women served an invaluable secret purpose. The stories — from scheming the wealthiest men in the world to truly falling in love with someone already married — will have you and your fellow book club cohorts rethinking what it means to put bros before hos.
“The Lovers” by Rod Nordland
Chances are, you and your friends complain about dating and relationships all the time. But we have it relatively easy compared to what couples face in some other countries. In “The Lovers” (out Jan. 27), New York Times Kabul bureau chief Rob Nordland chronicles the true story of a “Romeo and Juliet”-esque tale, set in Afghanistan. Zakia and Ali bucked Afghan civil and Islamic law by falling in love with each other, despite coming from different tribes. The couple still lives together in hiding — with their baby girl — hoping to remain undiscovered from authorities and Zakia’s family, who wants to restore their family’s honor, by killing their child.
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