Make Muse

For the young womxn who wants to make a change.

Books by Badass Women: 5 Suggestions

Books by Badass Women: 5 Suggestions

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After successfully binge-watching an entire miniseries in a single day (a new record), I had to ask myself a few questions. Did I waste the day? What time is it? Is that a chocolate stain on my sweatpants? But most importantly, why is this behavior my default form of relaxation? I had to acknowledge that there are perhaps better ways to spend my free time. And what better way to move away from the couch and computer screen than to move to a slightly different side of the couch with a good book?! These fictional and nonfictional women have talent, spunk and none of their shit together. But true female empowerment does not require large-scale, massively impactful work. In my recent experience, it has been refreshing to read about women who are feminists in their own right, without the prestige and historical weight of someone like Gloria Steinem or RBG. These literary heroines are just trying to make it through the day – facing their own fears, making mistakes, and moving on. As for me, I will get off the couch tomorrow and work on some of the big things. For now, I’ll enjoy my book.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

What it’s about: Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest novel chronicles the history of the fictional band, Daisy Jones & The Six during the 1970s. The book is almost entirely in an interview format and reads like a Rolling Stone article – plenty of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

Excerpt: “Daisy: I had no interest in being somebody else’s muse. I am not a muse. I am the somebody. End of fucking story.”

I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson

What it’s about: After a rough break-up and with her television show approaching its final season, Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson takes a solo road trip across the country to hit the reset button and clear her head. She hilariously and poignantly shares stories from her career and personal life, along with original illustrations from the road.

Excerpt: “There’s a quiet epidemic of women taking and absorbing the blame for other people’s mistakes, because of some inherent attribute deep inside us, constantly trying not to be difficult. I’ve had to learn to speak up and ask for what I want, specifically. And if it’s not done right, I don’t need to say, “Sorry, but…” Why am I apologizing? Asking for what you want and need (nicely) is not being an asshole, it’s part of the job.”

Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault by Cathy Guisewite

What it’s about: Cathy Guisewite is the creator of the beloved “Cathy” comic strip which ran in newspapers for 34 years. Now retired, Fifty Things is a collection of essays from “the grown-up years.” She humorously provides a voice for the every-woman, and candidly discusses the feminist issues that don’t get as much attention as the larger-scale movements – from bathing suit shopping, to family struggles, to food.

Excerpt: “It’s not my fault I have bonus guilt. I had the amazing platform of an internationally syndicated comic strip, which some people said I should have used to voice triumphant stories of unwavering feminism, but which I instead used to voice the insecurities, relationship frustrations, mother-daughter angst, career grief, and food blunders under which so many of our triumphant dreams get squashed. Some people thought my work reinforced the negative stereotype of women being obsessed with shopping, weight, and love, but it wasn’t my fault we still live in a world that partly judges women by what we wear, how much we weigh, and whether or not and who or how we love.”

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

What it’s about: Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are the creators and hosts of the hugely popular true crime comedy podcast, My Favorite Murder. These women have used their humor and candor to talk about difficult social issues and cultivate a massive following of dedicated fans. In their new book, Karen and Georgia share stories about their struggles with depression, eating disorders and addiction, to break down stigmas and encourage others to self-advocate.

Review:My Favorite Murder started as a way for Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark to work through their fears. Now it’s a worldwide community…. Even its darkest moments are lightened by Karen and Georgia's effortlessly funny banter and genuine empathy.”

Vintage Pick: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

What it’s about: The Bell Jar follows the downward spiral of Esther Greenwood and her struggles with mental illness, relationships, and her own identity. The novel not only represents a woman attempting to take control of her own mental health, but also tackles feminist issues of gendered double standards and education.

Excerpt: “That’s one of the reasons I never wanted to get married. The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket.”

By Maddie Rizzo.

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