Jay-Z is arguably the most successful hip-hop artist in the world. He owns a sports team, created a clothing line, ran a record label and then started his own, and last year beat Elvis Presley as the solo act with the most Billboard 200 hits. This year, he decided to add "author" to his long list of titles. Decoded is part memoir, part argument in defense of hip-hop, part lyrical analysis of his work, both well-known and unknown, and part printed self-aggrandizement with expensive-looking art design to match—like a microcosm of hip-hop itself. (But with more avant-garde black-and-white photography.)
She Was A Booklegger: Remembering Celeste West is a collection of essays, excerpts, and photos that attempt to capture the spirit of Celeste West, a woman whose influence on feminist librarianship, publishing, journalism, and activism was monumental. After West passed away in 2008, a few friends and admirers (Toni Samek, Moyra Lang, and K.R. Roberto) decided to embark on a project that would honor West's work and life. This book, which acts as a comprehensive and compassionate obituary, was the result.
Excerpts from many of West's books and publications are featured in She Was a Booklegger. Her writings covered a vast array of subjects and were always passionate. In addition to West's own writings, the book features academic essays about her work, obituaries from loved ones, and photographs of West throughout her life. She Was A Booklegger's editors write that "while CW is probably best represented in three dimensions instead of two, this anthology is an attempt to capture what she's left behind." This collection sure does convey the enthusiasm and compassion that Celeste West had for feminist librarianship, publishing, and activism. She Was a Booklegger pays tribute to a phenomenal woman whose life story should be shelved in every library, along with the alternative press that she promoted and created.
On Tuesday night, the Bitch Book Club got together to discuss Gaudy Night, a mystery novel by Dorothy Sayers that was first published in 1935. While snacking on cinnamon rolls and apple rosemary scones donated by Dovetail Bakery, we talked about this smart and witty book that has gained a reputation as the first feminist novel of its genre.
Marcus is about to start her book tour, complete with appearances from Jessica Hopper, Anna Oxygen, Kathleen Hanna, Mirah, and Tara Jane Oneil, among others. Girls to the Front is very likely coming to a city near you, and I don't think you'll regret taking part in this Riot Grrrl revival. Check out the complete events list here.
Much of the feminist movement has been wrapped in a maternal bow. Suffrage was sold to naysayers as a way to give mothers a say in government, not to mention the view that women would clean up politics. Organizations like Moms Rising and CODEPink appeal to women as caregivers and moms for ending wars and realizing universal healthcare. But a funny thing happened on our way to a feminist society - we also impacted the way boys and men are viewed.