8 Jan 2013

The Best Books of 2012 - part 2

5. "The City and The City" by China Mieville
A tremendous piece of fiction about an assumedly Eastern European city which has been split into two cities and where citizens must pretend never to notice the other half of their city. Defies genres and enchants readers. 

A classic tale of 1950s office girls striving for more in life - careers, marriages, fame. A mandatory read for lovers of Mad Men. 

3. "Mystics, Mavericks and Merrymakers" by Stephanie Wellen Levine
The most gripping non-fiction book I have ever read. I literally could not put it down. Levine tells the stories of Hasidic Lubavitcher teenage girls living in Crown Heights, New York, where everyday demands a delicate balancing act of normal teenage pursuits (shopping, gossiping, thinking about boys) and strict observance of orthodox Jewish traditions and rules (kosher food, kosher music and gender segregation). Eyeopening and inspiring. 

2. "The Group" by Mary McCathy 
Interested in feminism or womens rights? Enjoyed Sex & The City but found its values superficial? Drop the boxsets and pick up this book instead. It is a tale of women in 1930s New York, a time and place where the role of women and the traditional gender patterns were changing rapidly and drastically. 

1. "Fear of Flying" by Erica Jong
This is a must read for women born in the 1980s and 1990s because even though it was written in 1973, it was never more relevant than today. It is about the mental emancipation of one headstrong yet insecure young woman and I've probably thought about this book and about its protagonist Isadora every day since I started reading it It and she really made an impression on me and taught me something about letting go of your fears. More than just a book, this is a zeitgeist, a manifest and a must read for young women. 

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