I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating—there’s no point in reading anything that you don’t enjoy. I’m not the happiest version of myself and I probably won’t be for a while, which means that anytime I’m forcing myself to read something I’m actively making my situation worse. Why do that? So instead, I return that super popular library book and forget about it. Maybe when I’m different I’ll worry about those. Or maybe after the book burning starts up again and it’s literally the last book on Earth, I still won’t read it.
Without further ado,
1. Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Like We Should All Be Feminists, this is incredibly short and direct. This is Adichie’s response to a letter from a friend asking for advice on raising a feminist daughter. This book didn’t necessarily make me happy, because it’s a reminder that being a woman isn’t easy and society isn’t fair and somehow I don’t see any of that changing. But this tiny bite of a book comes with a dose of heavy commiseration and maybe a little hope with lines like “the knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina.” You may tell me to get back in the kitchen, but I’m just as likely to accidentally poison you as I am to do it on purpose at that point.
2. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
I was a Greek mythology geek growing up, but Norse mythology has been on my brain with new teasers from Thor: Ragnarok coming out, so of course I grabbed this. Gaiman updates the tales to make them feel fresh despite the fact that the men do all the fun stuff and the women sit around waiting for people to trick them into marriage. Except for Loki, but that’s because he can become she or anything else (s)he likes. Including become a female horse and then give birth because (s)he’s Loki. That last line wouldn’t have made sense to me either until I read this.
3. Overdue: The Final Unshelved Collection by Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes
The long-running library-based comic Unshelved finally came to an end in Overdue. It’s a comic you have probably seen before if you know any library-adjacent people, but reading complete arcs is a worthwhile use of time. Like the library, it can be a little weird or a little slow, but public librarians will recognize the cast of characters in their everyday library users and their colleagues.
So here it is, the penultimate Short Stack. I hope that between now and May that I manage to find a little time to read for fun. If you do have time (lucky you, truly), the next Readathon is on April 29th!