No theme this week, just some interesting books…although one title correlates with Merriam-Webster’s 2019 Word of the Year.
- Consent : a Memoir of Unwanted Attention / by Donna Freitas – “A powerful memoir about a young woman’s toxic relationship with her mentor, an acclaimed professor, whose dark, stalking obsession altered her future forever. Donna Freitas has lived two lives. In one life, she is a well-published author and respected scholar who has traveled around the country, speaking about Title IX, consent, and sex on college campuses. In the other, she is a victim, a woman who suffered and suffers still because she was stalked by her graduate professor for more than two years. As a doctoral candidate, Freitas loved asking big questions, challenging established theories, and sinking her teeth into sacred texts. She felt at home in the library and safe in the book-lined offices of scholars whom she admired. But during her first year, one particular scholar became obsessed with Freitas’s academic enthusiasm. He filled her student mailbox with letters and articles. He lurked on the sidewalk outside her apartment. He called daily and left nagging voice mails. He befriended her mother and made himself comfortable in her family’s home. He wouldn’t go away. While his attraction was not overtly sexual, it was undeniably inappropriate and, most important, unwanted. In ‘Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention,’ Freitas delivers a forensic examination of the years she spent stalked by her professor and uses her nightmarish experience to examine the ways in which we stigmatize, debate, and attempt to understand consent today.”–Publisher description.
- Autobiography of a Face / by Lucy Grealy – “At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. It took her twenty years of living with a distorted self-image and more than thirty reconstructive procedures before she could come to terms with her appearance. In this lyrical and strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and remarkable strength without sentimentality and with considerable wit. She captures with unique insight what it is like as a child and young adult to be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly to be perfect.”–Publisher description.
- She Said : Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement / by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey – “For many years, reporters had tried to get to the truth about Harvey Weinstein’s treatment of women. Rumors of wrongdoing had long circulated. But in 2017, when Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey began their investigation into the prominent Hollywood producer for the New York Times, his name was still synonymous with power. During months of confidential interviews with top actresses, former Weinstein employees, and other sources, many disturbing and long-buried allegations were unearthed, and a web of onerous secret payouts and nondisclosure agreements were revealed. These shadowy settlements had long been used to hide sexual harassment and abuse, but with a breakthrough reporting technique Kantor and Twohey helped to expose it. But Weinstein had evaded scrutiny in the past, and he was not going down without a fight; he employed a team of high-profile lawyers, private investigators, and other allies to thwart the investigation. When Kantor and Twohey were finally able to convince some sources to go on the record, a dramatic final showdown between Weinstein and the New York Times was set in motion. Nothing could have prepared Kantor and Twohey for what followed the publication of their initial Weinstein story on October 5, 2017. Within days, a veritable Pandora’s box of sexual harassment and abuse was opened. Women all over the world came forward with their own traumatic stories. Over the next twelve months, hundreds of men from every walk of life and industry were outed following allegations of wrongdoing. But did too much change–or not enough? Those questions hung in the air months later as Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court, and Christine Blasey Ford came forward to testify that he had assaulted her decades earlier. Kantor and Twohey, who had unique access to Ford and her team, bring to light the odyssey that led her to come forward, the overwhelming forces that came to bear on her, and what happened after she shared her allegation with the world. In the tradition of great investigative journalism, ‘She Said’ tells a thrilling story about the power of truth, with shocking new information from hidden sources. Kantor and Twohey describe not only the consequences of their reporting for the #MeToo movement, but the inspiring and affecting journeys of the women who spoke up–for the sake of other women, for future generations, and for themselves.”–Publisher description.
- They/Them/Their : a Guide to Nonbinary and Genderqueer Identities / by Eris Young – “In this insightful and long-overdue book, Eris Young explores what it’s like to live outside of the gender binary and how it can impact on one’s relationships, sense of identity, use of language and more. Drawing on the author’s own experiences as a non-binary person, as well as interviews and research, it shares common experiences and challenges faced by those who are non-binary, and what friends, family, and other cisgender people can do to support them. Breaking down misconceptions and providing definitions, this much-needed guide is for anyone wanting to fully understand non-binary and genderqueer identities.”–Publisher description.
If you have any trouble locating these books, or would like to place any on hold, don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian” for assistance!