A gorgeous novel set in the late 1890s that is still too relevant today with characters fighting to live just as they are and using magic to further their cause. I adored this beautiful story and was sad to say good-bye to the Eastwood sisters at the end. This book lifts up the power of women, of resistance, and will have you wanting to learn some spells.
Smith's second collection of poetry is stirring and devastating and absolutely beautiful. It's been a long time since a book of poetry stuck with me in the ways this one has, and I am so grateful to have encountered this work.
Aubrey Gordon has been writing powerful essays about her experience as a fat person under the pseudonym Your Fat Friend for several years. Now, she stands out with this work that effectively weaves research with personal storytelling and cultural critique. Gordon shares about the hostility she faces in moving through the world in a fat body while also highlighting the many ways anti-fat bias shows up in our society, from denial of healthcare to legal discrimination, and plenty more. This book will challenge you and cause you to examine your own internalized bias, and you'll be all the better for it.
(NOTE: Aubrey Gordon and other fat activists don't see "fat" as an insult, but a descriptor, and it is used as such here).
If you've read Hillbilly Elegy (or even if you haven't), read this book for a more nuanced and honest take on the Central Appalachian region. Catte packs a lot into these pages, including history of radical union organizing among coal miners to how the region has become "othered" and used as a scape goat for our country's ills. This is a must read for anyone living outside the region to better understand the history and complexity of Appalachia.