Kaitlyn Luckow


3 Books You Need To Read This Year

It’s my goal this year to read 70 books and because of that, I’ve read a lot of books. I know that I have the privilege of having that time to make that happen whereas some people might have a hard time finding any time to read at all. So, if you only have time to read one, or two, or three books this year, that’s okay! If that’s the case, I want to give you some recommendations of books that I think you can’t miss out on this year.

In the last half of 2019, there are three books that I think everyone should get their hands on and read:

The Shine of the Ever by Claire Rudy Foster

This is an exceptionally realized short story collection that explore ideas of sexuality, gender, addiction, recovery, and most importantly, love. These stories capture relationships that are messy and finds the beauty that they hold.

Foster’s “Shine of the Ever” was a hard book to read. Not because of any faults, but because of its brilliance. Foster’s work is so raw that it can make the reader uncomfortable, but I struggle to think of any collection I’ve read that even comes close to capturing how real life feels.

The atmosphere of this book was so rich and as someone who has recently moved to Portland, it captures the city so well. I loved all the details and references. It really helped the stories and Portland come to life for the reader.

My favorite part of this entire collection was the writing itself. I found myself highlighting so many lines that just hit me in the gut. These lines provided so much hope and clarity amongst the chaos of life that I just want to hug the words to me and hold them close.

I think that this collection excels and will continue to speak for generations to come. It’s a collection that you can read over and over again and take away different things depending on what you’re going through in life at the moment.

I hope that this short story collection continues to get the praise that it deserves, because it deserves it all. A must read.

Favorite quotes:

“We’re all wearing the costume of belonging.”

“Language ensured men could find acceptance somewhere, since they were. incapable of accepting themselves.”

“Vulnerability is not a performance. It’s a transfer of energy or understanding, an experience that transforms the listener’s understanding of the speaker. It does not require total honesty. What it does need is truth, which is something distinct from the. terms we use to define ourselves. Vulnerability occurs in the temporary absence of fear, the natural reluctance to be seen. Vulnerability does not account itself: it does not say Look, I’m So Brave.”

Pre-order your copy before its publication date on Nov 5.

The Vagina Bible by Dr. Jen Gunter

I originally picked this book up because I have been following Dr. Gunter on Twitter for quite some time and to be honest, she’s one of my favorite people to follow. Her candor, wit, and revolutionary anger are an inspiration to see every day on my timeline.

In this literal bible of vaginas, Gunter answers every single possible question you might have ever had about vaginas. She breaks it up into chapters that explore different topics such as “Female Pleasure and Sex Ed”; “Pregnancy and Childbirth”; and “Menstrual Hygiene”.

God, I wish I had this book when I was younger. This book is a must read for anyone with a vagina or anyone that interacts with vaginas on a regular basis.

Dr. Gunter does an incredible job of addressing the myths and the dangerous misunderstandings surrounding vaginal health in the world today and explains how that misinformation is being used as a weapon against individuals with vaginas.

Literally every topic I can think of is talked about in this book. I learned so much. It’s wild to think about how much I didn’t know about my own body. And I know I’m not alone in that. It’s completely unacceptable.

I wish I could give this to all of my friends so they can have it on their shelves.

Favorite quotes:

“Misinforming women about their bodies serves no one. And I’m here to help end it.”

“There are so many individual factors involved in how we process pain it is generally not productive to. compare one person’s pain. with another’s. You have the pain you have.”

“Power and health are inseparably linked.”

Burn It Down: Women Writing About Anger from Lilly Dancyger

In Burn It Down, Dancyger complies a collection of essays from a diverse group of authors that explore their rage and their entitlement to not only feel it, but to express it. These essays explore themes such as chronic illness, racism, sexuality, societal expectations, and mental illness.

Usually when I review collections of essays, short stories, and/or poetry, I find myself in this same predicament of having some pieces really hit home for me while others not quite making an impact. This may be the first collection that I have ever read in which every single essay has impacted me. This gave me a whole list of new favorite authors to go out and explore.

This is such a well crafted and put together collection that is incredibly important to continue the conversation about women’s anger and how it’s perceived in the world. I highly recommend this book if you were a fan of Rebecca Traister’s Good and Mad.

Favorite quotes:

“Our anger doesn’t have to be useful to deserve a voice.”-Lily Dancyger

“‘Depression is rage internalized,” my second therapist told me. I had squelched and winnowed and edited my rage down to something that looked like sadness.”-Marissa Korbel

“It could be that female emotion is often absorbed to biology rather than. rationality. If you can blame. a woman’s critiques of you on PMS, it’s easy to ignore her point of view.”-Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

You can pick a copy of this collection up today (Happy Publication Day!).