Put down 50 Shades of Gray. I've got something equally smutty but infinitely smarter to recommend. How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran is a feminist manifesto like none you've read. Most of us don't go around reading feminist manifestos but in any case this one is definitely for everyone -- even if you are a dude and maybe even especially so.
Despite the title, How to Be a Woman isn't a "how to" ala Shannen Doherty's Badass (rehab your bitchy reputation by adopting a baby from another country) or memoir ala Tina Fey's Bossypants (the current yardstick for memoirs by female comedic writers). It's a face off with the status quo and an assertion of equality. Also unlike the authors of both of those books, Moran is British, but not the look-down-your-nose-at-people sort. Well, she may be but How to Be a Woman doesn't leave you feeling judged the way reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle does. Of course Kingsolver is a Tucson legend and not at all British. I'm losing my way here. The point is that Moran shares her lessons as Jesus shared his -- through allegory. If you want a peek into her life, you are obligated to read the lessons she gained from her experiences.
But wait; there's more! Moran has a newer book on the shelves titled Moranthology in which she tackles "THE REST OF THE WORLD: Ghostbusters, Twitter, caffeine, panic attacks, Michael Jackson's memorial service, being a middle-class marijuana addict, Doctor Who, binge-drinking, Downton Abbey, pandas, [her] own tragically early death, and [her] repeated failure to get anyone to adopt the nickname [she has] chosen for [her]self: 'Puffin'." Someone buy it quick(ly*).
* What? She's a journalist and is probably into grammar and AP Style and stuff. I don't wish to offend because I want her to contact me on Twitter again and be my BFF and ignore that I'm not properly footnoting.
I didn't get the day off, but I did make time to read How to Be a Woman and to endear myself to Moran I will make time for Germaine Greer's Female Eunuch.
How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran