This summer may feel overwhelming after the pandemic year we’ve had (and are still very much in the midst of). We changed out of our pajamas, we went out to dinner, we saw friends, we took trips near and far. But we hope that in all the hectic plans of this summer season, you are able to find some down-time - whether that is in your home, out in nature, or somewhere else. If you’re taking a breather (by the pool, by the campfire, on the couch) and are looking for something new (or old) to read, here are some informative and inspirational non-fiction recommendations from our team.
Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
by Caroline Criado-Perez
Invisible Women takes a deep dive into the data and showcases how every element of our society was designed with (mostly white) men in mind. From the size of hand-held tools to car crash safety testing to medical research, men are centered as "standard". This is obviously true with the design of our pants as well! We highly recommend giving this book a read, but be warned: it's impossible to finish Invisible Women without developing an intense anger about the heteropatriarchal society we are living in!
Edit: Thank you to our SheFly community for the feedback on this book. We now recommend that in addition to reading Invisible Women, you also read the review linked below and other sources that acknowledge the multitude of genders that exist.
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
by Robin Wall Kimmerer
While this book came out in 2013 to little fanfare, it has slowly and steadily climbed to the top of the best seller list through word of mouth. There is something transformational about this book that moves people to share it with others in their lives and we want to share it with you too! If you are looking for a read that explores nature and our climate relationship but won’t fill you entirely with existential dread, this is an incredible compilation of stories and wisdom in general and a real insight into the Potawatami nation in particular.
How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy
by Jenny Odell
Are you reading this blog post on your phone? We all have unhealthy tech hygiene habits, to varying degrees, but this book examines our attention in a larger context. It argues for preserving our interior personhood and grounding ourselves in the communities and spaces around us. Above all, it is hopeful about the future and how we connect with our inner selves and each other. Turn off your notifications and jump in.