Thursday, October 8, 2020

September Book Haul!

Hello my loves, today I'm going to ease back into writing blog posts with a nice easy book haul. But I promise you'll see some posts with a bit more depth shortly after this!

I think it's safe to say I will end up spending all of my maintenance loan on books, if my September spending habits are anything to go by. Growing up in a small town with little variety it's amazing to now be in a city that is filled with bookshops, even if one of those bookshops stole all your money for stupidly priced textbooks - I'm looking at you Blackwells...

The majority of my books were purchased at an amazing independent bookstore called Lighthouse Bookshop. They describe themselves as an "activist, antiracist, intersectional, feminist LGBTQ+ community space" and that certainly holds true! The shop stocked floor to ceiling with all sorts of thought-provoking books, including queer theory, intersectional feminism, local zines, political commentaries and some good old diverse and inclusive fiction. I think getting back into my studies reignited my love for learning outside of the classroom through my books, and I've been particularly interested lately in expanding my knowledge of queer studies, gender studies and political ideas.

Anyway without further rambling, here are all the books I bought this September.

P.s please excuse the very-adorable-but-not-very-aesthetic cat bedding. I didn't take the rug I normally use to take photos with me to uni so this was the next best thing I had!

How Media and Conflicts Make Migrants - Kirsten Forkert & Co.

This was the first book I picked up in Lighthouse, partly in thanks to its striking cover. As someone with a keen interest in human rights, immigration and international law, this book seemed like it would tie nicely into those interests. 

The book aims to explore the idea of 'migrant', how such an identity is placed on individuals and the subsequent shaping of interactions this identity causes. There is a primary focus on British, American and Italian media, examining how media representations "construct global conflicts in a climate of changing media habits widespread mistrust, and fake news".

This certainly sounds like a challenging and thought-provoking read, and one I hope to share a review of with you in the near future.

Blueberries: Essays Concerning Understanding - Ellena Savage

You know the saying "don't judge a book by its cover"? I'm a strong believer that this applies to everything but books. 'Blueberries' by Ellena Savage has such a gorgeous cover, with its little embossed blueberries, that I picked it up the moment I saw it.

Thankfully, the content of the book was also something that interested me. The book is composed of essays concerning understanding; what this exactly entails I am unsure, but a review on the inside cover of 'Blueberries' describes it as "compellingly vivid, clear-eyed essays on an embodied self in flight through the world". Which sounds pretty awesome to me.

The Bi-ble: Personal Narratives and Essays About Bisexuality (Volume 1)

I consider myself a pretty vocal (and unapologetic about it) bisexual, but I realised I had actually read very few academic pieces of work on bisexuality. So naturally a book entirely about bisexual theory seemed like a calling for me to buy! 

I'm currently very invested in the discourse surrounding bisexuality vs pansexuality, and other instances of possible biphobia in the LGBTQ+ community, therefore I really hope this read provides me with ample new outlooks, narratives and theories.

As a quick side note, the book does actually contain a trigger warning for two essays that discuss sexual assault and/or rape. This absolutely delighted me to see, and definitely something I'd like to see more of, particularly in the sphere of academic books.

Women, Race & Class - Angela Y. Davis

This book technically isn't part of the September haul, but I think it deserves a spot in here nonetheless! I picked this book up in Whitby a couple weeks before starting uni. Many works by Davis have been recommended to me recently, as part of wider book recommendations for educating ourselves on racism and white privilege. 

The intersectionality of Davis' work is a big factor as to why I picked 'Women, Race & Class'. Though I could technically say I have been a feminist for years, I most certainly haven't made myself aware of the intersectionalities of feminism until recently. I'm hoping Davis' book educates me both on issues regarding race, but also offers feminist discussion outside of the dominating white narrative.

Law as Refuge of Anarchy: Societies Without Hegemony or State - Hermann Amborn

I'm going to be honest with you, other than what the second part of the title suggests, I have absolutely no clue what this book is about. I was in the mood for a philosophical read, but something that was a bit of a challenge. This was in the political philosophy section of the Lighthouse Bookshop. 

Anarchy has always been a political theory I've wanted to learn about, and seeing as I'm interested in law the title suggests I will enjoy this book. Whether I am able to wrap my head around it, we shall see!

Sex and The City of Ladies - Lisa Hilton

I don't really have a way of describing this without reading it first, so I'm going to include the blurb below.

"In 1504, Christine de Pisan took up her pen to defend her vilified sex. Her book, The City of Ladies, was built around preserving women's reputation from the slights and misunderstandings of history. In it the author is visited by three spirits - Justice, Rectitude and Reason - who guide her in sifting through countless lives, in search of worthy citizens.

Nearly 600 years later, the historian and novelist Lisa Hilton picks up the book and promptly falls asleep, only to be visited by three great women from history: Cleopatra, Lucrezia Borgia and Catherine the Great. And they aren't happy. Having found themselves barred from the original 'City of Ladies', they want to know why. And isn't it time, they ask, for a new author to take up the pen?"

Whew that was a lot, but I think it's the best way to understand what it's about! This book gave similar vibes to Mary Beard's 'Women in Power' but with a more fictional and creative twist. I expect it to be a great piece of analytical work on historical views and attitudes towards women, I hope it doesn't disappoint.

Plato: Five Dialogues

There isn't much to say about this book, everyone knows Plato. But what I will say is if you are a student studying Plato at any point, it is so much cheaper buying this collection of works than it is buying each one individually. I believe the five dialogues included are some of his most important work, save perhaps 'Republic'. I got this copy at Blackwell's for under £10!

The Invisible Child and The Fir Tree - Tove Jannson

It wouldn't be a ConnectingCait post if I didn't bring up Moomins somewhere. I actually picked up this book in Oxfam, which I think must currently have a Moomin merch collection as several Oxfam branded products are Moomin! This book obviously isn't academic or challenging, it's just a beautiful edition containing one of my favourite stories, and looks very beautiful on my bookshelf. With my very expensive collection of Moomin books in the safety of my actual home, it's nice to have at least one book with me.

And that's all of the books I bought in April (save some huge international law textbooks that probably wouldn't interest anyone). I hope you enjoyed reading this little haul, and keep an eye out for any reviews of these books in the near future!

Take care x


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