A Year of Feminist Classics

Because they're better together :)

Reading Women by Stephanie Staal – With Giveaway!

Reading Women by Stephanie StaalReading Women: How the Great Books of Feminism Changed my Life is a book with more than a passing resemblance to the Year of Feminist Classics Project.  The author, Stephanie Staal,  writes about how she decided to retake the Feminist Texts class she first took as an undergraduate, and even her reading list is very similar to ours.  For this reasons, we couldn’t say no when we were offered the opportunity to review the book here. Reading Women came out today, and all four of us have posted our thoughts on the book on our blogs. Amy had this to say:

I really enjoyed this book as a look at one women’s discovery through the texts. Staal is clear that it is only her interpretation and ideas and that others will of course find different things in the book. To me this highlighted the best part of feminism and these texts which is how individual it can be and how it can still speak to so many of us in different situations. By coming together and listening to (and respecting) each others stories we can keep the momentum.

Emily Jane was particularly interested in how Staal’s reactions to the texts she reads changed over time. She says:

Ten years later, Staal has wildly different reactions to the works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvoir, and Judith Butler–among many others–than she did upon her first reading of them. Interestingly, she sometimes has wildly different interpretations than do the younger women in her class, as well. This inter-generational exchange of interpretations was one of my favorite parts of the book, and I loved how the conversational tone allowed for so many different perceptions to get their due. Many times, in fact, I was tempted to take a break from reading and talk back to Staal and the girls in her class! But not all of the book is classroom centered. Staal always refocuses on how the things she’s learning from the “great books of feminism” impact her relationships with her friends, family, and everyone else.

To Iris,

What makes Staal’s book interesting for bloggers who are also participating in our feminist reading project is that Staal’s approach to the works of feminism very much reminded me of what we are doing. She does give insight into the central premises of these works of feminism, but she doesn’t describe them in a scholarly fashion alone. Like we have done with Wollstonecraft, Mill and Bâ, she looks at these works both in the light of the historical context as well as in the light of modern concerns. Furthermore, she engages with them through the prism of her own personal life. Something that does, I think, sound very familiar to book bloggers.

And I also felt that the highly personal tone of Reading Women was very fitting:

The practical applications of feminism and the ways in which it can be helpful when it comes to everyday decisions are, after all, the major themes of this book. Another reason why I didn’t mind the highly personal tone was because the author was a pleasure to spend time with: she comes across as sensible and highly intelligent, and it doesn’t hurt that I agreed with her about 90% of the time. It was easy to imagine myself discussing all these books with her over coffee.

Thanks to Public Affairs, we are hosting a giveaway for Reading Women. The giveaway is open to everyone, but we thought we’d reward project participants with an extra entry for the sake of fairness. If you’d like to be entered, just leave us a comment saying so – it’s as simple as that.  For an extra entry, mention it if you have signed up for the project – it doesn’t matter if it was to read one book or all twelve of them. The giveaway will be open for two weeks, until the 8th of March. And if you come back next week, we’ll be asking Stephanie Staal a few questions about her own reading project and the things it has in common with ours.

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35 responses to “Reading Women by Stephanie Staal – With Giveaway!

  1. dragonflyy419 February 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I’ve been reading all of your reviews on this and I so want entered in for this book. It sounds like a perfect book to read alongside with this project, which I am adoring by the way. This is a great group and a great project and I’m glad I signed up!

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Reading Women by Stephanie Staal – With Giveaway! « A Year of Feminist Classics -- Topsy.com

  3. LifetimeReader February 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I am really looking forward to reading this book! Sounds fabulous. I am not signed up for the project, but would love to take the opportunity to say how much I have enjoyed reading posts across the blogosphere. Thanks.

  4. teadevotee February 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Oh please please please enter me for this! I am signed up though I am only going to read the ones I have not read before (if that’s ok with you guys!) I so want to read this book, and it’s not out for a whole month in the UK!
    Lyndsey

  5. Georgia Fair February 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Hi, I would like to be entered for the giveaway.

    I did try to ‘sign up’ to the project, but I don’t have a blog, so I’m not sure if it worked. I signed up with wordpress when I was redirected, but I’m not very IT savvy.

  6. vvb February 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    i would love to read this.
    i am part of the project.

  7. Katja February 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Sounds like a great book. I’d like to enter. I’m part of the project, but reading probably only the fiction books and some of the books for the summer months.

  8. Ellie February 22, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    This book sounds fascinating – please enter me for the giveaway! I’m not signed up for the project but am very much enjoying reading the thoughtful posts and reviews of the current participants (special thumbs up to Iris!)…
    Ellie (UK)

  9. Pingback: Review: Reading Women by Stephanie Staal « Amy Reads

  10. Florinda February 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I didn’t sign up for the reading project due to other commitments, but I do love the idea of it, and I’d really like to read this book even if on my own. Please enter me in the giveaway!

  11. Vasilly February 23, 2011 at 12:37 am

    I would love to win this book. I’m a participant in the challenge.

  12. dangermom February 23, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Oh, I would love to read this book! I’m a participant in the challenge (and I’ve even kept up so far…). Thanks for hosting such a great giveaway!

  13. rhonda February 23, 2011 at 4:25 am

    i would love to read this book.Thanks for the chance!

  14. Carolyn February 23, 2011 at 5:28 am

    I’d love to be entered for this, even though I’m not (yet?) signed up for the challenge.

  15. nomadreader (Carrie) February 23, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    I’d love to be signed up to win. I’m participating, but not every month. Thanks!

  16. Kira February 23, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    It would be great if I could be entered in the giveaway! It sounds like a great side to read along with the reading challenge (which I am signed up in).

  17. conscious burning February 23, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I’d love to be signed up! I’m participating in the project, though I’m a wee bit behind right now.

  18. LonerGrrrl February 23, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Hi – yes, count me in for the giveaway (& I’m participating in the read-along). Sounds like a really interesting read, particularly the comments on how her thoughts on the books have changed since first reading them.

  19. Bonnie Jacobs February 24, 2011 at 1:17 am

    YES, I want to be entered for a chance at the giveaway, especially since my library does NOT have a copy. YES, I’m signed up as a participant, though I haven’t had time to join the discussion yet. (I’ve been reading, though.)

  20. softdrink February 24, 2011 at 2:46 am

    Yes, please! I didn’t sign up, although I considered reading January’s book. But, umm, well…it didn’t happen.

  21. Mystica February 24, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Please throw my name in the hat as I would like to read this.

  22. SilverSeason February 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Enter me for the book, please. I love the project and am trying to participate in the discussion for each book as it comes up.

  23. nymeth February 24, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Thank you for entering, everyone! Your names are all in the hat. And for those who haven’t had the chance to participate in the discussions so far, don’t worry about it at all!

  24. Laura February 24, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I would love to read this book. I have signed up for the challenge, though I am slightly behind… I love reading the discussions though.

  25. Melissa February 25, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    This is awesome! I can’t wait to see the interview. My review of the book will be going up in a couple of weeks (so don’t enter me into the giveaway). But I love that you all are doing this! :)

  26. Christina February 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Sweet! Please enter me! I’m signed up for the project (sharing the reading list with the other writers over at The Blue Bookcase). I just started reading A Doll’s House, so I’ll be jumping into the discussion here soon. Thanks!

  27. Megan MacDonald March 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I cannot wait to get my hands on this book! Please enter me in the giveaway and keep up the great work of spreading the “F” word (feminism, that is).

    “In my heart, I think a woman has two choices: either she’s a feminist or a masochist.” —Gloria Steinem

  28. Jillian March 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    I’d love a copy! I’ve been following this project and took part in the January reading of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which is now a favorite book. :-)

  29. Margot March 8, 2011 at 3:25 am

    I want to read this book and hopefully, this giveaway, will be my ticket. I am a member of this project. Thanks for sponsoring the giveaway as well as this amazing project.

  30. Liz M. March 8, 2011 at 4:21 am

    Thanks for the giveaway! I’d love to read this book!

  31. Shelley March 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    If you read anything before around 1970, you have to keep in mind that part what the woman writer was dealing with was trying to keep from letting the culture drive her stark raving mad.

  32. Connie March 9, 2011 at 2:08 am

    I’d love to be entered for this! So glad I caught it in time. We at the Blue Bookcase are signed up for the Feminist Classics challenge, and I’m especially looking forward to next month with Herland — been meaning to read that forever!

    Thanks for the giveaway :)

  33. Pingback: Interview with Stephanie Staal « A Year of Feminist Classics

  34. Pingback: Introducing Gender Trouble by Judith Butler « A Year of Feminist Classics

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