Le SLAP READS | Educated Women Series 1 with Simona Stankevic
Hi everyone, a short introduction about myself. My name is Simona and I want to be part of a community where people talk about books. Not just any community, but a community of women. All is well with men but history, prejudice, not the same mystique, I just feel men are not relevant here. And I know we have a lot of women’s clubs and aren’t we done talking about “witches rise!”— type of bs? Well as long as 15 million girls are married off as child bribes every year and women globally receive approximately 60-75% of men’s salary for the same work, and as long as we are different from men, I will love talking about the uniqueness of being a woman.
As such, when I was picking my recommendations for what books to read, I thought about books that made me more me as a woman.
Classics: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
If you sometimes feel that you are no longer sure whether moral values are relevant or if, in general, you are no longer certain what those are, read this book. Written in the 1800s, the story follows four sisters: Joe, May, Beth and Meg in their quest to grow up. Coming of age story, the book is really about appreciation and leading with an example. Little things like creating a home theatre with your sisters or receiving a letter from abroad are a source of ultimate joy. Family and close relationships are at the center. Although it could render the 21stcentury reader as overly uptight, beating those good Samaritan values, I just miss all that is simple. I don’t know how about you, but I feel deep nostalgia for community and family so maybe that is why I found this book refreshing as opposed to constraining.
Fiction: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (or Normal People)
Completely opposite to Little Women. Here you can embrace the chaos of 21st century relationships and feel good about your failed attempts at love. Is that normal? What is normal? What will people … Conversations with Friends is a sharply witty story about a college student named Francis and the unexpected affair she forges with a married couple about to divorce. To everyone’s surprise, the affair saves the marriage and Francis is left single and confused. Although overall sad, the story is so darkly observant it makes crazy relationships young and sexy. I essentially came out of the book wanting to have an affair.
Self-help: Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Can we please have a book club dedicated just to this book? I want to read this book as if it were a bible, chapter by chapter as if they were scriptures studied carefully and referenced throughout life. The reason? There is so much content in this book. So much meat. And so much interpretation. Told through folklore tales and myths (including the well-known in Lithuanian tale about the Baba Yaga and her house with chicken legs) Pinkola Estes shows, not tells, how one should navigate one’s inner life. The major theme: the archetypal feminine – a concept that is as mythical as the stories themselves but unconsciously it rings a bell.
Also I like this book because it is not your normal self-help – it does not engage in that mediocracy thing of stupid explaining “step 1… step 2…” that you get when you read books such as the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People or The Five Love Languages. Overall, I was surprised by its unusual approach to self-analysis and storytelling as a therapy.
Non-Fiction: The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
The world of investing is confusing, the volumes written by market pundits can overwhelm anyone trying to simply protect their money from inflation and save smart, you know, have your money work for you. I believe the key to personal finance is investing, and not keeping your cash in savings account, and I feel that women especially are reluctant to do that. That is why I embarked on reading this very detailed and tedious book about investing – to build confidence and understanding about one of the most important decisions in your life – how to manage your money. I hope other women will follow and we can compare notes! J