During this quarantine period, I made the plan to read… A LOT. I normally read a pretty good amount outside of school, usually a new book a week, but I’m taking advantage of all this free time to read even more. Although the first book is the only political nonfiction book I’ve read during this period so far, I wanted to make a small list of my all-time favorites that I have found very useful and enlightening. I wrote a feminist book guide, but these focus more on politics and international relations.
Most of these books I got from used book stores, which I really recommend, especially if you like keeping books or writing notes in them as I do. It’s a sustainable and affordable alternative to buying from big brands and also helps local businesses. Amid the coronavirus, small businesses are suffering but you can help support them by CLICKING HERE to see a site that helps you support independent bookstores that are still selling books.
theories of international politics and ZOMBIES. I loved this book so much, that I finished it in 2 days. It’s the perfect combination of actual information and humorous commentary. This book is a detailed look at what international politics might look like if zombies happened. Not only does the author give in-depth profiles of different ideologies, but he also opened my mind to the eco-friendly lifestyle of zombies. ( they don’t create waste and only eat organic, locally sourced food) I was surprised at how easy this was to read because usually, political ideology books can be confusing a really dense (which is good sometimes), but this book was entertaining while still giving information.
rage becomes her. This is my favorite gender studies book. It’s more of a feminist book, but I wanted to include it because it talks about a lot of political issues. The black corner is covering holes that my sister’s dog put in the cover. Soraya Chemaly focused on the relationship between anger and women, and how women can utilize our anger instead of staying ladylike and quiet. What makes this my favorite book is the fact that she highlighted the role race plays in a lot of the issues.
dogmas and dreams. This book was actually my mom’s textbook from college. She donated it to a used bookstore and years later, we went back and I just happened to pick it up. This book is pretty dense, but it is also really useful for gaining an understanding of different political ideologies. The book pulls excerpts from well-known figures and texts in each of the ideas. An example is an excerpt from the communist manifesto by Karl Marx for the Communism chapter. This is the kind of book that you pick up every once in a while or when you need specific information. However, it’s not really a sit down a read everyday type of book. I really loved reading it and I learned a lot about ideologies other than my own political party, which is what I usually read.
the feminine mystique. This is the book that started my large collection of gender studies books. It’s a classic and a must-read book. Betty Friedan, well known for the National Organization for Women, talks about the primitive idea that a woman’s role is in the house, focusing on second-wave feminism in the 1960s. Everyone should read this at least once in their lifetime. (this excerpt is taken from my feminist book guide)
brown is the new white. I found this book by chance, ON SALE, at politics and prose (which is a really great bookstore in DC mainly dedicated to politics). It’s about America’s new majority of progressive people of color and how that plays into politics and elections. I think my favorite part of this book is all of the charts and graphs the book had to visually show the major ideas. I learned a lot about American elections and there were so many shocking statistics, like how many eligible Asian American citizens in America were actually registered, etc. The book discussed the American election system and what a lot of politicians do wrong. It also gave a lot of insight on how to move forward in politics and how the new majority needs to be recognized better.
Feel free to leave recommendations in the comments because I’m always looking for new books to read!
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