Look, I'm a cover snob. I have no problem admitting it. I will straight up buy way too many copies of beautiful books that I may not even love that much because of the pretty. I have also eschewed buying books I loved because I really hate their cover aesthetic. What can I say? I'm judgy. At least when it comes to the items that adorn my shelves. I don't want my books to be merely pleasing to the eye, I want them to matter to me, to say something about me. I want people to come over to my home and see the enticing pile of books on my coffee table (and side tables, and bookshelves, and teetering near the couch on the floor) and really get me. I want to impress people with my brain and my taste by the simple expedient of proudly displaying the books I want to share with the world. So feminist coffee table books are definitely up my alley. Seriously, my "Books" list on Amazon is really skewed towards gorgeous feminist coffee table books (and children's picture books...). Gorgeous and feminist. Have I said that enough? Okay, good. Now that y'all are on board let's explore your options from bringing a few feminist jewels to your own home!
Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World by Ann Shen Illustrator Ann Shen's first book is stunning. This book profiles famous and infamous women who rocked the history books. We've got Josephine Baker, Lilith, Abigail Adams, Ching Shih, and Dolly Parton just to name a handful of the 100 bodaciously radical babes inside. Check out her website for even more of her gorgeous art.
Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl A follow-up to their Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future!, Schatz and Klein Stahl have once again compiled a beautiful and informative book accessible to all ages. The subjects range from the ancient Sumerian princess Enheduanna to Colombian street artist Bastardilla and from Beyoncé-approved Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to 16th Century Irish Chieftain Gráinne Mhaol (aka Grace O'Malley). Check out Stahl's website for more fantastic art.
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky Women in STEM fields! One of the prettiest books I've held in my hands in ages! Ignotosky's drool-worthy illustrations accompany pages on Hypatia, Ada Lovelace, Patricia Bath, Katherine Johnson, Marie Curie and 45 other brilliant dames. Head to Ignotosky's website for more artwork (and a downloadable screensaver!)
i am enough: An Adult Coloring Book for the Feminist in All of Us by Melissa Dojcsak of Penwomanship How about an inspiring, beautiful, feminist book you can color as you please? With a cover this gorgeous and illustrations to make your colored-pencil loving heart sore, I can't think of any reason why this doesn't belong on your coffee table. Check out Penwomanship for even more fantastic art from Dojcsak.
Feminist Ryan Gosling: Feminist Theory (as Imagined) from Your Favorite Sensitive Movie Dude by Danielle Henderson Maybe you prefer a touch of humor for your company to peruse as they perch on your sofa? Or maybe just some good old fashioned eye candy? Henderson doesn't disappoint with this book spun off from her insanely popular (now mostly defunct) tumblr. Take it from me, on a bad day "Hey girl"s from the maybe Mr. Eva Mendes will brighten your day.
In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney Slated for release in early October 2016, this one is already on my holiday list. Beautiful photographs accompany interviews with, like the title says, over 100 women. Women who have forged their own paths in the entrepreneurial world. Chefs, designers, writers, restauranteurs, and artists fill the pages of Bonney's book. As lovely as it is inspiring; add it to your lists now.
The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things by Anna Holmes Jezebel's founding ladyship has created the perfect hybrid between reference and coffee table book here. Covering the ABCs of womanhood - Abortions, Barbarella, and Casting Couches, that is - this book is full of tidbits about everything that affects the "fairer" sex. Honestly, this one really made me stop and consider how many, seemingly disconnected, objects, trends, and people affect how women are perceived by society.
Continuing our adventure in Shakespearean Book Styles, today we're styling Much Ado About Nothing. For those unfamiliar with it's slightly complex plot - seriously, I love The Bard's comedies, but an Abbot and Costello routine is often easier to follow - let me give you a brief outline: Benedick and Beatrice secretly love each other, but don't even know it themselves, so spend all their time
flirting bickering while their friends scheme to set them up. Claudio and Hero fall head-over-heels in love before an asshole named Don John tricks Claudio into believing Hero has been unfaithful, leading to Claudio slut-shaming her on their planned wedding day. Before the truth is revealed and all the lovers can be reunited Hero "dies from shame". When Don John's plans are finally uncovered, a distraught Claudio is forced by Hero's father (who's been bankrolling the insane amount of festivities the entire play, btw) to publicly un-slander Hero and to marry Hero's "cousin" who is really Hero-who-only-faked-her-death because nothing says true love like being called a whore and then giving your One True Love™ a heart attack from shock at the altar. I always like the bickering Beatrice and Benedick better, anyways.
Onto the actual clothing. I drew inspiration for this outfit from a modern Italian donna di mondo. I paired this "Claudio" skirt with a military-style sleeveless blouse for the sheer joy of contrast, floaty meets regimented. A "Real Hero" leather jacket easily takes this look into colder temps. These "Margaret" booties also transition nicely into colder temps - just add tights when you get chilly! A striking "Beatrice" tote bag and a "Beatrice" rose crown are so delightfully Italian to me. A statement "Hero" bracelet pairs nicely with a "Gossip" citrine ring, "Ursula" tassel necklace, and masquerade-worthy earrings. A pair of "Benedict" aviators add the perfect incognito touch.