Welcome to Triple Choice Tuesday. This is where I ask some of my favourite bloggers and other bookish bods to share the names of three books that mean a lot to them. The idea is that it might raise the profile of certain books and introduce you to new titles and new bloggers.
Today’s guest is Kirsty, from Other Stories, a Glaswegian outposted to Oxford, where she lives with her almost-husband.
During the day she works in academic publishing, and her spare time is taken up with reading, blogging, “feministing” and talking to her cats. She also loves all things Victorian, having recently completed a part-time MA in Victorian Studies.
Kirsty, whom you can also follow on Twitter @kirstymch, is currently in hospital, so here’s wishing her a very speedy recovery!
Without further ado, here’s Kirsty’s Triple Choice Tuesday selections:
This is one of those books that everyone’s read, or if they haven’t, they know the basic gist of it. In that sense, it’s an “obvious” favourite book to have. My opinion is, however, that it’s a real classic for a reason: it’s a brilliant novel…
My own reading of it tends to fall along broadly feminist lines, and I do genuinely believe that Jane Eyre is a fantastic proto-feminist character. She does things on her own terms, speaks up for what she believes is right (even when it means suffering herself), never settles for second-best, and who can forget that wonderful line “I am no bird; no net ensnares me.” In fact, I’m well overdue for another read.
This was recommended to me by my English teacher in my final year of high school. Amazingly, our woefully under-stocked school library had a copy, so I took it home and devoured it in a couple of days. Set in an unspecified time in the near-future, Offred has been forced to become a handmaid in the new society of Gilead. Her own real family has been broken up, like most others, and now everyone must conform to the new standards or face death. Women bear the brunt of these new rules, and this novel really spoke to my emerging feminism as a 16-year-old. Written during feminism’s second wave, it still stands up in 2010. I am now a huge Atwood fan, and it’s all down to this book.
Gilman was an American novelist, journalist, social reformer, and lecturer who was active at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Her most famous work is The Yellow Wallpaper, a short story about a woman going gradually mad as she is made to suffer a ‘rest cure’. However, Gilman also wrote Herland, a feminist utopian novel, in 1915. It describes a group of male adventurers coming across an all-female colony in the wilderness. A fore-runner to the feminist utopian novels of the 1970s (by authors like Marge Piercy), this book taps into the trend of ‘social dreaming’ beloved of many radicals and feminists at the turn of the last century. Well worth a read – and it’s very short!
Thanks, Kirsty, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!
I’m going to have to extract The Handmaid’s Tale from my TBR, I think, because I have only ever heard good things about it. I read Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper a couple of years ago…
What do you think of Kirsty’s choices? Have you read any of these books?