Thursday, September 17, 2015

What I'm Reading for School This Semester

As usual, I've got a full reading schedule for my newest semester of school. I'm reading some really interesting non-fiction and some early American Lit. so I thought I would share it with you guys!

Women in Global Activism:
Aman: The Story of a Somali Girl

Summary from Goodreads:
This is the extraordinary first-person account of a young woman's coming of age in Somalia and her struggles against the obligations and strictures of family and society.  By the time she is nine, Aman has undergone a ritual circumcision ceremony; at eleven, her innocent romance with a white boy leads to a murder; at thirteen she is given away in an arranged marriage to a stranger.  Aman eventually runs away to Mogadishu, where her beauty and rebellious spirit leads her to the decadent demimonde of white colonialists.  Hers is a world in which women are both chattel and freewheeling entrepreneurs, subject to the caprices of male relatives, yet keenly aware of the loopholes that lead to freedom.  Aman is an astonishing history, opening a window onto traditional Somali life and the universal quest for female self-awareness.  

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Summary from Goodreads:
With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope.

They show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. That Cambodian girl eventually escaped from her brothel and, with assistance from an aid group, built a thriving retail business that supports her family. The Ethiopian woman had her injuries repaired and in time became a surgeon. A Zimbabwean mother of five, counseled to return to school, earned her doctorate and became an expert on AIDS.

Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered precisely because they emancipated women and brought them into the formal economy. Unleashing that process globally is not only the right thing to do; it’s also the best strategy for fighting poverty.

Deeply felt, pragmatic, and inspirational, Half the Sky is essential reading for every global citizen.

I have started both of these already, and they have both sucked me in. As you can tell, the reading for this class is quite heavy and not light-hearted, but it is quite interesting and inspiring. Both novels contain the stories of strong, brilliant, and resilient women, and really call for action from the reader. 

Early American Literature:
The Lamplighter, Maria S. Cummins

Summary from Goodreads:
A female Bildungsroman, The Lamplighter tells the story of Gertrude Flint, an abandoned and mistreated orphan rescued at the age of eight by Trueman Flint, a lamplighter, from her abusive guardian, Nan Grant.

We are only reading one novel for this class, although this one is quite the doozy, and the rest of our reading are short stories, dramas, or poems. 

Some authors in the anthology include:
Christopher Columbus 
Anne Bradstreet
Jonathon Edwards
Judith Sargent Murray
Phillis Wheatley
Washington Irving
James Fenimore Cooper
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Edgar Allan Poe
Fanny Fern
Henry David Thoreau
Walt Whitman
Herman Melville
Emily Dickinson 


  1. These sound really great! I'm reading a lot of really short works for anthologies too. I've never read Emerson for class. I'd love to experience him in such a setting. Enjoy! :)

    1. Emerson is one of my all-time favorite authors! I was first introduced to him in a high school English class, so I'm excited to discuss him at a college level!
      Thanks for stopping by Jillian!