Shrill by Lindy West

You know, it’s funny.  I never considered myself a feminist when I was younger.  Maybe it’s b/c I never heard the word, or in my families military circle it was never really talked about.  Even in college I don’t remember hearing much about it. Then, I entered the super fun world of Defense Contracting.

Now, I’m a feminist.  After being thrown into the “real world” and realizing that many times a woman is perceived as not as qualified as their male counterparts I learned the need for equality for all.  I had the privilege of growing up with a family that never told me what I could be or not be.  They let me find my way and even encouraged me to go higher than I even thought.  Even now, my Dad tells me to reach for jobs that I’ve been conditioned in the workplace to think of as out of my reach when I fact I’m probably overqualified for.  As a woman I’ve been taught to just be adequate.  Never reach too high, you might be judged harshly.

My current job, while not overtly sexist, still had a lot of the same obstacles that I encountered in the DC world.  A majority older office, there is a tendency to look down on younger females in the office.  Whether it be for jobs, promotions, or raises, no matter how hard you work, how helpful to the customer you are, you are stuck behind people who give “men” the benefit of the doubt over women.

It’s infuriating.

So I started to read in my spare time.  All of a sudden, there was a whole group of people who were speaking truth to what I’ve been feeling for so long.  Women’s rights is something I feel very strongly about, and now I’ve found a community that feels just as strongly.

So when I heard a former writer, Lindy West, was writing her first book, I knew I had to read it.

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman


This book is quite possibly one of the best things I’ve read in a while.  As someone who recently gained a lot of weight and has had some self-esteem problems, It’s nice to read about people who are awesome and comfortable in their own skin.  It’s also nice to read about someone who has learned not to give power to people that are out to destroy them (i.e. “trolls”).  At times sad and self-reflective, Lindy still has incredible humor that really got me.  And I also like how unapologetic she is about everything in her life.  Yeah, we all have regrets, but you can’t change things, you can only hope to move forward.  I like that.

Just as a note….you should definitely follow Lindy West on twitter.  She’s awesome.

Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice

I’m definitely a stereotype of a former English major.  I’m obsessed with Jane Austen.  Or more accurately, I’m obsessed with “Pride and Prejudice.”  The book, of course.  The movie (both the BBC version and Kiera Knightley version).  Modern day retellings.  I’m into it.  So I was super excited when I heard about this book from many many summer reading lists and my Book of the Month membership.


Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld

So this is the entire P&P story set in 2013, mostly in Cincinnati, OH.  Lizzy Bennet is still the main character and all the other characters make an appearance as well.  The title is based on a Bachelor type show called Eligible.  Charles Bingley has appeared on it, and now the Bennet matriarch wants one of her older daughters to make a match.  Both Lizzy and her older sister Jane are approaching 40 and they have to hear about from their mother.  After being introduced to Charles, Jane falls in love after a bunch of time.  At the same time, Lizzy is introduced to Charles’ best friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy.

As most people know who read the original, through misunderstandings Liz and Darcy “hate” each other.  *Spoiler Alert* for those that haven’t read P&P, they realize they love each other and live happily ever after of course.  This book follows the same format.  With more modern influences.

The only thing I don’t love about the book is that there seems to be a lot of things put in to show how modern it is.  A transgender character, artificial insemination, dating shows, shopping addictions, social media, reality TV, and health issues.  It just got to be a lot.  That’s not to say I didn’t like the book.  Cause it had all the trappings of a Jane Austen book…..which I loved.

Now, I have to get back to writing my own book.  I’m 12,000 words in, and I’m going to start revising the first part before I continue on.  I’m hoping to have something to show by the NE Crime Bake in November.  I’m also attending a talk in a few weeks about marketing yourself and your book.  Thanks Sisters in Crime New England!