Review: The Little Book of Feminist Saints by Julia Pierpont

This is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for in terms of feminist collections. I mentioned before in my reviews for equally striking books (Bad Girls Throughout History & Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls) how I’m not keen on Wikipedia-esque entries, instead, I prefer anecdotes that bring the women back to life through words. And oh, how Julia Pierpont delivered with The Little Book of Feminist Saints.

“These entries are not meant to serve as short biographies, summaries of each woman’s life that could just as easily be found online. I tried, instead, in my daily research, to zero in on the colorful, the anecdotes I would find myself repeating to a friend that night.”

My most important thing with these collections is that I want to educated myself on something new in an engaging way, without feeling like I’m reading a textbook. And because The Little Book of Feminist Saints focused on telling witty stories that captured the spirit of each woman, there wasn’t ever a case of reading the same repeated history lesson, especially with the more well-known personalities. I got enlightened on so many phenomenal sheroes over the course of the book, and I had the most fun doing so.

This read also managed to pack many experiences into a short amount of pages. Ranging from leading ladies, philosophers, readers, dreamers, travelers, athletes, students, and rebels.

Speaking of which, here were some of the noteworthy women I was very in tune with that I’d like to highlight:

1. Oprah: Matron Saint of Every Home.The Little Book of Feminist Saints 1-- bookspoils“She connected with audiences because she knew people, and she let them know her.”

2. Yayoi Kusama: Matron Saint of VisionariesThe Little Book of Feminist Saints 2-- bookspoils“The visions started in childhood—flowers would talk to her; the floor would disappear.”

3. Gloria Steinem: Matron Saint of SisterhoodThe Little Book of Feminist Saints 3-- bookspoils“There was something,” she remarked, “about seeing women tell the truth about their lives in public, and seeing women take seriously something that only happens to women. In my experience, things were only taken seriously if they also happened to men.”

4. Maya Angelou: Matron Saint of StorytellersThe Little Book of Feminist Saints 4-- bookspoils“In times of strife and extreme stress, I was likely to retreat to mutism. Mutism is so addictive. And I don’t think its powers ever go away.”

5. Rachel Carson: Matron Saint of Future GenerationsThe Little Book of Feminist Saints 5-- bookspoils“The threat is infinitely greater to the generations unborn; to those who have no voice in the decisions of today, and that fact alone makes our responsibility a heavy one.”

6. Katharine Hepburn: Matron Saint of Leading LadiesThe Little Book of Feminist Saints 6-- bookspoils“As one goes through life,” she wrote in her memoirs, “one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.”

7. Anne Frank: Matron Saint of DiariestThe Little Book of Feminist Saints 7-- bookspoils8. Frida Kahlo: Matron Saint of ColorThe Little Book of Feminist Saints 8-- bookspoils


The Little Book of Feminist Saints exceeded all my expectations, thanks to both the striking illustrations by Manjit Thapp that set the tone for what to expect, and the accompanying anecdotes written to the strengths of our leading ladies.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Publication Date: March 6th 2018

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Review: Worlds from the Word’s End by Joanna Walsh

“You will agree: had you always the right book to hand, oh what reading you would have done!”

It’s only fitting that right after I post my take on The Beautiful Book Covers Tag, I stumble across the striking cover for Worlds from the Word’s End, designed and illustrated by Roman Muradov:Worlds from the Word's End-- bookspoilsThe detailed art structure sets the tone for what to expect in Worlds from the Word’s End. A swift collection of short stories that (for the most) get straight to the point was exactly the kind of read I was seeking.

From a freewheeling story on cycling (and Freud), to a country in which words themselves fall out of fashion, to a bookshelf (‘Bookselves’) full of unread books coming to life to judge you.

“Something you never thought might happen: after a certain number of years the being who has read all these neglected books will step from your bookshelves, will sit down at your table (conveniently adjacent), will make a cup of coffee at the machine, having seen you use it so many times, especially when about to tackle a book, and will light a cigarette, insubstantial as steam, the odour of which will affect neither your carpets nor curtains. It will be the opposite of you, your inverse.”

Love of books is quietly present throughout the collection.

Another noteworthy story takes on the saying “Actions speak louder than words,” as language crumbles around them.

“You like women who are quiet? In the end it was not so difficult to let you go: you were only interested in the sound of your own voice. ”

The most memorable piece for me.

Also, this:

“I prefer Departures to Arrivals, by which time everything has already happened. Even as dawn approaches in long lozenges of broken light, Arrivals do not notice the beautiful station. They look down, headed for something known, for home, for bed. Of course some are met, but fewer than you would think, and they don’t stick around. Heroics are reserved for Departures: brave looks, last embraces, minutes slowed by kisses.”

But save for the two stories above that I enjoyed most, the nineteen tales in here are all over the place. The incoherent narrative (or lack thereof) became bothersome overtime, especially for the shorter pieces. They didn’t pack a punch and were remarkably mediocre, so much so that you’d forget what it was about the minute you moved on to the next piece.

Though I was looking for short stories that were quick and precise, Worlds from the Word’s End seemed to only deliver on the quick part.

Bottom line: I was drawn to the cover and that’s the best to have come out of this collection for me.

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Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Worlds from the Word’s End, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

The Beautiful Book Covers Tag

“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.” 
― Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The last tag I did on my blog was back in March, when I created part two to my original Skam book tag, so it felt like the perfect time to answer and add a new one to the archives. This tag was created by theheavyblanks on Youtube.

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you want to buy any of the reads I mention in this post, just scroll down to the books at the end to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

1. Choose five of the most beautiful books in your collection.

The yellow aesthetic is naturally strong in this one.

*Note on the cover of One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul: I chose the beautifully fan-made cover by the talented Gillian Goerz, instead of the originally published one.

2. Choose a beautiful book that features your most favorite color.

Pink, pink, pink in all its splendor and glory. I have a whole Goodreads shelf dedicated to my pink covers, which you can check out here.

P.S. You know you’re having way too much fun with a tag when you can’t decide on just one book.

3. Choose a beautiful book that features your least favorite color.

Orangey-brown hues tend to least attract me to book covers, but with the above two I can stare for hours on end at the detailing. With Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am in particular because of those background sentences you cannot help but try to make sense of.

4. Choose your favorite cover of a classic.the-handmaids-tale-bookspoilsThe cover for this timeless piece of fiction can be summed up in one word: grandiose.

“We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom.
We lived in the gaps between the stories.” 

5. Choose your favorite cover of a children’s book.Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls-- bookspoilsI simply had to give this empowering collection a spotlight. I read and reviewed it earlier this year and have been on the search ever since for more feminist reads like it.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a children’s book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, and I would highly recommend it for all ages! You’re never too young or old to start on your path through feminist history.

6. Do you often buy books based solely on a beautiful cover?

To put it simply: Yes. Whether I’m buying or borrowing from the library, the cover plays a pretty big role in my decision making. However, what usually makes or breaks the final cut is the first sentence/ chapter of said book.

7. Out of every book that you own, which book best exemplifies your idea of a beautiful book.

My personal definition of an ultimate beautiful book cover is one that makes me feel wistful while looking at it. Like Noora Sætre below:tumblr_ohcqbqculy1r3ssslo3_500So far the only book that’s succeeded at creating that effect is one I have a long history with: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.Fangirl-- bookspoilsI probably wouldn’t have discovered my love for reading back in 2014, if it hadn’t been for the phenomenal characters Rainbow Rowell created in here. So looking at that cover always makes me reminisce about so many things, including my favorite scenes from the book, which I talk about extensively in my review here .


And that’s a wrap on all my answers for the Beautiful Covers book tag. If you’re interested in answering these questions, I tag you.

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you want to buy any of the reads I mention in this post, just click on the books below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!