Reading Tips from F Come team and contributors.


By F Come Team


F Come team and contributors have put together a list of reading suggestions for those of you seeking inspiration in preparation for the summer vacations (or just a solitary August spent in the office. Sob)
 You can find them below, or here (versione italiana), in the Italian version. From fiction to non-fiction to poetry, you will find suggestions of every length and for every taste; the link between them all are, of course, women and their stories.



 "We Should All Be Feminists"  by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

This book, a short speech written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie does what it says on the tin. If after reading Adichie’s potent and persuasive argumentation you are still not convinced, it is fair to say you are a lost cause as far as the feminist community is concerned. Anecdotal yet politically inspiring, dryly droll yet at times deadly serious, this is a tremendous tract. Adichie is a force of nature to be reckoned with. (Gill Harris)



"Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?"  by Katrine Marçal

This piercing critique of mainstream economics, beautifully translated from Swedish, concisely explains the history of capitalism as we know it, while at the same time deconstructing the faulty, sexist assumptions on which it was built. Marçal’s writing is easy to read and wonderfully witty: you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll feel empowered – the perfect combination for summer reading. (Giulia Nicolini)



“The elegance of the Hedgehog”  by Muriel Barbery

A bestseller that’s not like other best sellers. Two women, two different generations. Both are trapped by modern society’s stereotypes and get to know each other in a rather unusual way. The friendship between a “simple” concierge and a thirteen-years-old girl teaches us how to re-discover the passion for culture and knowledge: the only real richness for a human kind surrounded by futile objects. A must read for sophisticated readers, thus for all readers. (Benedetta Carlotti)



"Neapolitan novella" by Elena Ferrante

Although a familiar tale for our Italian readers, Elena Ferrante's highly popular Neapolitan novels series is beginning to take the Anglophone world by storm. Beginning with ‘My brilliant friend’ and ending with the recently published ‘The story of the lost daughter’, the books chart the lives of two perceptive and gifted friends Elena (“Lenù”) Greco and Raffaella (“Lila”) Cerullo, whose trajectory from childhood to adulthood is set against the complex, violent backdrop of the Neapolitan neighbourhood in which they grew up. As the girl's paths intertwine, break off, separate and come back together over the course of the four novels, the rich narrative of texture of Ferrante's world becomes all the more consuming. It is a world imbibed with the traces of names, faces and places that feel unquestionably real: a world where notions of redemption and salvation become (inevitably?) sullied by the neighbourhood's pervasive influence. It is a world that will haunt your imagination long after you put down the final book, and that will allow Lenù and Lilia to establish themselves, and their story, forever in your mind. (Ellen Davis-Walker)



"Who cooked the last supper? The Women’s History of the World" by Rosamund Miles

In her poignant, passionate and moving analysis, Rosamund Miles brings back to life millions of silenced women and histories. By rediscovering goddesses, brave female warriors and women scientists of all ages, as well as reporting unspeakable horrors and carefully reconstructing causes and effects of women’s oppression, Miles offers a much needed perspective on world history. That of women’s contribution to the evolution of the human kind. (Lilia Giugni)



"Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry" by Maya Angelou

An anthology of all the poems written by the Afro-American civil rights activist, amazing intellectual and interpreter extraordinaire of her time. The texts allow the reader to navigate Angelou’s long and unique life-journey. Read it from top to bottom or just open it at a random page, and you will inevitably be inspired by Maya Angelou's untameable spirit. (Chiara De Santis)



"The Silent Duchess" by Dacia Maraini

In the early 1700s an aristocratic 5 year old child, Marianna, is raped by her uncle, who she is rapidly married off to. From them on Marianna will not speak. Writing in order to communicate with the world around her, she is granted a space to suffer and rejoice, whilst her new found status as a mother allows her to understand what it means to be a daughter. But this discovery brings with it a desire to change and Marianna is forced to cast off the shackles of the world around her, becoming an iconic feminist symbol in 17th century Italy. (Paola Terenziano)



"The hours" by Michael Cunningham

Cunningham’s ability to alter time and play with it makes this book an essential read. Intertwining three stories with no apparent connection with each other the book crosses generations and genres. In establishing the iconic writer Virginia Woolf as a central character, Cunnngham establishes her novel "Mrs. Dalloway" as a central thread that pulls together the lives of three very different women, in three very different times in history. The continuity of the story becomes the opening of windows on to worlds that are superficially different yet so closely bound. Time flows, hour after hour, becoming the common denominator of the women’s condition as well as of the human existence. It remains the same everywhere and in each moment in time. (Laura De Santis)



"Ladies Coupé" by Anita Nair

A book full of emotions that will make you taste and understand Indian society, with its fascinating traditions but also the strict limitations imposed upon the female population. These limitations are told by the characters of the novel during a long trip by train, during which each of them discovers her true self and shares her story with the others. In a true journey towards self awareness, these women find themselves in a non-defined space-time dimension, where their stories and emotions can flow freely in spite of every social convention. (Alessandra De Luca)



"My name is Lucy Barton" by Elizabeth Strout

A great novel about the female psyche. This text is a classic love story, invoking a moment of hardship in the life a daughter, and a mother’s resurrection of tales from her own past. These tales allow them to discover a deeper mutual understanding, to traverse moments of pain through the power of words. (Livia Alessandro)



"The Magic Toyshop" by Angela Carter

The ‘Magic Toyshop’ is a wonderful coming-of-age story, told in powerful prose by one of Britain’s most illustrious feminist writers. Angela Carter blends entrancing myths with gritty reality to create an intimate and spell-binding portrayal of the challenges and triumphs faced by an adolescent girl in the throes of puberty. This novella will, without a doubt, put you back in touch with your female, teenage self (even if, strictly speaking, you didn’t think you had one!) (Bonus tip from Gill Harris)




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