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2019: What To Read (if you haven’t already)

  • JASS

2019 is finally here and you know what that means – time to make good on your resolution to Read. More. Books. You are in luck because we asked the JASS network to share their favorite books, poems, short stories, and articles that they read in 2018 — and they delivered. Some are new inspirations, and others have shaped our hearts and minds for years. Many we just cannot get out of our heads. Enjoy!

Fiction (novels and short stories)

Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembwa


Winnet Shamuyarira: “This novel was my baptism into Feminism. Located in post-colonial Zimbabwe, the book explores the intersectionality of race, colonialism, classism, patriarchy, and gender. It remains my best read of all time.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Lindsee Gregory: “This collection of short stories is mesmerizing. I thought about the first – “The Husband Stitch” – for weeks after I first read it. Machado’s style stays with you.

Diving Deep, Going Far: Stories of the Women Leaders Forming Cambodia’s Future by Kunthea Chan and Menno de Block

Osang Langara:”This book reflects the perspectives and realities of four young women of Cambodia. The young women’s stories are heart-rending and at the same time, very inspiring; they rose above the challenges and hardships they face.

  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
  • Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
  • The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Adichie
  • Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
  • Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami


  • Questions for Ada by Ijeoma Umebinyuo
  • Soft Magic by Upile Chisala
  • The Low Road, a poem by Marge Piercy


The creation of black criminality in South Africa by Gabeba Boderoon and Movement for Black Lives’ Statement on the First Step Act

Phumi Mtetwa: “I’ve been thinking about the concept of justice, especially for survivors of violence. History too is so essential in, and for, our work, and the question of developing alternatives remains a permanent call for us!”

Overcoming Crisis: The Secret to Thriving in Challenging Times by Myles Munroe

Esperance Ayinkamiye: “I was inspired by the author and the secrets he gave to thriving in challenging times we are living in. With this book, I learned how to manage crisis, discovering life beyond my job and maximizing the benefits of a crisis instead of looking on the negative side of a crisis.”

Beauty Inside by Rieke Indriyanti

Paula Elina: “This book has inspired me to realize that our daily ways of thinking, attitudes, and actions, which sometimes look ordinary or normal, turn out to have a big influence on “inner beauty.”  This book has inspired me to not only take care of the physical things but also to maintain a healthy way of thinking.”

Between Jesus, the Generals and the Invisible: Mapping the Terrain for Feminist Movement Building and Organising for Women’s Human Rights by Everjoice J. Win

Sibongile Singini: “What I love most of this book is that it tells us about the hidden powers which are at play and it is up to us as JASS to choose on how to dismantle  the negative powers as a collective because we cannot fight these as solo battles We must do so collectively. As shared histories and shared futures. That history is not linear. Civil rights once won can be reversed. Women’s rights once won can be reversed. We’re witnessing this here in Southern Africa. Equality requires constant vigilance.”

Solidarity, Safety, and Power: Young Women Organzing in Indonesia by JASS (Just Associates) and Jethro Petit

  • Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers her Superpower by Brittney Cooper
  • Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger by Rebecca Traister
  • Women Driving the Ho Chi Minh Trail, published by the Vietnamese Women’s Museum
  • Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlene Carruthers










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