Tiny Beautiful Things was the best book I read in April- and, to be honest, one of the only books I finished in April. APRIL IS THE CRUELEST MONTH OK LEMME ALONE. I featured the book in Book Riot's Round-Up: TheBest Books We Read in April. For those who don't read the Riot, here's what I said about it:
"I loved Wild when I read it last year, but I hesitated to pick up this collection of pieces from Cheryl’s stint as advice columnist Sugar on The Rumpus. Mostly because I’m not interested in the clichéd platitudes dished out by so many advice columns, and a little bit because I never actually read Cheryl-as-Sugar and was afraid (based on what I’d read in Wild) that this book would be too hippy-dippy for my tastes. INACCURATE. Sugar/Cheryl is a loving hard-ass, the greatest guidance counselor you never had, a maybe-slightly-older-than-you cool aunt who dishes out the hard stuff and then buys you a margarita and a cookie. And yeah, Cheryl can write like a motherfucker."
IN OTHER NEWS I very angrily DNFd a new book called HomewardBound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity, which I thought was going to be a feminist look at the DIY/raising chickens/knitting/canning blog phenomenon that's happening these days. It sort of was that, but was mostly the judgiest thing I've ever read. The author is snide, likening women who work from home as bloggers or Etsy crafters as "Avon ladies" and basically suggesting that if you're a stay at home mother (or a work-at-home mother like all the bloggers she highlights, and of course like I am) you're a bad feminist. As in, if you homeschool, you don't care about improving the public school system, and if you work at home for yourself or stay at home with your kids, you're not out making changes for women in corporate America and therefore you're less than.
The author tries to make the trend of women working from home or staying home with kids a sort of rich person's trend, but all the stay-at-home mothers and work-at-home mothers I personally know do so in large part because they can't get jobs that pay enough to cover child care- myself included. And if women in that situation can improve their financial state by doing something they enjoy doing (like knitting, even if it is icky "women's work") and then selling the shit out of their skills, I say more fucking power to them, and who are we to judge women who are just making the best decisions they can for themselves and their family? And now I've come to love working at home so much that if I was offered a corporate office job I would tell the offerer to shove it- even if that means I'm an icky bad feminist.
NOW this rant is not to say you shouldn't read the book. I disagree with what the author is saying, but the conversation about the affects of the rise of domesticity on feminism is one worth having.