24in48Readathon: We Should All Be Feminists, and Chess

readathon1I love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. After I read her Americanah, I watched her TED talk on feminism, and decided I should read the book-version of her talk. We Should All Be Feminists was not quite different from her talk. I remembered it almost word by word. But, the book’s still powerful. Adichie argues on the importance of raising children differently, breaking stereotypes, and understanding the correct definition of feminism. Some of my favourite passages here:

It is one thing to know something intellectually and quite another to feel it emotionally.

The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.

Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.

My own definition of a feminist is a man or a woman who says, “Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better.” All of us, women and men, must do better.

We Should All Be Feminists was my fifth book for #24in48Readathon, and the most fascinating Chess by Stefan Zweig was my sixth book.

chessChess is one of the best books I have read in recent times. Travellers, sailing from New York to Buenos Aires, learn that the World Champion of Chess is on board with them. The taciturn grandmaster refuses to socialise with the other passengers, invoking their wrath, which makes a rich, egoistic businessman buy the champion’s time. The champion plays with all of them, with an air of arrogance, and condescension. Just when they are about to lose their game, a mysterious man joins the travellers, changes the game’s course, surprising the grandmaster himself.

The mysterious man — Dr B — has an intriguing backstory to how he learned to play Chess. His monologue on being confined by Nazis, his feeble attempts to cope with it, and his radical psychological transformation that occurs because of ‘chess poisoning’ was poignant, and intelligent. I will certainly reread this book soon. This book is highly recommended.

I am going to read Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome, my 7th book for #24in48Readathon. And, if I continue to be in good spirits, I might try reading Matilda too, which will be my last book for my readathon.


16 thoughts on “24in48Readathon: We Should All Be Feminists, and Chess

  1. The first line of that quote from “We Should All be Feminists” sums up how a majority of us respond to feminism. We all understand it intellectually, but whether we’ve accepted it emotionally is questionable.

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Haruki Murakami, Neil Gaiman and there are so many other authors, whom I don’t seem to know. It is a daunting task thinking of reading them all. *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay, I loved her TEDtalk and especially her point on the single story. Really need to read this book and Americanah. Love that every girl in Sweden gets the book in school!
    Yay isn’t Chess fantastic? I don’t enjoy that many German books, but Zweig’s works are awesome.
    Woot, Matilda is so so so good. Everything by Dahl is, but I love Matilda especially.
    Don’t forget to sleep 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let me know when you finish ‘Americanah’. And, yes, I loved Swedish board’s decision. What a significant decision!

      I went under the weather again today, didn’t read anything at all, and slept for six hours after breakfast. Just woke up. Maybe, I will try reading ‘Ethan Frome’ now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Americanah is on my list for this year, post-thesis life 🙂
        Ah feel better soon! Oh and Ethan Frome is amazing but a bit depessing, read something fun if you are in the mood for reading at all 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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