Book Suggestions for the New Year

Now that the New Year is approaching, we’ve compiled a list of books that we’ve read this year and found interesting, valuable, or controversial.

The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution, Faramerz Dabhoiwala

Dabhoiwala describes and analyzes the way that people viewed sex between 1660 and 1880. The focus is on in England, but European nations and the United States are mentioned regularly. At close to 500 pages, reading this book is quite an undertaking, but readers will learn about the role of religion, about hospitals or asylums for women, and why it is that women are now considered less sexual than men, when this was not always the case.

The Bully Society: School Shootings and the Crisis of Bullying in America’s SchoolsJessie Klein

Klein states that many perpetrators of school shootings are boys that have endured relentless bullying. By taking a look at society as a whole, social expectations of masculinity (and femininity), and other characteristics of the bully culture, she writes an extremely powerful, and at times very sad, account of how bullying impacts teenagers.

Talk To Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids “Go-To” Person about SexDeborah Roffman

Rather than having the “sex talk” with your child once, Roffman believes in constant communication with your child–not just about sex, but about anything. By getting to your children first, you can instill in them knowledge and boundaries that they can use for making their own decisions.

How to be Gay, David M. Halperin

Halperin challenges the notion that homosexuality is solely about sexual orientation, and instead states that every gay male learns notions of gayness from others. He discusses, analyzes, and explains what he believes are characteristics of gay male culture; challenges much of recent discussions in queer theory; and provides rather controversial beliefs concerning sexual orientation and culture.

I Know Who You Are And I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy, Lori Andrews

Many of us probably don’t know that social networking sites and search engines collect information about our daily online activities (called data aggregators) and then sell them to advertising companies. That’s why your Facebook page so conveniently lists ads for items you might recently have searched for using Google, Yahoo, or Bing. This book includes discussions concerning how gender and inequality are also impacted by the “rules” and laws on networking sites.

Gender and Popular Culture, Katie Milestone and Anneke Meyer

The authors examine three areas of popular culture (production, representation, and consumption), and how these have remained male-oriented. The book provides an interesting overview of popular culture while including analyses of television shows, magazines, movies, and more.

Disorders of Sex Development: A Guide for Parents and PhysiciansAmy B. Wisniewski, Steven D. Chernausek, and Bradley P. Kropp

This book is a short guide that describes and explains DSDs in a way that is suitable for the layperson. The authors talk about topics such as types of DSD, the long-term health of people with DSD, and treatment options.  The book includes s a very short section about gender. It is not, however, exhaustive and is at times quite gender stereotypical. Despite this, the informational part of the book is very useful.

Confronting Postmaternal Thinking: Feminism, Memory, and CareJulie Stephens

Stephens discusses what she believes is a cultural anxiety around care giving, human dependency, and emotion. She also discusses how feminism has been culturally remembered and how we can engage in “cultural forgetting”; for example, we seem to have forgotten that feminists are also nurturing.

Photo of stack of books uploaded by flickr user shutterhacks and shared under a creative commons license.



  1. The Big Win is about Amy McDoogals fight against human trafficking from Florida to Macua

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