I regularly find myself drawn to books written by great women – just today I started a book just on magnificent women´s work habits. And so, November has been a month where I immersed myself into three memoirs of some of my biggest contemporary role models – Maya Angelou, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Michelle Obama. Their books, all different and wonderful, have definitely inspired me through a period that hasn´t been exactly easy to navigate. I think this November´s #monthlybookclub might as such be the first book club where I rated all books I read a 5/5 without batting an eye. Here´s what I thought about each of them.
Maya Angelou´s A Song Flung Up To Heaven
Maya Angelou´s sixth autobiographical book was missing from my book shelf for the longest time as I couldn´t find it online for a while. So last month when it arrived in my mail, I picked it up immediately. The book is set in the mid 60s when Maya returns to America, leaving her son Guy behind in Ghana to finish university. Caught up in the middle of the civil right movement, Maya seems right in her element, amongst Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. Her account of the electricity in the air preceding the change happening in the US of the sixties is something every American should have been reading, especially in this election month. I can´t recall how I rated Maya´s other books, but I sure hope I gave them 5 stars too. They are all refreshingly candid and unfiltered stories of a truly phenomenal woman destined to do great things.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg´s My Own Words
I know, I know, how truly tragic it is that I, as probably many others, only picked up this book upon the loss of the fantastic RBG. I am not proud of it, but here we are. Once I picked up On My Way though, I could barely put it down. One thing you should know though: my Own Words is not exactly a memoir in its truest sense. The book is mostly a compilation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg´s various speeches, particularly from her period serving on the Supreme Court. So if you´re expecting to learn about RBG´s life from her young years until her death, it´s perhaps better to read her Wikipedia article. If however, you´re interested in learning about the inner mechanisms of RBG´s brain, her unlikely friendship with the conservative judge Scalia, her love for opera or how the American judiciary system works – then you´ll love this book as much as I did. Interestingly enough, it´s not a light reading, but I personally read it in almost a heartbeat.
Michelle Obama´s Becoming
Wow – what a book, how I loved it and how I wished it would never end. Michelle Obama´s book was such a breath of fresh air and so utterly fascinating. Split into three parts – Becoming Me, Becoming Us and Becoming More – this book follows Michelle from her modest roots in Chicago´s Southside all the way to the White House and in the final pages, a couple of blocks away. I initially naively thought the period of her life as FLOTUS and perhaps starting with the time she started dating Barack would be the most fascinating, but I loved the period leading up to it just as much! Michelle´s stories of her family, her education, career and eventually wife of who was to become the USA´s 44th president are all told with humility, candor and compassion. I absolutely loved both how the book was written as well as the subject of it. I´m pretty sure I´ll come back to it soon. But in the meantime, I can´t wait for Barack Obama´s book to arrive in the mail.