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Books to Watch | September 20, 2022

September 20, 2022

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Looking for your next great read? We're here to help! Each week, our marketing team—Dylan Schleicher (DJJS), Gabbi Cisneros (GMC), Emily Porter (EPP), and Jasmine Gonzalez (JAG)—highlights four newly released books we are most excited about. 

Book descriptions are provided by the publisher unless otherwise noted.

This week, our choices are:

The Bonobo Sisterhood by Diane Rosenfeld, Harper Wave (GMC) 

Harvard Law professor and powerhouse attorney Diane L. Rosenfeld has dedicated her career to ending violence against women, a battle she has waged in courtrooms, classrooms, and boardrooms. But a decade ago, when she encountered a Harvard colleague's field work on bonobos, she discovered a game-changing model for ending gendered violence and abuse. 

Why Bonobos? Male chimpanzees will kill rivals and assault fertile females. Male orangutans will force themselves on females even as they scream. Male baboons will chase females up trees, biting and harassing them until, exhausted, they give up. But our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, bonobos, are different: Founded in a broad alliance among females, bonobo culture meets any attempt at sexual violence with swift, unified collective defense. Inspired by what she learned, Rosenfeld transformed her new vision for equality into action, creating a course that has become incredibly popular and drawn praise from students and luminaries from Gloria Steinem to Reese Witherspoon to Ashley Judd. 

Inside and beyond the classroom, Rosenfeld has begun to successfully deconstruct the legal and social framework that supports patriarchy and violence—challenging everything from the language we use to talk about violence against women to exposing the architecture of patriarchy and the male alliances that allow the violence that props up too many of our homes, schools, businesses, courts, military and governmental structures.  

Widespread change is long overdue. Men have utterly failed to protect women so women must take matters into their own hands. This book shows them how. The Bonobo Sisterhood explores the power and potential of female alliances to stop male-on-female violence. It’s about women looking out for and supporting women in every circumstance, and provides actionable steps we can all take to protect and support women from the continued and hidden horror of sexual violence and abuse. 

We have the power to make change, Rosenfeld reminds us. It’s time to use it. 

 

Buyer Aware: Harnessing Our Consumer Power for a Safe, Fair, and Transparent Marketplace by Marta L. Tellado, PublicAffairs (DJJS) 

You've been getting ripped off. 

The rules that have protected consumers for decades are failing. Companies are spying on us. Many of the products we once trusted are dangerous and failing at alarming rates. Whether we are buying a crib, a small appliance, an iPhone app, or shopping for car insurance, it's become harder than ever to know whether the choices we make in the marketplace are putting us at risk-either from physical harm or the abuse of our personal data by hackers or corporations. 

This is intolerable. It's wrong. And we don't have to put up with it anymore. Marta L. Tellado, the president and CEO of Consumer Reports, has been an advocate for consumers for decades. In Buyer Aware, Tellado shows you the steps you can take to protect yourself from predatory business practices, and how to exert your inherent power as a consumer to spur politicians and businesses to clean up their act. Only then can we ensure that we have an economy that is fair, safe, and transparent for all, and puts consumers first. 

 

The Gospel of Wellness: Gyms, Gurus, Goop, and the False Promise of Self-Care by Rina Raphael, Henry Holt and Co. (EPP) 

Women are pursuing their health like never before. Whether it’s juicing, biohacking, clutching crystals, or sipping collagen, today there is something for everyone, as the wellness industry has grown from modest roots into a $4.4 trillion entity and a full-blown movement promising health and vitality in the most fashionable package. But why suddenly are we all feeling so unwell? 
 
The truth is that deep within the underbelly of self-care—hidden beneath layers of clever marketing—wellness beckons with a far stronger, more seductive message than health alone. It promises women the one thing they desperately desire: control. 
 
Vividly told and deeply reported, The Gospel of Wellness reveals how this obsession is a direct result of women feeling dismissed, mistreated, and overburdened. Women are told they can manage the chaos ruling their life by following a laid-out plan: eat right, exercise, meditate, then buy or do all this stuff. And while wellness may have sprung from good intentions, we are now relentlessly flooded with exploitative offerings, questionable ideas, and a mounting pressure to stay devoted to the divine doctrine of wellness. What happens when the cure becomes as bad as the disease? 
 
With a critical eye, humor, and empathy, wellness industry journalist Rina Raphael examines how women have been led down a kale-covered path promising nothing short of salvation. She knows: Raphael was once a disciple herself—trying everything from “clean eating” to electric shock workouts—until her own awakening to the troubling consequences. Balancing the good with the bad, The Gospel of Wellness is a clear-eyed exploration of what wellness can actually offer us, knocking down the false idols and commandments that have taken hold and ultimately showing how we might shape a better future for the movement—and for our well-being. 

 

Settler Colonialism: An Introduction by Sai Englert, Pluto Press (JAG) 

From the Palestinian struggle against Israeli Apartheid to First Nations’ mass campaigns against pipeline construction in North America, Indigenous peoples are at the forefront of some of the crucial struggles of our age. Rich with their unique histories, characteristics, and social relations, they are connected by the shared enemy they face: settler colonialism. 
 
In this introduction, Sai Englert highlights the ways in which it has, and continues to shape our global economic and political order. From the rapacious accumulation of resources, land, and labor, through Indigenous dispossession and genocide, to the development of racism as a form of social control, settler colonialism is deeply connected to many of the social ills we face today. 
 
To understand settler colonialism, we need to start engaging with contemporary social movements and solidarity campaigns in order to see how struggles for justice and liberation are intertwined. 

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