Friday, February 20, 2015

On My Nightstand: February

Hello! So..long time no see. But I have returned (Hurray!) and here is what I have recently been reading, interested in, and working on. Here we go!

Currently Reading
I am currently reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. This novel was included on several "Best of 2014" lists last year, so I figured I would give it a try. I really, really love it so far. Mandel's sentences are so elegant and beautiful, and she switches perspectives with such ease. I very rarely comment on a book's s cover, but the cover of Station Eleven is just so pretty - the lighted tents, the starry sky, the simple bold font. Here is a brief look as to what it's about:

On a snowy night, Arthur Leander, a famous actor, drops dead of a heart attack while portraying King Lear on stage. On the same night, a terrible flu begins to spread, engulfing the city of Toronto and its residents in sickness and death. Fifteen years later, Kirsten Raymonde is an actress with the Traveling Symphony, a small group of artists who move from settlement to settlement performing for communities of survivors. On the side of their caravan, is the phrase, "Because survival is insufficient." Transposing through time before and after the pandemic, fates twist and connect while depicting the transcendence of art, and the ephemeral nature of memory.

Interested In
In recent media, feminism has been getting quite a lot of attention - for both the right and the wrong reasons. This year, my school finally approved a Feminist Book Club, and when we meet on Tuesdays during lunch, all of the desks are filled (21 girls, 3 boys). We discuss current events, and share our own opinions on topics regarding gender equality. Through discussing, listening, and reading, I have begun to define what being a feminist means to me and I have discovered that it is a cause I firmly believe in.

Some resources on the subject that I have found particularly enlightening:
Emma Watson's Speech to the United Nations
TEDx Talk: "We should all be feminists" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
"Why Our Feminism Must Be Intersectional (And 3 Ways to Practice It)"
"If Our Sons Were Treated Like Our Daughters"
"Why We Still Need Feminism"

Working On
For the third year in a row, I will be attending the Teen Arts Festival in my area for high school students. Like in past years, I will be participating as a creative writing nominee, but for the first time in the poetry category. I'm much more of short-storyist than a poet, but I would like some critical feedback on the poetry I do write. So for the last week or so, I have been trying to decide what poems to submit. I finally decided on one that I think is my best, and on another I need some help with - I can show off a bit, but also still gain important advice on how to improve my writing. I am very excited to attend this year's festival, and I will certainly post here after I do!