Ideal afternoon plan: find a shady place to read, people watch, and repeat for a few hours. All images copyright Marisa Allegra Williams unless noted otherwise.

Recommended Reading

I’m at that age (and always have been) where I will read a book, love it, recommend it to anyone who will listen, and then — at some point down the line—forget the title, the author, the details. So, since I don’t have what it takes to consistently celebrate my faves as I find them with a gushing Amazon or Goodreads review, thought I might document my recommendations here for you and for me, for this summer and beyond.


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 consumed (I guess as a snack) in a little over an hour while waiting for dinner to be delivered the other night (July, 2017). I’d recently watched Love and Sex in Japan, which highlighted some of the gender-specific hurdles and tradition that Japanese men and women must navigate. In addition to discussing these issues generally, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s essay gives plenty of insight into the particulars of sexism and gender in Nigeria. It was interesting to learn a bit about what men and women are up against in countries with cultures so different from that of the United States, but so similar in the collective need to address persistent sexism. For example, I had no idea that 70% of Japanese women quit their careers and never go back to work after having their first baby.

Travels with Epicurus … in Search of a Fulfilled Life is the sort of perspective I might want to revisit a handful of times as I fumble along toward old age, and definitely when I’m in the thick of it, if I make it that far. I read this book for the first time in 2015 and it’s one of a very few that I’ll read again. I’m not really someone who rereads the books she loves, but with this one I can see the value—at least for me personally.