Celebrating Diversity With Our Shared Shelf

Are you looking for a way to recognize Women’s History Month this March? Are you seeking an environment to discuss books, politics, culture, and so much more with thousands of people from around the world? What about challenging your reading list for 2016?

If so, check out Harry Potter actress Emma Watson’s new book club on Goodreads.com.

Everyone knows Watson from her role as Hermione in Harry Potter, but more recently, Watson became a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for women’s equality.

If you haven’t watched Emma’s speech introducing the HeForShe campaign for equality, see the video below.

As part of her work with the UN, Watson started an online book club in January called “Our Shared Shelf.” Within the first month, the group’s membership surpassed 100,000. Right now the number stands at 120,947.

What makes this book club so special? Watson’s fame draws large and diverse groups of readers from around the world into a discussion about gender, equality, politics, culture and more. Some discussion topics include “Books and Censorship,” “Fighting Domestic Violence” and “Feminism for All.” Other discussions focus on the books themselves, planning in person meet-ups around the globe, and pay-it forward schemes to pass along copies of books for those who need them. I love checking up on the group and reading through the conversations posted, occasionally sharing my own thoughts.

Cover of My Life on The RoadThe first title was My Life on the Road by longtime activist Gloria Steinem. This memoir acknowledges the rich history of women’s rights activists (like Steinem and many others), who worked tirelessly for so many years to advance women’s rights in the United States. While highlighting some of the key moments in the Women’s Lib movement, Steinem also focuses her book on traveling and the important friendships she made throughout her journey.

Cover of The Color PurpleOur Shared Shelf celebrated Black History Month in February with The Color Purple, by Alice Walker. Even though I read this book a few years ago, I decided to re-read with a fresh perspective and hear what so many other group members had to say. For anyone who hasn’t had a chance to read this powerful novel, I highly recommend reading the book or watching the movie adaptation (starring Oprah Winfrey). There’s even a Broadway musical based on the book!

Cover of All About Love by bell hooksMarch’s selection honors another American author and feminist, bell hooks in All About Love: New Visions. A meditation on love in modern society, hooks explores the ways men and women have been conditioned by their culture to express and receive love. Hooks emphasizes our need to love more respectfully, selflessly, and honestly. I’m very excited to start reading this month’s book!

If I’ve caught your interest, reserve a copy of All About Love: New Visions, and if you want to keep up on what Emma Watson is reading, head on over to Goodreads and read some of the conversations going on right now! In the ever-flowing dialogue about equality, each voice makes a difference. Share yours in the comments!

-Adina H.


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3 responses to “Celebrating Diversity With Our Shared Shelf

  1. Pingback: March Recap | Eleventh Stack

  2. I love Emma Watson’s HeForShe speech. It beautifully expresses how equal rights is inclusive to men as well and women and that the word Feminism had strong prejudices that truly do not apply to the majority of Feminists. I would like to say that im a Feminist. And not one that shouts it loudly for all to hear. I am reserved and speak when it’s needed and always defend against distorted gender ideas and expectations. We do not all “man-hate”. It has to be said that i quite like the male gender so what would be the use in hating them? They are just as much human as we and we are just as human as they.

  3. Pingback: Friday Snippet #72 | Northern Chapters

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