We are in the middle of an anniversary many in the United States would like to forget. Last November, we were in shock when Donald Trump won the presidency. Now, we’re in a sort of uprising. Women are coming forward in droves to expose men for their crimes, and we’re seeing our strength in numbers.
On the subway in New York City, women read dystopian novels by writers like Margaret Atwood as a reminder of how wrong things could go if we let them. Books that describe the female coming-of-age, like “The Girls,” are also going strong.
In Mexico City, Simone de Beauvoir is the voice of choice.
“I think there is a growing concern among female readers about the murders of women in the country and the situation of women in general,” says local contributor Laura García Sandoval. “We get inspiration from a writer like de Beauvoir and the courage to keep going.”
And in London, women find that among all the strife, we can’t forget to also have a laugh and dive into a world of magic.
“Philip Pullman is everywhere,” says local contributor Marta Bausells. “I imagine this is what it must have been like when Harry Potter first came out.”
Read on to find out what women in New York, Mexico City and London are reading.
"The Girls” by Emma Cline
“Yes, my name is Boat, like sailboat. There is no great meaning behind it. My parents are eccentric and gave me a fun name. By eccentric I️ mean that they’re kind and free-thinkers. My dad recommended this book to me because he loved it. The story is about growing up as a girl. Each sentence feels very truthful. The women in the story are objects of admiration and the main character, Evie, lusts after them and their aura. I’ve had plenty of girl crushes in my life so I️ relate to her and want to be like the girls in the story. I️ don’t know what happens to them but I’m drawn in.”
—Uli Beutter Cohen for Subway Book Review in New York
"America Day by Day,” by Simone de Beauvoir
“Simone de Beauvoir is fascinated with American culture. She travels alone and visits New York, Chicago and San Francisco. I like that she wants to know about the intellectual and the daily life. She’s empathetic with the creative class, but also with mothers and housewives. I recently visited Morocco and frequently travel to Guatemala to visit my mother. It is not that easy for a woman. The idea that women don’t play an important role persists. In countries with a high number of femicides and macho environments, like Morocco, Mexico and Guatemala, just being a woman is an act of resistance. Simone de Beauvoir inspires me to continue and to never shut up.”
—Laura García Sandoval for Subway Book Review in Mexico City
“The Book of Dust” by Philip Pullman
“I read ‘His Dark Materials’ by Pullman when I was little and am indulging my inner child with this prequel and first book in a new trilogy. I remember being completely mind blown by the idea of having a daemon, which is like your spirit animal or a manifestation of your inner-self. I refused to watch the films when they came out and I love that I’m now able to revisit this weird parallel universe. Very nerdy, I know. I once took a quiz on the Internet to determine what my spirit animal is, and it said it’s a fox. I’m convinced it should be an owl, though. I like observing.”