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Mairi's top reads of 2023


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Explore the team’s favourite books of 2023! Choosing three from an entire year is a challenge and more recent reads tend to obscure what you read in February. Still, there are those that stay with you through the months. Why three? Because it's more than one but less than a list.

First up is Mairi!

I’m trying to be disciplined this year and really stick to the brief on 3 top books for 2023, so here they are!

Kamila Shamsie’s Best of Friends is a gorgeous exploration of friendship and the ways even the strongest bonds are tested by time. Like all her novels it’s both profound and propulsive, it’s clever and philosophical and once again so extremely timely, challenging where we draw our red lines/cross our red lines/ reach across red lines with the ones we love.

If you read any one book on activism or reproductive justice this year, read Naomi Braine’s Abortion Beyond the Law! As short as it is brilliant, it’s a sociologist’s study of the self managed abortion movement, its roots in latin America, and its evolution into global networks. Braine offers a fascinating look at a quieter kind of direct action, challenging medical misogyny, empowering communities, evolving ways of learning/teaching/adjusting to changing legal landscapes. It’s the book that has instilled the most hope in me this year.

Finally Angela Saini’s The Patriarchs is an astonishing, sweeping, totally captivating history of Patriarchy, the mechanisms that uphold it, the truths buried by it and so much more. Bringing in archaeology, sociology, science writing and much more Saini’s book is packed with surprising facts, and made a powerful case for just how fragile patriarchy really is.

(and at the risk of being cheeky, read Ashley Herring Blake for happy sapphic romance, she’s so brilliant and funny)

Watch out for the rest of the team favourites, coming in the next few days on the website!

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