I find the privacy and intimacy of reading a good book one of the best ways to learn about myself and the world. You don't have to venture into the dark and unreliable pits of the internet, nor do you have to have a toe-curlingly cringe conversation with somebody else.
Picking up and reading a proof-read and throughly researched book in the comfort of your own home, and time, has fast become a popular way to get informed - and it's easy to see why after constant instances of fake news and misinformation peddled on both social and media outlets.
After a large consumer appetite for this genre of informative and readable non-fiction, the more niche and nuanced topics are getting due attention, which we otherwise may never have had the market for before.
So, I've compiled a list of some of my favourite in-store picks. Happy learning!
Women On Top Of The World - Lucy-Anne Holmes
This tome collates 15 intersectionally-rich testimonies from women across the world, about what goes through their head when they're having sex.
It's raw and honest. The book provides an immense relief; to read about similar thoughts and feelings that you were too embarrassed to address yourself, realising that they are actually far more common than you thought.
Reviews herald the book as essential reading for everyone;
'This is a book that really should be pressed into the hands of a generation of young men who have learnt everything they wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask from porn ... Holmes has done an admirable job' SUNDAY TIMES
'An important read for any young women starting out on their sexual life' SUNDAY INDEPENDENT
How To Have Feminist Sex: A Fairly Graphic Guide - Flo Perry
Perry divulges into a wide range of sex-related topics - consent, virginity, faking orgasms, body hair, kinks, and the pressure to do sex 'right'. The blurb describes Perry's mission as being 'to get more people talking openly about what they do and don't want from every romantic encounter.' Hopefully de-stigmatising vocalising desires can inspire readership to be more confident in talking about what they want from sex!
Come as You Are: the bestselling guide to the new science that will transform your sex life - Dr Emily Nagoski
Described as 'an essential exploration of women's sexuality that will radically transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy.'
This book provides a different viewpoint, moving from subjective and personal experiences to the science behind 'what makes us tick'. Nagoski's aim is to debunk the myths that burden women; analysing what they have been told they should be doing in bed, why they have been told this and most importantly: why it is wrong.
Nagoski seeks to answer the question 'am I normal?' ' am I doing it right?' with a YES - no two sexual encounters are the same and so long as you're doing it safely and consensually, there is no 'right' way to have or experience sex. It is up to you to decide what you like, not decades of social norms and oppressions to decide for you!
Another one that provides comfort in knowing your anxieties are not just your own.
The Sex Lives Of African Women - Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah
This book is an illuminating collection of experiences from women across the African diaspora, both insightfully individualistic yet comfortingly familiar.
Sekyiamah collates a range of voices and testimonies, from trying to marry religion and sexuality, polyamory and culture, sexual abuse and newfound desire.
A unique and rare perspective that is essential reading if you want to flesh out your understanding of desire across cultures and contexts.
Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again: Women And Desire In The Age Of Consent - Katherine Angel
A product of societal shift following MeToo, Angel investigates the gender disparity between desire. Women are slower to come into their confidence regarding desire, yet after MeToo, being outspoken and assured in what we want is proven essential to empowered sex. So, how do we navigate this double bind?
Angel draws upon pop-culture, MeToo debates and scientific evidence to chart a course for women's tricky task of navigating safe and empowered sex.
Untamed: Stop Pleasing Start Living - Glennon Doyle
The underlying message to this galvanising memoir is the wake-up call and self-realisation of 'There She Is' - it's about finding and falling in love with your true, whole self after years of repression and social conditioning. About how do be an active member of a family and society, it first starts with you being a complete person, on your own.
Doyle seeks to empower the reader to trust her own body and instinct, encouraging a confidence to release the tame inhibitions conditioned onto us in order to become an empowered being.