The best books to ignite the revolution, smash patriarchy, and bring on the love

Wendy-O Matik Author Of Redefining Our Relationships: Guidelines for Responsible Open Relationships
By Wendy-O Matik

Who am I?

As a rebellious woman who is passionate about words and the revolutionary force of books, I know the power of stories. Stories are the seeds that give life to your purpose. Stories give you a reason to fight the good fight, care about something bigger than yourself, and want to be a part of social justice and positive change. The daily grind can kick you down, but a good story can remind you that there's still time to rise up, speak truth to power, help others less fortunate, and commit to what you value most. The books that I’m recommending are meant to be your personal guide to what really matters most in life to you.

I wrote...

Redefining Our Relationships: Guidelines for Responsible Open Relationships

By Wendy-O Matik,

Book cover of Redefining Our Relationships: Guidelines for Responsible Open Relationships

What is my book about?

Don't let the title fool you. this is a serious, thoughtful (and thought-provoking) comprehensive introduction to, and examination of, a much misunderstood and misused practice. But more than that, it is a witty, provocative, damn fine read, with as much to offer to the faithfully monogamous as to those looking for a bit more out of life, love, and relationships. Go on. Dive in. "Wendy-O tackles a touchy subject with clarity and creativity. She is wise beyond her years. This guide teaches you how you can have it all. I gave the jealousy tips to my lover immediately." - Annie Sprinkle

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The books I picked & why

Assata: An Autobiography

By Assata Shakur,

Book cover of Assata: An Autobiography

Why did I love this book?

You can’t truly know what activism, social revolution, and political freedom mean until you’ve read this book. Assata Shakur is a Black revolutionary woman who barely escaped U.S. police corruption, systemic racism, and state oppression, in order to find political asylum in Cuba. To know her story is to acknowledge how White supremacy and anti-Black oppression play out in the lives of Black Americans.

By Assata Shakur,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Assata as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka JoAnne Chesimard) lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that had claimed the life of a white state trooper. Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover's campaign to defame, infiltrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years prior to her conviction on flimsy evidence in 1977 as an accomplice to murder.


This intensely personal and political autobiography belies the fearsome image of…

Book cover of The Fifth Sacred Thing

Why did I love this book?

I can’t think of a better starter’s guidebook for getting the revolution off the ground. This epic post-apocalyptic novel offers the best in eco-feminism, sustainability, spirituality, and rebellion from religious, political, and social repressive forces. This story offers an ideal eco-utopia primer for readers with a mind for collective freedom, liberation, and saving our planet.

By Starhawk,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Fifth Sacred Thing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An epic tale of freedom and slavery, love and war, and the potential futures of humankind tells of a twenty-first century California clan caught between two clashing worlds, one based on tolerance, the other on repression.

Declaration of the Four Sacred Things

The earth is a living, conscious being. In company with cultures of many different times and places, we name these things as sacred: air, fire, water, and earth.

Whether we see them as the breath, energy, blood, and body of the Mother, or as the blessed gifts of a Creator, or as symbols of the interconnected systems that…

Rumi: The Path of Love

By Jalal Al-Din Rumi,

Book cover of Rumi: The Path of Love

Why did I love this book?

There can be no revolution without love. The 13th-century Persian poet, Sufi philosopher, and Muslim scholar Rumi is the best guide to put you on the road to an open heart and to keep you in constant connection with our shared humanity. He is the ultimate lover because his words lift off the page and teach you how to be vulnerable and courageous with your heart.

By Jalal Al-Din Rumi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rumi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Seven centuries after his death, the romantic poetry of Jelaluddin Rumi is presented here with 50 cards with a quotation from a Rumi poem on one side and a colour work of Middle Eastern Sufi or Islamic are on the other. The accompanying book has further illustrated selections and a life of Rumi.

Book cover of So You Want to Talk about Race

Why did I love this book?

If you seriously care about racial healing, you have to read this book. White people are so damn afraid to say the wrong thing or to offend anyone when it comes to the topic of race, that we end up not saying anything at all. And silence is death to a movement. If you care about Black and Brown lives, then this book will shake you up in a good way, and remind you of the importance of being a good listener to the concerns of people of color. When you listen, you can have empathy. When you have empathy, you can start to be a part of the racial reckoning and healing that’s starting to take place in our nation.

By Ijeoma Oluo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked So You Want to Talk about Race as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

n So You Want to Talk About Race, editor-at-large of The Establishment Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don't dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.

Oluo is an exceptional writer with a rare ability to be straightforward, funny, and effective in her coverage of sensitive, hyper-charged…

Book cover of Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us

Why did I love this book?

Growing up as a hardcore tomboy, the gender binary issue has always been a challenge for me. Why do I have to choose between male or female? I resent being given only one gender with no option to explore a spectrum of gender possibilities. The gender battle is raging at the forefront of American politics. If you don’t understand the debate, this is a great book to start with to learn more about gender and identity. The writing is bold, courageous, and hilarious, and does a great job of smashing gender conformity.

By Kate Bornstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gender Outlaw as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gender Outlaw is the work of a woman who has been through some changes--a former heterosexual male, a one-time Scientologist and IBM salesperson, now a lesbian woman writer and actress who makes regular rounds on the TV (so to speak) talk shows. In her book, Bornstein covers the "mechanics" of her surgery, everything you've always wanted to know about gender (but were too confused to ask) addresses the place and politics of the transgendered and intterogates the questions of those who give the subject little thought, creating questions of her own.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the patriarchy, intercultural communication, and utopian.

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