Amos Book Club

Selected books, essays, films and podcasts from Audre Lorde to Arundhati Roy; we’ve found that these have provided unique and intersectional perspectives which challenge us and teach us something new. Hand-picked by the Amos team — we hope you’ll enjoy them too.

1. Amazons, Activists and Abolitionists
Mikki Kendall and Anna D’Amico

Amazons, Activists and Abolitionists by Mikki Kendall and Anna D’Amico

We were very excited to get our hands on this graphic novel-style book by Mikki Kendall.

From the publishers:
“This compelling book illuminates the stories of notable women throughout history; from queens and freedom fighters to warriors and spies and the progressive movements led by women that have shaped history, including abolition, suffrage, labour, civil rights, LGBTQ liberation, reproductive rights, and more.

Examining where we've been, where we are, and where we're going, ‘Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists’ is an indispensable resource for people of all genders interested in the fight for a more liberated future.”

Buy it here

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2. Inglorious Empire
Shashi Tharoor

Inglorious Empire by Shashi Tharoor

During two recent trips to our partners in Chennai in 2019 we read this important book about facing up to Britain’s colonial legacy in India.

Tharoor, a Keralan politician, has written a compelling and frank account of the realities and impact of empire in India. It’s an important read for those of us wishing to look Britain’s past more squarely in the face.

Buy it here

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3. The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House
Audre Lorde

Poet and feminist activist Audre Lorde.

There is no such things as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” Audre Lorde

A short collection of powerful and urgent essays by poet and feminist activist Audre Lorde. Lorde, more than most in life, really understood the need for discussions and activism that was centred on and around the intersectionality of particularly race, class, nationality, sex, sexuality and gender, and she displays that thrillingly in this book.

Penguin Modern have released a series of fifty small pocketbooks and this is one of our favourites.

Buy it here

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4. My Seditious Heart
Arundhati Roy

My Seditious Heart by Arundhati Roy

The Amos team went to an evening with Arundhati Roy in London in 2019, where she spoke about her previous two decades of activism and political writing, and her direct and eloquent commentary on current global political events gave the team lots to keep reflecting on and will certainly do for you too.

‘My Seditious Heart’ is a collection of Roy’s essays from the last 20 years. She covers themes such imperialism, gender equality in a scathing account of wealth inequalities, corruption and greed.

Read a review here, and buy it here

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5. The Impossible Will Take a Little While:
Perseverance and Hope in Troubled Times
Paul Rogat Loeb

The Impossible Will Take a Little While: Perseverance and Hope in Troubled Times by Paul Rogat Loeb

This collection of writings, stories and essays from leaders and thinkers across the world is packed with insights and reflections for when the state of the world may seem hopeless.

Contributors include Nelson Mandela, Alice Walker, Cornel West, Audre Lorde and many lesser-known activists too.

Buy it here

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6. Podcast: Mothers of Invention
Mary Robinson and Maeve Higgins

Mothers of Invention: Mary Robinson and Maeve Higgins.

This fantastic podcast is hosted by the quite unlikely duo of a former Irish president, Mary Robinson and an Irish comedian, Maeve Higgins. This uplifting podcast features women around the world who are finding creative ways to combat climate change.

As they describe it, climate change is a man-made problem with a feminist solution.

Listen here

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7. Generation Y, Spirituality and Social Change
St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace

Generation Y, Spirituality and Social Change

‘Generation Y, Spirituality and Social Change’ is an anthology of interviews and essays by our friends nearby at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace. At a workshop of theirs in 2019, our team met with a number of the contributors, and this book was launched that day.

From an inspiring set of voices representing a generation of people who are ‘doing faith (of all kinds) differently’; it explores how young people are integrating spirituality and activism.

Buy it here

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8. Film: Capernaum
Nadine Labaki

Capernaum by Nadine Labaki

Directed by Lebanese actor and director Nadine Labaki, ‘Capernaum’ tells the story of a 12-year old named Zain surviving on the streets of Beirut, who makes the striking decision to sue his parents for giving him life.

Here’s an interview with Nadine Labaki, where she shares her perspectives on why she was compelled to make this film.

Watch it here

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9. She is Fierce: Brave, Bold and Beautiful Poems by Women
Collated by Ana Sampson

She is Fierce: Brave, Bold and Beautiful Poems by Women collated by Ana Sampson

Amos trust director Chris Rose was given this book as a Christmas present from one of the other members of our team and he’s encouraged the whole office to get it too. ‘She Is Fierce...’ celebrates brave and bold women — from suffragettes and civil rights activists to aristocrats, students and performance poets.

The poetry spans centuries and continents, exploring love, mental health, friendship, defiance, endurance and more. A must have.

Buy it here

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10. Mighty Be Our Powers
Leymah Gbowee

Mighty Be Our Powers by Leymah Gbowee

Nobel Peace Laureate and peace activist, Leymah Gbowee built a movement of women for peace during the Liberian civil war. This book charts her personal journey and struggles alongside those of her wartorn nation, and how she propelled the two to converge and form a mass coalition of women for peace.

Buy it here

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11. Freedom is a Constant Struggle:
Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement
Angela Davis

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Davis

Davis is a leading activist and scholar who, in this small book, shares her perspectives on how struggles for human rights and freedoms in different parts of the world are all interconnected. It is a curated collection of speeches, essays and conversations.

Like Audre Lorde, Angela Davis has led a lot of the conversations about how you can’t think about issues of gender without looking at other factors, like race and class.

Buy it here

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12. Of Women
Shami Chakrabarti

Shami Chakrabarti

Azey from the Amos team says:
“I liked this book for the context and the impacts that limiting women's rights and gender equality causes — if a mother is denied her right to a life free from violence, a life with healthcare, education, housing and social opportunities, then the chances are high that her children will be denied these things too, creating a cycle.

Also her knowledge of how this issue plays out across the UK and the rest of the world (including for refugees) showing that for women — what we face is sometimes more alike than unalike.”

Buy it here

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13. When I Hit You: Or, a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Wife
Meena Kandasamy

When I Hit You: Or, a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy

Meena Kandasamy is an Indian poet, fiction writer, and activist based in Chennai. Most of her works are centred on feminism and the anti-caste caste movement. Her enlightening 2014 debut, ‘The Gypsy Goddess’, explored caste, poverty and violence in southern India.

‘When I Hit You...’ is her second novel and tells the story of a newly-wed writer experiencing rapid social isolation and extreme violence at her husband’s hands. The voice that emerges from this book is one that expresses desire, feels pain and has steely courage. It was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018.

Buy it here

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