All The Small Ones Readathon

REVIEW: Men Explain Things to Me and Other Essays by Rebecca Solnit

A short collection of feminist essays looking at rape culture, family, Virginia Woolf and everything else in between.

In 2008 Rebecca Solnit wrote an essay titled “Men Explain Things to Me” which struck a chord with people. Through other readers sharing their experiences, that essay was the catalyst of the term mansplaining. It’s was an interesting and relatable essay and it was great to see where the phrase mansplaining came from. As Solnit explains “I love it when people explain things to me they know and I’m interested in but don’t yet know; it’s when they explain things to me I know and they don’t that the conversation goes wrong.” I agree with that statement wholeheartedly and that’s what’s so frustrating about mansplaining.

The other essays are pretty good too. Naturally there’s some I like more than others for instance, I didn’t really enjoy the one inspired by Virginia Woolf’s writings as I’ve only read one of her books so don’t have much of a connection to her.

I like how Rebecca Solnit writes and her essays are all accessible, no matter what your background knowledge on the various subjects she talks about. It’s an interesting collection as they’re essays from 2008-2014 so some of the events she talks about I didn’t really remember, while others like the Delhi gang rape in 2012 are still fresh in my mind.

I did enjoy “Pandora’s Box and the Volunteer Police Force.” Written in 2014 it’s all about how feminism and women have got a long way to go but they’ve still made some headway. It’s also about the idea that the Pandora’s Box full of equality for men, women, LGBT+ people and all races has been opened and people won’t be able to stuff those who once were (and in many cases still are) back in a box and away from the general public. I don’t know if I’ve described it very well but I like the idea that the world is becoming a more tolerant place no matter what people may say or do and it can continue to, slowly but surely, get better.

That’s the thing with this collection of essays, like most feminist literature it makes you angry at the injustices in the world but it also offers a spark of hope that things will indeed get better. 4/5.

All The Short Ones Readathon TBR

All The Short Ones is a month long readathon hosted by Jessica at Novel Cravings. The aim of the readathon is to read as many of your short unread books, those that are 300 pages or less, during the month of March – they can also be novellas, poetry collections, comics and graphic novels.

I head of this readathon via Kristen’s Twitter when she shared her TBR and I thought it was a great way to get reading more books. I’ve nearly finished reading Hiding in Plain Sight by Nuruddin Farah so once I’ve finished that these are the books I’ll probably be picking up.

all-the-small-ones-readathon-tbr

At 157 pages there’s Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut, a classic I’ve been meaning to read for ages, How I Came to Know Fish by Ota Pavel has 136 pages and would count towards my Read the World Project as would Nineveh by Henrietta Rose-Innes (236 pages) and The Fencing Master by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (212 pages). Then I have some comic trade paperbacks – Saga Volume Six by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan, Mockingbird Volume One: I Can Explain by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk and Ibrahim Moustafa and The Fix Volume One: Where Beagles Dare by Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber, Ryan Hill and Nic J Shaw. I have more unread graphic novels that I can pick up if I manage to read all these and/or fancy something a bit different.

I’m looking forward to seeing how I do. My main goal is to read at least four of these but really, I’ve got near enough the whole month so that, and more, should be doable.

There’s still time to sign up if you’re interested in taking part – you can do so here and sign ups close on the 7th. You can also use the hashtag #ATSOReadathon on Twitter and Instagram to see others progress and to share your own.