Rookie Yearbook Four by Tavi Gevinson (Razorbill, 9781595147950)
Rookie bills itself as “media created by and for young women to make the best of the beauty, pain and awkwardness of being a teenager”. The only thing I’d question about this quote is ‘teenager’. I’m 22, have graduated and have a full time job (at Turnaround, would you believe?), but I absolutely feel that Rookie appeals to my interests and also my worries. Of course, it’s possible it’s just me, but it is my suspicion that other women in their early 20s would benefit from reassurance that experiencing generalised life-uncertainty, romantic awkwardness and an intense love of crafting is not necessarily uncool. This kindly and humorously delivered reassurance is true of every Rookie Yearbook of course, so I’ll quickly point out a few great features specific to #4.
- An interview with Laverne Cox, of Orange is the New Black
- Unusual stickers
- An interview with Charli XCX, the musician who just made the excellent BBC3 Documentary The F-word and Me about sexism in the music industry.
- An illustrated playlist, the theme of which is: Songs for Exerting Control Over Your Own Sexuality like a Boss Bitch
- How-to Guide: Dealing with Creepily Insistent Men who Come onto You
Nora Ephron: The Last Interview (Melville House, 9781612195247)
This isn’t out until January next year, but I read a proof of it in 2015 so I’m counting it. Summarising her impact, The BFI said that filmmaker and journalist Nora Ephron, “forged an attitude of confessional intimacy that anticipated our online culture of disclosure and influenced a generation of female comics.”
Tavi Gevinson, editor of my last pick Rookie, recently tweeted suggesting her fans should “save face by treating oversharing as a form of enlightenment, of emotional intelligence, of actually being the most stable of ALL!!!!” – an Ephron-esque sentiment if ever there was one. Perhaps, then, the reason I am so fascinated to dig into the mechanics of Ephron’s mind is precisely that she did the cultural groundwork that has allowed so much of the contemporary writing I love to exist – like Gevinson’s Rookie.
You Are You by Lindsay Morris (Kehrer Verlag, 9783868285406)
With the debates around trans people’s right to their identity gaining increasing media attention this year, there have been criticisms suggesting that the way the conversation has been framed has made identity into a theoretical exercise rather than an intuitive place of comfort and joy. You are You puts paid to those criticisms. It collects hundreds of full colour photographs of gender non-binary people experimenting with their identity from a place of play, joy and honesty – not making moral choices on the basis of internet articles