Guess what, internet? I’m menstruating right now! GASP! I know, right!? Shocker! Let’s talk about it! At the moment I am on day 1. Day 1 is the worst. Part of me wants a Java Chip Frappucino, part of me wants sleep, and part of me wants to bend in half backward because, for some reason, I feel like if I do that, the jackhammer that is currently hammering away on my lower back will stop. I took a shower but I still smell weird, I did a workout, and now I’m writing this post! How normal!
A while back, several bloggers wrote some great posts about how there should/should not be more mention of menstruation in books, specifically in YA. I’m not going to talk about that because my simple opinion is that, yes, we need more of it. But this post, this post, and this post are all great if you want to read some opinions on fictional periods (or lack thereof). I was someone who had pretty abysmal sex education growing up, so I am all for anything that helps people feel more knowledgeable and comfortable in their own bodies.
Instead, let’s talk about us! Many readers out there have periods, too! So what do you read when you’re being visited by Auntie Flow? I usually don’t read anything special other than my current reads, but you know, sometimes you just need to break out the comfort books or the books that make you feel empowered. So for anyone with a period, here’s a reading list for your time of the month – or let’s be real, anytime, really.
Light Reads: Period on the run
Fight Like a Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World by Laura Barcella. I wrote about this book for a recent Rose Recommends post so you can read more about it there. I’m including it here because DUH female empowerment, but also because each little chapter is like 3 pages long, so it’s a quick, no-pressure read that you can pick up and open randomly between work or school or whatever else is going on in your busy life.
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan. This is a short, unique read. It’s written, as you probably guessed, in the form of a dictionary, but it also tells a story at the same time. It’s very innovative and interesting and is another quick, no-pressure read if you need something light.
Immersive Reads: Forget about your period
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. If you need an immersive fantasy world to completely escape into, this is it. It’s a very long book and has fantastic world-building. When you’re done with that one, read the even longer sequel, The Wise Man’s Fear.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Again, a stand-by classic that a lot of people find comfort in. Beautiful prose, beautiful love story. It’s pretty much the perfect book.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. If you’re feeling a bit more gothic but still want kick-ass classic female heroines, this it the one. The. One.
The Real World: Period empathy
All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully by Carrie Hope Fletcher. Carrie is one of my favorite YouTubers of all time, and she wrote this lovely book about her life that also offers wonderful advice for young people. It’s light, charming, has great life lessons, and just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.
Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be Grown Up by Grace Helbig. Yes, another YouTuber. They write a lot of books nowadays! This one is hilarious. I’m pretty sure the title speaks for itself – Grace discusses tips and tricks for all situations in the scary “adult” world and makes you feel like you are totally not alone for faking your way through everything.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. A more somber choice, but this book impacted me so much when I read it, and any period reading list would be incomplete without it. The part where Anne writes about her period was so important to me because I had never seen anyone write about that before. I connected so strongly to this young girl who was in a situation I couldn’t even begin to imagine – that kind of empathy is incredibly impactful….I’ll stop gushing now because I’m pretty sure you all know how amazing this book is.
Happy reading and happy bleeding! Got any good recs to add to this list? Let me know!