I've read a couple of great books lately, and thought you'd like to know.
I read of Sita's Ramayana a few times, most notably on Women's Web. I was taken aback by this book: the beauty of the art and the feminism of the narrative. I plan to lend it to my mother and gift it to my niece when she's older.
For more about the book, read the review on Women's Web.
Another book I've read about many times before I finally bought it was the Gift of Fear. It's a book about protecting yourself from violence, and I've seen it especially recommended to women. One reason I put off buying it for so long was I was afraid it would be depressing. It is stark, yes, but I loved it and I agree that everyone should read it. It helps you understand what kind of behaviors are inappropriate, so that you can better judge the people who commit those.
Seriously, read this book. It's not merely a primer on avoiding and managing violence, but on life and relationships.
Anita Nair's Good Night and God Bless was a gift from a friend. It's a memoir of sorts: more like the writer's views and reminiscences on various subjects. It's the first book I've read of hers, so I have nothing else to judge her by. The writing is funny in parts and the book makes for good light reading. It's not exactly gripping, and I started it months ago and abandoned it mid-way for more exciting stuff, and then went back to it lately. Reading a chapter or two at bedtime puts me in an nice peaceful mood.
Yet the writing has such an old-worldly feel to it that I can't quite put my finger on. One one hand, Nair is a successful writer and, according to these memoirs, an adventurous traveler. On the other hand, I can't relate to her worries about her household, that guests will be served tea on the wrong crockery (horror!).