I really should stop trying audiobooks. Though I can listen to podcasts fairly attentively (depending on the subject matter of course), for whatever reason I don’t enjoy audiobooks. I space out a lot and if the person reading it aloud has an annoying voice I just can’t get into it. For these and other reasons I didn’t love Rebecca Solnit’s The Mother of All Questions.
One of the new book clubs I’ve joined is all local moms with a feminist bent, so our book selections are all from women authors, and Solnit’s essay collection was the book for April. I think we probably are the kinds of people that would actually read Solnit, but as for who should read her, that’s a different audience. The collection of essays covers various topics affecting women (and men) today, with a point of view of positivity, feminism, etc. What’s wrong with that, you might ask. Nothing at all. But, as someone who has already encountered many of the issues Solnit discusses, and already agrees with her, it felt like I was reading something I’d already thought about, but more gracefully phrased. She is an engaging writer, I imagine, if a little repetitive at times. However, she is NOT a great voice for audiobooks. At times I thought I was listening to a particularly human-sounding robot. This coupled with how I often only listen on walks or in the car meant that I probably retained about 60% of what I heard.
Please do read if you feel like you need a thoughtfully written point of view that may help you focus your feelings on encounters you may have had. Whether you’ve been asked why you don’t have children or when you plan to get married and have children, her responses to these questions are great (though now I can’t remember them). These essays are probably a great entry point for young feminists (male or female) just beginning to voice their ideas on society and what we can change. I do have hope for the younger generations that they won’t need essays to explain to them how deep gender inequality runs and how to recognize it. More stuff like this should help.