This week’s Bookshelfie podcast episode is coming out in style as Vick sits down with author and Editor-in-Chief of Elle UK Kenya Hunt. Kenya discusses how women can care about handbags and and their body’s autonomy in the same breath and why we should all aspire to be trail blazers.

Her book choices teach us a host of valuable lessons including the power of our imagination, how the past will always impact the present and why we should all think about love as less as a noun and more of a verb.

Check out the full episode here.

All About Love

by Bell Hooks

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“Bell Hooks is just one of those foundational voices in black feminist thought. And so for me, she was very much before I had the language to really articulate my feelings and opinions around feminism, it was women like Bell Hooks, who really introduced me to a way of thinking and also helped me understand myself and my sort of sense of self growing into my own sense of selfhood and black womanhood.”

The Flagellants

by Charlene Hatcher Polite

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“It was just such a beautiful example of the ways that we can occupy different spaces. I think the fact that she started out as a dancer, she had this vision for herself, she she moved to Paris, she lived a life as an author, then she settled in Buffalo where she taught creative writing, there’s something about that, because I think sometimes it’s women, and I think particularly women from marginalised backgrounds, or black women, you can sort of at an early age, when you’re in school, you can be told, okay, this is the path that you should consider.”

Against Interpretation

by Susan Sontag

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“She really kind of normalised and popularised that idea of camp. It was something about the idea that was really widespread, but she was the first to sort of really kind of give it that critical eye and pull it all together and make it make sense in this piece of cultural commentary and analysis. And I thought it was it was really quite timeless in a way I read it. I just thought it was amazing. I loved it, and I it just made me want to read more writing like that.”

The Bluest Eye

by Toni Morrison

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“Me and my girlfriend sometimes we would sit in the back of the library and just read books. I was reading like Judy Bloom, and all those authors who you would expect a girl of that age to read that then I got hold of The Bluest Eye, and I think it was a friend who recommended it, she’d read it first. And for us at that age, because his story of number one, this sense of how her sense of girlhood was impacted by these beauty standards, but also the abuse, sexual abuse that she underwent. I mean, it was unlike anything that I had read before. That was my gateway to Toni Morrison and my love for her has grown.”

Creative Visualization

by Shakti Gawain

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“I encountered Creative Visualisation, through another editor and I read it and I just quite simply like the the practice of being much more conscious of the narrative that we tell ourselves in our head, because oftentimes, we don’t even realise it, but we’re telling ourselves messages all day long. And I think the book does a really good job of creating that awareness of how often our thoughts can spin into, you can veer into negative territory, because I do deeply believe that our thoughts matter like I really believed in the power of the vision we create for ourselves.”