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From Porn to Politics: 25 Fierce Reads

Lusties! I was recently inspired by Amarma Miller’s incredibly fun vlog about her favourite books! You can watch below! English speakers – Amarna is Spanish, so don’t forget to turn on subtitles.

As a writer, not just a producer and director, I love literature! And I wanted to share my list of favourite books with you. I asked my amazing team of staff here in Barcelona and we came up with the 25 most important and inspirational books everyone should read!

#1 The Surrender

by Toni Bentley
An intimate memoir of her sexual awakening, she tells the tale of her forbidden lust and the new experience of radical and unexpected pleasures.

#2 Fire: From “A Journal of Love”

The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin
The third volume of Nin’s provocative diaries. It tells the story of her time in New York, filled to bursting with sex, drama, fantasy and confession!

#3 We Should All Be Feminists

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A modern essay about feminism in the 21st century. Adichie did a TEDx talk just like me, and after 3 million views it became a book. She talks about how society as a whole, not just men, has to change in order to find true equality.

#4 The Second Sex

by Simone de Beauvoir
This is seen as one of the starting points for second-wave feminism! The prolific and influential French writer talks about the ever persistent restrictions placed on women and exposes “the pervasiveness and intensity and mysteriousness of the history of women’s oppression”.

#5 The Female Eunuch

by Germaine Greer
A super important piece of writing about the repression of women’s sexuality. A must read for anyone who agrees that women should be free to liberate themselves sexually and reclaim the conversation!

#6 Bad Feminist

by Roxane Gay
Gay is not only a novelist but a professor too! Her book talks about the idea of the “role” of a feminist and whether more traditional and conventional ideologies go against it. She covers everything from The Obama’s to pop culture to her own personal experiences!

#7 Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

by Mindy Kaling
Mindy is a hilarious writer, play write and actress! And her book is no exception. If you’re looking for something lighthearted, Mindy takes you through her life, her upbringing and talks about romance and friendship in a truly relative way!

#8 The Girls

by Emma Cline
This is a staff pick from our Content Manager Daisy! This fictional novel follows an adolescent girl who slips away from real life and into the arms of a teenage girl cult, not to mention the deep lust for a new friend and exploring new realms of her sexuality. It’s a thrilling coming of age story for adults!

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#9 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou
This biographical account takes us through Maya’s childhood and adolescence. This is great for younger readers, because she recalls and describes the emotions and traumas of understanding sexuality in a way only they can understand.

#10 Lace

by Shirley Conran
Lace is a seriously steamy fictional romance that was very important for a generation of women! The book was released a few years ago on its 30th (!!) anniversary. It just shows how ahead of its time it was when it came to women taking control of their sexuality! Just don’t do anything to harm your goldfish, please!

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#11 Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism

by Laurie Penny
A critial look from the journalist and writer about capitalism and the effect it has on the sexualisation and gender stereotyping and women.

#12 The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Female Revolution

by Shulamith Firestone
Firestone was a professor of philosophy as well as a writer! In this book from 1970 she discusses her (often criticized!) theories that the oppression of women is biological rather than a social or societal occurrence! It was a call to action for the feminist revolution!

#13 Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture

by Ariel Levy
This is a fascinating book in which level talks about raunch culture, the “idea that female sexuality should be about performance and not about pleasure” and about how women themselves were encouraged to objectify themselves and each other in American culture.

#14 Delta of Venus

by Anaïs Nin
From the author of Some Never Awaken, Delta of Venus is a collection of short erotic stories that were originally written for a private collector, but released publicly after her death. Nin was told to just write sexually explicit scenarios, but managed to leave in enough poetry and story telling to make these shorts super inspiring for people like me!

#15 Venus in Furs

by Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch
From 1870, this book is an incredible insight into female dominance, submission and sadomasichism!

#16 Un Hombre

by Oriana Fallaci
Chosen by our wonderful Press Officer Andrea! Oriana Fallaci was an amazing political interviewer, who faced some of the best and also some of the cruelest minds in modern history! However in this book, she took all her courage to write about her partner Alexandros Panagoulis, who was killed, and his long and resistance in the battle against the Regime of the Colonels in Greece.

#17 Ways of Seeing

by John Berger
One of the few books on my list written by a man, Ways of Seeing was based on a television series and was hugely influencial in explaining we the way we see and experience art and the world around us. It was important to somany visual artists like me! Berger sadly died at the start of this year, and he will be missed!

#18 Wide Sargasso Sea

by Jean Rhys
Written as a kind of response to Jane Eyre, this books looks at the power dynamic in relationships between men and women, with her main character ending up as a “mad woman”. She also talks about racial inequality and was considered a feminist writer!

#19 Americanah

by Chimamanda Adichie
This is a super powerful and important modern book about love in a world where racial identity and discrimination cause so many problems. However, there is happiness and passion as well!

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#20 Good Porn: A Woman’s Guide 

by Erika Lust
Chosen by Katie, who works in our content department! Thanks Katie! In it I talk about the history of adult cinema, why women are important in the porn industry and offer insight on the educational and erotic value of porn! If you want to read it too, it’s available in my store!

#21 The God of Small Things

by Arundhati Roy
Roy is a female Indian writer, who explores the lives of fictional twins who are effected by the society rules of who and how they should love.

#22 The Conversations: The Art of Editing Film

between Walter Murch and Michael Ondaatje
A slightly different choice from Ines, who is my Editor at Lust Films! All the confessions you see are edited by this very talented woman. As you know, having a female crew is incredibly important to me – and the female gaze is intrinsic in making progressive and radical films. And Ines is a fine example of how creative, intelligent women are a benefit to the industry!

#23 The Handmaid’s Tale

by Margaret Atwood
This fictional tale is set in the near future, in what some call a “feminist dystopia”. Although Atwood herself doesn’t classify the theme of the book as “feminist” it does portray a world where women have more power!

#24 White Teeth

by Zadie Smith
I love this book which is about the lives of several different immigrant families living in London, who come together in one way or another. Zadie Smith tackles race, gender and culture so well! A super interesting read!

#25 The Golden Notebook

by Doris Lessing
The Golden Notebook is about a woman who records every aspect of her life in a journal. The book is seen as incredibly political and an exploration of sexual liberalization and the women’s rights movements.

How many have you read? And do you have a book recommendation which aren’t on my list? Let me know!

I thought Emma Watson’s mission to hide copies of Maya Angelou’s “Mom and Me and Mom” on the London underground was amazing! Were you lucky enough to find a copy? Tell me about how you discovered your favourite reads!

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Welcome to my book club, lusties!

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