April 2024 Reads for the Rest of Us

Each month, we provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups.

Here are 25 fantastic books releasing this month that we recommend you dig into. There are stunning debuts, masterful historical fiction, kaleidoscopic short stories, thoughtful manifestas, moving memoirs, groundbreaking nonfiction, and so much more.

From The Vault: Joan Little and The Dialectics of Rape (June 1975)

“A little more than 100 years ago … rape served not only to further [the Black woman’s] oppression but also as a means of terrorizing the entire Black community. It placed brutal emphasis on the fact that Black slaves were indeed the property of the white master. … The social incentive given to rape is woven into the logic of the institutions of this society. It is an extremely efficient means of keeping women in a state of fear of rape, or of the possibility of it.”

( For more ground-breaking stories like this, order 50 YEARS OF Ms.: THE BEST OF THE PATHFINDING MAGAZINE THAT IGNITED A REVOLUTION (Alfred A. Knopf)—a collection of the most audacious, norm-breaking coverage Ms. has published.)

Murder-Suicides Are an Urgent Domestic Violence and Gun Control Issue

Theresa Cachuela, known as “Bunny Bontiti” to her more than 20,000 Instagram followers, was fatally shot on Dec. 22 in a murder-suicide committed by her husband, as her young daughter looked on, just days after a judge granted Cachuela a restraining order against him. Cachuela is one of hundreds of murder-suicide victims each year.

Highlighting the connection between guns and domestic violence is crucial, with the Supreme Court currently considering the case of United States v. Rahimi, a Second Amendment challenge to the government’s right to ban gun permits for those subject to domestic violence restraining orders.

Barbie’s Existential Crisis and the Fight for Reproductive Justice

Some will call it sacrilege for us to compare Barbie, a film that appears to celebrate artificiality and superficiality, with the deeply noir multiple award-winning film many say is the greatest of all time, Citizen Kane. However, we suggest that both films are owed acclaim for the risks their directors took in broaching the most anxiety-provoking of all human concerns: death. 

Barbie the doll depicts the central thesis of our work as feminist social psychologists: that fear of death that undergirds the control of women and their bodies, and women’s own efforts to conform to societal expectations for their bodily control.

The Constitution as a Homicide Pact

The facts of U.S. v. Rahimi reveal the gendered and destructive reality of gun use behind the illusion of abstract, idealized self-defense.

Every 14 hours in the U.S., a man uses a gun to kill his intimate partner. Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable. But the Supreme Court’s conservative commitment to “life” is highly selective, to put it mildly, and tends to value women’s lives—including those of domestic violence victims—very little. We can expect the Court’s ruling to come down in June or July of 2024.

Reads for the Rest of Us: The Most Anticipated Feminist Books of 2023

I have spent the last few months scouring catalogs and websites, receiving hundreds of books and even more emails from authors, publicists and publishers, reading your book Tweets and DMs, all to find out what books are coming out in 2023 that I think you, my exceptional, inquisitive and discerning Ms readers, will want to hear about. 

Here’s your TBR (to be read) for the year. Enjoy!

‘Gray Love’: Yes, Older People Have Desires

Gray Love: Stories About Dating and New Relationships After 60 showcases men and women’s own voices, showing the nitty-gritty headiness of first dates, the joy of getting to know someone’s history, politics and quirks, and the inevitability of decline.

Nan Bauer-Maglin, co-editor, says it’s rare for books about love to intertwine with aging. “I hope that younger readers will learn that older people have desires and still want to date and have romantic relationships. I hope that they will see that older people do not want to spend the rest of their lives longing for a person who is no longer there.”

January 2023 Reads for the Rest of Us

Each month, I provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups. Here’s to a new year and, hopefully, a better one for us all. I wish you a year of peace, collectivity, good health, bountiful joy and, of course, fantastic reading! You can start with these 33 titles that I am most excited about this month. 

Denying Access to Abortion Is Femicide

It has been just over two years since the imposition of a near-total ban on abortion across Poland. The ban removed almost all conditions in which a woman can access abortion care, leaving millions of women in the dark when it comes to deciding what happens to their bodies. 

It is more critical than ever that we stand up to support access to life-saving abortion care, especially those with the power to liberalize laws. There are millions of lives depending on it. 

In Iran, the Resistance Continues

Earlier this month, a few major news outlets erroneously reported that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran had abolished the morality police—the infamous government body in Iran designed to harass and control women for such crimes as wearing an improper hijab or walking in public with a male friend. But it seems the news of its death has been greatly exaggerated.

The eyes of the world are on Iran. That’s why it’s crucial, Dr. Yalda Hamidi, assistant professor of gender and women’s studies at Minnesota State University, warned, not to “pay attention to what a single Iranian politician does” but “what people are doing and reporting, despite internet shutdowns and censorship.”