Exponent Holiday Gift Guide

Still wondering what to get your favorite Mormon feminist for Christmas? We’re here to help.

From Exponent’s Own Shop

 Illuminating Ladies: A Coloring Book of Mormon Women. $12.95 Molly Cannon Hadfield (illustrator) and Aimee Hickman (editor). This book boasts 25 gorgeous illustrations and full-page bios with smart, faithful words about smart, faithful women. It’s genuinely perfect for Mo Fems of all ages.

 Mo Fem Sticker Set of 6. $3.95 The stickers are both tender and funny, and at 3″ in diameter, make the perfect stocking stuffer. My favorites are “I know Heavenly Mother loves me” and “Chieko is my patronus.”

 Print or Electronic Subscriptions to the Magazine. $35.00 or $12.00/year, respectfully. Exponent II has a beautiful, rich history of publishing and preserving the words of Mormon women, like the Women’s Exponent before it. Support helps this legacy continue.

 

For Mini (and Not So Mini) MoFems

In addition to our coloring book, for mini (and not so mini) Mo Fems, we also suggest:

Baptism and BoomerangsBaptism and Boomerangs $13.28 Sherrie Gavin (author) and Tatiana Lawton (illustrator). This is especially perfect for a girl of (or nearing) baptism age. The story has a refreshing international focus, and both the author and illustrator are women outside of the US. Also refreshing is the inclusion of the phrase “Heavenly Parents.”

Better Days 2020 Prints. $17.00 Brooke Smart (artist). Do you know about Better Days 2020 yet? If not, you should know about it. It’s dedicated to celebrating and teaching about the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment as well as Utah’s suffrage history, starting 50 whole years prior. Right now there are gorgeous prints for sale of suffrage leaders, Susan B. Anthony and Emmeline B. Wells. They have the best details.

Fourth Wave Apparel. ~$2.62-$22.50 Noelle. Fourth Wave Apparel offers apparel and goods for babies, toddlers, youth, and women or unisex with feminist friendly slogans, including “Votes for Women,” “We Should All be Feminists,” “Future…Doctor, President, Mermaid,” and “Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum.” (I don’t normally love graphic tees, and want them all.)

Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Courageous Women from the BibleGirls Who Choose God: Stories of Courageous Women from the Bible $17.99 and Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Strong Women from the Book of Mormon $18.99 McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding (authors) Kathleen Peterson (illustrator). These are some of the books that I’m most grateful my daughter and son are growing up with. The words and art are so beautiful and thoughtful, and make me tear up almost every time I open the pages. Girls (and boys) deserve to hear stories of faithful women.

Little Q, Q. Noor’s temple, baptism, and blessing dresses. $55.00-$68.00 These dresses are keepsake quality and very, very pretty. They’re the exact kind you’d want to hang on to.

 

Nativity Print Nativity Print $25.00 Annie K. Blake. Annie’s art is one of the only things that has made sense over the last two years. This print highlighting Mary and her babe, Jesus, is particularly perfect this time of year. Check out more of her available art, here.

 We Brave Women Cards. $20.00 Ashley Mae Hoiland. Ash Mae’s work is always beautiful and brave making, and this set of 60 cards is no exception. Each card features a hand-drawn/hand-painted portrait of a different brave woman or girl from around the world, as well as corresponding stories, facts, and quotes. Check out more of her art and writing, here, including temple prints and a beautifully illustrated nativity book.

 Young Women Posters. $12.99 Natalie Hansen Jonas. These posters are stunning, and feature strong, smart young women (which is to say realistic young women), including strong, smart young women of color. While I love them all, the posters for knowledge and integrity are my favorites.

 

More General Feminist Recommendations for Girls

 Bravery Magazine. $18.00/issue or $72.00 recurring. Eylse and Ashley, with incredible art from Brooke Smart. This magazine is new, and has a wonderful focus for dreamers and doers. The first issue highlights Jane Goodall, and shares about her work and life. Each additional issue will highlight another brave woman.

Good Night Stories for Rebel GirlsGood Night Stories for Rebel Girls. $35.00 Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. This bedtime (and other time) book tells stories about 50 rebel women, starting with mathematician, Ada Lovelace and ending with architect, Zaha Hadid. One of my favorite parts is that each woman’s story is illustrated by a different female artist. (A friend and fellow Mormon woman, Michelle Christiansen Bullough, illustrated the page for Yoko Ono!).

Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! (City Lights/Sister Spit)Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! $12.12 and Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History $12.79. Kate Schatz (author) and Miriam Klein Stahl (illustrator). In each book, one woman is highlighted for each letter of the alphabet. (I’m sure those curating decisions were hard, hard.) My 4 year old daughter and I both love the black and white illustrations set against the bright, solid color backdrops. They also have post cards!

To All The Little Girls empowering 2018 calendar. $15.00 Miriam Walther. This calendar was made by a Mormon mom of girls, who wanted to inspire them, then realized it was for other girls, too.  It’s full of thoughtful quotes by female leaders and tender, hand-drawn cartoons.

 

Books Published in the Last Year

At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint WomenAt the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women. $29.27 Jennifer Reeder and Kate Holbrook (editors). This book was published by the Church Historian’s Press, and is pure gold. Mormon women have been using their voices for a long time, and have powerfully contributed to LDS history.

The Book of LamanThe Book of Laman. $9.95 Mette Harrison. I expected that this book would give me more charity for Laman. What I wasn’t expecting, was that it would also give me more charity for everyone else as well, including Nephi. I appreciate the story she tells to frame things, and really appreciate the named women! With speaking parts!

The Burning Point: A Memoir of Addiction, Destruction, Love, Parenting, Survival, and HopeThe Burning Point: A Memoir of Addiction, Destruction, Love, Parenting, Survival, and Hope. $12.95 Tracy McKay. There is a lot of sorrow in this book, but there is also a lot of kindness, and the very best of Mormonism. You see Tracy’s ward offer meaningful service, and you see Tracy herself. She loves, and loves, and loves. As she reminds, the opioid epidemic touches all of us, whether we know it or not.

The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap. $19.78 Mehrsa Baradaran. Mehrsa is one of the smartest Mormon women out there, as well as a national voice on banking law. Be sure to check out her first book, How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy $22.32.

A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women's Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870. $17.45 Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. I very luckily got to hear Laurel read from (and talk about) this book at a New York City bookstore. She is so, so good at telling women’s stories from tiny details and journal entries.

Messages on the WaterMessages on the Water. $7.00 Merrijane Rice. I haven’t read this yet (it’s on my own wish list), but am including it here because it’s been recommended by so many people I trust.

Mother's MilkMother’s Milk: Poems in Search of Heavenly Mother. $8.96 Rachel Hunt Steenblik (author) and Ashley Mae Hoiland (illustrator). Of course I’m biased here, but what I can say quite honestly, is that I gave the best that I have on earthly and divine mothering, and that I asked Ashley Mae to illustrate because I love her and her work. I’ve been delighted that her simple, perfect line drawings have opened up the poems to younger and younger people.
Seasons of Change: Stories of Transition from the Writers of Segullah.Seasons of Change: Stories of Transition from the Writers of Segullah $14.87 Sandra Clark Jergensen and Shelah Mastny Miner (editors). They wanted to look at those tiny, big moments of women’s lives, when they’re on the brink of change. The pieces are organized by wide themes (welcome, cycle, acceptance, reversal, etc.), and touch on many types of transitions (births, deaths, job loss, divorce, moves, menopause, etc.).  Some pieces resonated with me more than others, but overall, the writing (and content) is exquisite.
Third Wheel: Peculiar Stories of Mormon Women in Love Third Wheel: Peculiar Stories of Mormon Women in Love. $9.95 Melissa Leilani Larson. If you have not read (or watched) these plays, please run to go get them. They make up some of the best writing I read all year, and I am pretty sure they made me cry and laugh in equal measure. The first play in particular, really, really moved me.

 

Books Published in the Last Few Years

 


Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons: Finding the Lord's Lessons in Everyday Life Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons: Finding the Lord’s Lessons in Everyday Life. $21.99 Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes. Funny, smart, and honest, the Sistas in Zion are always worth listening to. (If you don’t follow them on Twitter, you should.) For a full review of their book, look here.

The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women's History The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History $49.95. Jill Mulvay Derr, Carol Cornwall Madsen, Kate Holbrook, and Matthew Grow. This book is another published by The Church Historian’s Press, and is a reason to cheer. It contains original documents, starting with the Nauvoo period, and includes Eliza R. Snow’s excellent minutes from the first Relief Society– unabridged, for the first time in print!

Letters to a Young Mormon, Second Edition Letters to a Young Mormon, Second Edition. $9.99 Adam Miller. The print edition will be ready January 1st, co-published by the Maxwell Institute and Deseret Book. The first edition of this book remains one of my favorite Mormon books. Rumor is this one has two new letters.

Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings. $19.93 Joanna Brooks, Rachel Hunt Steenblik, and Hannah Wheelwright (editors). I’m also biased here, but believe strongly in Joanna Brooks’ words that “Mormon women coming of age need to hold in their hands the wealth of perspective and knowledge of these last four decades of Mormon feminism,” and “This work has value, and something about a book conveys value.”

One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly: The Art of Seeking God One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly: The Art of Seeking God. $11.12 Ashley Mae Hoiland. It’s hard to describe this book, as it’s part spiritual memoir and part tiny, poem like stories. What is easy to say is that it belongs to the Maxwell Institute’s Living Faith Series, was their first ever manuscript by a woman, and made me cry on almost every page. The writing (as well as the themes written about) are remarkably beautiful.

The Witness of Women: Firsthand Experiences and Testimonies from the RestorationThe Witness of Women: Firsthand Experiences and Testimonies from the Restoration. $18.99 Janiece Johnson and Jenny Reeder (editors). This resource offers many brief, first-person perspectives by early Latter-day Saint women, and is organized by topic to make it as accessible for teaching and learning purposes as possible.

When Mormons Doubt: A Way to Save Relationships and Seek a Quality Life When Mormons Doubt: A Way to Save Relationships and Seek a Quality Life. $7.99 This book is appropriate for Mormons along the faith and attendance spectrum, and  was written by the spouse of one of our bloggers. She said, “If you’ve left the church (or are questioning, or have left parts of it behind) it articulates a moral framework based on the classical virtues of truth, beauty, and goodness. If you haven’t left the church, but you have loved ones who have, it helps navigate conversations about morality in a safe and loving way.”

From Mormon Women We Love 

 

 Adobe House Vintage. ~$28.00-$128.00 Aimee. Vintage Southwestern and Mexican jewelry, curated with love and taste.

 

 A Shop About Love. ~$45.00-$185.00 Mara (and Danny) Kofoed. Are you familiar with their blog About Love? They have so much wisdom, experience, and love. They just opened up a shop with the prettiest, ethically made products.

 

 HavenTree Winter Box. $49.00 Tresa Edmunds and Meredith Hutchison Hartley. HavenTree is a self care shop. Their boxes (both by quarterly subscription and not) are curated with craft kits, gorgeous journals and stationary, luxurious personal care items, yummy treats, and anxiety-reducing tools and strategies and problem solving items to help with health and personal care.

Teesies and Left of Provo. ~$18.00-$21.00 Libby Boss. Humorous baby (and other) things, and Mormon feminist (and liberal) things. You’ll notice a similar graphic to one of Exponent II’s most popular Mo Fem sticker. <3

YA Fantasy and Science Fiction Books. $2.99 Sara Cassalino. These books come highly recommended by two of our bloggers. The protagonists are female, and they have leadership roles.

 

From Feminists and Friends of Other Faiths, We Also Love

Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay (I SPEAK FOR MYSELF) Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay. $12.20 Gina Messina-Dysert, Jennifer Zobair, and Amy Levin (editors). This book features one of the Exponent blog’s co-founders on the cover, as well as in one brief essay in the book. (It is so beautiful and made me cry and cry.) I adore Nancy’s review about the whole book, here.

The Middle of Things: Essays The Middle of Things: Essays. $15.00 Meghan Florian. This book is at the top of my own Christmas wish list. Meghan is a master of the essay, and her writing has (I believe rightly) been compared to Annie Dillard, Anne Lamott, and Virginia Woolf.  I love what one reviewer said: “She ambles from Kierkegaard to Radiohead and back again without ever losing track of her central question: how do I make–and furnish–a meaningful life?”

Race and the Making of the Mormon PeopleRace and the Making of the Mormon People. $32.50 Max Perry Mueller. Max studied at Harvard with Exponent II, founding mother and Pulitzer Prize winner, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. His offering is an important book on an important topic. He’ll be chatting with April on Exponent’s podcast about his writing (and faith journey) soon!

Reframing the House: Constructive Feminist Global Ecclesiology for the Western Evangelical Church Reframing the House: Constructive Feminist Global Ecclesiology for the Western Evangelical Church. $25.00 Jennifer Buck. Jen did appear on an episode of Exponent’s newish podcast with April, and it is an incredibly inspiring and moving listen. Please check it (and this book) out.

 

While this list is quite extensive, I know that it’s missing many worthwhile things. What are you gifting, and what would you add?

Rachel

Rachel is a PhD student in Philosophy of Religion and Theology at Claremont Graduate University. She co-edited _Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings_ with Joanna Brooks and Hannah Wheelwright. She is also a lover of all things books and bikes.

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16 Responses

  1. Mary says:

    You could list my latest essay collection: Mr Mustard Plaster and Other Mormon Essays

  2. Kate says:

    Great list! Thank you for compiling and sharing all this.

    I would add “The Polygamous Wives’ Writing Club” by Paula Kelly Harline. https://www.amazon.com/Polygamous-Wives-Writing-Club-Diaries/dp/019934650X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1513206214&sr=8-1&keywords=polygamous+wives+writing+club

  3. Heather says:

    This list is great! I’d add this book by Exponentian Robin Baker https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Peace-Child-Chooses-Another/dp/1462116477

  4. Audrey Saxton says:

    Why are all the best gifts for MoFems books? I guess it just goes to show that we are a well educated bunch!

  5. Rachel Sargent says:

    My library has just been slammed with hold requests. (and I will soon be completely overwhelmed with books to read, yay!) Thank you for this great list!

  6. Caroline Kline says:

    This is amazing! Thank you, Rachel!

  7. Kimberly Cooke says:

    Have you read The Encore by Charity Tillman-Dick yet? It was my favorite book of 2017.

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