My best readings of 2023

December is upon us and it is time to budget, Spotify's Wrapped has already come out, our Google Images will soon make the synthesis of our best moments of the year: in short, the time for nostalgia or that insidious desire to go has arrived forward and be guided by the curiosity of a new year. 

Finally, the moment of the top ten of the best readings of this 2023 has also arrived, of which I am very satisfied, especially for the invaluable quantity of writers who helped me to weave the plots of my life.

But ban on ciance, below the list of the most beautiful books for me read this year, in decreasing order, from position number 10 to pole position. 

10 - Little things related to sin by Lorena Spampinato.
This book has brought me back over the years, to when I was a teenager, to discover the body revealed through the body of others, to discover the male desire sealed by the courtship, by the validation, by the unstoppable sense of exceling, rivaling with friends. If it cannot be mine then it cannot even be yours. If it cannot be mine then I will say who you really are, only a little good. Set in a summer of the sea in a small town in Sicily, immersive, relating to our historical and teenage memory. "He would never think about how sad he can be - ridiculous, desperate - one summer morning when you are only girls".

9 - Drug by Almudena Sanchez

This is the autobiographical story of the writer who, with sentimental and ironic tones together, tells of her mental disorders. I think there is so much need for female narratives that speak open and boundlessly of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, sessions by a psychotherapist or a psychiatrist. The strength of the Memoir is not so much in the sense of identification, in the feeling of belonging to the same emotional sphere of the narrated event, is rather in the representation. We need more women represented, of more women with represented mental diseases, to make the guilty induced by those next to us less and less intense - we are not less strong, we are also fragile.

8 - The last nomadic by Shugri Said Salh

I was fascinated, enchanted and transported to the atmospheres described by Shugri in this book in which he tells his life, starting from the childhood spent in the Somali desert together with his grandmother who was part of a nomadic tribe. There is all the space of Somalia, the art of surviving in the desert, the greatest teaching that here - with western eyes and colonialists - we never manage to grasp in full, which is to feel lucky with abundance and The much of everything we possess and live. Shugri is a happy girl in the desert with her grandmother, who has handed down the traditions, the knowledge of the most ferocious animals, the stars in the sky, the songs and the dances around the fire in the evening. Somalia, however, is a country in extreme difficulty. Soon, a dictator who will bring the Somali people to a bloody civil war will go to power. Shugri, after a tiring journey to the South together with part of his family, finally manages to escape to Canada, to then settle in California. The narrative, by contrast, moves to America, where the nights in the desert seem a distant memory, never forgotten. Sweet, intimate, to be read with the most deconstructed gaze possible.

7 - Alleys of memory by Conceicao Evaristo

Maria lives in a favela from Brazil and goes to school happy to go there when, with the arrogance and violence that and distinguishes us, the white masters send a mandate of demolition of the barracks. This text collects the stories seen by Mary's eyes, women, men, children, domestic, prostitutes, thieves, any people, who live in misery, dirt, without water, people who see their homes collapse, the zinc and that wood reduced to nothing. But there is never a real end if there is the community. The narrative gives us back the sense of community but above all the awareness of how bad colonization has done and how evil it continues to make white supremoticism, continuously forgetting the value of the life of every human being who was born in this world.

6 - The small virtues by Natalia Ginzburg.

It is a collection of stories in which Ginzburg gives his best. One of the most powerful writers of our twentieth century, one of the best, intimate, of those that with the words know how to go down deeply, collect it and return to the surface with the best images. Here are collected of the occasional writings, composed between 1944 and 1960, and the author reflects on relations, affections, on society in general. "That was the best time of my life and only now that it has escaped me forever, only now I know." I would say that we could all feel represented by this sentence. 

5 - Life elsewhere by Guadalupe Nettel.

I madly love Nettel's narration: this that I recommend is a collection of stories that has at the center the theme of the wanders that navigate within us, they push to go out, sometimes they peep out eager for air, presupposing more oxygen above the cellars in which we relegate them. All those of ours "I" who buried because even just to think of making them live, even just to imagine an other perspective, we die a little. Maybe we would die of wonder for really. There is a particular image that I believe I will never forget: the power of the wings of an Albatros. You will get out of reading this book with a boundless desire to see a documentary on the Albatros wings. Power, familiarity with nature, with the essential element. Where everything seems functional to proceed, while we humans sometimes stop, we set ourselves, we only know how to imagine a life elsewhere, failing to see life here anymore.

4 - Dear asshole by Virginie Despentes.

Despentes is one of the most dissident French contemporary voices in writing. Sometimes desecrating, sometimes scandalous, considered too much or excessive or related to a certain type of radical feminism, but still a thought that manages to report certain issues - the social ones, those of the rights - in the right point at the right time in the right light. The characters of this book are three and their well -settled stories, designed according to the rigorous axiom of the narrative order. Two protagonists women, an adult and a teenager, a disillusioned or interpreter of the reality of women and the other feminist, and a man, at the center of a complicated accusation. “And today I don't give me respite. I know well that important things are happening in the world ", including the collective awareness of gender violence. It would be nice to write our dear asshole. 

3 - On the side of her by Alba de Cespedes.

Since I read for the first time ProoIbito notebook, Alba de Cespedes has entered the podium of my favorite Italian writers on the podium ever. His writing is at the same time testimony and bridge. De Cespedes tells us - sometimes challenging the fascist censorship - the role of women during and after the Second World War. Thanks to his books we are able to reconstruct small dramas, everyday life, intimacy, falling in love, hopes, rethinking of city women. De Cespedes tells a lot about the women of Rome, the small bourgeois, of the desire to find a space that - albeit confined only to the love one - is as sincere, clean as possible, adhering to one's feeling. I could not help but be on her side, because I cannot help but be from a certain part of the story, by a certain part of the genre, from a certain part where the heart beats strong, where the story does not cease The reality, where expressing itself is an opportunity to claim itself and where the attempts to explain the depth of the soul remain nothing but a miserable illusion. Perhaps the ending remains the most unexpected, not googled to not have spoilers. 

2 - Memoirs of a respectable girl by Simone de Beauvoir.
I still remember the days of the Easter holidays, under the covers of the bed in my child's room, to read without ever being able to stop this text by De Beauvoir. I still don't know what part of me his narrative has spoken so long, what emotion set in the memories has intercepted, I only know that if you are looking for a book in which to mirror your adolescence that shatters to make room for a certain type Of adult, this narrative is powerful, inclement, vivid, true as only the autobiographies manage to narrate. A concert of proximity, waiting, promiscuity, reading memories is a dip where everything is really blue. 

1 - Girl's by Melissa Febos

My favorite without any doubt. I had to try to write something sensible today perhaps I would like to have the ability of febos to draw on staff to make you wise, to make it politics, to make it revolution. It speaks of adolescence, of women's body, violence, abuse, trauma, isolation, shame, and speaks of it from the point of view of those who have never known what to do with their own body, of their own flesh, of own feelings, of their own torments. Certain experiences unite us, we pass them on as in a perfect relay, but it seems that the finish never comes, it seems that we are always destined to run, exchange the witness from hand, to have our eyes back to not forget the road made, and turn The gaze then forward again, to discover the piece that is missing. Currently infinite. This book is for anyone who wants to understand a little more. I will not forget it easily. 

In producing this list I realized how merciless the top tens are, they force you to make a sorting considered on the millimeter, to remember in detail the combination of writing and emotion of the moment. I can therefore say that I have left many other readings that I would recommend and that maybe I will recommend on other occasions.
I also preferred not to indicate non -fiction texts, but many thoughts and theoretical of feminist politics such as Bell Hooks, Audre Lord, Angela Davis and many others have kept me company, remembering the meaning of the community and being in the world. 

I hope my proposals can intrigue you and above all I wish you happy birthday for the imminent Christmas holidays and for the new year. Because a book can always accompany you!


Clara Marziale

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