Isolation Reading List with Carly Findlay aka @carlyfindlay
I’m Carly Findlay - I’m a writer, speaker, appearance activist, cheese lover and keen Obus wearer. I mostly write about appearance diversity and disability issues, but I also enjoy writing about fashion and fandom.
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I’ve had more time to write in isolation, which has been nice, because all of my speaking events have been postponed. I’ve been loving reading more too - I listen to audiobooks while I work, and make time to read a paperback a few times a week.
I almost only read work by women writers - I really enjoy contemporary fiction, young adult fiction and memoir. I try to read from diverse women, and the own voices movement is important to me (when a person from a diverse group writes about their own experience). The only male writer I’ve read this year has been Yotam Ottoleghi’s Simple - which I’m learning (and cooking) a lot from!
Here are some of my recommended reads...
The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks
A middle grade fiction book that took me back to the joy I felt reading when I was 11 years old. It’s about blended families and refugees, featuring Fred - a wonderfully smart and empathetic young feminist protagonist. I was lucky to launch her book online this week, and I was very proud!
Good Selfie by Turia Pitt
This is a body positive guide to loving what you look like! Turia’s a wonderful role model - so relatable and funny. I really think it’s important young people are exposed to diverse faces, and also to be equipped with the skills in self love and respect, and this is a perfect book to do that.
The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke
A memoir of growing up as an African Australian in white suburbia in the 1980s and 1990s. It’s an important book talking about Maxine’s experiences of racism. Maxine is one of Australia’s best poets and memoirists - and I’m lucky to call her a friend and mentor.
Growing Up African in Australia - Black Inc Books
This is an anthology of stories by African Australians - I’m proud to be a contributor. I love that the stories are so diverse - from going to church to playing football to loving your body. You’ll also find stories from Candy Bowers, Faustina Agolley, Hope Muthambu, Santilla Chingaipe, Khalid Warsame, Nyadol Nyuon, Tariro Mavondo and many, many more.
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
A sneaky addition of an American writer! Know My Name is Chanel’s memoir of navigating the legal system after being raped by a college student in 2015. It took my breath away - both how gut wrenching her words are, and also how much light she brings. Chanel and I became friends when we met at the All About Women festival at the Sydney Opera House in March - it was one of the last events each of us did before COVID-19 ground all events to a halt.
SAY HELLO by Carly Findlay
Last year my first book, Say Hello, was released. It’s a memoir and manifesto about living with a facial difference and how I have found pride in my appearance, despite discrimination from others.
ABOUT CARLY FINDLAY
Carly Findlay is a blogger, writer, speaker and appearance activist. She challenges people’s thinking about what it’s like to have a visibly different appearance.