Cruel Compendium #36 🐢

No regrets, filling the void, and attending the Turtle Party

I’m Jillian Anthony, and this is Cruel Summer Book Club, a newsletter about change and living well. In the Cruel Compendium I send out links to everything I’m reading and thinking about.

Last week I celebrated two years of writing CSBC! AND I announced that the Cruel Summer Book Club podcast launches August 5! I can’t wait to share more details with you. Have a great week!

I’m reading

Diary of a meltdown by Sarah Campbell in her newsletter, Tiny Revolutions. Having a hard time? Why don't you literally interview yourself? I love this conversation between Sarah and herself about going through a mental health rough patch and self-care.

All the bad men and what to do with them by Lyz Lenz in her newsletter, Men Yell at Me. Lyz brilliantly writes about how society’s demand for forgiveness for “bad men” is a tool of oppression.

Simply put, it is not my job to make the world better for abusive people. My job is to make the world better for the victims. Which is why, when people say, “What about forgiveness?” I say you are asking the wrong question. Why are we so worried about the future of this man, when his victims are still suffering? The question answers itself in uncomfortable silence.

Can “bad men” ever change? by Amelia Schonbek. Can face-to-face meetings between a victim and an abuser act as restorative justice?

The gender health gap makes people’s lives hell by Rachel Thompson. Doctors still know so little about recognizing and treating common women’s health issues such as endometriosis and PCOS, and women are expected to simply cope with excruciating pain and years of misdiagnoses.

Womanhood doesn’t have to be so painful by Jill Filipovic

Underlying all of this is an assumption that womanhood, and particularly motherhood — or the avoidance of motherhood, and the desire to have sex for pleasure — demands sacrifice. And surely motherhood, and good parenthood generally, does demand sacrifice — but we don’t have to make that sacrifice wholly unnecessary, offered up simply because that’s what mothers do, and demanded of women even when there are better, less painful options. We don’t have to accept the old story of pain as Biblical punishment for female curiosity and freedom, of physical suffering being indelibly tied to womanhood ever since Eve took a bite of the apple.

Questionable self-care advice

Support system

Vision board


Minerva moment

Her only mood this summer


“Steam” by Leon Bridges. CANNOT GET ENOUGH!

Check out the full CSBC playlist


Cruel compliments

Thanks to everyone who’s excited for the Cruel Summer Book Club podcast! ✨✨✨

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