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Well-Read Women: Reese Lansangan

Well-Read Women: Reese Lansangan

Here for the Well-Read Women series is one of our favorite bookworms, Reese Lansangan!

Reese is a pop-folk singer-songwriter, musician, visual artist, author, and multi-awarded creative from Manila. Last October, she released Playing Pretend in the Interim, an EP that explores different personas and hyper-specific situations through songs. The EP was recorded entirely from home. Listen to her music on Youtube, Spotify, Apple Music, and everywhere else. Support her best at patreon.com/reeselansangan.

Why she thinks it's important to read women

"Despite our progress, it's important to read women at a time when we are STILL fighting for equality in many different ways. Being aware of the varied experiences of women from different walks of life informs how we react to, interact with, and move about the world. It opens our eyes to the injustices and struggles that are still present and are asking to be fought for. Reading helps us solidify our convictions and pushes us to use our voice & amplify our own advocacies."

Check out her recommended reads!

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Here’s a book I finished in a salon while having my hair done. Needless to say, I was left weeping in my chair, with foil on my hair. This book was gifted to me on my 18th birthday, by an older cousin of mine who loved to read. Amy Tan creates beautiful and complicated family portraits of multi-generational Chinese women, in a language that’s gentle, colorful, and vivid. I lined up for Amy’s book signing when she went to Manila a few years ago. She signs each flyleaf with Joy + Luck.  It’s perfect.


Little Weirds by Jenny Slate

After this book, Jenny Slate has become one of my favorite women. I am mad in love with her writing voice because it’s completely weird and kooky and painful and uniquely her own. She describes the little delights and deep valleys of life in unthinkable metaphors that hit the gut hard. How I wish I could see the world the way she does.


Intimations by Zadie Smith

I read this pandemic book in quarantine and what a special book it is. It perfectly puts to words all my anxieties and struggles as a professional creative whose suddenly confronted with what seems to be an infinite amount of time. I love how I’m reading a beautiful piece of work about our current time, which we still (in many ways) haven’t escaped yet. 


St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell

My favorite thing to read are short story collections, and this one was my first Russel. She took my breath away. Her imagination is powerful and mythical yet all the emotions so real and visceral. I would love to live in a conch-shell shaped world tinged with Karen Russell magic.


In the Country by Mia Alvar

I picked this up initially because the hardcover version was stunning. I came out carrying stories highlighting the struggles of the Filipino working class who often toil abroad seeking for a better life for their family. Each short story plays out like fast, intense teleseryes that you have a complete grasp of, despite all the layers of moral complexities. 


Blue Horses by Mary Oliver

Too often I get intimidated by poetry but Mary Oliver reads like a prayer. She writes with so much reverence for nature that it makes you stop and all of what this world holds that you’re ignoring. I cherish the way she celebrates life through her keen observations in stunning poetry.

You can find Reese on youtube.com/reeselansangan, and @reeseypeasy on Twitter and InstagramSupport her best at patreon.com/reeselansangan.

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