Brooke Baldwin is a well-known news anchor for CNN, as well as a woman’s rights advocate. Baldwin has been at CNN since 2008. But has announced since the release of Huddle, that she is leaving her position at the network this month. Baldwin has never released a book before this year, but she is well known for being a fantastic news anchor and feminist. So, I felt I just had to read this one and let you all know if it’s worth it.
So, what is Huddle even about?
According to Brooke, this new book is a feminist guide to how “women unlock their collective power.” The book follows Baldwin’s accounts of interviews with women across the US on the strength of feminists who work together. There are also many personal tales from Baldwin on her own experiences growing up as a woman, working in a male-dominated field, and her own account of how what she calls “huddling” can be an invaluable resource for everyone.
I decided to read this book for a few reasons. The main reason was that I wanted to research female friendship, in preparation for an article I’ve been working on about the stereotype of women ‘not getting along’ (which will be coming out soon). I also thought that researching womanhood and friendship would be beneficial for my personal life. Lastly, because I force myself to read at least one book that will improve my mind for every young adult novel I read, which is a method I recommend for all avid readers.
Highlights and lowlights:
Here is a list of my favorite and least favorite moments from Huddle:
- Highlight: Baldwin’s account of her experience with the 2017 D.C. women’s march. Her description of being overwhelmed by the power of so many passionate female protesters is compelling, and her feelings of emotional whiplash from being present for the 2017 inauguration is relatable. Her energy in this section of the book is palpable.
- Highlight: The individual interviews with Karlie Kloss and Hello Sunshine employees. The thoughtful descriptions of the environment and mannerisms of these women make the book colorful. These women are a privilege to learn about across the board. So inspiring!
- Highlight: Baldwin’s description of her own huddle. While it may not be the most relatable to climb Kilimanjaro with your girlfriends, Baldwin’s sections on her own experience with huddling are heartwarming. It’s touching to read something so personal from such a powerful woman presence.
- Highlight: Any moments that include educating young ladies. Baldwin’s description of Kode with Klossy participants is heartwarming and inspiring. Hearing about their accomplishments made me want to learn to code myself! I also thoroughly enjoyed Baldwin discuss Reese Witherspoon’s program for aspiring directors. Giving young girls the tools to tell their story is a cause worth fighting for.
- Lowlight: Occasionally, Baldwin’s personal anecdotes feel irrelevant. The book features one too many accounts of struggles from Baldwin’s youth, or issues with her work life. The anecdotes seem to go nowhere or are only slightly relevant. This may be a symptom of being new to writing books, so I’ll let it slide.
- Lowlight: Misleading Epilogue. The final section of the book is titled “How to Find Your Huddle.” This is a pretty misleading title, as the main focus is just a compressed takeaway from the book. The epilogue is also pretty redundant. This section really only reiterates points that have already been made. I wanted to read it but I ended up quitting because it was so boring! She had already covered these points, word for word. I was hoping for something more passionate than a summary.
So what did I think of Huddle?
At first, I had my doubts about this book, with the cheesy smiling photo of Baldwin being the only decorum on the front cover. The main concern was that the book would not be genuine, or that it would be devoid of genuine care for the topic. It’s also one of those books that only has its own reviews on the back, instead of a summary about the book’s content. That kind of covering format can be kind of a buzzkill for me when it comes to picking out my next read, but I persevered nonetheless.
However, in the end, this read is absolutely worth it. After reading this, I wished I could make all my other girlfriends read it too. The lessons you learn in this book are powerful, and I wish I could scream them from the rooftops. I do not exaggerate when I say this book has changed how I see myself and how I take care of my friendships. Huddle is a fantastic read across the board, and I absolutely recommend it as your next non-fiction read. You won’t regret it.
For all who may be interested, here is a link to the Kode with Klossy website. Anyone can get involved or even apply to participate in the free program (depending on your age)!
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