Risen Favorites of July

(Image Description): Zara's yellow plush sweatshirt, Persephone: Shimmering Sea Salt Spray, and musician Dua Lipa are placed next to each other in a collage. "Risen Favorites of July" is written in yellow and white over the image.

Risen Favorites is a monthly series featuring Risen staff member volunteers who wish to share some of their favorite things from a given month. Topics can include anything from favorite places to favorite photos, favorite teas to favorite soaps. If you have a “favorite” item, place, or even social media account that’s out of this world, DM or email us and we’ll include it! In July, we’re covering music, books, and more. Enjoy!

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Bell Hook’s Feminist Theory: Margin to Centre.
(Image Description: The cover of Bell Hook’s Feminist Theory: Margin to Centre).

Amelia: This month has been spent sitting in coffee shops reading and doodling, and two books have quickly become favourites of mine. The first is Feminist Theory: Margin to Centre by Bell Hooks, which I finished earlier this month. It’s a monumental piece of intersectional feminist writing and one that I learnt a lot from - reminding me that there is so much yet to read, to listen to, to understand when it comes to activism. I would recommend it to anybody wanting to learn more about feminism’s history, its downfalls and how to fill those holes in.

The second book is one that I am still reading: The Power by Naomi Alderman. No spoilers, but it comments on the patriarchy in a unique way and is the perfect mix of sci-fi and politics. Within the first two chapters, it is already more diverse in terms of characters and setting than many proclaimed feminist novels I have read. I am definitely looking forward to finishing this!

Linda McCartney’s: Sixties. (Image Description: A photo of Linda McCartney’s coffee table book, Sixties)

Being a photographer myself, I am endlessly amazed and enthralled by photography books. Recently, in a eclectic coffee and book shop in Cosby, Tennessee, I stumbled across a book of portraits of musicians from the 1960’s taken by Lisa McCartney. I promptly bought the book, and immediately I was in love. The photos, all taken on McCartney's film camera, are deeply intimate and paired with the photographers own recollections of each artist or group featured. Even after multiple reads, I fall in love with the pictures all over again.

Alexis: I didn’t do much this month reading-wise, but I stumbled upon This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales and I fell in love. It’s an amusing coming of age YA novel that I definitely recommend. I didn’t think I’d like it at first because it’s written in first person and I don’t normally like first person, but I loved it with all of my heart. It’s an amazing novel that features a relatable, average teen protagonist who struggles to understand her feelings, something everyone can relate to.


I did happen to find a lot of new (to me) music to listen to. Most of the songs are fairly different, but I love them all equally.

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Musical artist Lorde. (Image Description: Lorde sits in a vehicle, gazing at the camera with her mouth slightly open.)
New Rules - Dua Lipa (which is already mentioned in this article but I have a mini dance party to it every night so it deserves another mention)
White Teeth Teens - Lorde
Straight Outta Oz - Todrick Hall (this is actually an album but every song on this album is amazing in its own way so you should listen to the whole thing)
Sleep Baby Sleep - Broods
You’re the Best - Wet
Dance with Me - Ra Ra Riot
Undercover - Fenech-Soler
Raincoat - Timeflies, Shy Martin

I also watched In a Heartbeat (the animated short) for the first time today and I am so in love with it already. It is an adorable love story told in 4 minutes and I beg you to watch it on Youtube.


This month I found a plethora of new music to vibe out and dance to. These songs and albums range in genre but all of them have a good message and sound behind them.

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Dua Lipa for Billboard Magazine. (Image Description: Musician Dua Lipa in front of a gold background. The billboard logo in white is placed in the bottom right corner.)
There’s Really A Wolf by Russ
Bad Blood by NAO
New Rules by Dua Lipa
Ctrl by SZA (This album came out in June but I still have it on repeat because it is that good)
Ahora Dice by Chris Jeday (feat. J Balvin, Ozuna, & Arcángel)


Persephone: Shimmering Sea Salt Spray. (Image Description: A bottle of Persephone: Shimmering Sea Salt Spray in front of lush, green leaves.)

Summer time is the time for your skin to glow, both naturally and sometimes with a little help. To get the perfect golden glow, I’ve been using the Golden Glow Shimmering Body Scrub and the Persephone Shimmering Sea Salt Spray by The Delicate Fox. The body scrub has oatmeal in it and helps to exfoliate and hydrate my skin in the shower. Because a little goes a long way, this product has been able to last me throughout this entire summer. It paints golden sparkles all over your body so that you glisten in the sun! The spray is great for a quick spritz on your way out the door. It gives you a great golden glow as well.


I used to be someone whose wardrobe almost completely consisted of black, blue, and grey garments. For whatever reason, I considered this cool and would make up outfits out of these three colors each and every day. How I didn’t get bored after a week of this I really don’t know…

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Zara’s plush yellow sweatshirt and yellow plush bermuda shorts. (Image Description: A male model wears a yellow sweatshirt and yellow shorts, standing with hands in pockets. He looks at the camera with little expression.)

This past year or two I’ve been experimenting with a lot more colors and I’m so so happy that I have because just adding more color to my life has made everything else feel so bright. Red and yellow tees, green sweaters, and funky socks have really made fashion so more fun. Some awesome shops I’ve been able to snag some great threads include Zara, Depop, and any local thrift store!

I’d definitely encourage anyone to try to find something colorful to add to their wardrobe, whether it’s a jacket, t-shirt, or even a bracelet. You’d be surprised how much of an impact it could have!