At some point during grad school, my nascent feminist tendencies took off and bloomed. Since I hadn't really read anything about gender issues or feminism before, I have really been enjoying reading some books in a totally new topic area.
I first noticed Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein at a Barnes & Noble but, since I have I-Spend-Too-Much-On-Books-Already-itis, I didn't pick it up. I requested it from the library instead! And I waited forever - apparently it is a hot read.
Cinderella Ate My Daughter is basically a crash course in, as the cover says, "girly-girl culture" and how it's affecting both girls and boys even into adulthood. It is definitely an overview book as opposed to a deep, academic study of a particular aspect of gender, but that is really ok. Some of it was really instructional, some of it I already knew, and some of it scared the ever living heck out of me. I particularly liked that Orenstein gave us anecdotes about her own experiences raising a daughter, because the book is they type of book that can benefit from anecdotal evidence without losing credibility. Peggy Orenstein writes mostly about girls and their development, but I haven't read anything else by her. What this book really prompted me to do was request the entire sources list from the library system (library plug - we have nearly all of them!)
I strongly recommend this for someone who is interested in gender roles, or anyone who plans on having children and isn't really satisfied with the options for girls. It's an easy read but very good.