Book Reviews, Podcast Shownotes

[61] What Renee Read in January 2020

An informal new solo series reviewing everything FBC founder Renee reads each month.
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Mentioned in this episode:

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes

Genres: Science Fiction, Humor, Space Opera
Read if you like: Firefly (TV), Becky Chambers (author), Gods of Jade and Shadow but want more inter-species sex and cursing.
Also of note: This is a Latinx own voices book and is great for learning some colorful Spanish slang.
FBC rating: 4 stars

One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul

Genres: Memoir, Essays, Humor
Read if you like: Roxane Gay (author), The Mindy Project (TV), immigration narratives
Also of note: This book was featured on our Intersectional Bookshelf episode.
FBC rating: 3.5 stars

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Genres: Nonfiction, Epistolary books, Novella
Read if you like: Exceptionally charming books about books, Dorothy Parker (poet), What Should I Read Next (podcast)
Also of note: Perfect for a rainy weekend morning, as it’s only 120 pages or so.
FBC rating: 4 stars

A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Jonestown by Julia Scheeres

Genres: Nonfiction, History, True Crime, Psychology, Cults
Read if you like: Creepy cult stuff, Educated by Tara Westover, Leah Remini’s Scientology and the Aftermath (TV)
Also of note: Julia Scheeres grew up in a fundamentalist church and has written a memoir about the experience called Jesus Land.
FBC rating: 4.5 stars

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Genres: Contemporary fiction
Read if you like: learning how to be a better ally, strong female friendships, Orange is the New Black (book and TV show)
Also of note: This book got a lot of buzz and it’s absolutely worthy of it all. The Nerdette did a great podcast discussion. 
FBC rating:
5 stars

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Genres: Contemporary romance
Read if you like: Jasmine Guillory (author), Always Be My Maybe (film), Boobies and Noobies (podcast)
Also of note: The main character and the author are both on the autism spectrum.
FBC rating:
4.5 stars

The River by Peter Heller

Genres: Contemporary fiction, Thriller, Adventure
Read if you like: Outside magazine, shopping at REI, Wild by Cheryl Strayed but wish it had more dudes or action
Also of note: This is less of a feminist book and more of a “dad book” but it’s excellently written and captivating.
FBC rating:
3.5 stars

Parable of the Brown Girl by Khristi Lauren Adams

Genres: Nonfiction, Inspirational, Christian
Read if you like: Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays, Christian books that aren’t super preachy, Maya Angelou
Also of note: Check out our interview with Khristi Lauren Adams!
FBC rating:
3.5 stars

The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya

Genres: Memoir
Read if you like: Having your heart ripped out by the injustices of war, A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum, Hotel Rwanda (film)
Also of note: This was Feminist Book Club’s January pick for our Immigration theme.
FBC rating:
4.5 stars

Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman’s Search for Justice in Indian Country by Sierra Crane Murdoch

Genres: Nonfiction, True Crime
Read if you like: problematic texts by journalists who think they know better than the subjects of their story
Also of note: There is an epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous girls and women in North America. Read their stories instead of this one. Listen to our interview with Erika T. Wurth for book suggestions by Native American authors.
FBC rating:

The Girls With No Names by Serena Burdick

Genres: Historical Fiction
Read if you like: New York in the 1910s, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, “deviant” girls
Also of note: The author chose to use racial slurs for Romani people throughout the book and her justification in the author’s notes falls short.
FBC rating:
3 stars

These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card

Genres: Contemporary fiction
Read if you like: Multigenerational family sagas like Pachinko and Homegoing, genealogy
Also of note: The ghosts in the title are real but this isn’t a ghost story.
FBC rating:
4 stars

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Genres: Young Adult Fantasy
Read if you like: Princess Shuri from Black Panther (film and comic books), The Hunger Games and Harry Potter but wish they were more African, Ava DuVernay (director)
Also of note: Honestly, this is everything you could possibly want in a young adult feminist fantasy dystopian series.
FBC rating:
5 stars


We donate 5% of all our sales to a different feminist organization each month. Our February charity is the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.

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Transcript for this episode:
Renee Powers founded Feminist Book Club in 2018 to provide a space for intersectional feminists to learn, grow, and connect. When not reading or running the biz, you can find her drinking coffee and trying unsuccessfully to teach her retired racing greyhound how to fetch. Favorite genres: feminist thrillers, contemporary literary fiction, short stories, and anything that might be described as "irreverent"

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