Book Reviews, Podcast Shownotes

[77] April 2020 Book Reviews

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

BookRiot reading log

This is how I track all my reading!

Rules For Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno

Genres: Young adult, fiction
Read if you like: Gossip Girl (TV), teenagers making questionable decisions, Introduction to Women’s Studies classes
Also of note: Candace Bushnell is the creator of Sex & The City.
FBC rating: 4.5 stars
FBC interview here

Educated by Tara Westover

Genres: Memoir
Read if you like: cults, dysfunctional families, survivalism
Also of note: Just read this book if you haven’t already. It’s an incredible memoir.
FBC rating: 5 stars

The House of Deep Water by Jeni McFarland

Genres: Literary fiction
Read if you like: Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn, books set in the Midwest, dysfunctional and untraditional family relationships
Also of note: Extremely relatable book for anyone who grew up in a small town and left.
FBC rating: 4 stars
FBC interview here

Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow

Genres: Non-fiction, Current events
Read if you like: seeing predators come to justice, Bad Blood by John Carreyrou, really really good investigative journalism
Also of note: Ronan hosts a podcast by the same name.
FBC rating: 5 stars

What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi

Genres: Young adult, fiction
Read if you like: the DeGrassi series, being a clinic escort, positive abortion narratives
Also of note: Nicole Maggi will be on the podcast on May 7!
FBC rating: 4 stars

A Breath Too Late by Rocky Callen

Genres: Young adult, fiction
Read if you like: Girl, Interrupted (book or film)Thirteen Reasons Why (book or TV) or at least conversations around its story, unrequited puppy love
Also of note: Rocky Callen will be on the podcast on May 21!
FBC rating: 3.5 stars

Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness

Genres: Memoir
Read if you like: Queer Eye (duh), the Olympics (especially women’s gymnastics and figure skating), dramatic glow up stories
Also of note: This reads just like Jonathan speaks, so if you find him charming, you’ll love it but if you find him irritating, don’t bother.
FBC rating: 4.5 stars

Naturally Tan by Tan France

Genres: Memoir
Read if you like: Queer Eye (duh) but particularly how the casting process went, fashion (duh) but particularly everyday casual fashion
Also of note: The audiobook version includes a special appearance by Antoni.
FBC rating: 3 stars

Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

Genres: Literary fiction
Read if you like: Fame/Glee/anything related to theatre kids, feeling confused all of the time
Also of note: As mentioned in the podcast, you need to read Jessica’s (@armyofwords) Goodreads review here.
FBC rating: 3 stars

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

Genres: Young adult, fantasy, queer lit
Read if you like: Charmed (TV), The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta, witch lore and the history of witches in Salem
Also of note: This was our April book of the month and it’s still available in our shop!
FBC rating: 4.5 stars

The Talking Drum by Lisa Braxton

Genres: Historical fiction
Read if you like: the 70s and the Civil Rights movement, African cuisine, nuanced discussions of gentrification
Also of note: Lisa Braxton will be on the podcast on May 28!
FBC rating: 3.5 stars

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Genres: Memoir, current events
Read if you like: The Green Mile by Stephen King (story or film), a deep understanding of the preschool to prison pipeline
Also of note: This was recently made into a film starring Michael B. Jordan.
FBC rating: 4 stars

Shop all our authors’ books and book recommendations on our page!

We donate 5% of all our sales to a different feminist organization each month. Our May charity is The Letter Project.

Get $5 off your Feminist Book Club Box with the code PODCAST at

Our May book of the month is GOOD TALK by Mira Jacob. Hear our interview with Mira here.

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This podcast is produced on the native land of the Dakota and Ojibwe peoples.


Logo and web design by Shatterboxx 

Editing support from Phalin Oliver

Original music by @iam.onyxrose

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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