Book Reviews, Podcast Shownotes

[66] What Renee Read in February 2020

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

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Genres: Historical fiction, Romance, Queer lit
Read if you like: to believe that Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss were once in a relationship, Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, the Golden Age of film and film history
Also of note: This may be called the seven husbands of Evelyn, but it’s very much a queer romance featuring two femme women.
FBC rating: 4.5 stars

Farah Rocks Fifth Grade by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Genres: Middle grade fiction
Read if you like: refreshing literature for young readers that treat them with respect, Aida Salazar (author), #WeNeedDiverseBooks
Also of note: There’s a recipe for hummus in the back – who couldn’t love that?
FBC rating: 4 stars
FBC interview here

A Pure Heart by Rajia Hassib

Genres: Contemporary fiction
Read if you like: The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali but want something more modern, The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah, Egyptology
Also of note:
FBC rating: 4 stars
FBC interview here

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry

Genres: Fiction, Humor
Read if you like: 80s hair and fashion, sneaky references to The Crucible, Now & Then (film), Friday Night Lights (TV) but want more comedy
Also of note: I know it’s early in the year, but this will probably be my favorite book of 2020.
FBC rating: 5 stars
FBC interview here

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

Genres: Historical fiction
Read if you like: historical fiction that’s not about WWII, Pablo Neruda (poet), Elena Ferrante (author)
Also of note: Allende is known for her use of magical realism but this book doesn’t incorporate any of that. It’s staunchly in the historical fiction category.
FBC rating: 3 stars

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Genres: Nonfiction, True crime
Read if you like: critiques of tech luminaries like Steve Jobs, Scam Goddess (podcast), long-form journalism like Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow
Also of note: Elizabeth Holmes’ trial is set for August 4, 2020.
FBC rating: 4 stars

Smacked: A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction, and Tragedy by Eilene Zimmerman

Genres: Memoir
Read if you like: Strung Out by Erin Khur, The Wolf of Wall Street (film), addiction narratives
Also of note: Zimmerman demonstrates how easy it is to overlook drug addiction in high achieving adults.
FBC rating: 3 stars

Buckskin Cocaine by Erika T. Wurth

Genres: Short stories
Read if you like: Tommy Orange (author), really gritty prose, Heads of the Colored People: Stories by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Also of note: All of the short stories weave together almost like a novella.
FBC rating: 4 stars
FBC interview here

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Genres: Contemporary romance
Read if you like: thinking about hot men in baseball pants, metadiscussions of romance novels, second chance romance tropes
Also of note: A fun romp of a book but some of the feminist men were a little too woke to be realistic.
FBC rating: 3.5 stars

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

Genres: Classic fiction, Queer lit, Romance
Read if you like: The Great Gatsby, queer history pre-Stonewall, books that have been made into movies (the 2015 film adaptation is called Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara)
Also of note: This was Feminist Book Club’s February book of the month for our Romance theme!
FBC rating: 3.5 stars


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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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