~***~~****~~~Happy Fourth of July weekend for those who celebrate. May you have good food, great company, and perhaps a beach and some fireworks. Hope everyone else enjoys the weekend, too!~~~****~~***~

I’m doing the 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, and you should, too! (Click the link to see the challenge, and to download a PDF of the challenge list.)

book riot

To quote the article: “We encourage you to push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try. But this isn’t a test. […] We like books because they allow us to see the world from a new perspective, and sometimes we all need help to even know which perspectives to try out.”

  • Read dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel.

The Book of Phoenix; Nnedi Okorafor

The frame of the story takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the story contained within is a technology-driven dystopia, where people are experimented on, and suffering abounds.

Part of an overlapping tower system where people are created, tortured, and destroyed to the benefit of the wealthy, Phoenix  is only two years old, but physically an adult. Her creation has given her strange powers–ones her creators don’t entirely understand, which leads her to decide to escape after another experiment, Saeed, dies in Tower 7.

Mourning and enraged, Phoenix brings down the tower and frees its prisoners–and that is only the start of her journey. She will have to travel far, and fight with everything she has, to uncover the secrets of her past and change the future.

Dark but compelling, Phoenix gets to tell her own story, recorded and listened to by another character in the book, much later. It moves along quickly, with plenty of twists and turns. For all her youth, Phoenix is a complex and rapidly changing characters, and she has quite a story to tell. This book is a prequel, between the numbers story, but packs a lot of action and emotion into its pages. Well worth the read, and makes me look forward to the next book!

  • Read a nonfiction about feminism or dealing with feminist themes.

notorious rbg

Notorious RBG; Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik

RBG fought both to be heard herself, and for the voices of others–especially for the genders to be equal, defending anyone who wasn’t being treated fairly.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg devoted her life to equality–not just for women, but for everyone. She fought for her right to get an education and do a job no one thought a woman could (or should) do, and then she used that job to fight for fair pay, benefits, healthcare, etc. And her determination inspired many–including the creators of “Notorious RBG,” and several comics, costumes, and tattoos. RBG wasn’t looking for fame, but she was hoping to be heard. And though her fight continues, this book chronicles her many successes–and ongoing struggles. With pictures of some popular media, snippets of rulings and her notes, timelines, and photographs, this book provides a wide-ranging summary of a remarkable woman’s life.

I really enjoyed this book. I provided detail without being overwhelming, and broad strokes over a pretty long (and still ongoing) life. The pictures, photos, and charts added texture, and a few laughs. A great read for people interested in RBG, politics, or the cause she fights for.


About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

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