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ALEXANDER HAMILTON :: a book with an underdog protagonistIf Celie is not an underdog in The Color Purple by Alice Walker, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s like her life is a sandwich of abuse and tragedy. But somehow it is beautiful.
(Side fact—this book is also a musical.)
MY SHOT :: a book that made you want to RISE UP and tell everyone about itThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, which I did, as evidenced right here:
Just finished a book I didn't know I needed (but now I do): THE BELL JAR, by Sylvia Plath *dies*— Heather Hufford (@HeroineHiding) May 8, 2016
THE SCHUYLER SISTERS :: a book with some kickass sistersBlah, I need to find kickass sister books this summer because I haven’t read any yet! I’ll fall back on Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, in which the sisters are not only kickass, but crazy-ass, too. (Just sayin’.)
YOU’LL BE BACK :: a book you know you’ll read againThis is silly—I am a rereader in general. But still. I want to buy and reread The Host by Stephenie Meyer because it is one of two alien stories that I really, really like. Humanity through the eyes of another… it is… depressing, but good.
HELPLESS :: a book you couldn’t help but buyThanks to Amazon’s kidlit eBook sale the other day, I am now the proud owner of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Because really, guys. How could you resist Sherman Alexie?
Beloved by Toni Morrison. I promise that it is a necessary read—it will break you into dust before it blows you into the wind.
DEAR THEODOSIA :: a book that blew you away
NON-STOP :: a book you couldn’t stop readingI read Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson yesterday. The poetry made it easy to keep going and going like the Energizer bunny. Also, I liked it. Also, I wanted an even ten books for May.
CABINET BATTLE #1 :: a book you would always defend in an argumentThe Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, mostly because it’s the only book I’ve been reading that really needs me to defend it. Which I’ve been meaning to do this summer. Note to self.
THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS :: a book with a unique settingTake a moment to think of setting not just as the physical spot in which a story is set, but also the cultures, norms, and identities that make that spot more than a patch of dirt. Okay? Okay. Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain by Richard Roberts got me going one day when I realized that the gender dynamics didn’t bother me.
I was at work washing a mirror and it occurred to me, “THERE ARE GIRL SUPERS AND BOY SUPERS AND IT ISN’T EVEN A BIG DEAL!”
Superhero stories are often guy-centric (hi Marvel, hi DC). But a girl narrates this story. She has friends who are girls. And she knows girls. There are girls. Good girls, bad girls. Moms. College girls. Grandma girls. But the grandma sold magic drugs, I think; she didn’t have powers.
IT’S QUIET UPTOWN :: a book that left you speechless (and/or emotionally devastated)The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis was an emotional whirlwind that also was sad. And happy. And confusing. And just… being a teenager is hard, man.
THE ELECTION OF 1800 :: a book revolving around a competitionI like this song because it includes women in the story of how Jefferson came to be president. Just because women didn’t vote doesn’t mean they didn’t pay attention to the elections, or even share some small voice in the matter.
I submit Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay because, in many ways, gender equality has been competition-ish-y for-basically-ever. Feminism advocates for women getting to compete with fair rules. But it’s also nice when women aren’t erased from history.
WHO LIVES, WHO DIES, WHO TELLS YOUR STORY :: a book with a memorable narratorFinally, Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I don’t think she was memorable just because her own stories were hilarious and meaningful, but somehow, she managed to make them personal for me, too.
Also: Sir Patrick Stewart reads haikus about boobs and if that does not appeal to you then I officially give up.