Feminine Rage Book Recommendations
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The Change by Kirsten Miller
GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK
“Miller triumphs…THE CHANGE is that rare treat: a suspenseful story with great pacing, memorable characters, and an engaging voice. Fantastic in every way, this fierce anthem against misogyny is a smash.” ― Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Big Little Lies meets The Witches of Eastwick—a gloriously entertaining and knife-sharp feminist revenge fantasy about three women whose midlife crisis brings unexpected new powers—putting them on a collision course with the evil that lurks in their wealthy beach town.
In the Long Island oceanfront community of Mattauk, three different women discover that midlife changes bring a whole new type of empowerment…
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
BETTER THAN THE HYPE
“I feel like I’m the last person to read this, but oh my God was it worth the wait. Every time I finished a story I couldn’t wait for the next one.” ― Amazon Verified Purchase
In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.
Extasia by Claire Legrand
Legrand’s lush and pensive prose matches the murky, dangerous, and beautiful island setting…Rich and earthy horror.” ― School Library Journal (starred review)
Her name is unimportant.
All you must know is that today she will become one of the four saints of Haven. The elders will mark her and place the red hood on her head. With her sisters, she will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountain—an evil which has already killed nine of her village’s men.
She will tell no one of the white-eyed beasts that follow her. Or the faceless gray women tall as houses. Or the girls she saw kissing in the elm grove.
Today she will be a saint of Haven. She will rid her family of her mother’s shame at last and save her people from destruction. She is not afraid. Are you?
Comfort Me with Apples by Catherynne M. Valente
“Comfort Me With Apples is a furious and tantalizingly crooked domestic mystery, as slim and sharp as a needle.” ― Melissa Albert, bestselling author of The Hazel Wood
Sophia was made for him. Her perfect husband. She can feel it in her bones. He is perfect. Their home together in Arcadia Gardens is perfect. Everything is perfect.
It’s just that he’s away so much. So often. He works so hard. She misses him. And he misses her. He says he does, so it must be true. He is the perfect husband and everything is perfect.
But sometimes Sophia wonders about things. Strange things. Dark things. The look on her husband’s face when he comes back from a long business trip. The questions he will not answer. The locked basement she is never allowed to enter. And whenever she asks the neighbors, they can’t quite meet her gaze…
But everything is perfect. Isn’t it?
Animal by Lisa Taddeo
“A propulsive literary thriller…Taddeo’s debut novel is fearless.” —Los Angeles Times
“Fearless, sexy, brutal, and just forensically observed.” — Jojo Moyes, author of The Giver of Stars
Joan has spent a lifetime enduring the cruelties of men. But when one of them commits a shocking act of violence in front of her, she flees New York City in search of Alice, the only person alive who can help her make sense of her past. In the sweltering hills above Los Angeles, Joan unravels the horrific event she witnessed as a child—that has haunted her every waking moment—while forging the power to finally strike back.
Animal is a depiction of female rage at its rawest, and a visceral exploration of the fallout from a male-dominated society.
Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin
“A modern horror masterpiece.” —Carmen Maria Machado, bestselling author of In the Dream House
Beth and Fran spend their days traveling the ravaged New England coast, hunting feral men and harvesting their organs in a gruesome effort to ensure they’ll never face the same fate.
Robbie lives by his gun and one hard-learned motto: other people aren’t safe.
After a brutal accident entwines the three of them, this found family of survivors must navigate murderous TERFs, a sociopathic billionaire bunker brat, and awkward relationship dynamics—all while outrunning packs of feral men, and their own demons.
Nightbitch by Rachel Yodder
“Yoder explores familiar themes through an inventive conceit, literalizing the surrealness of motherhood with dark humor and a keen sense of irony.” — The New York Times Book Review
One day, the mother was a mother, but then one night, she was quite suddenly something else…
An ambitious mother puts her art career on hold to stay at home with her newborn son, but the experience does not match her imagination. Two years later, she steps into the bathroom for a break from her toddler’s demands, only to discover a dense patch of hair on the back of her neck. In the mirror, her canines suddenly look sharper than she remembers. Her husband, who travels for work five days a week, casually dismisses her fears from faraway hotel rooms.
The Need by Helen Phillips
“Helen Phillips is best known for her delirious and philosophical short stories, and in her second novel, she combines her impeccable brevity with plot that unfolds like a paper snowflake.”—VANITY FAIR
When Molly, home alone with her two young children, hears footsteps in the living room, she tries to convince herself it’s the sleep deprivation. She’s been hearing things these days. Startling at loud noises. Imagining the worst-case scenario. It’s what mothers do, she knows.
But then the footsteps come again, and she catches a glimpse of movement.
The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi
“The undercurrents of friendship, betrayal, and sapphic love, and the twists and turns of the competitive trials and political intrigue, come together to kick off a magnetic and appealing new series.”— Booklist
Red is the blood of the elite, of magic, of control.
Blue is the blood of the poor, of workers, of the resistance.
Clear is the blood of the slaves, of the crushed, of the invisible.
Sylah dreams of days growing up in the resistance, being told she would spark a revolution that would free the empire from the red-blooded ruling classes’ tyranny. That spark was extinguished the day she watched her family murdered before her eyes.
The Power by Naomi Alderman
“Electrifying! Shocking! Will knock your socks off! Then you’ll think twice, about everything.” ―Margaret Atwood
In The Power, the world is a recognizable place: there’s a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family.
But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power: they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets. From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, The Power is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.
Magic Lies and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp
Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp is a fabulous and unique cozy mystery with a darker edge to it that really kept me coming back for more. ― An Amazon’s Top 1000 Reviewer
The first time Daisy Ellery killed a man with a pie, it was an accident. Now, it’s her calling. Daisy bakes sweet vengeance into her pastries, which she and her dog, Zoe, deliver to the men who’ve done dirty deeds to the town’s women. But if she can’t solve the one crime that’s not of her own baking, she’ll be out of the pie pan and into the oven.
Parking her Pies Before Guys mobile bakery van outside the local diner, Daisy is informed by Frank, the crusty diner owner, that someone’s been prowling around the van—and not just to inhale the delectable aroma. Already on thin icing with Frank, she finds a letter on her door, threatening to reveal her unsavory secret sideline of pie a la murder.
The Blood Trials by NE Davenport
“This story does not disappoint. In fact it delivers on all front. Storyline, holds us. Intrigue, riveting. Action, banging. The parallels of racism and governmental corruption between Mareen and America, spot on. I eagerly await book II.” ― Amazon Verified Purchase
Blending fantasy and science fiction, N. E. Davenport’s fast-paced, action-packed debut kicks off a duology of loyalty and rebellion, in which a young Black woman must survive deadly trials in a racist and misogynistic society to become an elite warrior.
Magic and technology converge in the first part of this stunning debut duology, where loyalty to oneself – and one’s blood – is more important than anything.
When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill
“A complex, heartfelt story about following your heart and opening your mind to new possibilities. This novel’s magic goes far beyond the dragons.” — Kirkus (starred review)
Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours, except for its most seminal event: the Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales, and talons; left a trail of fiery destruction in their path; and took to the skies. Was it their choice? What will become of those left behind? Why did Alex’s beloved aunt Marla transform but her mother did not? Alex doesn’t know. It’s taboo to speak of.
Forced into silence, Alex nevertheless must face the consequences of this astonishing event: a mother more protective than ever; an absentee father; the upsetting insistence that her aunt never even existed; and watching her beloved cousin Bea become dangerously obsessed with the forbidden.
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
“This fierce, feminist novel throws memorable characters into a provocative set of circumstances, and the constant twists will leave readers yearning for the conclusion.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children. Both paths promise a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class.
Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her pedigree is a lie. She must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society.
And school couldn’t prepare her for the difficult choices she must make after graduation, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
“A brilliant, endlessly rich dystopian novel that pairs well with 1984 or The Handmaid’s Tale, and it’s also a fascinating exploration of how crises can fuel new religious and ideological movements.” ―John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Turtles All the Way Down, New York Times
When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability is a risk, she suffers from hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others’ emotions.
The Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow
“A glorious escape into a world where witchcraft has dwindled to a memory of women’s magic, and three wild, sundered sisters hold the key to bring it back… A tale that will sweep you away.” ―Yangsze Choo, New York Times best-selling author
In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
But when the Eastwood sisters – James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna – join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote – and perhaps not even to live – the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.