Editor’s Note: We’re celebrating women’s empowerment with this latest reading list from our friends at the Brooklyn Public Library! For this round, we had Senior Adult Librarian Madeline Knight-Dixon tell us about her top 5 books about women’s empowerment.
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Madeline: This month we celebrate Women’s History Month! In the world of #MeToo and #TimesUp, it is more important than ever to listen to and celebrate the achievements of women. This book list celebrates books by and about extraordinary women in the last year. From historical fiction to out-of-this-world sci-fi, essays and memoirs, romance and literary fiction, there’s something to celebrate all the amazing women writing today.
1. Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi
This is a West African inspired fantasy-a subgenre sometimes called Afrofantasy or Afrofuturism. The main character, Zelie Adebola, goes on a journey to bring magic back to her land. She goes on a journey with a fugitive princess and her brother, while avoiding the dangers of her world. A sweeping epic tale that’s changing the science fiction/fantasy genre for the better. I loved the world building, and the way Adeyemi includes all the classic elements you’d see in a fantasy novel while centering race as a crucial element of the novel. It feels timely, and as a Woman of Color, I’m so excited to see such culturally diverse book get the attention it deserves.
2. Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay
by Phoebe Robinson
One of the founders of the 2 Dope Queens podcast and HBO special, Phoebe Robinson’s essays cover everything from gender and race to dating. Every time I read a book by Phoebe Robinson, I feel like I’m talking to someone I’ve known for years. Her style is conversational, witty and sharp, and is the perfect blend of carefree millennial and activist looking to change the world.
3. The Kiss Quotient
by Helen Hoang
This book is charming from beginning to end! An #OwnVoices book, the story was inspired in part by the author’s own journey with being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Stella is an econometrist with Asperger’s who decides to take her romantic life into her own hands. She hires Michael Phan with the intention of getting the practice she needs at relationship. Stella’s journey to self-empowerment is inspiring, and the relationship between Stella and Michael will make your heart melt.
4. The Immortalists
by Chloe Benjamin
The Immortalists is a family saga that takes place in the summer of 1969 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Four siblings are told by a psychic when they are going to die, and the next five decades of their lives are shaped by fighting what they see as their inevitable fate. Something I really enjoyed about this book was the determination of the characters, and the constant push and pull of destiny versus self-fulfilling prophecies. It’s moving, thought-provoking, and engaging.
5. An American Marriage
by Tayari Jones
One of the words I would use to describe this book is timely. It examines the harsh reality of an African American couple torn apart by a flawed justice system. It’s a complicated, messy, and thought-provoking story where love, family, and the effect of mass incarceration on everyday people.
Madeline is a Senior Adult Librarian with the Brooklyn Public Library. She reads anything from Fantasy to Romance, Literary Fiction to memoirs and essays. When not stuck with her nose in a book, she can be found watching Star Wars and Marvel Movies, practicing her new knitting hobby or hanging out with her husband and two dogs.