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      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     

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Hey,

 

I'm looking to learn more about feminism and am interested in books with this theme, or books with strong female characters, femininity, or significant female historical figures, the empowerment of women etc.

 

Basically books that portray women as intelligent, important, strong etc.

 

Where can I start?

 

Thanks!

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I'd be glad to give you some recommendations as I took a Feminism in Literature course in college. It all really depends on the sort of view you are looking for on it. Do you want to study feminism in general or read up on the women who helped to give it life, if that makes any sense.

 

If you would like books based on real women I would suggest Maya Angelou and Emily Dickinson to start.

 

One of my favorites that I read in the class was by Azar Nafisi called Reading Lolita in Tehran. Nafisi has been a huge feminist figure in Iran through the amazing books she has written about being a woman during a time when women were little more than dirt. All of her books are powerful and give the reader insight into a world where, even today, women are fighting for their rights.

 

The other book that I read for the class that really touched me was called Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks.

Edited by CaliLily

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Angelou is an incredible woman. I hope you enjoy her. :D

 

I think you really would enjoy Reading Lolita in Tehran. It is a very powerful tale about modern day and it is actually a memoir.

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I'll second Maya Angelou she's an incredible woman and she's had an amazing life, despite the horrible beginnings.

 

Her voice gives me goosebumps.

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One of my favorite authors is Katheine Center who writes about women juggling careers, motherhood, relationships and everything that comes in between.she writes with a great deal of humor and I really enjoy her- she's written two books- Everyone Is Beautiful and The Bright Side of Disaster..both are really fun books

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Another author I would recommend is Virginia Woolf, especially A Room of One's Own. Also, Simone de Bauvoir's The Second Sex is a must read for anyone interested in feminism.

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Mary Wollstonecraft is a writer well worth looking into, her writings as well as her life story.

 

The Boudica series by Manda Scott is a re telling of the legend. She has also written some stand alones and a short series with strong female central characters.

 

Marge Piercy is a writer worthy of exploring, especially her novel 'Gone To Soldiers'.

 

Sara Paretsky has written a whole series based on a believable private investigator, V.I. Warshawski.

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Laundry Fairy has a book at home ..from memory I think it is called "women who changed the world" I think but not sure....I will check out the author and get back to you. I know it is all short biographies.

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Mary Wollstonecraft is a writer well worth looking into, her writings as well as her life story.
Seconded. Her Vindication of the Rights of Women is a seminal text. She is also Mary Shelley's Mum, which automatically makes her even cooler :smile2:!

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If you enjoy historical fiction at all, The Morland Dynasty series by Cynthia Harrod Eagles has lots of strong female characters, and you can see how women's lives changed over the centuries (the series starts in the 1300s and will carry on to the present day - it is currently just after the First World War I think). They seem very well researched and have good bibliographies which would let you read more about any aspects touched on in the novel that interested you. Some of the books have quite a lot about the suffragette movement and describe the lives of women involved in that.

Edited by Ooshie

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It's hardly a feminist manifesto and it's a very peculiar type of fiction, but Jasper Fforde's genius Thursday Next series (The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, First Among Sequels + the work in progress One of Our Thursdays Is Missing) features in the character of the same name one of the most real, believable, human heroines I've ever had the pleasure of reading about.

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I checked on that book I mentioned earlier:

Women who changed the world

by Ros Horton & Sally Simmons

published by Quercus

 

I promise Jordan and Cheryl Cole are not in it.

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This is a very interesting thread, I definitely want to look into some of the suggestions :)

 

One of my favorites that I read in the class was by Azar Nafisi called Reading Lolita in Tehran. Nafisi has been a huge feminist figure in Iran through the amazing books she has written about being a woman during a time when women were little more than dirt. All of her books are powerful and give the reader insight into a world where, even today, women are fighting for their rights.

 

The other book that I read for the class that really touched me was called Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks.

 

I just bought Reading Lolita in Tehran this week, I'm so glad I found it in a secondhand bookshop, now I have my own copy and I don't have to borrow it from the library everytime I think I'm going to read it :smile2: We should soon do the group reading on this on the Rory thread!

 

I'm really excited that you mentioned Geraldine Brooks, I coincidentally bought her book Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women. I don't think I'd ever heard of her before, but the title just caught my eye and the blurb sounded really intriguing. It was a totally random buy but I'm glad I got it :) If I like it I might take a look into Years of Wonders as well.

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Novels about strong women? For my money it is hard to beat Sir Walter Scott's Heart of Midlothian. Jeanie Deans (to use modern parlance) is a values-led woman. Based on a true eighteenth century circumstance, Jeanie is forced to make a choice either to perjure herself at a court trial or to tell the truth. She tells the truth and in doing so condemns her own sister to be hung for the crime of infanticide. However Jeanie Deans then walks from Edinburgh to London and secures an audience with Queen Caroline and in one of finest (and shortest) speeches in all literature, she pleads successfully for her sister's stay of execution. Walter Scott wrote that as Jeanie addressed Her Majesty she reminded the Queen of the end which awaits us all - rich or poor - 'then', Jeanie says' it isna what we hae dune for oursells, but what we hae dune for others, that we think on maist pleasantly'.

 

Heart of Midlothian is a (largely) forgotten masterpiece and Jeanie Deans is a great heroine.

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Welcome to the forum. :smile2:

 

I haven't read any Sir Walter Scott (I just accidentally put Sir Walter Raleigh on Wikipedia! :D ) but this sounds very good. :smile2:

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I have a secondhand set of small leatherbound Walter Scott novels, but I have never read any of them yet. Sounds like that would be a good one to start with.

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I've just remembered - The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is an absolutely brilliant book of the kind to make one appreciate all the freedoms we might give for granted today; considering when it was written and that the author is a man, it's astonishing how heartfelt and sympathetic the portrayal of Hester is. Bring a hanky.

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^I literally JUST borrowed that book from the library today.. was looking for something else to read, picked this up, opened it somewhere in the middle and read a page, and loved the way it was written. Never thought I'd be reading one of the books from this thread though.. :D

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It's one of my favourite books ever Univerze, so I hope you enjoy it :D the story's good and Hawthorne has an undeniable gift of rhetoric, so I don't see any reason why you shouldn't.

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I've ordered myself "Dance of The Dissident Daughter - Sue Monk Kidd" anyone read this?

 

Anyone interested in this genre might want to consider this book, on the basis of the first chapter and its reviews I have a feeling it'll become one of my favourites...

 

I haven't even heard of it, is it only recently published?

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