Sunday, 10 June 2018

ReadingWomen - June 2018

This is my third ReadingWomen post. You can find out what inspired the series by Visiting This Link. The idea is to promote books authored by women and I have got another superb quintet here to hopefully whet your literary appetites!

Feel welcome to Comment your own book suggestions, especially links to your own reviews for the Around The Blogosphere choice. I love to see what everybody else is reading!

Inspirational biography

A biography or autobiography written by a woman and about a woman:

Butterfly by Yusra Mardini

The Book Depository : from £11.71 (HB)
Wordery : from £11.69 (HB)
Waterstones : from £18.99 (HB)
Amazon : from $11.23 / £5.57 (used HB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

Yusra Mardini fled her native Syria to the Turkish coast in 2015 and boarded a small dinghy full of refugees bound for Greece. When the small and overcrowded boat's engine cut out, it began to sink. Yusra, her sister and two others took to the water, pushing the boat for three and a half hours in open water until they eventually landed on Lesbos, saving the lives of the passengers aboard.

Butterfly is the story of that remarkable woman, whose journey started in a war-torn suburb of Damascus and took her through Europe to Berlin and from there to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

5 star favourite

A book to which I awarded 5/5 stars

The True Picture by Alison Habens

The Book Depository : unavailable
Wordery : unavailable
Waterstones : unavailable
Amazon : from $2.79 / £1.99 (ebook)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

Nothing is known about the real St Veronica. She’s never mentioned in the bible but appears at the sixth Station of the Cross. 
True – Vera, Picture – Icon: Veronica might be a myth but in ‘the true picture’ she is a glamorous dye-dealer from ancient Tyre, an ex-temple dancer with a dark past, who gives up the purple trade, a towering hairstyle and all her jewellery, to follow Jesus to Jerusalem in around AD 33. 
Her story is closely based on gospel history but with a quirky modern twist! 

Dave's choice

My OH is almost a voracious a bookworm as me! He's also just as happy to read books written by women as by men which apparently is unusual for a man.

Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward

The Book Depository : from £6.29 (PB)
Wordery : from £6.28 (PB)
Waterstones : from £6.99 (PB)
Amazon : from $4.81 / £3.33 (used PB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing examines the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power – and limitations – of family bonds. 

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. His mother, Leonie, is in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is black and her children's father is white. Embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances, she wants to be a better mother, but can't put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. 

When the children's father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

Rich with Ward's distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first century America.

On my bookshelf

A book I've bought, swapped or been gifted and am eagerly awaiting reading

Heroes And Villains by Angela Carter

The Book Depository : from £8.17 (PB)
Wordery : from £8.15 (PB)
Waterstones : from £9.99 (PB)
Amazon : from $3.90 / £2.43 (used PB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

Sharp-eyed Marianne lives in a white tower made of steel and concrete with her father and the other Professors. Outside, where the land is thickly wooded and wild beasts roam, live the Barbarians, who raid and pillage in order to survive. Marianne is strictly forbidden to leave her civilized world but, fascinated by these savage outsiders, decides to escape. There, beyond the wire fences, she will discover a decaying paradise, encounter the tattooed Barbarian boy Jewel and go beyond the darkest limits of her imagination.

Playful, sensuous, violent and gripping, Heroes and Villains is an ambiguous and deliriously rich blend of post-apocalyptic fiction, gothic fantasy, literary allusion and twisted romance.

Around the blogosphere

A 5/5 star review from another bookish blog

Nothing But Sky by Amy Trueblood

The Book Depository : from £8.90 (PB)
Wordery : from £8.03 (PB)
Waterstones : from £10.99 (PB)
Amazon : from $6.21 / £7.98 (used PB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

Grace Lafferty only feels alive when she's dangling 500 feet above ground. As a post-World War I wing walker, Grace is determined to get to the World Aviation Expo, proving her team’s worth against flashier competitors and earning a coveted Hollywood contract. 

No one’s ever questioned Grace’s ambition until Henry Patton, a mechanic with plenty of scars from the battlefield, joins her barnstorming team. With each new death-defying trick, Henry pushes Grace to consider her reasons for being a daredevil. Annoyed with Henry’s constant interference, and her growing attraction to him, Grace continues to test the powers of the sky. 

After one of her risky maneuvers saves a pilot’s life, a Hollywood studio offers Grace a chance to perform at the Expo. She jumps at the opportunity to secure her future. But when a stunt goes wrong, Grace must decide whether Henry, and her life, are worth risking for one final trick.

If you've read any of these, pop your thoughts and review links in the Comments. And your suggestions for other #ReadingWomen books are most welcome. Comment them too!

I blog my #Reading Women posts on the 10th of each month. Feel welcome to join in on any date! I've even made a badge to wear on your blog :-)

Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


  1. Looks like good books all the way around. I'm especially interested in Butterfly, given the timeliness of it. Thanks for sharing these!

    1. I'm recommending Butterfly everywhere! Such an inspirational story and a very readable book :-)

  2. What a wonderful post and such amazing books you've featured! I will definitely be looking for these. I read another of Jesmyn Ward's books awhile ago and didn't care for it much, but I did like her writing. I just had trouble with some of the subject matter, unfortunately. Still, I want to give another of her books a try. Maybe Sing, Unburied, Sing! Thank you for sharing!

    1. I'm looking forward to Sing, Unburied, Sing when I get to it myself :-)

  3. I did recently read that some men don't like to read books written by women. This makes no sense to me! All of these books look great. I may have to give Nothing But Sky a try at some point.

    1. I'm related to one such man unfortunately. He sneers that women's writing is all just soppy romance and absolutely refuses to any books that aren't by his favourite half dozen male authors. I couldn't bear to reread so few books so many times but each to their own I guess!