Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
First published on September 22, 2015
Source: I bought it
“Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs. Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself — but first she has to make it there, alive.” Source: Macmillan.
How I wish I had been reading books like Binti growing up instead of Nancy Drew! While the latter firmly serves to reinforce all stereotypes known to humanity (blonde = beautiful perfection; brunette = chubby side-kick; non-white = ….. [non-existent]; materialism = rah, rah! etc and so on)- Binti unapologetically forges her own path, seeks her own meaning, explodes structural barriers sustained by history for generations: she is, in other words, one fully badass feminist heroine I’d want my (hypothetical) young daughter emulating.
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
First published on May 26, 2015
Source: I bought it
“In the near future, the Colorado River has dwindled to a trickle. Detective, assassin, and spy, Angel Velasquez “cuts” water for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, ensuring that its lush arcology developments can bloom in Las Vegas. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in Phoenix, Angel is sent south, hunting for answers that seem to evaporate as the heat index soars and the landscape becomes more and more oppressive.
There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with her own agenda, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas migrant, who dreams of escaping north. As bodies begin to pile up, the three find themselves pawns in a game far bigger and more corrupt than they could have imagined, and when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only truth in the desert is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.” Source: Knopf Doubleday Publishing.
The Water Knife starts out SO BRILLIANTLY as a detailed and complex story about local water politics. I am a bit obsessed with politics, and I compulsively follow the most local of stories (well, I’m in DC so local politics here is always fascinating, intersecting as it often does with national politics, and frequently mired in corruption scandals). *Swoon* Definitely a “Love at First Page” kind of book for me! (more…)
Hi everyone! It’s that very exciting time of the month – the end! Which is thrilling of course because it means May is almost here, bringing with it a wealth of NEW BOOKS to swoon over and be enchanted by and hopefully fall in love with.
Here’s my most-anticipated list – 4 I’m still eagerly awaiting (on pre-order), and 4 I’ve had the privilege to read & that I highly recommend. Each list is in order of publication.
What are *you* looking forward to reading this month? I would love to know!!! Please leave a note in the comments if you wouldn’t mind sharing 🙂
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Published on January 26, 2016
Source: I bought it
“Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families.
But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them… Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.” Source: MacMillan.
I love weird books (those that don’t subscribe to conventional formulas or genres, that question boundaries of our perception or “reality”, that refuse to be constricted by reader expectations). And, despite having read reviews for months praising the oddity of All the Birds in the Sky, I still managed to be taken aback by the ways in which this book stands outside – or forges its own – tradition. (more…)