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Book Recommendations

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sapphicsunrise
Posted (edited)

ok wow i cannot believe nobody's recommended this book before

Title: The Secret History
Author:  Donna Tartt
Genre: the work of god herself
Year published: 1992
SummaryUnder the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last - inexorably - into evil. 
Why I would recommend it: listen. this is the best book i have ever laid eyeballs on. read it if you've ever been to university, if you've ever loved beautiful writing, if you want to be completely immersed in an Aesthetic, if you're into moral ambiguity, or if you just want to treat your damn soul to the best literature modernity has ever gifted us, read this book. 

i take no responsibility for anyone deciding they want to learn ancient greek after reading this but. hmu. i'll tutor you.

this book is lifechanging

read it

Edited by sapphicsunrise
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greisful
Posted (edited)

Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural, Paranormal, Mystery
Year published: 2012
Summary: Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.
Why I would recommend it: The writer has a really great way of making 1920s New York come to life, you can practically hear the jazz music in the air and the noise of traffic while you read. The characters are all very realistic and you'll be able to relate and like at least one person that you come across. There's a lot of inclusivity present in the series alone, gay characters, black characters, disabled characters, bi-racial characters, Jewish characters, immigrants. There's a lot of commentary on the racism and discrimination and prejudice against those minority groups that the author doesn't ignore and in fact contribute to the overall storyline as well who the characters are themselves and how dealing with these problems contributes to their way of life and how it has formed them into the person that they are. 

Edited by greisful

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PaulaTheProkaryote

Title: Code Name Verity

Author: Elizabeth Wein

Genre: Historical Fiction

Year published: 2012

Summary: Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Why I would recommend it: WOW, the characters in this story. If you're into strong, multidimensional female characters that are both strong as hell and yet still emotionally intelligent this is the book for you. It's historical fiction set in WWII and you'll buy in so hard. It's even better as an audiobook. I'd say it's the best book I've read this entire year.

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nott theodore

I have a couple to come and add here!

 

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Year published: 2008

Summary: 

It's 1946. The war is over, and Juliet Ashton has writer's block. But when she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey - a total stranger living halfway across the Channel, who has come across her name written in a second hand book - she enters into a correspondence with him, and in time with all the members of the extraordinary Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Through their letters, the society tell Juliet about life on the island, their love of books - and the long shadow cast by their time living under German occupation. Drawn into their irresistible world, Juliet sets sail for the island, changing her life forever. (Summary taken from Amazon)

Why I would recommend it: You might have heard of this book because of the film that recently came out, with a pretty stellar cast - the book is even better.  It's an epistolary novel, told entirely in letters between the various characters in the book, and with each one you fall in love with the island and the characters a little more.  The letters really capture a sense of post-war life, the attempts at rebuilding immediately afterwards, and the (mostly) forgotten story of what happened to the Channel Islands during this time.  

 

Title: Moxie

Author: Jennifer Mathieu

Genre: Young Adult

Year published: 2017

Summary: 

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her high school teachers who think the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv's mum was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the '90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother's past and creates Moxie, a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She's just blowing off steam, but other girls respond and spread the Moxie message. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realises that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

TIME TO FIGHT LIKE A GIRL

(Summary taken from Amazon)

Why I would recommend it: I really, really wish I'd had a book like this to read when I was still at school.  It tackles some really difficult themes around feminism and harassment/assault which girls face on a daily basis, and highlights all the "everyday sexism" that women encounter.  The main characters are complex and interesting, and it's so inspiring to see them start to fight back.  It's been over a week since I finished reading this book, and I still keep thinking about it and smiling.  It's a really satisfying read.

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greisful

Title: Lair of Dreams

Author: Libba Bray

Genre: Supernatural, paranormal, young adult, historical, mystery

Year published: 2015

Summary: The longing of dreams draws the dead, and this city holds many dreams.

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners.

Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City.

As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess…As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?

Why I would recommend it: This is the sequel to the Diviners and this one has Henry and Ling as the main characters this time around.  All of the other characters mentioned are of course still present but this focuses on the two of them. It was really nice to have LGBT characters be the leads in a story and it really helped flesh them out as characters and make the reader care for them even more than the first book did. The mystery in this was really great, I personally didn't see the plot twists at the end coming, I was literally so shocked I had to stop reading and send my friends videos of me just screaming. The writing was as always brilliant, Libba Bray really does suck you into the timeline of 1920s New York and she handles a lot of social issues throughout the book as well that actually contribute to the plot line and are a basis for why things happen the way that they happen. Highly recommend, and if you do read this please talk to me about it I have no one to share in my excitement.

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Aphoride

Title: Reading Lolita in Tehran
Author:  Azar Nafisi
Genre: um.... sort of literary autobiography and literary-style novel? (i.e. not really sure, tbh)
Year published: 2003
Summary: Every Thursday morning in a living room in Iran, over tea and pastries, eight women meet in secret to discuss forbidden works of Western literature. As they lose themselves in the worlds of Lolita, The Great Gatsby and Pride and Prejudice, gradually they come to share their own stories, dreams and hopes with each other, and, for a few hours, taste freedom. Azar Nafisi's bestselling memoir is a moving, passionate testament to the transformative power of books, the magic of words and the search for beauty in life's darkest moments.
Why I would recommend it: Okay, so just to head off the inevitable question: it's not about Lolita. It's not about themes from Lolita. It's about literature and life, about something of the history of Iran as shown through the real-life experiences of a number of its people. It's about hope and desperation, about how we are all more powerful than we think, about what people can survive and how they survive. At times it's beautiful and so intriguing and the story the book follows almost seems like fiction, but the reality of it grounds it in something more than just 'x happens, y happened', and give its characters - all of the girls, Azar herself, her husband and her friends and even her enemies - a kind of honesty and sincerity you will fall in love with. It's a memoir, but it reads like a classic novel. It will capture you completely - honestly, probably one of the best books I ever read. 

READ IT. You actually can't be disappointed by it. 

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juls
Title:The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author:Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Genre:historical fiction
Year published:2008
Summary:(from the back of the book) January 1946: Writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a 
founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of 
Guernsey during the German Occupation, and how the society got its name.
Why I would recommend it: It's a simply lovely book. I first saw the movie (a no-no, I know) on Netflix. 
It drew me in because it had Lily James AND Jessica Brown Findley in it (from Downton Abbey!!). I loved it, but 
there are still differences to the movie than the book. In the book, there is a richer detail on the Occupation, 
on how the main character interacts with her friends and the islanders when she gets there. It also portrays the 
female protagonist as a strong woman, who knows her own mind. Not afraid to say no, and most importantly not afraid 
to say yes when it comes to it. It's written in letters format, where it's a series of letters between her and various
 people in her life. 
Edited by juls

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Rainbow-tui

I really liked that movie, it has inspired me to read some of the books mentioned in it over summer.

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ShadowRose

popping into this thread to recommend my fave book ever :read:

Title: Small Great Things
Author: Jodi Picoult
Genre: Fiction (is legal fiction a genre? if so, it's that)
Year Published: 2016
Summary:

Quote

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

Why I Would Recommend It: this is one of those books that, once i started reading it, i couldn't stop. it's a fantastic storyline, and follows the whole series of events from the incident itself to the end of the trial. if you're at all interested in law and legal proceedings, that aspect is really interesting. but the storyline itself isn't really why this book is my favorite. what makes this book so amazing is that it simultaneously merges this storyline with an in-depth examination of race, race relations, and racism in america. if you're white, i guarantee that this book will make you painfully uncomfortable at least once (it did for me). and like... that's a good thing. to quote the book itself, "i've come to realize that ignorance is a privilege too." it's not escapist fiction by any means, but it's a fascinating read that will make you think long and hard about the ingrained power structures in our world.

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greisful

Title: Before the Devil Breaks You

Author: Libba Bray

Genre: paranormal, supernatural, fantasy, young adult, historical fiction

Year published: 2017

Summary: New York City.
1927.
Lights are bright.
Jazz is king.
Parties are wild.
And the dead are coming...


After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that early claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough of lies. They're more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward's Island, far from the city's bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten--ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows.

With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over, and New York City on the verge of panic, the Diviners must band together and brave the sinister ghosts invading the asylum, a fight that will bring them fact-to-face with the King of Crows. But as the explosive secrets of the past come to light, loyalties and friendships will be tested, love will hang in the balance, and the Diviners will question all that they've ever known. All the while, malevolent forces gather from every corner in a battle for the very soul of a nation--a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves.

Why I would recommend it: If you've seen my previous posts you'll know that I've been hollering about diversity and representation so I don't think I need to go on about it for that long again this time. LGBTQ+ representation, people of colour, acknowledging racism and it how has served to form these  characters into who they are and how it effects their everyday living, talks about discrimination against immigrants. It basically acknowledges all of the nitty gritty of New York during that time and Libba Bray does a fantastic job of weaving it into the story and plot which makes it all that much richer and really sucks you into the story. She also takes a look into how mental health was handled at the time and how asylums were run and how they treated people etc. The writing is as always phenomenal, the characters are all great 10/10 recommend and is worth your money.

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Gryffin_Duck

Title: Seafire
Author: Natalie C. Parker
Genre: YA fantasy
Year published: 2018
Summary:  From Goodreads:

After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, who have lost their families and homes because of Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric's armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia's best friend and second-in-command barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all . . . or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

Why I would recommend it: This is my current favorite book of 2018. Where do I even begin?! This is the feminist pirate story you never knew you needed in your life. It's written beautifully. The characters are great. The representation is spot on. I cannot wait for the sequel, which won't be coming for at least a year since this was only just published. And the cover art is gorgeous! 

Edited by Gryffin_Duck

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