Birthday Book Haul

My birthday came and went with minimal angst.

I spent a nice weekend with my parents. On the actual day, some friends took me out for dinner and improv.

Oh, and I got a ton of books.

These books came in waves.

After Christmas, flush with gift cards, I ordered some books to be picked up on my birthday weekend.

My mom and brother, fellow readers, bought me some books they knew I’d love.

Finally, this weekend, I went ham at Elliott Bay.

TL;DR, I accumulated a mess of books over a month-long period. The birthday theme loosely ties these books I REALLY WANT TO TALK ABOUT together.


DC Bombshells: Deluxe Edition Volume One by Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage


I’m so happy to own this!!!

I’m a little surprised: I predicted Wonder Woman and Supergirl would be my favorites.

They’re not, though that’s not a bad thing. I love the rest of the cast, particularly Batwoman and Mera.

The collection opens with a lovely letter from series creator Marguerite Bennett and blasts off from there.

The second deluxe edition comes out on August 6. Let me sear that date into my brain.


Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal



World: plausible

Characters: enjoyable

Jokes: on point

I loved my time in this world and would recommend this book to all of my female friends.


Girl Town by Carolyn Nowak


Not what I was expecting AT ALL.

I thought Girl Town would explore femininity and womanhood using methods similar to Woman World.

I was ready for tongue-in-cheek absurdist humor.

To my surprise, I found a set of fairly serious short stories.

Betsy, the pantsless cover model, shows up in one story and never appears again.

I laughed a couple times, but the stories functioned largely without humor.

At least it was a quick read.


Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

ramona blue

I ordered this before I knew the author also wrote Dumplin’.

I love Julie Murphy’s writing.

I read plenty of romance and LGBTQIA+ fiction, but few books explore sexual fluidity (a topic I find SUPER FASCINATING.)

The plot of this book is a bit of a flip: most books on the subject explore a straight person falling for someone of the same sex; this book follows a lesbian who falls for a boy.

Oh, and she’s a tall girl with bright blue hair desperate to escape her small town.



Fawkes by Nadine Brandes


I laughed the first time I saw this in a bookstore.


In fairness, this story follows Fawkes’ son. HE HAS THE STONE PLAGUE.

It. Sounds. So. Dumb.

Or so I thought.

BECAUSE I DON’T PAY ATTENTION, I ordered this book without looking at the author. Upon pulling the book from its box, I noticed a familiar name on the cover.

Nadine Brandes ALSO wrote Romanov, one of my most anticipated releases.

AND she came up with four different ways that authors approach stories.

I might have a new favorite author.


Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

let's talk about love

The last book I read with an ace protagonist disappointed me.

I’m hoping this one will be better.

I’m excited for the book’s biromantic ace POC main character.

Representation is IMPORTANT.


Heavy Vinyl: Riot on the Radio by SO MANY PEOPLE

heavy vinyl 1

I already read this and loved it.

I expected a twist on Empire Records.

I got Empire Records x Buffy the Vampire Slayer x Fight Club.

Can I just say buzzwords to express my pleasure?

Women supporting women.

Sweet romance.

Girl power.

Buy your copy today!


Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco


It’s a Fluffy Romantic Adventure…starring JACK THE RIPPER.


Everyone has a Jack the Ripper theory.

This book theorizes that Jack was a hot guy named David.

(Just kidding, I still have no idea what this book is about.)


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

evelyn hugo

Multiple book bloggers listed this as their favorite book of 2018.

There’s a whole discourse about Taylor Jenkins Reid’s other books that I want to join.


Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Eternal Edition Vol 2 by Naoko Takeuchi

pgsm ee 2


I want to read this whole thing TODAY, if possible.


The Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren


My mom knew how much I loved reading this book for Spiritual Health Month, so she bought me a copy.

Perfect timing, too, because I need a refresher.


The Power by Naomi Alderman


I almost never buy sci-fi books, but this Handmaid’s Tale-esque story explores women with new-found super powers torturing and enslaving men.

Hit me with that social commentary.


Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Image result for truly devious

I’m giving the cheap paperback version of Truly Devious a shot after reading numerous gushing reviews.

You better not screw this up for me, Maureen.


Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin

dead girls

I snatched this book from Elliott Bay’s prominent front door display.


Why? The book covers our culture’s preoccupation with lovely female corpses in different forms of entertainment.

Uhhh…yes, I’m interested.


Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto by Lesley Hazleton


Most of my Seattle friends identify as agnostic.

Having grown up in the church, I don’t always understand their perspective.

I’d like to.


And I Darken by Kiersten White

and i darken

If you want to make history interesting to me, add some zombies or reincarnation.

In this retelling, Vlad the Impaler becomes a female teenage warlord.

Yes, purple cover, I am there.


All The Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

all the birds

Soooo…witches fight tech nerds in this sci-fi story.

Witches, PLEASE kill them. They keep driving up rent.

Also, the lead witch and the lead techie fall in love.

I had to buy it. I HAD TO.


90s Bitch: Media, Gender, and the Failed Promise of Gender Equality by Allison Yarrow

90s bitch

How did we get here?

What went wrong in the decade of my birth?

Why did we vilify so many strong women?

Why do we do that STILL?

Did I buy this because of the pink cover?

Will I ever learn?


We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to Covergirl, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement by Andi Zeisler

Image result for we were feminists once

Not the most fun read on the list.

I have a feeling this book will convict me.

I don’t want to stop being encouraged by new media messages and acceptance of the term “feminist.”

I don’t know. Andi Zeisler, you have to help me.


Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free by Linda Kay Klein


My amazing younger brother, a fellow exvangelical, bought this for me hoping it would “cut the mustard.”


I spend way too much time on Twitter, so I witness the clash between exvangelicals and evangelical leaders on the daily.

The (all male) evangelical heavy hitters seem deaf to claims that the purity movement damaged people, especially women. They throw back accusations of ungodliness, rebellion, and sin.

To the women crying foul and sharing their stories: I believe you. I was there. I’m sorry for participating in that shaming.

I want to understand what happened to me and so many others during the 2000s. I want us to break free from shame.

6 thoughts on “Birthday Book Haul”

    1. Nice! I nudged The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo to the top of my list, so I’ll bite that bullet soon. If you beat me to either book, let me know what you thought!


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