I’ll be co-hosting Femathon in March; come join in! I’ve already made loads of recommendations that could have gone directly on this list, so check out my other Femathon Posts for additional options. Let me know if you’ve read any of the books on this list or what others you’re looking forward to reading!
If you’re looking for the OG SciFi book, it’s Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Women weren’t supposed to be writers back in the day and Mary said, “pshhhhhhh – let me invent a new genre; you’ll that me later” … or something like that. This could also count in Classic.
Obsessed with natural philosophy, young Victor Frankenstein succeeds in creating life from its basic elements – and abandons the newborn monstrosity in terror when he cannot bear to look at it. The rejected creature vanishes, and Victor attempts to forget what he has done…– Goodreads Book Blurb
But the monster survives. It learns. Deprived of everything, fated to forever be alone, it has nothing left but revenge.
Manga Classics® proudly present a frightening new manga adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – a classic tale of creation and destruction!
The Home Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher is definitely old enough to be considered a Classic, though for some reason I had never heard of it when I started researching books to make recommendations for this readathon. I may already be changing my March TBR to incorporate this one.
Although this novel first appeared in 1924, it deals in an amazingly contemporary manner with the problems of a family in which both husband and wife are oppressed and frustrated by the roles they are expected to play. Evangeline Knapp is the perfect, compulsive housekeeper, while her husband, Lester, is a poet and a dreamer. Suddenly, through a nearly fatal accident, their roles are reversed: Lester is confined to home in a wheelchair and his wife must work to support the family. The changes that take place between husband and wife and particularly between parents and children are both fascinating and poignant.– Goodreads Book Blurb
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty is the first book in her Daevabad Trilogy, and let me tell you – I was glued to my seat the whole time I was reading this series. Think Napoleonic Egypt era fantasy. This could also count in Fem Positive and BIPOC Rep (especially if you count fey diversity).
Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.– Goodreads Book Blurb
But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.
In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.
After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…
Are you looking for a YA Paranormal Fantasy involving a demonic-book librarian and the shenanigans that happen around said books? Then check out Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. This could also count in Fem Positive.
All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.– Goodreads Book Blurb
Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.
As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.
Want a fun graphic novel about an anti-hero? Check out Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. This could also count in Fem Positive and Platonic Fem Relationship.
The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it “a deadpan epic.”– Goodreads Book Blurb
Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.
But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
The cover for I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1 Madly Ever After by Skottie Young pretty well sets the tone for this graphic novel series. This could also count in Fem Positive.
From superstar writer and artist Skottie Young (Rocket Raccoon, Wizard of OZ, Fortunately, The Milk), comes the first volume of an all-new series of adventure and mayhem.– Goodreads Book Blurb
An Adventure Time/Alice in Wonderland-style epic that smashes its cute little face against grown-up, Tank Girl/Deadpool-esque violent madness. Follow Gert, a forty year old woman stuck in a six year old’s body who has been trapped in the magical world of Fairyland for nearly thirty years. Join her and her giant battle-axe on a delightfully blood-soaked journey to see who will survive the girl who HATES FAIRYLAND.
I will say I’m not a huge fan of how Home Before Dark by Riley Sager starts out. I found it a bit slow, but the MC does kick-ass and take names in this horror/thriller. Once I finally got into it I couldn’t put it down. This could also count in Fem Positive.
What was it like? Living in that house.– Goodreads Book Blurb
Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.
Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.
For some reason I tucked into Lock Every Door by Riley Sager much faster than I did Home Before Dark. This is another Fem Positive mystery/horror/thriller.
No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.
As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.
Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.– Goodreads Book Blurb