Bookish Broads: Women Who Wrote Themselves into History (2021)

Bookish Broads: Women Who Wrote Themselves into History

Book: Bookish Broads: Women Who Wrote Themselves into History (2021)
Author:
 Lauren Marino (Goodreads Author), Alexandra Kilburn (Illustrations)
Publication Info: 2021, Harry N. Abrams
Genres: Literary, Nonfiction, Women’s History, Biography, Graphic Nonfiction
My Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary: A boldly illustrated celebration of literary history’s most revolutionary, talented women writers
 
Women have written some of our most extraordinary literary works while living in societies and cultures that tried to silence them. These women dared to put pen to paper to express the multifaceted female experience. In Bookish Broads, Lauren Marino celebrates fierce, trailblazing female writers, reworking the literary canon that has long failed to recognize the immense contributions of women. Featuring more than 50 brilliant bookish broads, Marino cleverly illuminates the lives of the greats as well as the literary talents history has wrongfully overlooked. Each intimate portrait delves into one woman’s works and is accompanied by vibrant illustrations depicting each literary legend in her element and time.

My Summary: This book is a short (less than 200 pages) graphic nonfiction about a little over 50 women authors who have made significant contributions to literature. The profiles are essentially condensed overviews of the authors’ lives and contexts of the work’s success and significance. Profiles include visually appealing illustrations of the author and additional relevant details, such as locations or symbols. The variety of authors include those across genres, eras, countries of origin, race, and style of contribution. Good potential gift or just a foundation for learning about a variety of women authors.

Review: There are a lot of books & lists already in publication which list influential authors in all sorts of categories and modes. When I see books like these, I always check them out because I like the subject matter. This book is a short overview for a variety of authors, most of whom you’d probably be able to name quickly (as well as a few basic facts). However, I learned about new authors and also learned details I hadn’t known before. I loved the illustrations, particularly those of Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, and Mary Wollstonecraft. The profiles are a few pages long each, so you are not bogged down with too much detail. Additionally, the layout and design are easy on the eyes. There is a good variety of authors represented, including from different themes/genres, race/countries of origin, and levels of literary significance.

Ultimately, I would suggest this book for 1) potential gift to a literature lover, 2) a primer/foundational text for learning about a variety of authors, and/or 3) an entertaining graphic nonfiction.

Currently, this book has 3.93 average on Goodreads. I give it a 3.5 stars.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51075387-bookish-broads

The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop

Amazon.com: The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop: 9781419742965:  Hope, Clover: Books

Book: The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop
Author:
 Clover Hope, Rachelle Baker
Publication Info: 2021, Harry N. Abrams
Genres: Music, Nonfiction, Pop Culture, Women’s History, Biography
My Rating: 4 stars

Summary

An illustrated highlight reel of more than 100 women in rap who have helped shape the genre and eschewed gender norms in the process.

The format of this book follows a layout of modern graphics, charts, infographics, and thematic chapters dedicated to a specific female artist or rap group. A few pages are dedicated to each and respective contributions, obstacles faced, or unique characteristics. There are a lot of artists covered — over 100 in fact — which range from mainstream obvious choices of famous pioneering rappers to artists you may have not heard of but would be interested in knowing more about. With a range of artists coveted, this book also is a nod to the future of women in the hip hop music industry, with additions toward the end of the book talking about artists such as Lizzo. Cardi B, and Nicki Minaj.

The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop | Papercut
An example of the layout/illustrative nature of the book. Example was taken from Google Images, credited to Papercut. More examples can be seen there or on Amazon. 🙂



Review


I got this book from my library because I’m a huge fan of hip-hop and reading about the rap music industry. Last year, I read a book about southern US rap and was really disappointed in that it didn’t include much mention of the women who performed within these sub genres quite well, especially coming out of the 80s and 90s.

This book does a great job of filling a gap in compiling info about a variety of artists within the hip hop genre. Due to the nature of this book, it is not necessarily an in-depth analysis, but rather an excellent encyclopedia-esque resource for gaining info/insight and then moving forward with reading more if you want to.

The author added their own insight into the presentation of the artists’ experiences which helps guide a reader into understanding themes that may emerge, such as gender (obviously), language, censorship, morality, testing boundaries, etc.

I would be amiss not to mention that race is another layer to add to this conversation. The contributions of these women can be analyzed from all sorts of POVs — music theory, race, gender, socially/politically, economically.

TLDR ➡️ Ultimately, I would highly suggest for fans of hip-hop, r&b, or rap, music geeks/nerds. Great pics too!




Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51075465-the-motherlode

Calling All Witches! The Girls Who Left Their Mark on the Wizarding World (2019)

Calling All Witches! The Girls Who Left Their Mark on the Wizarding World (Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts)

Book: Calling All Witches! The Girls Who Left Their Mark on the Wizarding World
Authors: Laurie Calkhoven & Violet Tobacco
Publication Info: 2019, Scholastic
Genres: Popular Fiction, Fantasy, Fan Work/Art, Harry Potter Lore, Young Readers
My Rating: 3.5-4 stars

This book review is for Calling All Witches! The Girls Who Left Their Mark on the Wizarding World published by Scholastic in 2019. This book is part of the Harry Potter Wizarding World collection. It is credited to Laurie Calkhoven & Violet Tobacco. It currently has 4 stars average on Goodreads.

Summary


For all the girls as clever as Hermione Granger, as strong as Leta Lestrange, and as fierce as Minerva McGonagall, this incredible compendium is packed with the stories of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts’ extraordinary heroines! Besides the series’ best-known characters, get to know the female mentors, founders, rule-breakers, and — yes, even villains like Bellatrix Lestrange and Vinda Rosier — who made the wizarding world what it is today.

Complete with gorgeous, full-color illustrations and photography from iconic movie moments on every spread, fans will love this colorful romp with the most empowering witches of our age. Explore the many ways these women built, enriched, and saved the wizarding world, and get inspired by their stories in this compelling handbook–a must-have for fans!

Review


This book features the women of the Harry Potter series. From the major to minor characters, this book is split into thematic chapters. Both sides of the Wizarding World are shown, including characters such as the obnoxious, dogmatic Professor Umbridge or the evil, insane Deatheater Bellatrix Lestrange. It does include professors at Hogwarts and new additions to the Wizarding World such as the Fantastic Beasts characters.

In my view, the strength of this book is in its delightful illustrations. The image below shows an example of the layout of the book.

Calling All Witches! The Girls Who Left Their Mark on the Wizarding World  (Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts) | Scholastic Canada

Essentially, a character is introduced alongside a full-color drawn image with symbols related to their story. Some characters get full pages and some are grouped together in themes like Dumbledore’s Army. As shown below, there is a passage about Hermione and her contributions to the Harry Potter canon. Each gets some sort of depiction about their unique contributions or characteristics; as shown with Hermione, the author assesses her to be “intelligent, gifted, brave.” Of course, it is not a full coverage of the character and sometimes it seems a bit surface level, but keeping in mind the age/reading level of the book, as well as its aims, it is meant to be more of a children’s book than anything. Keeping it simple and straightforward is really the whole point. But I mean… if it got extended into a deeper character analysis, I think it would be amazing.


This is a short read, but visually beautiful. It is something that I would suggest for fans of the Harry Potter series. This is also a great read geared toward young readers, as it is engaging and relates to a popular series. All ages, however, will be delighted if they are big fans of the Harry Potter series. The illustrations are amazing, and I love the layout idea. I read this book on an ebook reader and was still impressed by the visuals, so I would be optimistic and say that it definitely will look good IRL as a physical hardback copy.

Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46043127-calling-all-witches-the-girls-who-left-their-mark-on-the-wizarding-worl