2021 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, Feminist-Style: Part I

It’s that time of the year again! Here are some feminist-flavored recommendations for the 2021 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. I’m not doing recommendations for the entire list since several of the prompts are so personal (example: TBR lists), but about 2/3 of the prompts will be on here. Part II will go up in a couple of days:

An Afrofuturist book

  • Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett
  • Fledgling by Octavia Butler
  • How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
  • An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

A dark academia book

  • Bunny by Mona Awad
  • Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
  • Wilder Girls by Rory Power

A book with a gem, mineral, or rock in the title

  • The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky by Ellen Meloy
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
  • Ruby by Cynthia Bond
  • Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat
  • Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg

A book that has won the Women’s Prize For Fiction

  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
  • Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
  • Small Island by Andrea Levy
  • The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht

A book with a family tree

  • Cane River by Lalita Tademy
  • Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva by Rosemary Sullivan
  • The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

A bestseller from the 1990s

  • Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
  • The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Sex by Madonna
  • Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan

A book about forgetting

  • Before I Forget: How I Survived a Diagnosis of Younger-Onset Dementia at 46 by Christine Bryden
  • The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa
  • Sheets by Brenna Thummler
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  • Where the Light Gets In by Kimberly Williams-Paisley

A locked-room mystery

  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • The Guest List by Lucy Foley
  • Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
  • An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
  • The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

A book set in a restaurant

  • Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton
  • Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber
  • Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl
  • Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
  • Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

A book with a black-and-white cover

  • The Bone People by Keri Hulme
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit
  • One Life by Megan Rapinoe
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

A book by an Indigenous author

  • Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
  • Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo
  • Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
  • Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq
  • This Is Paradise: Stories by Kristiana Kahakauwila

A book that has the same title as a song

  • All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister
  • Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski
  • Lucy in the Sky by Paige Toon
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
  • Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

A book found on a Black Lives Matter reading list

Earlier this year, I published a BLM reading list here.

A book set mostly or entirely outdoors

  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland by Gretel Ehrlich
  • Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

A book by a Muslim American author

  • All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney
  • Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed
  • Once Upon an Eid ed. by S.K. Ali & Aisha Saeed
  • The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy
  • That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story by Huda Fahmy

A book with an oxymoron in the title

  • Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account Of The Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate by Helen Prejean
  • Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
  • My Happy Sad Mummy by Michelle Vasiliu & Lucia Masciullo
  • The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
  • The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

A magical realism book

  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Color Master: Stories by Aimee Bender
  • The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  • St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell

One thought on “2021 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, Feminist-Style: Part I

  1. I’ve been seeing this term “dark academia” everywhere and your list of books made me look it up. I loved three out of the five titles you include in that category so should read at least one of the other two!

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