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Category Archives: Books

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Elizabeth Bennet has a good head on her shoulders, is witty, and intelligent. She wants to marry for love – not money. You would think that all of these characteristics would be admired, but this is 19th-Century England.

Lizzie’s mother is dead-set on marrying off all five of her daughters, who are all of marrying age (which, apparently is 15 and up). When two very eligible, not to mention handsome, bachelors move in nearby, Mrs. Bennet flies into action and tries to throw her daughters into their path.

Can Lizzie marry for love? Will she have to play the obedient daughter and marry for money? Will her mother PLEASE stop embarrassing her??

The Long Way Home (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Vol. 1) by Joss Whedon

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Where would we be without Buffy? The people at Sunnydale have no idea how many times she has saved the world from the apocalypse. She has saved an uncaring or unnoticing public from scores of vampires bent on taking over the world, demons, fembots gone bad, ancient curses, her future boyfriend(s)….you name it.

The final season (Season 7) of the popular TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer was completed in 2003, but thanks to the show’s creator, Joss Whedon, the story continues in comic book format. Buffy and her friends, Willow the witch, one-eyed Xander, Giles the book-worm watcher, and the others go on to battle all of the “big bads” still left in the world.  Everone’s favorite witty banter, impossible love triangles and dusting vamps are all there starting with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Vol. 1.

Dark Horse Comics has some really great features that you can check out here.

The Bechdel Test

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From feministfrequency.

Are the movies you are watching representing well-rounded female characters?

The Bechdel Test is a way to determine whether there is an active female presence in a film. There are three things a movie must have to pass the test:

1. At least two female characters who;

2. Interact with each other and;

3. Don’t just talk about men!

You would think it wouldn’t be so hard to find, but as evidenced in the video above from Femininst Frequency, it is!

If you think you have a good feel for what movies pass the Bechdel Test, try this:  think of 3 movies that you think will pass the test, and check out this movie list to see how many you get right. Sadly, it’s harder than it seems!  I only got two out of my 3 guesses right – Just One of the Guys (I had to dig back into my trove of 80s movies) and Easy A (which is, according to the website, up for debate!).

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carsen Levine

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Why can’t Ella just be normal like everyone else? Instead, she is stuck with this annoying childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her. Anything!  If she is told to hop on one foot, she hops. Let’s not even start with the work her awful step-mother and step-sisters make her do. Most people would just sit back and let life take them where they are going, but not Ella: “Instead of making me docile, Lucinda’s curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally.”

Ella must travel through her kingdom in her quest to find Lucinda, the fairy who inadvertently gave her the “gift” of obedience at birth, and rid herself of the curse. She’ll meet man-eating ogres and book-smart fairies, and maybe even fall in love with a prince, but none of it will be worth it until she can rid herself of this curse and become the person she really is.

Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls by Carrie Brownstein

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Back in 2001, the Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls was founded by area musicians in Portland as a place that girls ages 8 to 18 can go to go learn how to rock.  The book (named after the camp) brings the lessons and activities from the camp to everyone. It has something for anyone interested in becoming involved in different aspects of the music industry – how to write songs, play instruments, get gigs, and record an album. There is even a short history of women in rock for the music nerd in all of us.

Fans of popular female-centric bands will be happy to see contributions by members of Sleater-Kinney, the Gossip, and Mirah.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

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Frankie Landau-Banks isn’t like the other girls at Alabaster Preparatory Academy, and she doesn’t really see why she should be. Yeah, she had just gone from an awkward, unnoticed 14 year-old to a knock-out 16 year-old, but who wants to live life getting by on looks alone? Though…one of the good parts about suddenly showing up on the radar is that Matthew Livingston finally noticed her. She has a boyfriend, now. A senior boyfriend.

After he starts disappearing and showing up in the oddest places with his friends, she knows he’s in an all-male secret society like the one her father was in when he went to school there. It’s SO obvious to her. Why won’t he just tell her?  Maybe he would if she proved to him how smart she was…how diabolical she could be. How she could be just like them – BETTER than them at their own game.  She’ll show them that she belongs if it takes pranking herself straight out of school!

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

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The 74th Hunger Games are over, and life has changed for Katniss.  She and Peeta now live with their families in the upscale, yet mostly empty Victor’s Village in District 12.  Though Katniss and Peeta live close to each other, they couldn’t be further apart.

For the rest of their lives, Katniss and Peeta will be mentors to the tributes from District 12. They will guide one boy and one girl from their district each year knowing they are most-likely sending them to their death. They will always be in the spotlight, pretending to be in love to keep the Capital happy.