I tried to make this Year of the Book post thematic. I have recently finished three books that have one thing in common - the "strong female lead." Rosie approves. So after your bicep curls, check out these books which I have enjoyed (2 outta 3 ain't bad), and recommend to you, fair readers, as ways to get your woman-power on.
Serena by Ron Rash
In between mouthfuls of lobster and beer, I picked up this novel while we were in Asheville. Ron Rash is a professor at Western Carolina University, and so all the local bookstores were promoting this novel. It is getting turned into a movie starring none other than Bradley Cooper. In case you didn't know that I have a huge mondo crush on Mr. Cooper, I do. The man speaks French, for goodness sakes. The film will also star Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss!). From reading the book I can tell you, that will be one hell of a movie. Serena, the titular character, is a hard woman. A HARD woman. Like, move aside Ellen Ripley, Serena is in town. She contrasts well in the novel against the a second female character who actually feels compassion for other human beings. In the middle is a derpy guy who couldn't find his.... well you know. He's an idiot. Kind of reminds me of the hapless husband in cleaning commercials. "What do I do with this vacuum cleaner again, honey?" Anyway... just read it. It's awesome.
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
I have always wanted to read Henry James, and now I have. That's all I have to say about that. I know lots of people probably love this book, but I thought it was a slog. I kept waiting for it to enlighten me about the plight of women in the 19th century, or tell me something new about human nature, or basically make me think about anything other than how long it was going to take Isabel Archer to discover her husband is a cad. There were some parts I enjoyed. Maybe this is one of those you have to read more than once to like. If you loved this book... please... tell me why.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Andrew tell me I'm cheating by listing books I've listened to on audiobook as included in the Year of the Book tally. Is he right? Well, in the spirit of divulgence, I listened to this one. If you liked "The Hunger Games," then this series is for you. The first in a trilogy, the second one just came out - "Insurgent". I liked this book mainly because I liked the main character so much. Tris - short for Beatrice - lives in a dystopian future Chicago where everyone has to pick a "faction" based upon their character traits when they are of age. Kind of reminded me of "The Giver" in that way. Also fun - this book helped me expand my vocabulary. The author uses fancy words to describe the factions - Erudite, Dauntless, Abnegation, Amity and Candor. Get out your Webster's, and start reading.
Finally, I leave you with THIS. My new favorite tumblr. Read on, people! Read on!