Maribou (maribou) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Beginning Underground; Empress of the Sun; Waiting Rules

The Underground Girls of Kabul, by Jenny Nordberg
This is a book about the bacha poch in Afghanistan - girls who through familial decisions and/or their own inclinations pass as boys for some portion of their childhoods. REALLY interesting. I think the author would've been better served by not getting into the theoretical aspects of gender, since her treatment of it wasn't really in-depth enough for it to add to the book, but that was a minor minor minor quibble. The author brings these children, and their lives, into sharp relief, with warmth, and humor. You get a real sense that she is doing her best to get out of the way and let them share their lives. <3.

To Dance the Beginning of the World, by Steven Hayward
I don't often enjoy short stories, but when I do enjoy them, more often than not I inhale them. As I did with these.

Empress of the World, and The Rules for Hearts by Sara Ryan
I needed these books when I was about 14. There are not a lot of lesbian and/or bisexual YA protagonists, even today, and there were many fewer back then. Sadly, these weren't pubilshed until I was in my twenties. But I still very much enjoyed them now, even though I am almost 38. Not as good as Garret Freymann-Weyr's novels about teenagers figuring out who they are (few books are!), but in the same vein.
(75, 83)

Kingdom of the Sun and Moon, by Lowell Press
So I wanted to read this book because I have a fondness for anthropomorphic fiction when done well, and because I was in the mood for something relatively cute or cosy. Turns out this is MILITARY anthropomorphic fiction, whoops! Not cosy at all. But quite solid.

Wisdom in the Waiting, by Phyllis Tickle
I grew up Catholic (with frequent visits to the Anglican side of the ballpark), and reading my aunties' Guideposts magazines when we visited a few times a week, so sometimes I really want to steep myself in religious writing as a comfort mechanism. It's very important that the authors I select for this exercise write intelligently and from a place of personal insight, without getting too analytical or bossy. Tickle fit those requirements to a tee.

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