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Strong, Capable, and Dangerous

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Timothy Tierney found this witty
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The Top Five Books Reading List Contest. These top five books that I have chosen have left me with a sense to find more books with strong, capable, and dangerous women in fiction.

The Handmaid's Tale

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed . If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs...

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Binti

Winner of the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for Best Novella! Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs. Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti's stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach. If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself but first she has to make it there, alive. PRAISE FOR BINTI "Binti is a supreme read about a sexy, edgy Afropolitan in space! It's a wondrous combination of extra-terrestrial adventure and age-old African diplomacy. Unforgettable!" Wanuri Kahiu, award-winning Kenyan film director of Punzi and From a Whisper "

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The Sun Is Also a Star

The New York Times Bestseller! The dazzling new novel from Nicola Yoon, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything, will have you falling in love with Natasha and Daniel as they fall in love with each other! Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story. Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us. The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

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I Who Have Never Known Men

A work of fantasy, I Who Have Never Known Men is the haunting and unforgettable account of a near future on a barren earth where women are kept in underground cages guarded by uniformed groups of men. It is narrated by the youngest of the women, the only one with no memory of what the world was like before the cages, who must teach herself, without books or sexual contact, the essential human emotions of longing, loving, learning, companionship, and dying. Part thriller, part mystery, I Who Have Never Known Men shows us the power of one person without memories to reinvent herself piece by piece, emotion by emotion, in the process teaching us much about what it means to be human.

I Shall Be Near to You

An extraordinary novel about a strong-willed woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight beside her husband in the Civil War. Rosetta doesn't want her new husband, Jeremiah, to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they'll be able to afford their own farm someday. When Jeremiah leaves, Rosetta decides her true place is by his side, no matter what that means, and follows him into war. Rich with historical details and inspired by the many women who fought in the Civil War while disguised as men, I Shall Be Near To You is a courageous adventure, a woman's search for meaning and individuality

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I've read each of these, and was left with strong feelings-both good and bad. The Handmaid's Tale was a love/hate relationship. The Sun is Also a Star was easily one of the fastest books I've ever read. Binti left me wanting more. Each of these books left a huge impression on me this year, and I hope that I will find more that will do the same.

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