Kathryn is a bookseller and buyer at the store and runs the speculative fiction book club. When she's not at Browsers, she's writing or practicing photography. Kathryn graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University in 2019 and is currently working on her debut novel and an essay collection. Her writing has appeared in Tragedy Queens: Stories Inspired by Lana Del Rey and Sylvia Plath, Nasty!, and Allegory magazine. She prefers reading horror, sci-fi/fantasy, and feminist texts.
The perfect quarantine read. The ghost of Fanny Halloran’s father returns to warn her the end is nigh -- and only those staying in the Halloran house will be spared. Trusting her, the family gathers what they need to survive the apocalypse and lock themselves inside their estate. This book is seriously funny and contains a scene that scared me more than any part of The Haunting of Hill House, a balance only Jackson could achieve.
A carefully curated collection of righteously angry feminist texts to guide you through the revolution. I love how it’s laid out: queer/trans, anticapitalist/anarchist, angry/violent, indigenous/women of color, sex/body, hacker/cyborg, trashy/punk, witchy/bitchy. There’s something here for everyone. Pairs well with Estelle B. Freedman’s The Essential Feminist Reader.
I can’t recommend this book enough! An instant classic in psychological realism, cognitive dysphoria, and queer feminist fiction. A must-read for fans of Shirley Jackson and Angela Carter. Machado is a genre blender and master storyteller, weaving the surreal, fantastical, and the horrific. Incredibly relevant writing that gives voice to women’s rage, pain, and oppression. Shifting effortlessly from humor to horror, to the strange and uncomfortably familiar, there’s something here for everyone. “The Husband Stitch,” “The Resident,” and “Inventory” are my favorites. Fans of Law and Order:SVU will love “Especially Heinous.”
Essential reading for feminists and anyone interested in writing and literature. I couldn’t put it down. Russ breaks down the common tactics used to discount, discredit, and bury women’s writing. This book is infuriating, inspiring, and validating. I wish I’d read it sooner! Will make you want to read more female writers.
hooks analyzes our cultural lovelessness and search for love in romantic partnerships, friendships, family, the self, workplace, and soul, and guides us on the path to fostering love, while critically examining the ways patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacy have tainted our ideas of love. Will make you evaluate your relationship with love and inspire you to form better practices of love.
N.K. Jemisin is the only author to ever win a Hugo award for every book in a series, for her groundbreaking Broken Earth trilogy. This isn’t just good fantasy, it’s masterful fiction. Jemisin’s worldbuilding and complex narrative will suck you in, and her commentary on oppression will have you reaching for the next book in the series as soon as you finish this one.
Biography at its finest. I couldn’t put it down. As a Jackson fan, I was delighted to learn more about the author of my favorites The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and “The Lottery.” As a woman, I was heartbroken to learn how sexism and misogyny affected Jackson. As a writer, I was hooked by Franklin’s prose, so moved by the narrative she made of Jackson’s life that I cried, laughed, and sighed as I read. Recommended for Jackson fans, biography lovers, and writers.
If you liked The Perfect Nanny, you’re going to love Adele. Slimani’s crisp, minimal prose and short, punchy scenes make for irresistible writing. You’ll be pulled in by the grit and desire to make sense of Adele, but Slimani offers no reductions or explanations. You won’t want to put it down.
I could not put this book down. Life on the ship Matilda is brutal. Picture an antebellum plantation set in space. But there is beauty here too. Solomon’s prose is lyrical and profound. Their greatest strength is their characterization - Aster, Theo, Giselle and the Sovereign will stick with you. I loved the gender variance and queerness in this book, as well as the commentary on race and class. Recommended for fans of N.K. Jemisin.
I wish I’d read this book sooner. As someone who has struggled with daily anxiety since childhood, it was long overdue. Wilson offers no answers but plenty of tips and tricks for easing anxiety and, more importantly, altering the way one thinks of anxiety. The book is written as a series of notes, conversational in tone, making it more accessible than academic.
You need to read this book! The stories in Friday Black are strange, brutal, beautiful and illuminating. Adjei-Brenyah crafts complex characters, rich worlds, and tight narratives that comment on the violence of white supremacy and capitalism, proving no idea is too big for the form. Easily the best short story collection I’ve read all year.
North Wood: A Novella is haunting and beautiful. A novella told via poetic entries of varying length and form, it details the formation, rise, and fall of a violent affair between an isolated woman and an older, married man. I love the cover and pages of this book too!
Of course the book with the word 'conversation' in the title offers both compelling dialogue and characters that don't know how to talk to each other. Rooney's made something modern and cool of that oldest narrative plot - the extramarital affair. Usually I can't stand such stories but this one hooked me and the ending made me smile. A perfect summer read.
This is such a powerful book. Joy McCullough gives the iconic painter Artemisia Gentileschi a voice in this poetic narrative retelling of her rape and the torture and trial that followed. You can feel the anger pulsing through this one - let it empower you.
The New Me is a darkly funny, existentially depressing, and uncomfortably vivid depiction of an unhappy young woman stuck in a rut. Millie hates herself, her job, and her friends but can't seem to change her life. She's sure a promotion would bring her joy but of course it's not that simple. Fans of Ottessa Moshfegh will appreciate this one.
An anti-capitalist zombie narrative / coming-of-age that highlights the immigrant experience and the bleakness of the “millennial condition.” You’ve never read a dystopian like this. It’s moving, horrific, and humorous.
I’d say I picked this book up at exactly the right time, but I think I would have felt that way no matter when I read it. It’s that impactful. Johnson wrestles with big questions: what is justice? Who deserves it? Is it possible for suvivors of sexual violence? She also turns her eye on whiteness, big oil companies, and natural disasters. Read these essays!
The stories in Black Light are nostalgic and oddly comforting despite their weird and unpredictable nature. The characters feel so real, and the setting too. There’s sadness, grit, and tenderness here. Parsons voice is lyrical and confident, sure to stun.
I was so happy when we received an advanced reader's copy of this book. As a feminist and avid genre fan, it felt like it was written for me. I'm glad this book is out now and I can recommend it to all of you. This is for those trying to correct the gender imbalance on their bookshelves, for fans of horror/science-fiction/fantasy, and feminist readers. You're about to add so much to your reading list.
Fans of Naomi Alderman and Margaret Atwood will love this gripping feminist dystopian in which men are literally toxic. Or rather, Grace, Lia, and Sky have been told men are toxic. Raise on an isolated island, their father King invents bizarre rituals meant to “cleanse” them. When he goes missing and men arrive on the island, everything the girls have been taught is called into question.
Fans of Maggie Nelson’s Bluets will appreciate the hybrid blend of lyric essay and poetry found in Christle’s examination of tears/crying. I am not a person who cries easily but I’d like to be. Reading this book brought me to tears many times, in the best possible way.
I could not put this book down. It sucked me in immediately and didn’t let go. Hard to believe this one is a debut. Such a Fun Age offers a gripping plot, well-crafted characters and excellent commentary on class and race. Kiley Reid is an author to watch.
I love this collection of short stories. Lazarin writers with a calm realism that’s utterly engaging. Her stories are beautifully crafted, at times uncomfortably real. Her female characters struggle to find their place in patriarchy (or break free of it) and discover the depth of their rage and strength.
The Seas is beautiful, lyrical, and strange. It's haunting me still, months after reading it. Maggie Nelson refers to it as "a little scary, a little holy," and it is. Here is a female character driven by lust, intuitive and imaginative, in love with language and the sea. She's also convinced she's a mermaid. I don't know if she's sane (probably not) but can understand the reasons she wouldn't be.
I devoured this book in one sitting and then listened to the audiobook because I wanted more. Reviews have focused on it’s “rawness” and emotional impact but not enough has been said of Mailhot’s craft. Creative writing programs should use Heart Berries to teach the art of memoir. Mailhot’s sentences are devastating, beautifully structured, and incredibly heavy hitting.
Confession: I’ve never read Ovid’s Metamorphoses, but that didn’t stop me from falling for this book. MacLaughlin’s writing is clever and fierce, original but relatable. She plays with form and narration style and jumps around in time but the collection still feels cohesive and fun. Worth owning for the cover alone, with chapters so short you won’t be able to stop at one. Recommended for fans of Greek mythology and angry feminists alike.