1. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
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.
2. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
In Rainbow Rowell’s ‘Fangirl’, the protagonist Cath struggled with going away to college, being separated from her twin, and the role that Simon Snow fanfiction played in her new reality. From those featured snippets comes the full length, ‘cannon’, Simon Snow novel.
Simon Snow is similar to another series with a famous boy wizard, but it is wholly original. Carry On takes place during Simon’s final year at Watford, a school for magical children. Simon plays a unique role in the World of Mages; he is seen as the Chosen One, who will deliver them from evil. Namely, the Insidious Humdrum, who takes on the form of an eleven-year-old Simon.
Simon has a best friend- Penelope, and a girlfriend- Agatha. Simon also has an archnemesis/roommate- Baz. When Baz doesn’t return at the beginning of term, Simon is suspicious. Is he planning something? Tensions are running high at Watford, and there is a divide between the Old Families and people who want social and political reforms.
When Baz finally returns at Watford, things are different, and a different kind of tension becomes apparent between Simon and Baz. As the World of Mages begins to crumble, Simon and Baz realize that they must work together as allies rather than fight as enemies.
3. Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace by Jessica Bennett
Part manual, part manifesto, Feminist Fight Club is a hilarious yet incisive guide to navigating subtle sexism at work, providing real-life career advice and humorous reinforcement for a new generation of professional women.
It was a fight club—but without the fighting and without the men. Every month, the women would huddle in a friend’s apartment to share sexist job frustrations and trade tips for how best to tackle them. Once upon a time, you might have called them a consciousness-raising group. But the problems of today’s working world are more subtle, less pronounced, harder to identify—and harder to prove—than those of their foremothers. These women weren’t just there to vent. They needed battle tactics. And so the fight club was born.
Hard-hitting and entertaining, Feminist Fight Club blends personal stories with research, statistics, and no-bullsh*t expert advice. Bennett offers a new vocabulary for the sexist workplace archetypes women encounter everyday—such as the Manterrupter who talks over female colleagues in meetings or the Himitator who appropriates their ideas—and provides practical hacks for navigating other gender landmines in today’s working world. With original illustrations, Feminist Mad Libs, a Negotiation Cheat Sheet, and fascinating historical research, Feminist Fight Club tackles both the external (sexist) and internal (self-sabotaging) behaviors that plague women in the workplace—as well as the system that perpetuates them.
4. Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
A fantasy comic about race, feminism and the monster within. Set in an alternate matriarchal 1920’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steampunk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war. She shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power – a connection that will transform them both. In a world populated by humans, magical half-breeds and evil sorceresses alike, this first arc follows Maika, a humanoid Arcanic with a dark past and a tortured present. At odds with The Cumaea, a coven of witches who use the Arcanic’s own life force to feed their wicked ways, Maika’s journey is at once investing. Slavery, racism, the horrors of war – Maika’s world is a bleak one, and the book doesn’t shy away from presenting its harsh realities. Of course, there’s more to Maika than simply meets the eye, and with a war between the Arcanics and The Cumaea brewing, Maika’s secret puts her squarely in the crosshairs.