Many people start out the year by taking on a challenge to read more books by female authors. As with exercise regimens or changes in eating habits, it’s easy for one’s best January intentions to turn into May failures. But this doesn’t have to happen! It is never too late to get your beach brain back in shape. Here are some nice books by lady writers, and a very manly book by a man writer.
The Crash Detectives: Investigating the World’s Most Mysterious Air Disasters by Christine Negroni
The title is somewhat misleading. I expected to learn how investigators do their job, but instead found an overview of several plane crashes and near misses. That said, it’s still a great book. I was fascinated reading about the physical and mental effects of depressurization, statements from survivors, and the political intrigue that can sometimes affect incident investigations. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is discussed in depth, and a plausible scenario is laid out as to what happened there. I refuse to fly, but this book made me feel a little safer. Crashes are rare, and pilots save planes a lot more often than they lose them.
That Lonely Section of Hell: The Botched Investigation of a Serial Killer who Almost Got Away by Lori Shenher
This infuriating book is an account of how a pig farmer in Canada was basically allowed to get away with murder for years, written by a detective who worked the case. Sex workers in Vancouver were disappearing right and left, but as society placed very little value on them, it took far too long for the police to take it seriously. And when they finally did, the investigation was marked by a complete disregard for the victims, mistrust of the witnesses, and a failure to even attempt to understand their world. Fortunately, there were at least a few detectives who did care, and the killer was eventually stopped. He has since confessed to the murder of 49 human beings, whose lives were as valuable as anyone else’s.
Hooray for Birds! by Lucy Cousins
Ready for a little break from murderers and plane crashes? Me too! This colorful, adorable picture book is just right. Prolific author Lucy Cousins shares knowledge about all the different birds and what they do. Run like an ostrich, go, go, go!
Crazy is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules by AJ Mendez Brooks
Nerdy little April grew up amid poverty, drug addiction, and mental illness. She escaped into comic books and video games, taking inspiration from the tough women she found there. And then one day she discovered pro wrestling and learned superheroes are real! April went on to make all her dreams come true, dropkicking stereotypes and invigorating the world of women’s wrestling on the way to becoming a three-time WWE champion.
Sisterhood of the Squared Circle: the History and Rise of Women’s Wrestling by Pat Laprade and Dan Murphy
Would you like to know more? Sure you would! Moonsault on into this great history of women’s wrestling from the late 1800s to today. With hundreds of photos and profiles of incredible athletes from Josie Wahlford right up to Asuka, you’re sure to find yourself a new hero or two.
Hard Luck Hank: Basketful of Crap by Steven Campbell
Relax with a bit of fluffy fun by a male author. Plucky hero Hank lives on Space Station Belvaille, working for a casino as an armed guard. When the casino is blown up on his watch, he’s out of a job. Hank becomes a freelance hero for hire, meeting interesting characters such as Naked Guy, who is a naked guy. As one reviewer put it: “Funny, snarky, violent and devoid of all socially redeeming value.”
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