“Representation matters everywhere, not just in fiction, but also in our everyday IRL lives” // Review of “Wonder Women” by Sam Maggs

Title: Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History
Author: Sam Maggs
Genre:
non-fiction
Date Read:
28/06/2016 – 20/07/2016
Rating: ★★★☆

Review:

(Thanks to NetGalley and Quirk Books for a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).

Represenation matters. This is a huge thing. This goes for history class as much as it goes for Hollywood, and it is pretty appalling that the women featured in ths book have been completely ignored by history. So I have to thank Sam Maggs for bringing them to my attention, and I’ll definitely be going back through the book again to make notes of biographies and books written by the featured women to educate myself even more.

This book is divided into five broad chaptesr, Women of Science, Women of Medicine, Women of Espionage, Women of Innovation and Women of Adventure. Within each chapter, there are several longer biographies of five women, followed by shorter ones of several more, and at the end, an interview with a woman in each field. I had heard of very few of them, and hope this book gets a wide audience so that many more can also experience the wide range of incredible work done by these women. I really appreciated also the fact that while there probably were more Americans featured than any other nationalities, the book was not completely US-focused.

The one thing that did bother me was the writing style. In her acknowledgements, Sam Maggs thanks her editor for helping her strike the right balance between textbook and Tumblr, but for me, the writing was much closer to the Tumblr end of the spectrum than textbook. The very, very, very conversational tone was grating a lot of the time, especially given the number of authorial asides that I did not find as funny as I think the author hoped. I do wonder, however, if this is just a case of being the wrong age group for the book; I think it is probably aimed at younger girls, around the age of 15, and maybe it wouldn’t annoy the target audience quite as much.

In conclusion, I think everyone should take a look at this book, or at least take note of the names featured therein. Just be prepared to cringe a little.

Wonder Women will be available October 4th, 2016


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