“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
Date Read:
28/06/2016 – 20/07/2016
Rating: ★★★☆


(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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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 13 July, 2016

Hey guys. Just letting you know that except in a couple of cases, due to blogging technology being against me, I am having trouble commenting on posts on non-Wordpress blogs. I am not ignoring you, I just can’t get them to post! 😦

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions.


  • What are you currently reading?

wonderwomencoverI am back to reading Wonder Women by Sam Maggs. I’m still really appreciating learning about all these awesome women who history has forgotten, but I am still a little irked by the Tumblr-esque writing style. It’s fine if I’m on Tumblr, but I’m trying to read a book. I should finish this over the next few days and hopefully have a review up on Monday.

Also just started the audio book of Paper Daisies by Kim Kelly. Early days yet, and while there are a couple of things already irking me about the writing style, I think they might stop once the story really gets going, so I’m continuing for now.

  • What have you recently finished reading?

Nothing,  unfortunately, apart from DNFing The Secret River by Kate Grenville. I was disappointed because I loved her other book, The Lieutenant, but this one was just so dull!

I did, however, post reviews both for All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Game (Jasper Dent #2) by Barry Lyga. Click the links to read them.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

islasinheritanceI’ve decided to start trying to whittle away at the unread stuff on my Kindle, and I plan to start with Isla’s Inheritance, the first in a series by local author Cassandra Page. My aim is to try to get through one or two Kindle books a month, along with everything else. I’m also trying to nut out how to approach my reading challenges in the second half of the year, so I have a few other things on my immediate radar for that.

And now for WIPpet Wednesday. This is another blog hop in which writers share excerpts from their current WIP that somehow relate to the date. Clicking the blue guy on the right will take you to the linkup for this one. I’m still sharing from my July Camp NaNo project. The night before, Frederick Merrow had been showing Grace some of his magic, which led to Grace being awake all night thinking about it, and being unfit for work the next morning. Seven paragraphs for the seventh month.

“It’s Frederick,” the voice outside replied, startling Grace into leaping out of bed. “I heard you were unwell. Is there anything I can do to help?”

Grace opened the door. She must have still looked exhausted because he took a step back to take her all in and then said, “I hope I am not to blame for your current state.”

“I couldn’t sleep last night,” she said. “I kept thinking about everything you showed me. So I suppose it is your fault in a way.”

Frederick barked out a laugh.

“Sir, surely you shouldn’t be down here.”

Frederick shrugged. “Why ever not? This is my house, isn’t it? I can go where I please.”

“Yes, but… going to the bedroom of one of your female servants. What would people think?”

That’s it from me, see you on your blogs!

~ Emily


#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 29 June, 2016

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions (I’m posting early, so you might have to wait a bit for the link up to go live).


What are you currently reading?

allthelightcoverI’ve started All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I’m moving slowly with it, though I do have seven hours of travel on Saturday, so in theory I could get it finished before it’s due back to the library next Wednesday. If I do have to return it, though, the queue is moving quite quickly, so I can reserve it and have it again in a couple of weeks.

catchmeifyoucancoverOn audio, I’m listening to Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale Jr. and Stan Redding. I really enjoy the movie with Leonardo di Caprio and Tom Hanks, and I absolutely loved the musical when I saw it earlier this year, so when I saw it available on Overdrive, I thought I would pick it up. I guess it’s unsurprising that a man’s memoir written in the 80s about being a teenager in the 60s is fairly sexist and gross at times… but if you can overlook that, it’s pretty entertaining so far…

wonderwomencoverI accidentally left All the Light We Cannot See on my desk at work yesterday, so last night I started Wonder Women by Sam Maggs, which I was approved for on NetGalley. While I really appreciate being made aware of these awesome women I had not heard of in many cases, I do wish the author was a little more academic and a little less snarky (I swear, there’s a “witty” aside every two sentences).

What did you recently finish reading?

nimonacoverNimona by Noelle Stevenson was very sweet, though not terribly original. I still really enjoyed it, though; the characters made it.

Nightshade by Maryrose Wood was… well, a bit weird. It felt a bit like it was trying to go dark and kind of missed and just ended up melodramatic instead.

fictionalwomancoverAnd finally,  The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss. Tara’s personal stories were definitely the strength of this book; the data analysis and social commentary felt like it was treading familiar ground. Still, an enjoyable introduction to feminism if you are looking for that sort of thing.

I also posted two reviews this week, for Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine and I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga, both of which were 4.5 star reads for me.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I still have The Secret River by Kate Grenville out from the library after my library haul at the beginning of the month. I am honestly not sure whether I will enjoy it and I may not end up getting through it, but I want to give it a go.

wednesdaybannerAnd now for WIPpet Wednesday. This is another blog hop in which writers share excerpts from their current WIP that somehow relate to the date. Clicking the blue guy on the right will take you to the linkup for this one. Today is the 29th, so I took eleven lines from my Scrivener document. In this scene, Carrie is still posing as the Princess. They have arrived back at the palace, and Masden has left Carrie to the princess’ ladies’ maid to get washed up before reporting to the King that she is supposedly home.

Her face lit up when she saw Carrie. “Oh, Princess, it’s such a relief to see you’re all right!” she exclaimed. She took a couple of quick steps forward with her arms out, as though she had intended to embrace the Princess, but then seemed to remember her place and thought better of it and let her arms fall.

Carrie gave her a smile. “Hello, Maisie,” she said, hoping she sounded natural enough. It was hard to talk to a stranger and make it sound like they already knew each other well. “It’s good to see you, too.”

Maisie gave a little curtsy, a broad smile beaming on her face, then she made her way straight to the bathroom. Carrie heard her speak through the door as she ran water into a tub. “Have to get you looking presentable for your father,” Maisie commented. “If you don’t mind my saying so, your Highness, you look a bit of a sight. You could do with a bath, but we haven’t got time for that. We’ll just get your face washed before you see your father, and change your clothes. The rest of you can wait.”

Carrie had no idea how the Princess would react to that. Surely, if that sort of familiar conversation was not welcome, Maisie would not have lasted long as the Princess’ companion. And besides, the Princess Adelyn that Carrie knew went out of her way to be accepting to all people. She even believed that magic had its place, unlike her father. A talkative servant was unlikely to bother her.

Carrie settled on a vague, “Yes, that sounds good,” and continued to sit on the bed, not sure what her next move should be.

Technically, they probably shouldn’t even have running water at this point, but I do intend to revise the time period in the next draft. I will be revising a lot of things in the next draft actually. So. Much. Revision.

But that’s Future Emily’s problem. For the moment, I’m working on Lessons  Learned. I had a rather large epiphany about this one, namely that the backstory is not backstory at all, but the actual story. So I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo to make a start on that! My username is spaciireth on the site if you want to share a cabin. I’m not going to go in a random cabin but will happily hang out with blog friends.

I should head off now. Catch you all later!

~ Emily

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