BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Bea Reviews Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by Jason Porath

Publisher: Dey Street Books
Source: pr firm in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 25th, 2016
Buying Links:
Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:

Blending the iconoclastic feminism of The Notorious RBG and the confident irreverence of Go the F**ck to Sleep, a brazen and empowering illustrated collection that celebrates inspirational badass women throughout history, based on the popular Tumblr blog.

Well-behaved women seldom make history. Good thing these women are far from well behaved . . .

Illustrated in a contemporary animation style, Rejected Princesses turns the ubiquitous "pretty pink princess" stereotype portrayed in movies, and on endless toys, books, and tutus on its head, paying homage instead to an awesome collection of strong, fierce, and yes, sometimes weird, women: warrior queens, soldiers, villains, spies, revolutionaries, and more who refused to behave and meekly accept their place.

An entertaining mix of biography, imagery, and humor written in a fresh, young, and riotous voice, this thoroughly researched exploration salutes these awesome women drawn from both historical and fantastical realms, including real life, literature, mythology, and folklore. Each profile features an eye-catching image of both heroic and villainous women in command from across history and around the world, from a princess-cum-pirate in fifth century Denmark, to a rebel preacher in 1630s Boston, to a bloodthirsty Hungarian countess, and a former prostitute who commanded a fleet of more than 70,000 men on China’s seas.

My Thoughts:

Buy this book. Right now. Go buy it. What are you waiting for? GO BUY IT.

Okay, bought a copy? Excellent. Now, go back and buy copies for your sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters, parents, aunts, and uncles, your spouse,/significant other, your roommates, and your co-workers.

Yes, the book is that good and that worth reading. It's informative and entertaining, useful and enjoyable. The illustrations, while cartoony, add color and interest. They're a bit misleading as there's nothing cartoonish about the subjects but it ties into the title's allusion to Disney. They also lighten up the topic a bit, keep it from getting too heavy.

"Rejected Princesses" loks at famous, and not so famous, women throughout history that have not been co-opted by Disney, and, more importantly have been forgotten or otherwise not gotten the recognition they deserve. Porath looks at rulers, scientists, inventors, etc., women who were important in their time or made a difference. Some are well-known but most are not. It was appalling to me how many I had never heard of and I consider myself to be both well read and well educated.

Porath doesn't restrict himself to European or US history but roams the planet and covers a wide swath of time. Some of the biographies are eye-opening. At two to three pages each including full-page artwork, they are brief but include footnotes. At the back of the book is a bibliography so you can do further research if you desire. The mini-biographies are respectful but not dry, snakly but not rude (okay, maybe a little bit), and full of details, Porath is quick to admit when sources disagree or information is unavailable. I haven't finished the book but that's okay as it's designed to be read in bites, maybe as you sip a drink. You can jump around and skip over the ones you aren't interested in and save them for later.

While the book is available in print and digital, I think it might be best enjoyed in print due to the numerous art pages. If you want it in print, read it on a tablet so you can enjoy the full-color illustrations.

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