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This week, our collection of #wcw features a diverse group of girls and women across history, genre and culture.  All have unique voices and stories to share. The females here dared to ask questions, to present themselves how they ached (or demanded!) to be seen as opposed to how society sees them, and to forge their own paths instead of following in the footsteps that lead to a much narrower world.  Ladies whose narratives expose crucial and fascinating perspectives we don’t always see make for quite a group of inspiring crushes! Their stories are creatively cultivated in ways that best suit each of them, and we hope they speak to you as much as they speak to us.
July 15, 2015

Woman Crush Wednesday: No Shrinking Violets Here!

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Another Wednesday, another stellar batch of women (and girls) in our #wcw roundup. Whether fictional or flesh-and-blood, these ladies are all fierce in their ambition and uncompromising in their expression. They're mold-breakers who aren't interested in being anyone's sidekick --- and aren't afraid to step on a few toes. Don't get us wrong; women can be strong and gentle, too. But today we're crushing hard on the ladies who were brave enough to defy people's expectations and do things their own way. Bonus points for being badass inspirations for the rest of us!
Have you ever received a book that changed your life? Simon Watson did, one July evening, when a musty, leather-bound book from the early 1800s lands in his lap, detailing his family history and revealing an awful lineage: Women in his family have always been able to hold their breath for extraordinary lengths of time --- like mermaids --- but they also have a knack for drowning themselves, each one of them dying in water on July 24th. But who ever heard of mermaids drowning?
               
Welcome to our first post of #wcw --- Woman Crush Wednesday! We here at The Book Report Network know that your 20s are a time of figuring out yourself and how this world works --- and in order to do that, no matter your gender, you can’t have just the male perspective! And all too often, that’s the only perspective that gets talked about. Women can be anything and everything! So we’ve decided to feature some awesome and inspiring ladies of literature every Wednesday, from authors to poets to the female protagonists who remind us that women are so much more than only sidekicks and love interests. We’ll share our literary lady crushes, and no matter who you are, we hope you’ll find something in their stories that speaks to you!
I'd venture a guess that there's a good chance you text --- a lot. Maybe at lunch or before you go to bed, but probably while you're doing other things, too --- "listening" to your teacher talk about the Civil War, sitting at the office or even walking, biking or driving. In his book A DEADLY WANDERING, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Matt Richtel explores a "texting-while-driving" incident that claimed the lives of two rocket scientists in 2006 and the greater influence of technology on the human mind and society. See his blog post below, where he discusses the book --- it will definitely make you think twice about your own texting behavior.    
Matthew Thomas’ debut novel, WE ARE NOT OURSELVES, was acclaimed by critics and readers alike when it pubbed last summer. Budget-conscious 20somethings will be happy to know that its paperback release is imminent --- June 2nd, if we’re getting specific. To tide us over until then, Matthew was kind enough to share the top five books he read in his 20s that influenced his thinking and writing; compounded with a dazzling list of honorable mentions, his picks are a literary lover’s dream come true.
The other night a few of us from The Book Report Network were lucky enough to score some press passes to a prescreening of Insurgent, the second installment in the theatrical adaptation of Veronica Roth's Divergent series. We were most excited to see our beloved YA hot shot Shailene Woodley and muscular heartthrob Theo James steam up the screen...and maybe get some free popcorn, but who's keeping track? The movie was a quick-paced, action-packed, two-hour dystopian extravaganza, complete with an oppressive government, a slew of anger-fueled rebels and a perfectly-matched dynamic duo whose love conquers all...literally.
Many of us are still in the afterglow of Valentine’s Day, still working on that box of chocolates or smelling the flowers that were delivered to us. It may remind us of those early days of life when we were naïve and giddy like schoolgirls at the prospect of someone special sending us flowers. There is something endearing and innocent about young love; it’s irresistible.
E L James’ notorious Fifty Shades of Grey series is almost too easy to ridicule. Does that stop me from doing so? Of course not. However, its abundance of editorial issues, coupled with its titillating subject matter, has overshadowed an issue that has serious implications in the book world. In light of the movie’s release, it’s high time to address it.