(*T* -- denotes reviews/submissions by Tavia)
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Books by Title: G - H - I
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The Gate to Women's Country - by Sheri S. Tepper|
Bantam, 1988 (ISBN 0-553-28064-3)
This amazing sci-fi novel posits a dichotomous post-apocalyptic society. In
Women's Country, walled-in towns preserve what's left of civilization (which
has rather a Greco-Roman look and feel); government is run by and for women,
who are served by a few non-violent men. Warrior-type men are confined to
garrisons outside the towns--garrisons to which all males must be sent when
they reach a certain age. Only a select few males ever elect to leave the
barracks and return to Women's Country, and they must brave some serious
attitudinal obstacles to do so. This is not a bitter-feminist rant on the
benefits of social engineering and gender segregation, though; it's full of
very interesting and unexpected twists and turns.
Get Your Tongue Out of My Mouth, I'm Kissing You Goodbye - by Cynthia Heimel, 1993 (ISBN 0-449-90906-9)|
A columnist for Playboy magazine, because "They pay me. They let me write
whatever I want.... They let me use swear words to my heart's content. They don't
even mind if I offend advertisers. Try that at Vogue.", Cynthia Heimel is funny, mean,
and bitingly on-target.
Her books, including
"Sex Tips for Girls", "But Enough About You", "If you can't live without me, Why aren't
you dead yet?", and "When the phone doesn't ring, It'll be me", are uproariously entertaining,
and articulate. Neither gender escapes her sharp tongue.
With chapters like "Horribly ever after" (which rails against the revival of belief in
fairy-tale romances), and "The Female Animal" (which advises men in the pursuit of women),
both sexes can gain insights and a good laugh from her candor and invectives.
Get a Grip!- by Kaz Cook, Penguin Books,
(ISBN: 0 14 026343 8)|
From the back cover:
Get a Grip: a book of wit, wisdom, wild flights of fancy and wicked good sense.
Kaz Cooke's observations are timeless, timely reflections on almost
everything important, including NASA, interior design pornography,
collective nouns, lerv, weirdos and how to find your inner Nanna.
Kaz has a weakness for Scottish accents, an undying hatred of cats, a
devastating gift for one-liners and an obsession with the Miss Universe
contest ('because, as its name suggests, people from other planets may
Get a Grip is fierce, funny, frank, intelligent and informative; an
essential companion to life in the nineties and everything you need to know
about thigh boots, political correctness, food fads, foreign policy and the
sex life of clams. Kaz has an unerring eye for hypocrisy and fun.
'A writing style somewhere between Jane Austen and a hand grenade'
William Fraser - Sydney Morning Herald
By the same author:
Real Gorgeous: the Truth about Body and Beauty
Keep Yourself Nice
The Modern Girl's Guide to Safe Sex
The Modern Girl's Diary (series)
The Crocodile Club
Great Hysterical Figures Calendar
Gorgeous (short animated film)
Totally Gorgeous (CD-ROM)
Getting In Touch With Your Inner Bitch - by Elisabeth Hilts|
Hysteria Publications, 1994 (ISBN 0-9629162-0-X)
This is a great starter book for the budding HB, with a mix of quotes,
anecdotes, and cartoons. From the back cover copy: "There is an integral,
powerful part of each of us which is going unrecognized. It is the Inner
Bitch. Don't even pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. The Inner
Bitch is the Bette Davis in each of us, walking around with a cigarette in
one hand, a martini in the other, calling a dump a dump. The Inner Bitch
calls it as she sees it. This is the end of Toxic Niceness as we know it."
Okay, so the above version of the Inner Bitch seems to be just a tad into
self-poisoning (I hope it was at least a vodka martini ), but the book
itself is a pugnacious little indictment.
Gibbon's Decline and Fall - by Sheri S Tepper|
This book details the story of six women from the time they meet at university. It tells of each woman's search for her niche in the world. When society's repression of women begins to escalate they fight to assert their own and a young girl's rights. Through this story Tepper shows how women have been and could further be repressed by a masculine dominated society and how we can fight against this if we unite and teach equality in all things.
The Gift of Fear : Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker, a security expert.|
advice on dealing with stalkers, would-be rapists, etc., in your life.
On that, he basically says you should never be afraid to be seen as an
assertive bitch-- being a bitch is not only therapeutic, it can even
save your life. He says too many women have died because they were too
Girl of the Sea of Cortez - Peter Benchley|
I read this book a long time ago in my teens, and it had an amazing
impact on my life. Its about girl, Paloma, growing up
in Baja California with a traditional mother and a
non-traditional father. Her father raises her to love
the ocean after her brother early on embraces the notion
that the oceans were to be used and exploited, much to the
horror of her mother, who wanted a "normal" girl. Its a good
coming of age book for women, and great description of the world below
the surface of the ocean. I recommend it to women of all ages.
On a personal note, this book has been instumental in
understanding my family, which follows a similar template. My
mom wanted a little barbie doll dress well daughter, instead she
got an oceanographer geek outdoorsy diving daughter, and a son rather
like her! Such as life! Books like this one is an important influence
for girls without a primary female role model accepting who they are.
A Girl's Guide to Taking over the World : Writings from the Girl Zine
Revolution - Edited by: Karen Green & Tristan Taormino|
This is a book of articles on various subjects taken from zines
written by girls and women. These articles deal with
everything from family to politics. An empowering read. It
inspired me to start my own zine! Includes contributions from
Kathleen Hanna and Tammy Rae Carland. From the back of the book:
"A Girl's Guide to Taking Over The World exists because these
voices have refused to be silenced."
Godmother Night And Temporary Agency - by Rachel Pollack|
This book is a new-age/feminist/lesbian twist on a relatively known fairy
tale by the Grim Brothers. In it, Jaqe is a woman who is introduced to
her soulmate by Death incarnate. Death (Mother Night) rides around with
her group of redhead HB bikers. In one part, Jaqe is the epitomy of a
Heartless Bitch. She is nearby raped, so she asks Mother Night for a
favour. Everything the guy touches turns green with rot. He gets so
horrified, he tries to masturbate. Unfortunately, his penis turns green
then as well. He asks Jaqe for help, and she promptly replies, "Haven't
you figured it out yet? I'm not going to make them stop. I told them to
do this. They're following my idea." Classic HB.
The God of Small Things - by Arundhati Roy|
(Novel) "...conjures a whoosh of wordplay that rises from the pages like a brilliant jazz improvisation. The God of Small Things is
nominally the story of young twins Rahel and Estha and the rest of their family. The God of Small Things is at once exotic
and familiar to the Western reader, written in an English that's completely new and invigorated by the Asian Indian influences
of culture and language." (--Amazon) --HB Bookclub nomininee
Gone With the Wind - by Margret Mitchell|
Everybody knows the plot - southern belle faced with life before,
during and after the civil war. While most of her kind (all raised
to look pretty and do basically nothing) falter, Scarlett refuses
to let times get her down - "With God as her witness!". This
woman is truly an inspiration.
Even sweet Melanie holds her ground.
This is definitely a classic HB book.
Goodbye Good Girl : Letting Go of THE RULES and Taking Back Your Self - by Eileen M. Clegg, Susan F. Swartz |
An insightful look into the conventions that shape women's lives and the motivational stories of those who questioned the old rules and found new paths to their own growth.
Gossamer Axe - by Gael Baudino|
Story of a celtic harper separated from her lover for 200 hundred years.
From the back cover:
"Now, in contemporary Denver, Christa discovers the way to her loved one's freedom -- stunning
and powerful electric music that can break down the walls of time. So this Cletic maiden turns
rocker, her harp transfigures into an electric guitar and her newly formed band of heavy metal
warriors, called Gossamer Axe, becomes her most effective weapon."
The Ground Beneath Her Feet - by Salman Rushdie|
This is a love story for the 90's. For once, we have the female
character taking control of her life and trying to make it in the music
world on her terms. The book is an interesting read, but not exactly
light reading. Read this one when you have a few days
I think the line that sums up the female character, Vina is...
"You are the only man I will ever love, but do you seriously suppose
you're also the only guy I will ever fuck?"
Growing a Girl : Seven Strategies for Raising a Strong, Spirited Daughter - by Barbara MacKoff |
From "Amazon.com" - In the post-women's movement period of the 1990s, many parents, even those committed to gender equity, are "amazed" at the seemingly inborn differences between the genders. And most parents committed to raising their children free from gender bias give up when the kids are in preschool. Barbara Mackoff, in Growing a Girl, takes to task these postfeminist ideas. She stresses that, instead of focusing on gender, parents should see children in terms of their individuality, while at the same time wearing "gender glasses" and teaching their daughters to be aware of society's gender biases. Mackoff, a consulting psychologist, suggests the concept of "equalist" parents, who create equal opportunities for their daughters in a loving, supportive way. Mackoff gives readers specific, valuable tools for raising spirited, strong daughters and helps parents teach their daughters to enjoy being girls without limiting the opportunities that lie beyond society's gender bias.
Grunts! - by Mary Gentle|
A comic fantasy book mostly about orcs; sword and sorcery from
the bad guys point of view.
It features lots of bitchy characters; Marukka and all the Badgurlz,
duchess Magda of Graagryk, the Dark Lord Herself, and many more...
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The Handmaid's Tale - by Margaret Atwood|
A near-futuristic tale of a right-wing government gone wild with
politics based on misogyny, racism, and anti-Semitism. "Offred" is the
main character oppressed in the Republic of Gilead who makes a heroic
escape. If you think it CAN'T happen here, just look at what is taking place
with religious fundamentalists in Afghanistan right now...
Having Our Say : The Delaney Sisters' First 100 Years - by Elizabeth Delany, Hill Hearth, Annie eliza Delany, Sarah
Louise Delany, Amy Hill Hearth (Contributor), A. Elizabeth Delany|
"The inspirational account of centenarians Sadie and Bessie; Their sharp memories show readers the post-Reconstruction
South and Booker T. Washington; Harlem's Golden Age and Langston
Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, and Paul Robeson. Bessie breaks barriers to become a dentist; Sadie
quietly integrates the New York City system as a school teacher." --HB Bookclub nomininee
Her Way: Young Women Remake the Sexual Revolution - by Paula Kamen|
So in the midst of all the Katie Roiphes and Wendy Shalits ("Pee-Shy Shalit" as I like to call her) of the world, saying that women must "return to modesty" and get back in the closet with their desires for sexual independence -- here comes Paula Kamen. The author of 1991's admirable "Feminist Fatale" returns with a well-researched, highly readable, and just-in-time look at how young women view their sexuality, sex roles, social mores, family pressures, and a lot more. Doing it "Her Way" is loads of fun. This book gave me hope that the idiotic Surrendered Wives of the world won't be the future.
He She and It - by Marge Piercy|
A futuristic tale where the main character is a woman who learns,
little by little, that she doesn't have to depend on men.
The Honor Harrington series - by David Weber (Sci-Fi)
David Weber's Honor Harrington books are excellent. On one level they're
pure space opera -- exciting, action packed, and full of brave acts and
noble deeds. Honor Harrington is in command of a series of Naval
warships in a space navy. The general flavor of the books is closer to
the old naval tradition of iron men in wooden ships than Star Trek.
If anyone meets the criteria of "Being In Total Control, Honey", it's
Honor Harrington. The good captain inspires courage, nobility of spirit,
and total commitment in her crew and companions by giving it to them
without reservation. To say nothing of the fact that if Dame Honor
decides somebody's ass needs kicking, it's going to be between their
shoulder blades by the time she gets through with them.
I hesitate to say too much in recommending this fine series because I
don't want to spoil it for new readers, but I implore you not to make
the same mistake I made. A friend recommended these books and I wasted a
whole four months before I picked one up. Now that I've found them, I
can't put them down. I've devoured the first four in eight days!
Hothead Paisan, Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist/The Return of Hothead Paisan - by
Cleis Press, 1993 (?)/1995 (ISBNs 0-939416-73-5/1-57344-016-7)
issues published by Giant Ass Publishing, P.O. Box 214, New Haven, CT, 06502
WARNING: this stuff is NOT for the faint of heart! It's just like it sounds,
and then some; Hothead's a psychotic revenge fantasy with a pulse. Avenging
herself and her sisters with wicked, hair-trigger glee and a little help from
her wise and puckish cat Chicken, everybody's favorite knife-wielding HB
stomps through life with a resounding "fuck you," overdosing on coffee,
social injustice, and hypocrisy. If you've ever wanted, even for the briefest
moment, to pull out a sawed-off shotgun and blast that idiot who's holding a
triumphant press conference after having gotten away with yet another piece
of Boys-Will-Be-Boys criminality . . . if you've ever thought about carrying
a pair of rusty pinking shears around just so you can make a soprano of the
next philistine who propositions you from across a street . . . if you've
ever prayed for a speeding cab to put some terminal spritzhead from hell out
of your misery . . . then this is the comic for you. Individual back issues
(it's up to #20 or so) are available from Giant Ass Publishing (ya GOTTA
love da name!); the two compilation TPBs from Cleis Press reprint issues
1 to 9 and 10 to 18.
Houston, Houston, Do You Read - by Alice Sheldon|
This is a stunning portrayal of just how
foreign the male character in our society would seem to an all-female
group from the future as they study these strange creatures, try to
discover any redeeming qualities, and manipulate them effortlessly.
How to be a Complete Bitch - Book that came out a few years ago by
Commedienne Pamela Stephenson. Good for Beginners that need a little help.
How to Succeed in Business Without a Penis : Secrets and Strategies for the Working Woman
- by Karen Salmansohn |
A humorous blend of self-help and self-affirmation, this book
takes a stab at the gender-roles and traps that many women find
bar their way up the corporate ladder. Quoting from Sun Tzu to
Baltasar Gracian, Salmansohn serves up a plate of practical
feminism - much more palatably than Harriet Rubin in "Princessa".
--Salmansohn does NOT advocate crying and using sex as a weapon in
To quote from the book:
"You must have the courage to take risks, stir up controversy,
be talked about behind your back, and talked back to by the opposition.
AND until a woman can change her un-evil ways, be tough, bear balls,
face controversy, and STOP caring what people think, then others -- both
men and women others -- will forever have an edge over her."
Hunter's Oath, Hunter's Death, The Broken Crown - by Michelle West|
"Hunter's Oath" and "Hunter's Death" introduce us to an intricate world created by the author Michelle
West. In this world, people are born who are just normal people--and then there are the Talent-born, given
life with some sort of natural gift, a predisposition towards a certain craft or skill. There are Hunter-born,
Seer-born, Mage-born, Bard-born, Seer-born, the list is virtually endless. Evayne e'Nolan has possibly the
worst imaginable combination of those two: she is the God-born daughter of Destiny himself, as well as
being Seer-born. She knows what's going to happen. She knows that she can't do anything to stop it, for
that is the will of Destiny. When she's offered one chance, and one chance only, to save the world and all
she loves in it, she grabs it with both hands and, as a result, becomes the premier Heartless Bitch of this
ongoing series, the Oracle whose manipulations of time, fate, and chance lead her down some dark paths and
into some serious displays of heartless bitchiness, particullarly with regards to her companion, Kallandras, a Bard-born assassin.
Following close behind her in the HB emeritus category is Theresa di'Marano, introduced in "The Broken
Crown." Theresa di'Marano is Bard-born in the Dominion of Annagar, a kingdom in which no woman is
allowed to hold more power than a husband invests in his wife. Her ability to manipulate the minds and
emotions of others through her song makes her far more powerful than any woman has a right to be, and
leads to her life of miserable isolation, shackled to the service of her brothers--but it makes her strong, and
subtle, and powerful, and a supreme heartless bitch. Her niece, Diora di'Marano, is also Bard-born, and a
definite heartless bitch in training at her aunt's knee. "The Broken Crown" also contains strong themes of
the bonds of love that can grow only between women.
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If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him - by Sharyn McCrumb|
Elizabeth MacPherson is a crime-solving forensic anthropologist up against solving two
sensational murders (did the women kill their husbands?)... A mystery full of hijinks, heroics, hilarity, and Heartless Bitches.
If Tomorrow Comes - Sidney Sheldon|
The heroine is walked all over by everyone she knows &
in the course of the book she becomes a HB to envy.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou's autobiographical
journey out of being physically and psychologically abused.
The Improvised Woman -by Marcelle Clements |
We terminally single gals really missed the boat, didn't we?
Well, some of us were too busy living to notice.
"The Improvised Woman" covers the REAL reasons why women don't
marry or re-marry, and the myriad consequences of
that choice, in the words of REAL women.
In Her Own Image: Women Working in the Arts - Edited by Elaine Hedges and Ingrid Wendt|
This long-overdue collection chronicles all sorts of female artists from quilters to photographers to native
American potters. Through photos, interviews, and background history of media and artists the world
finally learns about all those brilliantly creative women
The Inner Bitch Guide to Men, Relationships, Dating Etc : Guide to Men, Relationships, Dating, Etc. - by Elizabeth Hilts |
The bestselling author of "Getting in Touch with Your Inner Bitch" heralds the end of Toxic Intimacy as we know it. Using the "Inner Bitch Way to Intimacy" will get you everything you ever wanted out of your love life through being true to yourself. No matter where you are today in terms of relationship, try the "Inner Bitch Way". It works.
In these Girls, Hope Is a Muscle - By Madeleine Blais|
This book is a biography, if you will, of the girls high-school basketball team from Amherst, Mass. during
the 1992-93 season. Blais follows the girls as they grow up and together to find that part of themselves that
allows them to go beyond the nice, ladylike constraints that they grew up with, and to tap into the
competitve passion that is needed to win, in life as in basketball. Rather than use words such as moving,
poignant, uplifting to describe it, instead I will just say that it's a good read, for the coaches and the athletes
in the crowd, a lovely revelation for those who remember when girls weren't supposed to do sports, and for
anyone looking for a book with some hope and cheer in it.
Ironhand's Daughter - by David Gemmell|
Though Gemmel traditionally writes about
strong axe wielding heroes, this one is about a
huntress content to lead a solitary existence in her highland home,taking
lovers when it suits her, not them. When trouble befalls her, she exacts her
revenge in true Heartless Bitch fashion. The book is not only an interesting
insight into (some) men's warped morality, it is also a damned good read.
I Wake-Up Beautiful...And Other Fantasies - by Mary Hirsch|
This is a collection of cartoons and humor essays by Mary Hirsch,
columnist for the Minnesota's Women Press that deal with life, love and
liposuction. Mary's essays "Birth of a Notion - What Freud Didn't Tell
You," "Hebonics: The Language of Man," and "Back In The Saddle Again" won
her the 1998 Vivian Castleberry award from the Association of Women
Journalists. It is irreverent, political and provocative. Besides,
there isn't a recipe in the whole thing!
Tell us about more books we should add to this list.
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as the title and author!
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