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...for the Heartless Bitch in all of us
(*T* -- denotes reviews/submissions by Tavia)

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Books by Title: J - K - L

-J-

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You can't get it at Amazon.com, but you can get it at Blackwells...
Jacky Flemming Comic collections

Titles:
1) Be a bloody train driver...
2) Never give up
3) Falling in Love

All are hilarious... ("Be cantankerous, be foul, but never, *ever* be accomodating")

Buy Jane Eyre Now Jane Eyre - by Charlotte Bronte
Still the woman's book of women's books. It tells the story of women's split personalities. Women have been conditioned to hide their sexuality; Jane decides, by the end of the book, not to.

Buy Vanishing Act Now Buy Dance for the Dead Now Buy Shadow Woman Now Buy The Face Changers Now The Jane Whitefield Novels - by Thomas Perry

This series of novels, about a Native American woman, Jane Whitefield, who uses her Seneca intuition, strength and dexterity to help people "disappear". She's a one-woman modern day witness protection program and intrepid sleuth. The books are elegantly written with action-packed suspense and clever plot twists.

Jane Whitefield is a TRUE Heartless Bitch and as one review said, she will "catch your eye and kill you in the same glance."

Buy Strangers In Paradise - Vol 1 Now Buy Strangers In Paradise - Vol 2 Now Strangers In Paradise - by Terry Moore
These are two Graphic Novel compilations of the comic book "Strangers in Paradise". Strangers in Paradise is a non-superhero comic that has strong female characterization. Volume 1 is a great introduction to the lives of Katina Choovanski (aka Katchoo), Francine Peters, and David. Katchoo is a 5'3'' skinny blonde painter who 'hates men,' and threatens one prospective suitor with: "I'm not some lonely bimbo sitting around waiting for some MAN to save me from a life of single hell! I'll never be your mother or your love pocket, and if you EVER betray me, I'll feed your balls to my cat!"

Buy Jaran Now Jaran - by Kate Eliott
Terese Soerenson, heir to a dukedom under Alien rule where women aren't allowed to rule, is also the heir to Earth's resistance. Unsure of herself, and unwilling to be 'THE heir' she flees to an alien planet, where she comes of age amongst a tribe of nomads, caught in a struggle between the alien repressors and her brother, lost in a wilderness that she doesn't understand, she captures the essence of personal power.

-K-

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Buy The Keeper of the Isis Light Now The Keeper of the Isis Light - by Monica Hughes
The keeper of the Isis Light is about a girl Olwen growing up alone on a hostile planet with only her guardian robot and her pet dragon. She grows up without human companionship until a band of settlers moves in. When she falls in love with one of the settlers, Mark, she discovers what predjudice is. Since she wore a space suit, seemingly to protect her from disease, Mark had no idea of what she looked like. She had been genetically altered to withstand the hostile climate of the world she lives in. He had a hard time dealing with it. The settlers felt pity for her, and gave her an option to have undone what was done to her, but she chose isolation and the freedom to roam her world rather then having them take away a part of herself to be accepted and loved. Beautiful story.

-L-

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Buy Lady Sings the Blues Now Lady Sings the Blues - by Billie Holiday
When you look at lady jazz and blues singers, you KNOW they had to be the original riot grrls. Billie Holiday against the world, she was a heartless bitch and a half, this is even non fiction. Yeah, her songs are usually about men, but she never sang a song she didn't live. Reading Billie describe all her ordeals in the slang and cussing that you'd think would be innappropriate for a woman of the time is just amazing. Starting out from when she was young and her father couldn't claim her as her own, she didn't care, she didn't moan that she was traumatized. She was raped at 10 and then put in jail for it, put in jail for being raped! Sent to a catholic institution luckily her mother knew a lot of rich white people and got her out of there. She goes through being a whore and deciding just what kind of tricks she would turn and which men she would not. Her first cabereting(which back in the day didn't mean a tity bar) she established herself as the lady, she wouldn't do none of those acrobatics to get a dollar, she was a singer not a stripper. Then on the road with a white band, travelin' through prejudice and even once having to put on blackface cuz she wasn't black enough! "There's no business like show business. I had to smile to keep from throwing up." In an out of jail and bad relationships and she still did not blame everyone else. She fell for many losers, but she didn't blame them. Her life was full of fighting up until her last battle..with heroin. Anyone too timid to speak up, read this and take a few lessons from Lady Day. She was the ultimate bitch.

Buy Burnt Offerings Now Buy Killing Dance Now Buy Bloody Bones Now Buy The Lunatic Cafe Now Buy Circus of the Damned Now Laurell K. Hamilton - writes a series of modern horror books featuring a female lead, Anita Blake.
Born of mexican heritage, Anita is a five foot woman who *hates* being called cute. She animates the dead for a living, alongside being the state's official vampire slayer. The stories combine a mix of dark humour and refreshing realism (yes, in a fantasy horror book...).

Laurell K. Hamilton has outdone herself in the character of Anita Blake. This heroine has attitude, her own code of ethics, and a practicality about her life situation which so far has kept her alive. Not to mention a sense of humor in tight situations ("oh goody") and really gorgeous guys attracted to her for some of the right reasons (and some of the wrong ones). We all need a little sex in our cheap novels, right?

Hard bitten, self sufficiency has been sorely lacking in the alternate universe heroines. They usually do some neat things, but they are usually too candy-coated. It's all about the outside world. No heartfelt deep down fear vs. moral dilemma stuff for those of us who live in their own head. Anita Blake faces alot of those with a choice brand of cynicism.

Buy Les Belles-Soeurs Now Les Belles-Soeurs - by Michel Tremblay.
This is a play, with only female primary characters. It exposes the life of French- Canadian women and how they are expected to conform to societie's ideas of what they should be and how they should act. Filled to the brim with bitching, this play is funny and amusing, yet delivers a strong message.

Buy Les Liaisons Dangereuses Now

Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) - by by Choderlos de Laclos
My favorite female role model and heartless bitch of all times is the Marquise de Merteuil in "Dangerous Liason", a novel written by Choderlos de Laclos (a man, thought I suspect his wife wrote it) in 17-something. Glenn Close played a great version of her in Stephen Frear's adaptation of the book - a much better movie than that sappy adaptation by Milos Forman called "Valmont". Of course Forman had to concentrate his adaptation of the book on the main male character, when the heart of the story is the Marquise de Merteuil.

Talking about bitches being in control, the Marquise has this long monologue where she explains how as a child, she learned to control her facial expressions in order to fool the aristocratie she had to deal with all her life. When a male lover abandons her because he wants to seduce someone else, she brings in her male alma mater and her only real competitor, Valmont (played by John Malkovich) to seduce the sweet and pure love object of her former lover. Something like that. In the meantime, she's having fun with much younger lovers who fall for her like flies. And girl, does she like to see them fall. Anyway, she rocks. You could swear that her character was written in the nineties, although that doesn't really say much. Thelma and Louise move over. THIS is what control is all about.

Buy Letters to a Young Feminist Now Letters to a Young Feminist - by Phyllis Chesler
Chesler's latest book on the the current state of feminism and women's rights.

Buy Lieutenant Nun Now Lieutenant Nun : Memoir of a Basque Transvestite in the New World - by Catalina De Erauso, Michele Stepto (Translator), Gabriel Stepto (Translator)
In 1585, Catalina de Erauso escaped a convent dressed as a boy. During her lifetime she became a soldier in the Spanish army, killed her own brother, and managed to become the darling of the Pope and the Spanish-speaking world. "A rollicking, swashbuckling tale." - LOS ANGELES TIMES.

Buy The Life and Loves of a She Devil Now The Life and Loves of a She Devil - by Fay Weldon.
A woman's husband cheats on her because she is homely and by his terms a "She Devil". She then systematically evokes revenge on the husband, his lover and their whole lives and existence......brilliant AND satisfying!

Buy Listen Up Now Listen Up: Voices from the next feminist generation - by Barbara Findlen
Pretty much "a girl's guide to taking over the world". A bunch of really cool stories about women and daily struggles. *yeah feminism*

Buy Love & Rockets 2 - Chelo's Burden Now Buy Love & Rockets 3 - Los Bros Hernandez Las Mujeres Perdidas Now Buy Love & Rockets 4 - Tears from Heaven Now Buy Love & Rockets 5 - House of Raging Women Now

Love & Rockets - by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez
Fantagraphics Books, 7563 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
*T*
Though this comic recently capped off at issue #50, it is reprinted extensively both in individual issues and in TPBs. The dual story lines--each brother has his own--feature everything from space aliens and supernatural visitors to punk musicians and gangsters and women wrestlers; the whole place is littered with glorious, actin'-out HBs like Luba and Hopey and Queen Rena Titanon.

Buy Lucky Now Lucky - Alice Sebold
A non-fiction memoir of rape. Unfortunately, hidden deep in the "victim" section (selfhelp/recovery) at Barnes and Noble. Don't let that fool you.

Tell us about more books we should add to this list. Be sure to add some kind of short review or commentary about the book as well as the title and author!


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