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When Women Were Dragons
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
A slyly funny, utterly original, triumphantly feminist audiobook, by the Newbery award-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon, about the Mass Dragoning of 1955 in which 300,000 women spontaneously transform into dragons...and change the world. Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours. But this version of 1950's America is characterized by a significant event: The Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales and talons, left a trail of fiery destruction in their path, and took to the skies. Seemingly for good. Was it their choice? What will become of those left behind? Why did Alex's beloved Aunt Marla transform but her mother did not? Alex doesn't know. It's taboo to speak of, even more so than her crush on Sonja, her schoolmate. Forced into silence, Alex nevertheless must face the consequences of dragons: a mother more protective than ever; a father growing increasingly distant; the upsetting insistence that her aunt never even existed; and a new "sister" obsessed with dragons far beyond propriety. Through loss, rage, and self-discovery, this story follows Alex's journey as she deals with the events leading up to and beyond the Mass Dragoning, and her connection with the phenomenon itself. In this timely and timeless speculative novel, award-winning author Kelly Barnhill boldly explores rage, memory, and the limitations of girlhood. When Women Were Dragons exposes a world that wants to keep women small--their lives and their prospects--and examines what happens when they rise en masse and take up the space they deserve.
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review
ErraticElle
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

Fantastical & emotional. Beautifully written allegory that celebrates acceptance of self in a highly feminist telling. The writing is gorgeous & lyrical with amazing interpersonal relationships between female characters. The plot is occasionally a little repetitive & slow-paced, but it feels as if it is simply like a way to “circle back“ & reinforce ideas as the story progresses. Barnhill's intentions felt wholesome & welcoming. A lovely read.

16 likes1 stack add
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bookishdawg
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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“How do we remember the moments when we fall apart?” 💔🔥

26 likes1 stack add
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TrishB
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

Loved this book and it‘s hard to describe adequately why. It‘s feminist and thought provoking, but there is love (both family and romantic) and hope and dragons and smash the patriarchy and social justice. Yeah, I just loved it.
And I had the perfect bookmark.
#booked2023 #titlestartswithw

LaraReads Great review! 💜💚 1w
DGRachel I checked this out from the library last year and just didn‘t get to it. Clearly, I need to rectify that soon! It sounds amazing. 1w
Dragon Love your bookmark 💚🐉 1w
See All 15 Comments
CBee I loved this book so much. Your review is perfect! 1w
Cathythoughts Great review ♥️ 1w
charl08 Great bookmark matching! 1w
LeahBergen Yep, your bookmark game is perfect. 👍 1w
Cinfhen Sounds AWESOME 🐉💜and I love both the cover & bookmark 😁 1w
FountainOfWords Saw someone reading this in a coffee shop yesterday. Title got me intrigued. Need to check it out 😀 (edited) 1w
batsy Love the bookmark pairing! 🐉 1w
Reggie That sounds like a lot awesome all together. 7d
TrishB @Dragon @charl08 @LeahBergen @batsy who doesn‘t love a dragon bookmark ❤️ 7d
Centique Feminism and dragons - that‘s everything I want in a book! (Unless there was also a chance of cake 🍰😂) Stacking! 6d
TrishB @Centique 😂 didn‘t notice cake, but the rest was brilliant! 6d
120 likes8 stack adds15 comments
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TrishB
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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#quicklunctimeread and my Wednesday lunch time treat!
This book is great 😁

Hooked_on_books When I glanced at this, I thought the title was, “When Women Were Dangerous,” and thought, aren‘t we still? 😉 1w
GondorGirl This book was SO FREAKING GOOD! 1w
TrishB @Hooked_on_books that could be a subtitle! With your added bit. 1w
TrishB @GondorGirl I know!! Why isn‘t everyone reading it 🤷‍♀️ loving it so much. 1w
staci.reads I loved this book! 1w
96 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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staci.reads
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

This was my last book of 2022. It was strange, and I wasn't always sure where the author was going, but I loved it!

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Writeme
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

Lovely and strange alternative history where thousands of women in the 1950s change into dragons in a rebellion against the patriarchy. It‘s an awfully long extended metaphor for the feminist movement, but a fascinating look at what the world might look like if women took their power away from the men.

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Deblovestoread
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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I am so excited to have received this book for #Jolabokaflod and can‘t wait to dive into it and all the lovely chocolate. Thank you, Jamie!

Thank you, Chelle, for hosting this swap and also for introducing this tradition that my family and I now include in our traditions.

Wishing you both a very happy holiday!

JamieArc Enjoy! Happy Jolabokaflod! 1mo
57 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Brooke_H
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

A beautiful genre-busting historical fiction/fantasy/alternate universe story. What would the world look like if a lot of women sometimes just...turned into dragons? There is a lot of darkness in this book, but also so much joy. It is absurd and remarkably poignant, and I loved it.

20 likes3 stack adds
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CaitlinR
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

I read a lot of feminist lit in my late teens, early twenties (a long time ago) It “spoke” to me in such exciting ways. For that reason, I continue to read new iterations, but mainly find them tiring. This novel, with its ridiculous, fantastical premise spoke like those books did in the early 70‘s, largely due to young Alex‘s voice. Set in the ‘50‘s & 60‘s, there has been a mass “dragoning” as (largely) women escape their their lives. Great read!

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Brooke_H
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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I love Feminist Book Club subscription box delivery day! This month‘s theme is Joy. ☺️

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kera_11
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Honestly, this book was a let down to me personally. Described as women being sick of men‘s shit so a bunch turn into dragons and disappear. thought this would be feminist and about female rage but it was really about silence and erasure and focused on white women which is sooo not feminist for a 2022 book (or ever but seriously now). maybe this is just me idk someone let me know if they disagree

7 likes2 stack adds
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mandarchy
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

I loved this book. I fell in love with the characters. I wish I had "aunties" and bread and knots. ❤️

Sparklemn Great quote! 😂 (Everyone knows that) 3mo
mandarchy @Sparklemn it always cracks me up when people say, nobody knows this... but, and then some juicy gossip. When a kid says everyone knows it's just as funny, might as well say duh. 3mo
39 likes2 comments
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GatheringBooks
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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#OminousOctober Day 30: #Haunted by the time when women were dragons. 🐉🐲

Eggs 💚🐉🖤 3mo
52 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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mandarchy
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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I started following Kelly Barnhill a couple of books ago. I just finally started this book. I had to get so many books out of the way and put it in hold. Now, I just need to focus.

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Bellawether
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill

The beautiful thing about science is that we do not know what we cannot know and we will not know until we know. It requires an incredible amount of humility to be willing to be wrong nearly all the time. But we have to be willing to be wrong, and proven wrong, in order to increase knowledge overall. It is a thankless, and essential, job.

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cewilf
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Reading this for a book club and I‘m not sure… so many co-workers were raving about it as a brilliant summer read. That always makes me nervous 🙃

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Julsmarshall
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

This was amazing!! I loved every minute of it and highly recommend! Especially on #audio. Inventive premise, powerful point of view and a story I‘ll be thinking about for a long time. I went into it not knowing much and I think it was the perfect way to approach this book so that is all I‘m going to say. Just read this compelling, original, feminist story-with dragons! ❤️🐉

51 likes3 stack adds
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CBee
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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September favorite read! #readingbracket @chasjjlee

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mjdowens
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

I don‘t even have the words to describe the feelings this book brings out. The tears I shed, not because I was sad, but because this author was able to exactly express what it is like to be “other” or a woman. This one will be read over and over and over ❤️

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mjdowens
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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“I was four years old when I first saw a dragon. I was four years old when I first learned to be silent about dragons. Perhaps this is how we learn silence -an absence of words, an absence of context, a hole in the universe where the truth should be.”

This is only page 9 😲

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Bookfan1414
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

I wish I could rate this book more than 5⭐️. Something about the writing style and the story kept me not just hooked, but in tears from the very first page. Why did I cry the whole way through? Honestly I haven‘t a clue. It‘s not a sad book. It‘s not an overwhelmingly happy book where you cry tears of joy, or a book that angers you until you sob. It defies categorization, and that makes it beautiful.

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CBee
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

If you enjoy these things - dragons, chipping away at the patriarchy, dragons, fabulous writing, dragons, science, social justice issues, dragons, a bit (or a lot) of rage, dragons, found family stories, SO MUCH LOVE, and dragons - this book is for you. And to THINK the author almost stopped writing! Thank heavens she didn‘t. I LOVED this book so much! 🐉♥️🐉♥️

CBee I‘d like to use this as #involvesanexploration for #booked2022 - I think it fits! @Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft hope that‘s okay! 😊 5mo
wanderinglynn Good to know! This is on my TBR. 👍🏻 5mo
CBee @wanderinglynn I hope you love it! It‘s a favorite of the year for sure. 5mo
See All 9 Comments
Cinfhen Ohhhhh, im thinking of you @Dragon xx 🐉 5mo
Cinfhen Gorgeous cover 😍 5mo
Cinfhen Cool choice for #Booked2022 👍🏽 5mo
CBee @Cinfhen the cover is amazing! This is a library book, but I almost want to buy a copy and display it so I can look at it all the time! 5mo
Zuhkeeyah You had me at dragons 😆 5mo
CBee @Zuhkeeyah oh, did I mention dragons? 😂😂 5mo
83 likes5 stack adds9 comments
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Christine
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

I loved every minute of this! Not sure I would have made time for it had it not fulfilled the “Book Featuring a Dragon” square on my indie summer bingo card. Got extra excited when it turned out to also fulfill the eternal square on the bingo card living in my head of “Set in Wisconsin.” Nerdy, funny, moving, feminist, and fabulous. 💚💜💚💜💚

Dragon Thanks @Cinfhen - stacking- I do love dragons 🐉 5mo
Dragon Sounds very interesting @Christine - stacking 🐉 5mo
54 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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BennettBookworm
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Thank you @LiteraryinLawrence for this epic swap!! I‘m so excited to read both of these immediately!!
😍🐉👑

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monalyisha
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Some other books put forth by my book club (not by me). I‘m most excited by the tagged. I read her Newbery Medal-winning middle grade novel & loved it; it made me cry on a plane. 🙈

Caroline2 I really enjoyed Plot. 👍 5mo
Kitta Transcendent kingdom was really interesting, especially as a scientist. 5mo
65 likes1 stack add2 comments
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thegirlwiththelibrarybag
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Got this one too!

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wen4blu
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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I love the idea of women revolting against 1950‘s society norms by becoming dragons, but I‘m just not feeling the main narrator Alex. She‘s young and struggling to meet everyone‘s expectations and I want to holler at her to stop, look up and look around. Hoping the story will get there.

36 likes1 stack add
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SaraBeagle
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Congressman- “All I know is that we just spent a lot of damn time learning nothing of consequence except what it feels like to get your ass handed to you by a goddamned librarian!”
I love that the hero in this story is a librarian!! 🥰

11 likes1 stack add
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CuriousG
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Still chipping away at this one. I really am loving it but it isn't one I can rush through.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Pretty cover 💜 6mo
CuriousG @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks It is such a gorgeous cover! I am going to rearrange my bookshelves so this one can face out. I'm not ready to stop looking at it. 6mo
22 likes2 comments
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CuriousG
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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"Embarrassment, as it turns out, is more powerful than information. And shame is the enemy of truth."

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coffeebooksandchaos
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

This fiercely-feminist book tells the fictional (maybe?) story of when women threw off the chains of society and stepped fully into their power. Women from all walks of life dragonned, then set off to burn the houses, factories and offices where they had been held down by the patriarchy. The story of Alex, Beatrice and Marla is fraught with burdens and responsibilities, but also has deep love, caretaking and growth. Become a dragon? Yes!

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CuriousG
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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I don't think I will ever get sick of this cover - it is just gorgeous 😍 I find myself taking my time reading this one because I don't want to be done. Sure it will look good displayed cover forward in my barrister bookcase, but I don't exactly sit and stare at that so I'd rather have it with me for a bit longer. Am I the only one who does this sometimes?

vonnie862 It's a gorgeous cover! And I like the title. 6mo
Christine I do that, too! ❤️ 6mo
CuriousG @christine glad I'm not the only one! 6mo
CuriousG @vonnie862 I didn't buy it just for the cover, but it's pretty enough that you would think I had. And the title is very literally. I'm enjoying this one 6mo
20 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Soubhiville
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

I loved Barnhill‘s The Girl Who Drank the Moon, so I was excited to find this new release!

The audio narration was good, a main narrator and a second reader for the letters and scientific journal articles sprinkled throughout.

A fantasy that imagines women could transform into dragons. At first it seemed they did so to get revenge on men who had wronged them (bosses, cheating husbands, etc), but maybe some just always were dragons inside. 🐉💚

LoverOfLearning Sounds great! I need to finish the Girl Who Drank the Moon. The audiobook was too slow for me but I absolutely want to finish it. Maybe I'll have to pick up a physical copy. 6mo
bookishdawg That cover! ❤️ 6mo
Jas16 I just bought a copy of this one. So glad that you liked it. I am now even more excited to read it ( at some point in the next decade) 6mo
71 likes5 stack adds3 comments
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CuriousG
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Coffee on the porch this morning while starting this book. I never would have picked it up if Jeff from Book Riot hadn't sold the idea so well on the podcast...and I am so into it!

Soubhiville I‘ve been listening to the audio and loving it! 6mo
23 likes1 stack add1 comment
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AmandaBlaze
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this one a lot. Basic concept: Throughout history, when women are oppressed, they can change into dragons. The book centers on the uprising of 1955. Alex is left wondering if her mom chose to be a dragon, or her aunt didn't, would this have changed her fate? There are also research snippets from other uprisings to show what women were facing throughout the centuries. Unlike some feminist writings, not all men are portrayed badly here.

33 likes1 stack add4 comments
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BookBosomed1
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Timely.

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BookBosomed1
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️. This book is an unapologetic feminist perspective about what it means to be a girl and/or a woman in a patriarchal society. It is also about what happens when girls and women fight back, naming, recognizing, and enacting their power. I recommend this book for readers who enjoy magical realism, strong female characters, and blatant feminism. Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4812945230

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Bookish_Gal
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Mehso-so

Great book based upon metaphor of housewives in the 1960‘s leaving that oppression. (I don‘t take to metaphors wel) I did enjoy the book, but my expectations were high and it wasn‘t met. Alex is trying to figure out this world as someone who wants a part of the mass dragoning, finding herself left behind to grow up quick. Strong feminist book told mostly calmly. Alex wants to be a good girl and be quiet. She struggles with all this constantly

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Bookish_Gal
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill

The beautiful thing about science is that we do not know what we cannot know and we will not know until we know. It requires a great amount of humility to be willing to be wrong nearly all the time. But we have to be willing to be wrong, in order to increase knowledge overall. It is a thankless, and essential, job.

quote
loz1327
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill

"They stepped out of their robes like nymphs, and they stepped out of their bodies like monsters,"

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rachelsbrittain
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Treated myself to four books after my doctor's appointment this morning. Anyone else do this to reward yourself after doing something stressful? 😂

Deblovestoread Most definitely! Although to be honest I think I deserve a book after folding a load of laundry 😂 7mo
rachelsbrittain @Kdgordon88 that sounds about right to me! 7mo
ICantImReading Absolutely!! Haha I just got “How to Be Eaten” through Libby - I think the concept sounds so good! 7mo
See All 8 Comments
Tamra Yes! 👌🏾 7mo
marleed Absolutely! 7mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Yes! Absolutely!! ❤️ 7mo
rachelsbrittain @ICantImReading it wasn't even on my radar until i saw it at B&N! It sounds so good! Can't believe there was a new fairy tale reimagining I hadn't heard of 😅 7mo
57 likes8 comments
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CuriousG
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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I heard about this on a BookRiot podcast and thought the concept was so fun. When I saw it today at my local bookshop I couldn't resist! #mountTBRgrowsagain

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GerardtheBookworm
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

A fantastical feminist metaphor of 1950's housewives breaking free of their patriarchal oppression by turning into dragons. Told as a coming of age story of the protagonist Alex who observes the females closest to her transforming. In addition, the McCarthy witchhunt and politics of the time come into play in this literary read.

11 likes1 stack add
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SassyPants
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

Absolutely loved this. A friend asked what the genre was and I thought…💡feminist fantasy!

lynneamch I just watched a great interview with her from last night. https://www.crowdcast.io/e/kelly-barnhill-in/1 8mo
BennettBookworm The Girl Who Drank the Moon is an all time fave- I‘m so excited about this!! 8mo
2 likes1 stack add2 comments
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underground_bks
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

In this work of alternative-historical fiction, hundreds of thousands of wives and mothers seemingly spontaneously transformed into dragons in the Mass Dragoning of 1955–but society has repressed all acknowledgement of it. I love the premise of Kelly Barnhill‘s adult debut but I wish I‘d been better prepared for how focused on the quotidian it is, despite all the dragons. Still, recommend for fans of The Power and The House in the Cerulean Sea!

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kyraleseberg
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Another #BlameitonLitsy library hold! The cover is gorgeous and I was immediately pulled in to the story. Can't wait to devour as much as possible this evening 🤩

29 likes1 stack add
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Branwen
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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AHHHHHH!!! MY BOOK MAIL ARRIVED! 🎉🎉🎉 I had so many exciting books preordered for today! 📚 #bookmail

5feet.of.fury Omggg I forgot about the middlegame sequel! 9mo
65 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Missusb
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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#currentlyreading #preview #printedproofcopy #julyrso2022 Amazing concept, let‘s see how it‘s executed. Also, I am not reading these July arcs quick enough. Too many books, yada yada…

15 likes1 stack add
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akaGingerK
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Pickpick

Wow. One day in April, 1955, almost 700k American women turned into dragons and flew away. Some after eating their husbands. Society immediately tries to forget it and say it could only happen once. This is the story of a girl who will eventually be a scientist, growing up in the aftermath of losing an aunt she‘s not allowed to speak of, taught to keep everything- that her sister was her cousin, her thoughts, feelings- tucked close to her chest.

akaGingerK Barnhill is an award winning kids author, and she nails the growing protagonist‘s POV over time, along with the unfortunate lesson that grownups are often less concerned with kids‘ interior lives than on how their behavior reflects on the grownup amongst other adults. (edited) 11mo
akaGingerK And while the concept could veer into gender essentialism, especially given the POV of a child growing up in the 50s & 60s, the author includes excerpts from in-world articles (and testimony to the Committee on un-American activities) that highlighted info she couldn‘t access - including allowing readers to see that while not all women transformed, some who did transform were trans women (the second mention in particular was lovely) 11mo
10 likes2 stack adds2 comments