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Strong Female Characters

Welcome to the Dear Book Nerd podcast, a bi-weekly show that answers YOUR questions about life, love, and literature! My special guest co-host this week is the lovely and wise Sona Charaipotra.


Sona is the co-author of Tiny Pretty Things and the forthcoming Shiny Broken Pieces. She co-founded Cake Literary and is a member of We Need Diverse Books. You can find her on Twitter @sona_c. Thank you, Sona!

This episode was sponsored by Penguin Random House Audio.


Dear Book Nerd,

How do you deal with people hating on your favourite authors? Should I engage and go to bat for these authors, or am I flogging a dead horse? Should I let the haters affect what I read?



Dear Book Nerd,

Love your podcasts! My question to you is, do you have any books to recommend that have a strong female character as its MAIN character? I’m tired of finding books like Harry Potter, or other books having male leads when girls can be pretty awesome too. Every book I pick up in the fantasy or sci-fi section always have a male lead. It’s driving me nuts! Not that there is anything wrong with male leads in a story but it’s nice to be able to have a fellow female kicking ass once in a while vs. the damsel in distress, no? Got any suggestions?


P.S. I’m not hating on Twilight, but any suggestion of books that are not involving vampires would be much appreciated. I’m a little vampired out…

Dear Book Nerd,

I have a vague feeling you may have hit on this topic before, but I am looking for books with female main character(s), who go on adventures and do fun things, where romance is NOT a main focus (if it’s there at all). It’s so difficult to find female-led books that don’t involve the female character gushing over or trying to deal with feelings for an often sub-par male counterpart or two. I’ve encountered this a lot especially with YA.

I want to read something where she goes through a life event that has nothing to do with romantic emotions and where is completely satisfied with herself as an independent woman. A scifi or fantasy book would be awesome, but I’m open to all genres. I just want to read something different. For reference, I enjoy the Rat Queens comics because while romantic issues are there, they’re very much a minor subplot.

Romance Weary


Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Code Name Verity by

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

“Lumberjanes” series by Noelle Stevenson (Author), Brooke A Allen (Illustrator), Shannon Watters (Contributor)

“Ms. Marvel” series by G. Willow Wilson

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

“The Winner’s Trilogy” series by Marie Rutkoski

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle


Shannon Hale
Laurie Halse Anderson
Ann Leckie
Ann McCaffrey
Robin McKinley
Jessamyn Ward
Rita Williams Garcia



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