Review: Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine by Tim Hanley

Title: Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine

Author: Tim Hanley

Star Rating: * * * *

Genre: Pop culture analysis, Superhero

Thanks to NetGalley and Chicago Review Press who provided me with a free copy of this book in return for a fair review.

 Cover - Wonder Woman Unbound

Background and Synopsis

Wonder Woman is a very hot topic at the moment due to the immense popularity of superhero movies, and the unfortunate absence of female leads in any of these films. For Marvel, the conversation has been focused on Black Widow, a character that has at least gotten screen time. For DC, the heroine at the heart of these discussions is Wonder Woman, one of their “holy trinity” of main properties. However, despite the fact that she is supposedly one of the central DC characters, Wonder Woman is often ignored in terms of merchandise and non-comic appearance opportunities. This has led to a situation where most people could probably talk about the histories of Batman and Superman, but are largely ignorant of Wonder Woman’s origins and basic story premises.

Hanley published Wonder Woman Unbound to try and clear up some of the confusion regarding this iconic character. He painstakingly details her history, from the golden age to today, talking about how her stories have been affected by different authors and varying time periods. To those who think Wonder Woman is too confusing a character, Hanley proves them wrong by presenting Wonder Woman as a hero who has undergone extensive changes like all the other major superheroes of DC and Marvel, but she has multiple histories and origins that can be drawn upon to make a cohesive, interesting, and empowering whole.

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Review – No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood edited by Henriette Mantel

Title: No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood

Editor: Henriette Mantel

Star Rating: * *

Genre: Memoir/Women’s Issues

Cover - No Kidding

Synopsis

No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood is a series of essays from women in the entertainment industry discussing their decisions not to have children. Some contributors are happy with this choice, while others are filled with regret. All of them have faced discrimination because of their childlessness and have had to come to terms with how their lives have been affected by this prejudice.

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Review – Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation

Title: Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation

Authors: Elissa Stein and Susan Kim

Star Rating: * * *

Genre: Feminist/Gender Studies

Cover - Flow The Cultural Story of Menstruation

Overview

Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation is a sociological look at menstruation, particularly its treatment in advertising. The book addresses topics such as the medical history of menstruation (including hysteria and PMS), religious treatment of menstruation, a history of advertising on the subject, the issue of odour, cultural traditions surrounding menarche, menopause, and alternative contemporary approaches to menstruation. The writing is fairly simple and accessible, and the book is entertaining. Overall, it is an interesting and easy read on a subject that isn’t covered very often in non-fiction aimed at non-academics.

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