20 Books to Read If You Loved Watching Wonder Woman

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20 Books to Read If You Loved Watching <i>Wonder Woman</i>

With Wonder Woman still dominating theaters, maybe you’ve gone back to watch the run across No Man’s Land. Maybe you’re figuring out how to get to Themyscira, or slipping your formal sword down the back of your ball gown, or doing backflips off your couch.

So I’ve assembled 20 book recommendations for fans like you. They’re organized into handy categories inspired by Wonder Woman: superheroines, the supernatural, amazing women of World Wars I and II*, badass spies, and shopping/training montages.

Because badassery doesn’t end at the theater.

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SUPERHEROINES

1wwwarbringer.jpg 1. Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons Series) by Leigh Bardugo

When Diana, Princess of the Amazons, rescues Alia Keralis—Helen of Troy’s direct descendant—things go terribly wrong. But when the two unite to try to save the world, they must work together in the face of enemies both mortal and divine. (You’ll have to wait a bit for this one; Warbringer comes out August 29, 2017.)

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1wwfallout.jpg 2. Fallout (Lois Lane Series) by Gwenda Bond

The first of the Lois Lane series, Fallout follows a young Lois new to Metropolis when she joins the Daily Planet’s teen reporting arm. This will please DC Universe fans, as well as fans of Buffy and Veronica Mars.

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1wwheroinecomplex.jpg 3. Heroine Complex (Heroine Complex Series) by Sarah Kuhn

What’s life like when you’re the personal assistant to a popular superheroine in San Francisco? Complicated—especially if you’re hiding secret powers of your own. This is the first book in Sarah Kuhn’s series starring Asian American superheroines.

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1wwmsmarvel.jpg 4. Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson (writer) and Adrian Alphona (artist)

Kamala Khan is a normal Muslim teenager from New Jersey…until she gains secret powers. Is she ready for them? Three years into a successful comics run and counting, the world’s answer is YES!

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1wwrefrigeratormonologues.jpg 5. The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente

These six interlinked short stories—set within a new (and fantastic) universe—give a voice to female characters who have been harmed to further male hero’s plotlines. Illustrated by Annie Wu, the collection highlights the stunning stories behind the stories, revealing that the women are superheroines in their own right.

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1wwsecrethistory.png 6. The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore

New Yorker staff writer and Harvard historian Jill Lepore uncovers Wonder Woman’s backstory, her links to the early suffragettes and the secrets of her creators’ lives in this tremendous work of nonfiction.

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THE SUPERNATURAL

1wwimmortals.jpg 7. The Immortals (Olympus Bound Series) by Jordanna Max Brodsky

Greek Gods battle against the Manhattan Skyline in Brodsky’s debut—and Selene DeSilva discovers through a shocking crime that she’s one of them: the goddess Artemis.

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1wwhurricaneheels.jpg 8. Hurricane Heels by Isabel Yap

Alex, Ria, Aiko, Natalie and Selena have been fighting as superheroes for years, since a fateful summer camp where a goddess enlisted their help to protect the world and gifted them each with powers. Now that they’re older and life’s gotten more complicated, how much longer can they keep saving the world?

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1wwredthreads.jpg 9. Red Threads of Fortune (The Tensorate Series) by JY Yang

Sanao Mokoya, a fallen prophet, a master of the elements and the daughter of the supreme Protector, has abandoned the life in which her visions once shaped the lives of citizens. After a tragedy, she now hunts deadly monsters with the help of a pack of dinosaurs.

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1wwsistermine.jpg 10. Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson

Abby and Makeda, daughters of a celestial demigod and a human woman, were born conjoined. Now separated adults, they must learn to work together again to help find their missing father.

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WOMEN OF WORLD WAR I AND II*

1wwghosttalkers.jpg 11. Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal

Ginger Stuyvesant leads a secret ring of spy translators for the British during World War I. What makes the group unique is that they’re mediums who can talk to ghosts as they return from the front.

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1wwiwasaspy.jpg 12. I Was a Spy! by Marthe McKenna

A young nurse in occupied Belgium, Marthe was recruited by British intelligence during World War I and spent time pretending to be a double agent in order to avoid detection by the Germans. She helped sabotage enemy phone lines, instigated an aerial attack on the visiting Kaiser and reported on train movements in her region. Caught and sentenced to death, she ultimately lived to write her story.

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1wwblackout.jpg 13. Blackout (All Clear Series) by Connie Willis

Time traveling historians are sent back from 2060 to World War II, leading to intrigue on both sides of the timeline. Oxford researchers Polly Churchill, Merope Ward and Michael Davies discover with growing horror how much one action can change the past—and the future.

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1wwtomorrowtobebrave.jpg 14. Tomorrow to be Brave by Susan Travers

Susan Travers—the only woman to officially serve in the French Foreign Legion—drove a car directly through the Nazi’s African lines in 1942, leading a charge that took her across the Libyan desert, through minefields and below stukka bombers to break a 15-day siege. Her memoir chronicles her experiences, culminating in her being awarded both the Legion d’Honneur and the Military Medal.

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1wwnancywake.jpg 15. Nancy Wake by Russell Braddon

A New Zealander known during World War II as the “White Mouse,” Nancy Wake was active in the French Resistance and escaped the Nazis multiple times. She was on the Gestapo’s most wanted list by 1943, and she eventually became the virtual leader of a band of 7,000 French Resistance fighters.

*Both wars are included, because while the Wonder Woman movie was set during WWI, Wonder Woman originally appeared during WWII in the comics.

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BADASS SPIES

1wweverfair.jpg 16. Everfair by Nisi Shawl

Lisette Toutournier and Fwendi are spies in this steampunk reimagining of the Victorian Congo. In Everfair’s alternate history, King Leopold’s horrific wars are turned into a new opportunity for the people of the Congo.

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1wwcodenameverity.jpg 17. Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity Series) by Elizabeth Wein

Two women are separated when their spy plane crashes behind enemy lines. When the Gestapo arrests one of them, she tells a story of secrets, coded messages, daring action and true loyalty.

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1wwwitchcold.jpg 18. The Witch Who Came in From the Cold (Seasons 1 and 2) from Serial Box

In cold-war era Prague, Soviet and American spies navigate dangerous territory made even more treacherous by the presence of magic. When tradecraft meets witchcraft, things can get complicated very fast.

(Editor’s Note: This list’s author guest-wrote one episode in the second season… and there is absolutely a shopping montage in that episode. And if you’re unfamiliar with Serial Box, it’s a new type of publishing company that releases novelette-length episodes of a given series over the course of 10-16 weeks.)

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SHOPPING/TRAINING MONTAGES

1wwbarrayer.jpg 19. Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga Series) by Lois McMaster Bujold

Book three of the series of the series contains one of the best shopping montages. It also tackles motherhood, personal identity and survival in a post-revolutionary science fictional universe.

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1wwcourtoffives.jpg 20. Court of Fives (Court of Fives Series) by Kate Elliott

When Jessamy sneaks out to train for an elite sporting event, events begin to unfold that put her family in mortal danger. The training montages she endures in the series’ first book are fast-paced and beautifully written in this epic tale of a girl struggling to do what she loves while constrained by class and privilege.

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Many thanks to author Aliette de Bodard, educator Kathryn Gullo, blogger Natalie Luhrs and librarian Ryan Labay for suggesting some of the titles on this list!


Fran Wilde’s high-flying debut, Updraft, also features a badass young woman main character, archery, training montages and cool tech like man-made wings. Her novels and short stories have been nominated for two Nebula awards and a Hugo, and include her Andre Norton-winning debut novel, Updraft (Tor 2015), its sequels, Cloudbound (2016) and Horizon (2017), and novelette “The Jewel and Her Lapidary” (Tor.com Publishing 2016). Her short stories appear in Asimov’s, Tor.com, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer, Nature and the 2017 Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror. She writes for publications including The Washington Post, Tor.com, Clarkesworld, iO9.com, and GeekMom.com. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook and at franwilde.net.

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