Lately I've been into pregnancy and parenting books, but I'm also always a sucker for risky (I'm tired of the word "edgy") novels with female protagonists. Here's one of each that I recently read:
The Mother Dance by Harriet Lerner
I loved Lerner's The Dance of Anger, but couldn't really get into another of her books, The Dance of Fear. This one was excellent. Instead of focusing on the physical aspects of pregnancy and child care, Lerner wrote about the emotional experience of being a mother. With plenty of stories from her own life and from her therapy practice, she illustrated all kinds of challenges that come up when kids enter a woman's life. She talks about how your own childhood experiences play into your parenting style, along with cultural expectations and all kinds of other factors. It's an interesting, refreshing read.
Here's the other book I just read (in less than 24 hours):
Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky
Marie is not a very likeable character. Or, rather, Marie shouldn't be a likeable character, because she does all kinds of morally despicable things in her immature and hedonistic journey through post-prison life. Yet, there is something wickedly alluring about her, and I couldn't put the book down, always anxious to see what Marie would do next. There is an interesting, though subtle, exploration of the haves vs. have-nots in our culture. I could say more, but you should really just discover this book for yourself!