7 Female Musician Memoirs You Should Definitely Read

Driving with the windows down on a road trip, feeling the wind flipping through your hair, or curled up in a ball on your bed after a terrible break-up... there is one thing that probably remains the same: a musical soundtrack. The musicians who affect us the most are the ones who get us out of dark times, see us through, and allow us celebrate our joy. It’s a beautiful feeling to find a female musician who can be your confidant and cheerleader; whose work mirrors you and teaches you. 

But sometimes our favorite musicians stop making music to pursue other careers. And how are we supposed to survive, left tirelessly playing old albums on repeat? By reading their memoirs! Here are 7 examples of female musicians' memoirs that we promise will feel just as spot on as their music. Enjoy!

  1. M Train by Patti Smith (Will be released October 6th, 2015)

       2. Girl In A Band by Kim Gordon


  1. Coal Miner’s Daughter by Loretta Lynn


  1. Rat Girl by Kristin Hersh


  1. Celia: Mi Vida by Celia Cruz


      6.In Her Own Words, Joni Mitchell

       7.  Coal to Diamonds by Beth Ditto


Images Via LastAmp, Steriogum, Amazon, GoodReads, NewSouthBooks, Papermag


Authors Jennifer Weiner & Emily Gould Show How To Channel Yourself On Social Media

If you, like us, live in NYC and love an event celebrating authors of every ilk, PEN DIY is totally worth checking out. Each month, PEN America Center hosts an author to speak o the craft of writing: “Building on oral traditions, parables, and the rich history of artists as unpretentious makers, PEN DIY celebrates how literature can be approachable yet unexpected, and how it can help us make sense of our lives.”

April’s PEN DIY, titled “How to be Authentic on Social Media,” will feature Jennifer Weiner, superstar author of novels such as Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, and All Fall Down (the paperback version of which is due out April 7th).  Weiner is also a contributing writer for such publications as The New York Times.

Named one of Forbes’ “25 Working Moms to Follow on Twitter,” we’d say Weiner knows a thing or two about social media. Peep her profile for hilarious parental observations and live-tweet sessions of The Bachelor.

 Friendship author Emily Gould will host the event on Monday, April 6th at 8:00 pm. Tickets available here. BUSTies, make sure to enter promo code ‘tweet’ for a special discount!

12 Empowering Children's Books To Add To Little Girls' Bookshelves

The books we read as children can have a huge impact on the weird humans we eventually become. Our beliefs, aspirations, and morals can all be attributed to the colorful pages we excitedly soaked in during our youth. So, whether you're buying a book for a friend's child, your own child, or for yourself (because why not? We would), make it a piece of literature that sustains and empowers women. Because, well, those little messages go a long way.

Here are 12 children's books we think every young girl should have:

1. Judy Moody - Written by Megan McDonald and Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds


Wearing tiger-print pajama pants on the first of school? We so get it. Judy Moody wasn’t just moody—she was a normal kid who had a lot of feels, and weren’t we all? Nobody sings the third grade blues and inspires individuality better than Judy Moody.

2. Not All Princesses Dress In Pink - Written by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple; Illustrated by Anne-Sophie Lanquetin 

It's important to know that one can love baseball, roll around in the mud, and ride a bike, all while wearing a sparkly crown. This tribute to girl power encourages young people to break molds and fearlessly be themselves.

3. Madeline - Written and Illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans 

Oh, Madeline. Our favorite fearless french heroine was an outcast and a rebel in all the best ways. She had red hair, a weakness for “bad hats,” and she laughed in the face of tigers and hospitals. Not to mention, she made scars cool. Need we say more?

4. Imogene’s Last Stand - Written by Candace Fleming and Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter 

It’s not often that girls are depicted as having burning passions towards history... But then there’s Imogene, whose first words are “four score and seven years ago." In preschool she fingerpaints a path of the Oregon trail, and by grade school she is saving the historical society from being torn down. So, yeah, we’d want to be her best friend.

5. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon - Written by Patty Lovell and Illustrated by David Catrow 

This is a beautifully illustrated book about a (very) little girl who transforms her flaws into talents. Every little girl should be able to embrace their flaws, as characteristics that set us apart, and make us who we are.

6. The Princess Knight - Written by Cornelia Funke and Illustrated by Kirsten Meyer 

Ah, the classic tale of a princess who doesn’t want to get married, and just wants to become a knight. (We’ve all been there.) We love how this book shakes off the princess-meets-a-prince-marries-him-immediately standard, and instead shows girls they can fight (or joust) for whatever they want, no matter what society tells us. 

7. Matilda Written by Roald Dahl and Illustrated by Quentin Blake

The infamous bookworm and warlock Matilda taught us all a thing or two about the power of reading, pranks, and telekinesis. This classic not only encourages independence and individuality, it gives children power in a world ruled by adults.

8. Rad American Women A-Z - Written by Katie Schatz and Illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl

This catalogue of inspirational women belongs on every kid’s bookshelf. Alphabetically tackling gender, transgender, economic, and race politics in simple and straight-up terms this book will build a strong feminist foundation at any age.  

9. Harriet The Spy - Written by Louise Fitzhugh 

Harriet wants to be writer and a spy, dresses “like a boy,” and loves tomato sandwiches. Not to mention her best female friend is an aspiring scientist. But all endearingly quirky qualities aside, what we love most about Harriet The Spy is she is just a normal kid, dealing with social pressures in school and issues with her parents.

10. Grace For President - Written by Kelly S. DePucchio and Illustrated by LeUyen Pham 

Grace’s teacher is hanging up pictures of the Presidents when she asks an age-old question: “Where are all the girls?” That’s a helluva question to plant in young people’s minds, and we love any book that encourages young girls to shatter glass ceilings by crashing boy-clubs.

11. Miss Rumphius - Written and Illustrated by Barbara Cooney 

There’s something to be said for the quiet and confident independence this book fosters. Miss Rumphius grows up doing exactly what she wants, with only her personal values and the beauty of the world in mind. There's no mention of societies expectations—just a woman flying solo—and it doesn't get more empowering than that. 

12. The Paper Bag Princess Written by Robert Munsch and Illustrated by Michael Martchenko

Any children's book with a female heroine who tricks a dragon then calls her Prince a bum is alright by us. Now, usually usually wouldn’t encourage name calling, but, well, this Prince sounded like a real jerk and he deserved it. Every little girl should learn that she doesn't have to take anyone’s crap.   


Photos via Pinterest, Fablevision, Goodreads, Amazon, Wikipedia, Citylights, Quia, The Wonderist


See Why You're Going To Love Amber Tamblyn's New Book

Our lovely former BUST cover girl Amber Tamblyn has written some raw and thought provoking poems for her upcoming book, Dark Sparkler, out April 7th. The collection powerfully explores the lives of over twenty-five actresses who died before their time, including Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow, Sharon Tate, and Brittany Murphy. Want more? Take a look at Amber's interview with Janet Fitch in our latest issue and scroll down for book tour dates. 

And check out Tamblyn reading her poem, "Jane Doe," for us below: 



Image and video by Michael Lavine. Tour date information from amtam.com.

Spiderman's Gwen Stacy Spins Into Her Own Series

In 1973's Spiderman Universe Earth 616, Gwen Stacy dies in the infamous clash between Spider Man and Green Goblin. You would think that 40 years of comic book decay means the iconic character looks too ghastly to resurface, but that isn’t what writer Jason Latour and artists Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi decided. 

Despite being nervous about touching long-gone Gwen, Latour--who grew up idolizing white-male superheroes--realized that if she could escape her death, then she could truly become anything. He also saw his heroine as an important chess piece in the ongoing feminist revamp that will soon take over the comic world.

So from the grave rises Gwen Stacy, Earth-65’s very own radioactive female in her very own new book: Spider-Gwen. In Gwen's latest adventures, she must make time for her femme-fatale band, avoid the usual bad wrap from the Daily Bugle, and war with the newly conceived Vulture. With a new host of enemies and friends, witty-graffiti that slays the bad-guys’ egos, and a killer costume, we are pretty certain that you’ll be as ready to get your copy of Spider-Gwen’s story as we are. 

Image c/o illustrators



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