The 1840s ushered in an era of luridly illustrated gothic tales that were marketed to a working-class Victorian audience. These stories, told in installments and printed on inexpensive pulp paper, were originally only eight pages long and sold for just a penny—giving rise to the term “penny bloods” or “penny dreadfuls.
Whether you're lying out at the beach or chilling out in your own air conditioned apartment, summer is the perfect time to catch up on your reading. We've rounded up 11 of our favorite books of the summer, including Jessica Valenti's Sex Object, The Girls by Emma Cline and Modern Lovers by Emma Straub.     Sex Object: A MemoirBy Jessica Valenti (Dey Street Books) Rating: 5/5 Sometimes being a feminist can feel maddening.
Punk pioneer Legs McNeil, and author and poet Gillian McCain are the masterminds behind Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History Of Punk, a book that is largely regarded as the first and most comprehensive written piece on punk history. Please Kill Me is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with a re-release and a series of readings (well, more like parties with music, alcohol, and Michael Des Barres hosting). BUST spent some time with Legs and Gillian and talked about the book, the evolution of punk, and how the show Vinyl got it all wrong.
As a writer inhabiting this world in a female body, I am SO sick of seeing lists of “must-read books” that feature predominately cis-male authors. Talented and innovative women-identifying authors deserve as much exposure as basic dudes like Tom Clancy or Dean Koontz or whatever balding white man is hogging the shelves at Barnes and Noble with the same, repetitive stories. I’m. Over. It. Chances are, as a BUST reader, you are, too. But have no fear.
The cover of Arielle Greenberg’s Locally Made Panties is delightfully audacious. It’s a photograph from 1975 of a woman with the Farrah Fawcett flip, reclining on a bed, legs spread. She wears a white tank and pulls her white panties up by the waist and against her vulva, giving us a peek at her pubic hair. Locally Made Panties is a collection of essays detailing Greenberg’s fraught relationship with her feminism and her obsession with clothes, body image, and consumerism.
LGBT teens often don't see themselves in the coming-of-age books that are taught in schools. Here are 15 YA novels that fix that: 1. When Everything Feels like the Movies by Raziel Reid For Jude, life is one big movie set. Using his mother’s heels and make-up, he’s ready for his part. He’s got the love interest, the best friend, and the antagonist all in place. All that’s left is to watch the drama unfold. Jude is a feel-good character set in an authentically gritty world.
Melissa Broder is God, Melissa Broder is the Internet, she is pop culture, the iCloud, and all your fave sad girl memes rolled up into one perfect human being. Like, if Melissa Broder were an actual fruit roll up, her flavor would be, “sweet feminist oracle of truth and divine wisdom." She is a radical response to the myth that feminists can love themselves totally and fully and always. She speaks to the anxieties, pleasures, secrets, imperfections, and paradoxes that we all contain.
Welcome to the first BUST installment of Ask Your Friendly Neighborhood Lesbrarian! This is a column I’ve been running on my book blog for about a year, and I am really excited to move it to BUST and a larger audience! Basically, how it works is readers—just like you—send me an email (or tweet) asking for help finding your next favourite LGBTQ+ books.
If you’re reading BUST, you probably already know that the Bechdel test asks whether a work of fiction 1) features at least two women 2) who talk to each other 3) about something other than a man. It is named for cartoonist Alison Bechdel, and it has sure inspired a lot of lists of films, particularly those that fail the test, but I’d like to look at works that pass it. Here’s a short list of YA novels to add to your reading list that both pass the Bechdel test and tackle some important subjects, including body image, sexuality, and mental health. 1.
The Governess by Richard Redgrave, 1844. During the 19th century, a gently bred young lady with no fortune, no family, and no prospects had few options for making her way in the world. She might hire herself out as a companion, of course. Or if she was particularly adept with a needle, she might take in a bit of sewing. Both were respectable, genteel occupations for a lady down on her luck and, as such, both are well-represented in historical novels.