Books

FIVE TUESDAYS IN WINTER: STORIES By Lily King (Grove Press)  On the surface, the 10 tales in novelist Lily King’s debut short-story collection don’t have much in common. There’s “The Man at the Door,” in which a struggling writer meets a mysterious man who’s somehow read her private novel; “Waiting for Charlie,” about a grandfather visiting his unconscious granddaughter in the hospital; and several mediations on grief and love. But at the heart of every story is someone changed by an unexpected relationship or encounter. The most...
Passport: A Graphic Memoir By Sophia Glock (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) Cartoonist Sophia Glock spent her youth in the 1990s growing up in gated and heavily guarded residences in Latin America, while attending a series of private schools. In young Sophia’s family, certain topics, especially those concerning her parents’ jobs, were fundamentally never discussed. Though she didn’t completely understand why, she learned from an early age not to ask questions. Until she eventually stumbled across a shocking discovery: her parents both worked for the CIA.  In this...
Are you trying to cozy up with some good books as the weather gets cooler and we welcome in 2022? Are you looking for some compelling new reads with strong female protagonists and thought-provoking themes over the holiday season? Look no further. Here’s a round-up of BUST’s best 2021 page-turners. We’ve got everything from memoirs on grief to graphic novels to queer love stories. Check them out! Memoir Crying in H Mart  Grammy nominated musician, Michelle Zauner, also known by her stage name, Japanese Breakfast, beautifully weaves her...
  A Minnesota-based member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa (Ojibwe), Louise Erdrich is a master of multiple genres who won a Pulitzer in Fiction this year for The Night Watchman. On November 9, she released her latest novel, The Sentence (Harper), and here, she shares the habits that keep her humming. –Emily Rems   The Sentence is a ghost story set in Minneapolis between November 2019 and November 2020 and it incorporates both the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd. Did you feel an urgency...
Emily Ratajkowski is famous. Like, really famous. Like, 28-million-Instagram-followers famous. The supermodel is so famous that street sightings of her dog Colombo, a husky/German shepherd mix, get shared on celebrity gossip feeds like Deuxmoi, even if she’s not the one walking him. One day, she was doing catalogue work and posing free for indie magazines just for the exposure; the next, she was the strikingly sultry girl in Robin Thicke’s viral “Blurred Lines” video that everyone was talking about, dancing goofily, red-lipped, and frequently topless....
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell’s classic 1949 novel about a future totalitarian surveillance state, will soon be revisited with fresh eyes. The British author’s estate has approved a retelling of the original work, titled Julia, to be written by Sandra Newman, author of the feminist dystopia novels The Heavens and The Country of Ice Cream Star.  With Julia, Newman will retrace 1984’s plot through the eyes of its romantic interest, Julia, and examine Orwell’s dystopian vision through a critical, feminist lens. As the Orwell Estate told The...
WE ARE NOT LIKE THEM: A Novel By Christine Pride and Jo Piazza (Atria Books) The novel We Are Not Like Them starts with a compelling premise. A Black journalist named Riley returns home to Philadelphia and reconnects with her childhood best friend Jen, who is white—and married to a police officer. When the cop kills a Black teenager, it’s a career-making story for Riley, a personal crisis for the pregnant Jen, and the ultimate test of their relationship.The narrative swaps perspective from character to character. Authors Christine...
L.A.-based author, educator, and activist Patrisse Cullors co-founded the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, and her 2018 memoir, When They Call You a Terrorist, was a huge bestseller. Now, her new book, An Abolitionist’s Handbook: 12 Steps to Changing Yourself and the World, is poised to once again inspire readers to fight for a better future. Here, she shares how she gets her revolutionary words out into the world.  –Emily Rems  Do you prefer to write longhand or to type? What kind of software do you use? I...
THIS IS HOW I DISAPPEAR By Mirion Malle (Drawn and Quarterly)  The graphic novel This Is How I Disappear revolves around Clara, a millennial in Montreal struggling with a recent breakup, a boss who expects full-time hours for part-time pay, and a book of poetry inspired by her breakup that she is under contract to finish writing. While her sadness is initially credited to her heartbreak, it expands into a void of numbing emptiness that leaves her increasingly disengaged from life. Haunted by the pain of a past sexual...
In each issue of BUST, Amber Tamblyn reviews a book of poetry. From our Fall 2021 issue, here's her review of Great Exodus, Great Wall, Great Party.  Chessy Normile’s Great Exodus, Great Wall, Great Party is a book so good from a voice so original, you won’t want to put it down. But you’ll inevitably have to—to wipe tears from your eyes, cover your mouth as you scream with laughter, and pace the room wondering how in the hell she came up with such damn good lines....