Books

Happy birthday JK Rowling! To celebrate the queen of TERFs and Harry Potter author’s birthday, trans folks and allies took to Twitter and started donating money to Mermaids, a UK charity that supports trans youth, in her name. Rowling came under fire last month for her remarks about trans people on Twitter, particularly when she rejected the validity of the term “people who menstruate.” The statement she issued addressing the tweets was equally riddled with transphobia. On her website, Rowling explains why she stood in solidarity...
WANDERING IN STRANGE LANDS: A DAUGHTER OF THE GREAT MIGRATION RECLAIMS HER ROOTSBy Morgan Jerkins(Harper) Growing up, Morgan Jerkins “felt like an outsider among my blood, a feeling that would stay with me until I was an adult.” In this memoir, she tries to connect to the places in America her family first called home by visiting those sites. Jerkins knew that what her family couldn’t remember—or had chosen to forget—“can be found in people you have yet to encounter and places where you have not...
BEFORE THEY BECAME co-authors of Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close (out July 14), pals Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow developed a following as hosts of the feminist podcast Call Your Girlfriend—a show “for long-distance besties everywhere” that has been attracting hundreds of thousands of listeners since 2014. Here, we asked the voracious readers to reveal what books they’ve shared with one another over the years, and why. And they wrote all these responses together—the same way they wrote their whole book! –emily...
Death In Her Hands: A NovelBy Ottessa Moshfegh(Penguin Press)      In her latest novel, Ottessa Moshfegh crafts a murder mystery that asks readers to decide what they believe. Protagonist Vesta Gull moves to a cabin after the death of her husband. One day, while walking with her dog in the woods, she finds a note stating that a woman named Magda has been killed. Vesta is unsure if the note is real or not, but as the possible identities of Magda and her killer develop...
When Jasmine Guillory wrote her breakout 2018 debut novel, The Wedding Date, she “didn’t envision” what ended up happening over the next few years. As of this summer, Guillory has published five interconnected stand-alone romances (with several more in the works) and has earned legions of fans, including the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Roxane Gay. It’s easy to see why: Guillory, 45, writes stories that are deliciously fun and sexy, with charming, complicated heroines, irresistible love interests, and scorching chemistry. Over the phone from...
I don’t know about you, but in the midst of everything going on, I need a break. And if you’re like me, a “break” involves camping out in Netflix’s true crime tab and bingeing “Evil Genius,” “Conversation with a Killer” and “Mindhunter” (all of which I recommend). However, at some point in my watch party, I decided I wanted to hear some stories told by women. It may seem counterintuitive to take a break from the suffering of the world with a book about grisly deaths,...
With novels, nonfiction classics, and guidebooks on race flying off (virtual) bookshelves, we decided to compile an assorted list of must-reads—ranging from the humorous to the heartbreaking to the educational—all written in the past few years by Black women authors, and all previously reviewed in BUST's print magazine.  Right now, books like Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race and Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility are at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, but let’s keep the momentum going and read books by Black women writers all the time,...
The Vanishing Half: A Novel By Brit Bennett (Riverhead Books) What starts off similarly to Brit Bennett’s debut novel The Mothers—an observer opens up the tale that’s about to unfold—quickly turns into a deeply emotional, thought-provoking, and at times, frustrating story about two once inseparable sisters now living parallel lives. Like everyone in Mallard, a tiny Southern community, 16-year-old twins Stella and Desiree are both light-skinned. Scared of getting stuck in their small town forever, the two decide to escape. They anticipate challenges along the way, but Desiree...
In each issue of BUST, Amber Tamblyn reviews a book of poetry. From our Spring 2020 issue, here's her review of Lilith, But Dark by Nichole Perkins. Nichole Perkins has written a beautifully aching and illuminating portrait of a Black woman’s life in her essential collection, Lilith, But Dark (Publishing Genius Press). These poems shine on every page, whether in the shadows or in the light of life’s most extreme circumstances, including family violence, love, longing, and the gloom of loss. In “Athena of Nashville” she...
Verge: StoriesBy Lidia Yuknavitch(Riverhead Books) Fans of Lidia Yuknavitch already know all her sentences are consistently some combination of: intense, electric, damp, arresting—this collection of short stories follows that trend. Some are super-short snapshots. Others have a full, pulsing life. And as a collection, they are populated by misfits on the edge of town, people feeling themselves as mammals existing in liminal spaces. The first story sets an astonishing pace that demands the reader close and blink at the book for at least two full minutes...
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