Books

Below is an excerpt from the book RESISTANCE WOMEN by Jennifer Chiaverini, a historical fiction novel based on the true story of an all-women espionage network who helped fight against Hitler in 1930s Berlin. Resistance Women is on sale now. March 1933 Mildred From the moment the crackdown on avowed and suspected Communists began, Mildred feared for Arvid’s safety. His publications and lectures made his academic interest in the Soviet Union’s Five-Year Plan a matter of public record, and his recent travels there and the founding of ARPLAN provided more evidence against him....
“IS SHE REALLY 87?” BUST intern Kerry asks while transcribing my interview with Alix Kates Shulman. “I...I can’t believe she’s talking about those things!”Yes, she’s really 87. But Shulman is one of the youngest 87-year-olds you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting. And indeed, she has long been willing to “talk about those things.” Her groundbreaking 1972 book, Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, was her way of introducing “those things” to the world; of exposing truths about women and sex that simply weren’t being told....
THE STARLESS SEA: A NovelBy Erin Morgenstern(Doubleday) The Starless Sea, the second novel by Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus), is a love letter to books that sometimes reads like the longest possible entry on a bibliophile’s Tumblr page. The constant literary and pop culture references sprinkled throughout, especially in the thread following Zachary, a gaming graduate student, create a context that will feel familiar to readers who grew up online. Imagining a vast world of books being protected in places just out of reach, the...
From our Winter 2020 print issue, our reviewers chose three new titles about tackling the patriarchy, fighting toxic masculinity, and analyzing how men can do better.  Boys Will Be Boys: Power, Patriarchy, and Toxic Masculinity By Clementine Ford(Oneworld Publictions) In her follow up to Fight Like a Girl, Australian feminist Clementine Ford explores how patriarchy is embedded in every stage of our lives, starting from infancy to the politics of #MeToo. Ford not only examines how toxic masculinity hurts women through violence and limited opportunity, but also extends her...
With a new decade comes new reading material by women and nonbinary folks — and there's a lot to choose from. If you need help deciding the next novel in which to lose yourself on your morning commute or curl up with at your favorite coffee shop, our book reviewers have you covered. Here are BUST's top picks from the end of 2019 and start of 2020, and you can find all of our reviews in the Winter 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. (Subscribe today!)   Such a Fun...
When I was in high school, I read Prozac Nation. At the time, I didn’t understand depression —  in fact, I didn’t even know the meaning of the word. And I definitely didn’t know the term “mental illness.” All I knew was that I wasn’t feeling quite right and I found comfort in books like Veronika Decides to Die by Pahlo Coehlo and Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen. Stories that centered a female lead character who, for one reason or another, was battling depression and...
Caroline Zancan’s We Wish You Luck is not the first novel set at a writing program, but she tells a fresh story nonetheless. For one, the book takes place at a low-residency writing program, where students only stay on campus for a week or two each semester, and do the rest of their work remotely with a faculty advisor. Zancan is a graduate of such a program, and it shows: she expertly captures the participants, their experiences, and the various attitudes stereotypically (and often accurately) found in...
  Three years ago, I went to a conference in downtown L.A. There were 10,000 people at the conference, and I sat through dozens of panels over the course of three days—a dizzying number of speakers and topics. But there was only panel that stuck with me, or one person, really: Jaquira Díaz.  She stepped up to the podium and quickly set it ablaze, speaking about girlhood and memory, erasure, and voice. The fierceness of her heart and mind left an indelible print on me, and when...
Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice For Living Your Best LifeBy Ali Wong(Penguin Random House) If you’re an Ali Wong fan, Dear Girls is the perfect addition to your bookshelf. The comedian, actress and writer is every bit as hilarious and raunchy in her new memoir as she is on stage. Yet the jokes and OMG moments don’t translate as smoothly to a book and seem better suited for the stage. Wong spends the preface emphasizing that she’s an “idiot” who shouldn’t be writing...
  I’ve only been sailing a handful of times in my life, and only once have I taken the helm. It was a long time ago when I was deliriously in love with the man I had just married and, on a whim, we signed ourselves up for a learn-to-sail adventure on the edge of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. With six of us aboard a 25-foot ship, we learned our way around knots and winches; we learned how to make tea on the tippy little stove,...