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  Faking It: The Lies Women Tell About Sex—And The Truths They RevealBy Lux Alptraum(Seal Press)        Why do women lie about sex? And do we really lie, or are our truths just misunderstood? These are questions Lux Alptraum ponders in Faking It by examining everyday untruths like lying about relationship status, lying about orgasms, and lying about being on your way when you’re really still outfit-planning. According to Alptraum, women lie to stay alive, to stay safe, and to have fun. And these lies say...
If you were obsessed with the drama of Sweet Valley High long before Gossip Girl premiered; if you dreamed of starting your own business as a preteen thanks to the Baby-Sitters Club; if you kept yourself awake at nights because Goosebumps made you too scared to sleep—in other words, if you were a preteen or teen in the '80s or '90s—you'll want to pick up Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History Of '80s And '90s Teen Fiction by Gabrielle Moss. In chapters organized around teen...
Hey Ladies!: The Story of 8 Best Friends, 1 Year, And Way, Way Too Many EmailsBy Michelle Markowitz and Caroline Moss(Harry N. Abrams) If you’ve ever been a bridesmaid or attended a baby shower, you’ve probably been the recipient of a “Hey Ladies!” email—a perky, passive-aggressive group message sent for the purposes of planning an overly complicated celebration. Inspired by receiving their own “Hey Ladies!” emails, writers Michelle Markowitz and Caroline Moss began writing a fictional series for The Toast in 2013, following a group of...
It's Flashback Friday, and today we're looking back at some feminist history. Here is a list of five classic feminist reading recommendations that aren't The Feminine Mystique. The list below spans almost 70 years of feminist history, from the 1920s to the '90s, and includes books tackling work, sex, politics, and identity. The books below show us how far we have come, but also illuminate issues that we're still fighting for (we still haven’t passed the ERA, for one!). This list attempts to showcase a variety of...

As “a shapeshifter whose only mission is to experience humanity,” RuPaul has not only experienced but enhanced the human experience. Being a role model comes with pressure, but Ru exceeds all expectations. RuPaul's new book GuRu offers nuggets of worldly, every day, and glamazonian advice. Here’s a peek at some special gems of genius: 1. Start your day the Ru way, with mindfulness and stillness. RuPaul wakes up early every day to stretch, pray and meditate. He explains that his mind/body is a machine, and that this act of...
  Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls: Stories By Alissa Nutting (Ecco) Do you remember the first horrible job that you worked? The one that still makes it hard for you to go into a store without adjusting the racks or finger-spacing hangers as you walk by? Author Alissa Nutting certainly does. And her collection of short stories (originally published in 2010, re-released in 2018) explores the odd jobs women work and the weird ways in which they leave their mark.  Although the positions held in Unclean Jobs for Women...
  Halloween is over—November brings us the end of Scorpio season, Thanksgiving, and many new book releases. Here are the November releases by women authors that we're most looking forward to reading. The Naked Woman by Armonía Somers, translated by Kit Maude (November 1)Originally published in 1950, Uruguayan feminist writer Armonía Somers' debut novel finally gets an English translation. The Naked Woman follows a woman's feminist awakening, set in a hypocrtical village in rural Uruguay.  Thee Collected Cyanide Milkshake by Liz Suburbia (November 1)All seven issues of punk feminist...
OK, I’ll admit it. Although I spent most of my teenage years hunched over record bins, comic stands, and toilet bowls at DIY shows, I am not a know-it-all when it comes to comics, nor am I the kind of person who gets their sense of self from being able to recite whole sections of Please Kill Me. No, I was shy and preferred art over friends. I sought out the zines and comics that I liked, and read them outside of venues or between...
FloridaBy Lauren Groff(Riverhead Books) Sons, snakes, and sin. These are some of the themes that tie Lauren Groff’s new short-story collection together. Hanging over each tale is the heavy humidity of Florida, calming the characters with the scent of jasmine while frightening them with the constant threat of lurking predators. One of the most compelling stories is “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners,” which follows a man as he decides how much his life will look like his parents’. Groff evokes a crystal clear sense of...

When you think of horror, what writers come to mind? No doubt Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft. Maybe Anne Rice’s vampires or Mary Shelley’s monster. Sure, they’re essential reads for the paranormal enthusiast. But horror is a genre long dominated by white authors, to the detriment of everyone else: women writers of color who’ve always been in the game. This Halloween, put down It and spend time with one (or all) of these six women of color elevating the genre with chilling prose and social...