Read a F*cking Book: Reading Rainbow Fall Book Preview 2009

girl studies

Girls’ Studies: Seal Studies

by Elline Lipkin

Oct 1, 2009.

Seal Press


WE JUST WANNA TALK ABOUT GENDER THEORY FOREVER: Welcome to the new world of “girls’ studies” — “the socialization of girls versus the socialization of boys. You know we love this shit.”
“Professors and students alike are beginning to analyze the impact of media, pop culture, messaging, and more on America’s girls. Girls’ Studies tackles socialization and gender expectations, body image, and media impact, and gives insight into girl empowerment and how to equip our girls for a brighter future.”



My Invented Life

by Lauren Bjorkman

Sep 29, 2009.



Wha…? Oddly the Amazon listing for My Invented Life blithely skirts one of the main reasons you might be interested in reading this fun YA debut novel: it’s so queer!  Your best clue is that “readers who liked this book” also enjoyed “Annie on my Mind & Dare Truth or Promise.”

So: let’s check out one of our fave queer YA book blogs, who reports the following plot anchors: Roz suspects Eva might be gay, although Eva has a boyfriend, who keeps flirting with Roz. Roz flirts with Jonathan who turns out to be gay. Roz pretends to be gay to find out if Eva is, and then has to deal with how to find a boyfriend despite pretending to like girls, and then has to deal with the possibility that she does indeed like girls. There’s a motley crew of other sexuality-confused friends, a cross-dressing production of As You Like It, and well, so much more.


Really? Yeah! That title fills us with optimism, joy and social activist energy! We’re gonna win you guys! This “first ever marriage equality primer” promises to show why gay marriage will become law and how to win equality rights fastest, via never-released interviews of marriage equality leaders.
Who? Dr. Davina Kotulski is the author of Why You Should Give A Damn About Gay Marriage and an Advisory Board Member for Marriage Equality USA. She lives with all the other genius-dykes in the San Francisco Bay Area and is therefore an uber-expert. Everyone should listen to her. Also it’s easier to argue with your grandparents when you’ve got the facts on lockdown.


What/When/Where/How? Nona Willis Aronowitz & Emma Bee Bernstein had a lot of questions for a lot of people, including well-known feminists like Kathleen Hanna, Erica Jong, Michele Wallace and Starhawk as well as women who don’t relate to feminism at all. In probs the most awesome road trip of all time, the two girls crossed the country to track a conversation about “the current state of feminism and its many definitions … the past and the present … glimmers on the future … the promise of the open road … how young women grapple with the concepts of freedom, equality, joy, ambition, sex, and love –whether they call it “feminism” or not.”
Who? Aronowitz is a successful writer and cultural critic who did her Wesleyan thesis on 70s porn and its influence on the feminist movement and total cutie Emma Bee Bernstein, Aronowitz’s feminist roadtrip partner-in crime, was an accomplished photographer & essayist. (Check out the Girldrive Blog).gd-author-photo-smlI was already daydreaming about how it would be so cute to interview Nona & Emma together for Autostraddle and have Robin photograph Emma and Emma photograph Robin when I got to the part Emma’s bio which reads: “Emma Bee Bernstein died in Venice, Italy, in December 2008 at the age of 23.” Now I’ve been sort of crying at my keyboard, reading eulogies and looking at photographs for the past hour.+

From Feministing: “Emma ended her own life. It’s almost impossible for me conceive of someone that alive now being dead. But I have to believe that she needed release in some profound way that even her beautiful family and friends, that even her relationship to art and feminism, couldn’t provide. It’s not romantic. It’s unacceptable. It’s also a reminder that life is a fragile, fragile thing, a choice that we each make every single day. When Emma was alive, she made the choice fiercely and with her whole being. I thank her for the lesson.”

Get the book, y’hear? And we’ll start stalking Nona for an interview on what’s sure to be an epic book for our generation of eager feminist weirdos.


Other Fall Books To Look Out For:


Lawrence Hill Books: Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining Our Future, by Barbara J. Berg, Ph.D. September 1st, 2009.matthewshep

Penguin:The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed, by Judy Shepard. September 3rd, 2009

Clies Press: In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales, edited by Mitzi Szereto. September 8th, 2009.

Simon and Schuster: Hungry: A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves. by Crystal Renn with Marjorie Ingall. September 8th, 2009

Penguin Classics: The Yellow Wall-Paper, Herland, and Selected Writings, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Author), Denise D. Knight (Editor, Contributor). New edition & packaging & editing of the classic feminist writer’s work. September 29th 2009.


crumbW.W. Norton: The Book of Genesis Illustrated, by R. Crumb. October 19, 2009.

St. Martin’s Press: Cassette From My Ex: Stories and Soundtracks of Lost Loves, edited by Jason Bitner. October 27, 2009.


Audiobook! Parker Posey reading Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique. Must-hear! November 15, 2009.

NYU Press: Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism, by Alison Piepmeier (Introduction by Andi Zeisler). November 19, 2009.

From Indie ‘zine & book publisher Microcosm, out now:

rainbow_connectionWhat We Leave Behind, by Derick Jensen, is a piercing, impassioned guide to living a truly responsible life on earth.

The Rainbow Connection: Richard Hunt: Gay Muppeteer by Jessica Max Stien: A heap of information about the life of Richard Hunt, a Muppet puppeteer who worked on Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and a myriad of other Henson projects.

My Brain Hurts #2: Liz Baillie crafts a Degrassi-style teenage soap opera about queer punks in New York City!dotted-divider2

Calls for Submissions

Future Fuck All

Deadline Nov 1

closets_libraries“Hello friends, I am putting out a call for writing, art, comics, photographs, on the practical and philosophical aspects of gender, sexuality, bodies, and queerness. Personal experiences (good, bad, and other), philosophies, rants, funny stories, observations, interviews, dreams of the future. Ultimately, I want to put a zine out that is a positive fuck yeah for queerness, transgenderisms, bodies, sexualityies, and ultra wave inclusive feminism. A recognition that all oppressions are interconnected, and the time is now to share our stories and deconstruct the dead ends.” Coming Out Stories

Deadline September 30

SHEGROUP is a company made entirely up of members from the lesbian community. They are all passionate about who they are, what they stand for, and how they can contribute to the acceptance of the community. In an attempt to bring the lesbian community closer together, their first initiative is in launching an all lesbian dating site, SheDate, which asks you to share your coming out story to win $1,200 in SheAvenue prizes!


Because I actually read Shoplifting from American Apparel by Tao Lin I thought I could put it on its own page, like a real book review. Then, all alone on its own page, it took over the page. I am excited for the Autostraddle redesign when we can have more little things all over. That’s NEXT! –>

Pages: 1 2 3See entire article on one page

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3228 articles for us.


  1. I devoured Kathy G’s book in 2 days and it is hands totes down the most entertaining celeb memoir I’ve read (and I own Out of Sync and both of Rosie’s books).

  2. greatest book review i’ve ever read.

    i’d also like to point out that we may or may not have been stoned while coming up with the lady gaga theory and therefore your therapist may or may not be right.

  3. I really want to read the AS Lady Gaga story. Like now.

    Also… My Invented Life, Shoplifting From American Apparel, and Girls’ Studies are at the top of my list for reading this fall. You guys have an awesome track record for book recommendations (I still feel indebted to Riese for introducing me to Stephen Dunn).

    • i feel the same way re: stephen dunn, dawn. i accidentally typed “damn” first. probably because i feel that passionately about him.
      i want to read so many of these books!
      i am apparently v. illiterate today because i thought riese said she needed a “wordbook” instead of a “workbook.” but now i really like the idea of having my own little dictionary of words to use in the future.

  4. ‘everyone should read shoplifting from american apparel, it’s short and tasty like a snack!’

    Do you include people over 40? Do you honestly think anyone over 40, or maybe 35, or maybe even 30, who is an adult should read this book?

    Can you imagine anyone 40 or over like it?

    I mean, there are young writers people of any age can read. Tao Lin isn’t one of them, is he? Would anyone you know over a certain age actually appreciate Lin? Why? You’ve based your liking your book on your own situation being like the author’s. What about people who are totally unlike him?

    • I think if you read the rest of the review, you’d understand that statement in context as facetious. For starters, I compare it to a snack, and books are clearly not snacks. For finishers, the rest of the review points out that I don’t know who will be into it.

    • wait are these real questions or are they rhetorical questions? it seems rhetorical
      ’cause you sound upset at me, but if you are actually asking them, i can try and answer, though I think it’s always dangerous to divide people into different mentalities by age.

  5. My GF got me Kathy Griffin’s book for my birthday. It came over the weekend. I haven’t started it yet because it has been implied that I must finish reading the library books I’ve had for weeks BEFORE reading any new books or else my relationship will suffer. But I did sneak a peek at the first page. I LOL’d at the first sentence!

    Two observations from the book review:
    1) It’s a good thing Brooke is COO and
    2) You’re really good at book reviews. Don’t compare yours to other book reviews. They’re boring…you’re not.

  6. AHhhh I wanna read ’em all! I feel so Sylvia Plath: “I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.”

  7. this is a great book for all ages
    its small so children can easily hold it as they read
    its short so old people can finish it before they die

  8. Thanks for the Girldrive shoutout. I know I’m superlate on this, but can you please correct my name? It’s “Nona Willis Aronowitz” not “Norma Willis-Arnowitz.” I’d really appreciate it, thanks!

  9. Has anyone heard of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy -The girl with the dragon tattoo, The girl who played with fire, and the latest one is coming out in the states 2 years later than the rest of the world, in October 31st, The girl who kicked the hornets nest.

    I started reading the first book in when I left Sydney, and finished it 15 hours later in Java, my eyes hated me for it, but I could not put it down.

    The heroine, Lisbeth Salander is possibly the hottest, most bad ass-est, girl in the history of girls who likes girls.

    Anyways …. jsyk.

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