We love a trashy romance novel as much as the next girl.
And while thumbing through articles in your old issues of Cosmo might be effortless, summer is the perfect time to update your book collection. So whether you’re passing time at the family cabin or relaxing poolside with your posse, here are a few summer reading picks that offer substance. Because literature, ladies, is always in style.
1. “Like Water for Chocolate,” Laura Esquivel
You know how you feel when you bite into that cupcake the size of your head? Satisfied? Dare I say sensual? While your sexy ass is browning away on the beach, why not pick up a little raunch? Food is used as a medium through which all kinds of raunchy sex fantasies are explored in this salacious novel. Tita, the uncouth chica, just wanders around the ranch house grinding up spices and shit (braless, no less) while Pedro, her brother in law, pokes at her. If it gets too hot while you’re reading, go splash around a bit.
Themes: Single and hopeless, sibling rivalry, screwed-up family dynamics, love, cooking
Perfect for: The single gal who thinks she will never find happiness
2. “Eva’s Man,” Gayl Jones
Oh shit. Crime, drama, sex, exploitation, abuse – basically everything you crave in a good novel
gets pumped up in “Eva’s Man.” Don’t mistake this for one of those trashy Lifetime Originals; this
piece of American literature has substance and explores the struggles of a woman trying to exist
in a man’s world. Not to mention the mouth on Eva! But hey, who doesn’t love a smart trash
Themes: See above
Perfect for: The ornery bitch that’s sick of taking shit from men
3. “Daughters of the North,” Sarah Hall
Hunger Games goes to England, and instead of Katniss going to fight for her sister’s life, she
gets trapped at a camp run by an overbearing military lesbian. OH yeah. This novel starts off in
a near distant future when all these assholes ruining the planet succeed and the people on the
bottom are bathing in a huge cow pie. The women of the camp work like mules to sustain a
farm, a community and their womanhood.
Themes: Post-apocalyptic, economic collapse, lesbian, warfare, survival
Perfect for: The conspiracy theorist, bi-curious/lesbian/feminist political junkie
4. “Crime Against Nature,” Minnie Bruce Pratt
I know I’m going to have to work extra hard on convincing you bitches to give this book a shot.
Yes, it’s poetry, and listen, you’re never gonna be a well-rounded healthy bitch if you haven’t
given your brain a good long twist. Don’t cry about how hard poetry is, just take it as it is, savor
it, slow down, relax, take it one poem at a time and sip on a glass of chilled chardonnay. The poems are complex and intimate and they express the pain and agony of being a different kind of woman in a time that places unrelenting expectations on normalcy. Whoa, did I get too heavy? Well, let’s put it this way: Minnie’s struggle isn’t a mini one. Oh yes I went there.
Themes: Patriarchy, anger, shame, injustice
Perfect for: The book nerd that wants to expand her literary horizons
Rachelle Linda Escamilla is a big-brained Chicana from California. She lives in Guangzhou, China where she teaches literature and creative writing. Her poetry has received a number of fabulous but not-so-famous awards and prizes. She has a weekly column at The Condor News called Dispatches from China. Read more about Rachelle here.