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Books For Unstable Girlies Who Are Going Through Some Shit

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We’re currently living in fairly cuckoo crazy times. A looming election, impending climate doom (I survived the Los Angeles Hurriquake of ‘23.), all while getting throttled by the waves of capitalism, racism, sexism, and a whole lot of other terrible-isms. What a gal, gay, or they needs is some escapism. There’s no better time than autumn to curl up and get cozy with a completely unhinged book you can get lost in. 

This roundup has a little bit of everything for anyone going through it. Whether you’ve got a bonkers, boundary-less MIL, hate your fucking job, or are endlessly pining for a secret crush, there’s something here for you. 

You’re Ready for the Aliens to Beam Your Ass Up Already

Ghosts, Bigfoot, crazed murderers, oh my! These books will send a tingle up your spine but keep the laughs coming. Delight in the paranormal and satisfy your budding Ghost Adventures addiction with the below. 

Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth

Imagine your shitty mother-in-law was a ghost who wouldn’t leave you and your husband TF alone and you’ll have the premise for Ainslie Hogarth’s Motherthing. This darkly funny horror novel will empower you to finally put your foot down and demand she stops calling your husband “Petey the Puppers” in public. 

Patricia Wants to Cuddle: A Novel by Samantha Allen

If the Bachelor and The Hunger Games had a baby it’d be the mutant offspring that is Patricia Wants to Cuddle. Fans of Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens will love the rompiness of this super fun, super weird, queer-bent love story. 

There's No Way I'd Die First by Lisa Springer

Scary movie experts will love this final-girl driven book from author Lisa Springer. Imagine you’re having a party for your besties on Halloween nerding out about horror movies and then one of you gets axed, literally. You know all the horror tropes out there but will that help you survive?! Dun, dun, dun!

Memoirs of Famous Fellow Chaotic Messes

Celebs, they’re just like us! And they too deal with addiction, shitty families, and grief. Work through your own personal drama and find some laughs along the way with these memoirs.

Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up by Selma Blair

Alcoholism, mommy issues, and serial biting, this book truly has it all. Selma Blair bravely shares all the messiness of her childhood, her acting career, and her later multiple sclerosis diagnosis in a down to earth way that feels relatable, not preachy. 

I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron

The late, incredibly great Nora Ephron, the woman behind perfect films like You’ve Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally… got her start as a journalist, and in addition to her film career wrote several hilar books like this delightfully kooky meditation on aging. 

Hello, Molly!: A Memoir by Molly Shannon

SNL alum and comedic icon Molly Shannon sows triumph from tremendous grief and pain in this winning memoir. It’s also stacked with celebrity tea from behind the scenes at SNL and super funny stories about her mischievous childhood. 

Apocalypse Prep

If you’re feeling a wee bit anxious about *gestures wildly* all the things happening around us, then pick up one of these novels focusing on climate change and the repercussions that may ensue. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Liquid Snakes: A Novel by Stephen Kearse

True crime, climate justice, and racism are at the heart of the engrossing Liquid Snakes. Fans of Atlanta will dive into this beautifully written book about a mysterious (and lethal) black substance permeating Atlanta’s Black neighborhoods.

Pod: A Novel by Laline Paull

All my Lisa Frank girlies, this ones for you. Pod is written from the POV of a dolphin, yes, but it’s essentially about family and the (sometimes devastating) changes around you as you grow up. Be warned! Like many on this list, you’ll need tissues handy. 

Land of Milk and Honey: A Novel by C Pam Zhang

Imagine: A devastating smog has engulfed most of the world and humans are basically eating only beans (Gross! Farty!) Interestingly, an enigmatic, albeit mysterious billionaire invites you, a chef, to a literal land of milk and honey, where rare ingredients are readily available and the horrors of climate doom don’t exist yet. Cool, yes! Super shady, also yes! Look out for this already highly reviewed September release from C Pam Zhang.

I’m Not Crazy I’m Just a Lil’ Unwell

In the vein of Sad Girl pioneers Ottessa Moshfegh and Sally Rooney come these books about messed-up, sad girls, making messed-up sad mistakes. Pay tribute to our foremothers and feel less bad about your own questionable decisions with these faves.

The New Me by Halle Butler

30, burnt-out, and bored AF Millie is the lead of this intensely relatable book about a woman who hates her job. Millie’s voice rings true, and her biting and bitchy observations about the world around her feel like diary entries in the best way. If you like My Year of Rest and Relaxation-vibes, you’ll definitely dig The New Me. 

Big Swiss: A Novel by Jen Beagin

You might’ve seen Big Swiss’ bold and intriguing cover art on your feed this past year. But beyond the cover is an engrossing, exciting, and gossip-y dramedy about a therapy session transcriber who becomes obsessed with one of the patients she’s listing in on, and then runs into her IRL and introduces herself under a fake name. Don’t miss this juicy, sexy, wild pick.

Your Driver Is Waiting by Priya Guns

In this intense and thrilling gender swap of Taxi Driver, Damani, who works as a rideshare driver, picks up (literally and figuratively) the polar opposite of herself–the white, rich, and very cool Jolene. But as their romance takes off, so does drama and a series of very chaotic events takes shape. 

You’ve Been Mystery Obsessed Since Carmen Sandiego

If you too were raised on Bailey School Kids books you’ll also race to uncover the mysteries within the super suspenseful books below. 

Stone Cold Fox by Rachel Koller Croft

A serial con artist is ready to finally throw in the towel, she just needs one last mark to set her up for life. She has her sights set on a very eligible bachelor, there’s just one problem. His BFF is on to her.

The Deep Sky by Yume Kitasei

This whodunit apocalypse mystery takes place on a spacecraft fleeing earth. As much as we hate to give Elon wet dream ideas, this haunting and beautiful story will have you on the edge of your seat.

Twisted: A Novel by Maggie Giles

Follow detective Ryan Boone through a seemingly open and shut jewelry heist case that turns out to be an prostitution ring. It’s giving Gotham City. If you’re a Colleen Hoover girlie (sigh) you’ll probably like this caper from Maggie Giles.

Eva Morreale
Eva Morreale
Eva Morreale is a Jersey girl based in Los Angeles. She has an encyclopedia-like knowledge of Sex and the City, the Real Housewives franchise, and always carries Tums. You can follow her whereabouts on IG @evapants or subscribe to her newsletter Fries for the Table (