Music Features

The 8 Best Books for Rock Music Lovers, Written by Women

Reading material to help you fill the concert void.

After six months without proper concerts and no relief in sight, musicians and music lovers have been going especially stir-crazy during quarantine.

Drive-in shows and livestreams can't replace the joy of good old-fashioned live music, but thankfully, there are other ways we can try to get our fix: movies and books.

The music world provides an endless stream of memoirs, criticism, and oral histories for a deeper understanding of our heroes; It seems music books are being released nearly daily these days. But, since the industry has historically left women underappreciated, we've decided to focus this reading list specifically on women in rock.

Below, check out our must-reads for the rock lover and feminist in all of us.

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Topdust

7 Extremely Relevant Sci-Fi Books To Check Out This Fall

These sci-fi books will help you make sense of the real world.

The Broken Earth Trilogy

Sci-fi may often be about alternate histories or futuristic societies, but it tends to offer very necessary reflections on our own world.

This fall, as we speed through a stressful election that has existential implications for all of our lives and continue to grapple with a pandemic, we'll need great sci-fi books to get us through the season. And what could be better than sitting back with some hot cider, watching the autumn leaves fall, and traveling to a distant sci-fi universe?

Here are 7 sci-fi books to help get you through the fall.

1. The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin

The Three-Body Problem

The Three-Body Problem

tor.com

Game of Thrones' creators just announced that their next blockbuster adaptation will be based on The Three-Body Problem, an award-winning series about extraterrestrials that's really a reflection on humanity.

2. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents

Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents

hachettebookgroup.com

Octavia Butler is a must-read for any fan of science fiction, but her book Parable of the Sower feels extra-relevant today. It tells the story of a society brought to its knees by environmental destruction, racism, and economic crises. It stars a girl suffering from hyperempathy, or an extreme sensitivity to others' suffering. Studded with poetry and filled with reflections on dystopia, zealotry, and other problems, it also offers something extremely rare: a blueprint for a potential solution.

3. Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune by Frank Herbert

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The 2020 movie version may star Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, but the actual print book Dune has been beloved by science fiction fans since 1965. Taking place around 20,000 years in the future, it is set in a feudal society in which varying powers compete for sovereignty over planets. The central planet in question is Arrakis, a wasteland of a planet that is also the only source of melange, a drug that allows users to travel through dimensions.


Dune has been translated to computer games, follow-up films, and many other forms of entertainment, but the original still occupies a very specific place in the sci-fi and fantasy canons. Whether you're looking to brush up on your Timothee Chalamet lore or want to dive into a distant and fascinating world, Dune is a surefire bet.

4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

mentalfloss.com

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has remained perpetually relevant since it was published in 1966. Confronting meaninglessness, global annihilation, inane leaders, and the absurdity of human life, it offers a roadmap for getting through the (hopefully) last few months of the Trump presidency; and it may even be, as one writer put it, "The Book of 2020."

5. The Invisible Man by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man

abebooks.com

Ellison's classic novel appears on many books-to-read-before-you-die lists. It addresses what it means to be a Black man, but it also addresses and interrogates human identity on the whole. In the midst of a second Civil Rights movement, this book offers perspective and wisdom.

6. The Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin

The Broken Earth Series

Broken Earth Series

theverge.com

N. K. Jemisin's highly lauded Broken Earth series consists of three books—The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, and The Stone Sky. Taking place on a fictional planet, it tells the story of a world whose inhabitants are faced with regular, cyclical catastrophic periods of climate change. The series is difficult to explain in brief, but its nuanced perspectives on the war between humans and the earth made Jemisin the first author in the history of sci-fi to win three consecutive Hugo Awards.

7. Feed by M. T. Anderson

Feed M. T. Anderson

Feed M. T. Anderson

prodimage.com

Feeling exhausted by the Internet, but not exactly sure why—or how to detach yourself from it? M. T. Anderson's YA cyberpunk novel "Feed" might provide the impetus you need to finally abandon the Internet once and for all, and it might also awaken you to the fact that everything on the Internet is specifically designed to sell you something.

The novel takes place in a future dominated completely by corporate exploitation, in which most people's brains are connected and controlled by digital implants that allow corporations to target and control them. The book takes place in an ecologically devastated world and offers a complex critique of capitalism, groupthink, and endless targeted advertisements.

Opinion

In Defense of "Lolita:" Madison Beer Was Right

Vladimir Nabokov intended to invoke outrage and confusion in his readers by romanticizing pedophilia.

Madison Beer beside Sue Lyon as Lolita in 1962

While social media has the power to make the world a more interconnected place, it also tends to foster misunderstanding born from too little explanation.

A recent example of this unfortunate effect is the case of Madison Beer, a TikTok star and singer. In an Instagram Live Q&A session, Beer told viewers that her favorite book was Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. She went on to emphasize that she "definitely" romanticizes the 1955 novel. Though the video is no longer available from Beer's account, it's been shared widely across social media.

Trigger Warning for child abuse, sexual abuse and assault.

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