Join Emma Roberts' New Book Club: Belletrist
Sex and Rage by Eve Babitz
Scream Queens star Emma Roberts has a book club, Belletrist, and her newest pick is just as powerful as the last. "As a young girl growing up in Los Angeles, I spent a lot of time & energy trying to figure out who I was," Roberts wrote when announcing the selection, "I think this is true for young women growing up in most places—and it is for this reason that we chose #SexAndRage by the legendary #EveBabitz as our #July @belletrist book pick."
Buy It! Sex and Rage by Eve Babitz, $16.95; amazon.com
Love Her Wild by Atticus
First it was literature, and now Roberts is taking on poetry. "Congrats to@atticuspoetry on #LoveHerWild. So excited for our first @belletrist poetry contest together!" she wrote. Together the actress and poet will determine the winner for their poetry contest: Love Her Wild Poetry Contest. Submissions will be accepted until Aug. 2, 2017.
Buy It! Love Her Wild by Atticus, $17.99; amazon.com
The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
Within a month Ariel Levy loses her child, her wife and her home. This memoir tears at your belief in control and leaves behind only the most human of threads: mortality and the need for connection. "In shock I got to meet Ariel Levy!" Roberts wrote in the caption. "Author of #therulesdonotapply! It's truly one of my favorite books. Wildly important you read it as soon as possible."
Buy It! The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy, $27; amazon.com
Granta 139: Best of Young American Novelists (The Magazine of New Writing) edited by Sigrid Rausing
"Books for brunch," she wrote on Instagram on July 2. Who doesn't want to drink mimosas while reading stories by some of the best novelists of our generation?
Buy It! Granta 139 edited by Sigrid Rausing, $16.99; amazon.com
Touch by Courtney Maum
"I really want you guys to read the new @belletrist pick #TOUCHthenovel by @cbmaum," wrote Roberts. "It's the story of Sloane Jacobsen, a trend forecaster, and her struggle to figure out the important difference between human instinct and technology. I think we can all relate to this one. I can't wait to talk about it with all you amazing #belletristbabes."
Buy It! Touch by Courtney Maum, $26; amazon.com
Abandon Me by Melissa Febos
In this memoir about the need for and lack of connection, Febos delves into deeply personal relationships. Specifically, she reflects on her two fathers (the one who raised her and the one who abandoned her). Later there is a woman with whom she has a long-distance romance. "In visceral, erotic prose, Febos captures their mutual abandonment to passion and obsession," reads the description, "and the terror and exhilaration of losing herself in another."
Buy It! Abandon Me by Melissa Febos, $26; amazon.com
Marlena by Julie Buntin
"Headlines about the current meth and opioid epidemics come alive in the story of Cat and Marlena, 15 and 17, stuck in families both broken and broke in rural Michigan. Their intense friendship is not enough to save Marlena from the forces sucking her down; almost 20 years later Cat can't stop blaming herself. Dreamily written, achingly real." - the PEOPLE magazine review
Buy It! Marlena by Julie Buntin, $26; amazon.com
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
South and West by Joan Didion
The star's first pick was written by a literary legend. "You don’t just read Joan Didion. Joan Didion begins to inform your life. She makes you look at places, like California, New York and Hawaii, differently," wrote Roberts in her essay, "What Joan Didion Means to Me," on belletrist.com. "She changes the way you view grief and loss. She makes you feel like you might possibly be the reporter of your own life, not just living it. And of late, she has even changed the way we look at a pair of Celine sunglasses."
Buy It! South and West by Joan Didion, $11.30; amazon.com
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer
Though Roberts recently started her book club, she's been posting her favorite reads to Instagram for a long time. One of her most recent loves is The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, in which Greta loses her twin and her lover. As she receives electroshock therapy she begins to experience the impossible: she sees what her life would have been like in different eras. Wrote Roberts: "#currentlyreading & falling in love with #TheImpossibleLivesOfGretaWells."
Buy It! The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer, $6.04; amazon.com
Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles
A coming-of-age novel about a female poet in the 1970s, this autobiography delves into the best (and worst) artistic inspirations: drugs, alcohol and love. Though per Roberts' Instagram, it pairs best with coffee.
Buy It! Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles, $6.67; amazon.com
When Watched by Leopoldine Core
This series of stories focuses on the lives of 20 people, but not lives of the over-romanticized kind: Core's characters can't be defined by standard definitions. These particular New York City dwellers redefine preconceptions about sex, fear and joy.
Buy It! When Watched by Leopoldine Core, $8.70; amazon.com
Jane: A Murder by Maggie Nelson
Nelson's aunt, Jane, was murdered a few years before she was born as part of a series of unsolved rape-murders that occurred in the late '60s. This book is Nelson's meditation on Jane's life, her death and the cloak of despair that wrapped around her family following the gruesome crime. The author uses a mix of prose, poetry and national news sources to reimagine a story that is as introspective as it is haunting.
Buy It! Jane: A Murder by Maggie Nelson, $10.84; amazon.com
My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
For Roberts, Steinem's book is a "snow day essential." Perfect for a day trapped inside, My Life on the Road is Steinem's exploration of her own journey — both emotionally and globally, as she reveals how traveling opens the mind to a new understanding of the world and those who inhabit it.
Buy It! My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem, $10.71; amazon.com
The Guineveres by Sarah Domet
"Four girls named Guinevere try to escape the convent of the Sisters of the Supreme Adoration by hiding in a parade float. When that fails, they turn their loving attentions to the comatose soldiers being sent back to the nuns from a distant war — and saintly intentions meet the unholy power of hormones. A wacky, diverting tale." —PEOPLE's review
Buy It! The Guineveres by Sarah Domet, $16.13; amazon.com
I'll Tell You In Person by Chloe Caldwell
In this series of essays, Caldwell recounts her failures: in love, in her career, in friendships. This is a disarming account of what "adulting" really looks like: sexy and messy at the same time.
Buy It! I'll Tell You in Person by Chloe Caldwell, $11.52; amazon.com
Slow Days, Fast Company: The World, The Flesh, and L.A. by Eve Babitz
If sex and celebrity is what you want, take a dive into Eve Babitz's memories of L.A. in the 1960s and '70s. In her book, she claims to have seduced any star worthy of the title. But while beautiful and powerful in her sexuality, Babitz was denied by one man. This book is for him.
Buy It! Slow Days, Fast Company: The World, The Flesh, and L.A. by Eve Babitz, $9.38; amazon.com
A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
In a series of essays, Solnit dredges up the memories and places that are connected to the most difficult aspects of being human. She explores loss, trust, love and identity. "When you love a book so much you buy copies for your babes at work. Thank you @smdanler for another life changing recommendation," wrote Roberts.
Buy It! A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit, $10.36; amazon.com
Cities I've Never Lived In by Sara Majka
The narrator of this collection of stories is a newly divorced woman. She studies her identity by reflecting on the people and places that impacted her. Sometimes despondent, sometimes funny, this book reflects on what it costs to belong.
Buy It! Cities I've Never Lived In by Sara Majka, $10; amazon.com
After This: When Life Is Over, Where Do We Go? by Claire Bidwell Smith
How can exploring the afterlife help those left behind? This is the question Bidwell Smith answers by delving into personal stories and the sessions she had with psychics and mediums. A bereavement counselor, she also explores religion and science. After This is a celebration of what it means to connect with the afterlife.
Buy It! After This: When Life Is Over, Where Do We Go? by Claire Bidwell Smith, $4.97; amazon.com