Fleabag: The Scriptures
As if Phoebe Waller-Bridge hasn’t already prodigiously blessed us with two seasons of Fleabag, she’s delivered from on high the show’s full scripts—complete with her commentary on creating and filming the series that’s developed a jumpsuit-wearing cult following. Dubbed “spellbinding,” “heavenly,” and “a completist’s dream of a book,” it’s a must-have for any Fleabag evangelist.
The New Me
A darkly funny satire of workplace culture and the stops and starts (but mostly stops) of adulting, The New Me captures the ennui of a burned out 30-year-old woman who spends her days waiting for an interesting email and her nights thinking about all the ways she might improve her life, while actually lulling herself to sleep by watching procedurals on her laptop. An irreverent, contemporary voice, Butler speaks Waller-Bridge’s language.
Hot Little Hands
Ulman’s collection of nine interconnected stories revolves around young women and teenage girls on the precipice of change. Navigating desire, love interests, and fraught decisions that will alter the course of their lives, they’re each authentically flawed, vulnerable, and at times isolated—and, as with Fleabag, you’ll find yourself helplessly invested in their journeys.
Come for the self-destructive narrator and Venice Beach setting; stay for the surreal, obsessive lust-fest with a merman. Lucy’s relationship tanks in dramatic fashion, and she retreats to her sister’s beach house to recover, where she meets a group of fellow affection addicts and makes a valiant attempt at recovery. Hot Priest and Theo the Merman: talk about unavailable.
Everything's Trash, But It's Okay
Robinson delivers the sort of unfiltered real talk akin to Waller-Bridge’s direct addresses to the camera. This peek from her introduction sums it up: “As funny, smart, kind, thoughtful, pretty, warm, and talented as I can be, I am also a ludicrous trash fire like the kind you see on Naked and Afraid when people sign up to be in the wilderness when they’re barely capable of troubleshooting Mozilla Firefox.” Yes, please.
While there’s no Hot Priest in Lockwood’s memoir, there are several priests: specifically, Lockwood’s ALL CAPS–yelling, electric guitar–playing father, and the seminarian (aka priest in training) who lives under the same roof, with whom Lockwood gleefully shares her profane knowledge. At turns savage and earnest, Priestdaddy is totally original, and you’ll be recommending it to everyone with the same fervor you had for Fleabag.
I Take You
Don’t let the fact that Lily Wilder is allegedly on her way down the aisle fool you: Kennedy’s narrator is every bit as cringe-inducing, irresistible, bawdy, and sex positive as our favorite fleabag. A laugh-out-loud ride with equally captivating subplots and side characters, I Take You challenges outdated narratives about how women should feel and behave.
Lost and Wanted
The story of a friendship cut short, Lost and Wanted bends space and time to allow Helen and Charlie to reconnect even after death. Though their lives grew in opposite directions after college—careers, marriage, children—Helen, a distinguished physics professor, is devastated when she learns that Charlie has died. As she reevaluates their friendship, she also fields messages from Charlie’s phone, which disappeared when she died.
Conversations with Friends
Rooney’s debut—a smart, female-centric novel that grapples with tough questions and inspires plenty of laughs—solidified her as a voice to listen to. Conversations with Friends follows Frances and her ostentatious friend Bobbi, and their ill-fated entanglement with an older married couple. Messy and explosive, the story circles issues of gender and fidelity, all while Frances slowly plugs away at the herculean task of finding herself.
Fleabag could certainly be described as Waller-Bridge’s love letter to confused, scrappy, grieving, and hustling women. Likewise, Wong’s new book is ostensibly a love letter laden with sometimes crude, sometimes heartfelt advice to her young daughters, addressing the gross to the profound, and reflecting on womanhood, motherhood, Asian culture, and more. Wong’s writing is everything you’ve come to love from her comedy specials, and then some.
The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing
A coming-of-age series of snapshots that maps the bumpy terrains of love, sex, relationships, and family, The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing finds Jane Rosenal at various stages of her life, from girlhood to middle age. We watch as she fluctuates between self-doubt and assuredness, rediscovering her wants and needs over and over again, yet always remaining utterly herself.
When Phoebe Waller-Bridge accepted her first of three Emmys for season two of Fleabag, you could be forgiven for forgetting the boundaries between actor and character. “It’s just really wonderful to know—and reassuring—that a dirty, pervy, angry, messed up woman can make it to the Emmys,” she said. As readers, we love a dirty, pervy, angry, and messed up female protagonist, and as Fleabag fans, we’ll always have a guinea pig–shaped hole in our hearts. Fortunately, the release of Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag: The Scriptures will tide us over for a while, as well as these messy, irresistible heroines.
Featured Image: Courtesy of Two Brothers Pictures