Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution

By Sara Marcus

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Harper Perennial, 2010

Genres: Non-fiction, social sciences, feminism, women’s studies, popular culture

ISBN: 9780061806360

Intended audience: Adults

Number of pages: 367

Setting: Mainly set in Olympia, WA & Washington DC (but also includes other locations in the US and Europe)

Time period: 1989-1994

Description: Punk rock + young woman  + DIY + feminism = riot grrrl.  “In the beginning, someone told a girl to start a band” (p. 31).  The book describes how the bands Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, and Heavens to Betsy came into existence and how these bands and associated zines sparked  a riot grrrl movement across the county and world with girls creating bands and publishing their own zines.  The movement started in Olympia, WA but soon spread to Washington, DC and other areas around the US.  Once mainstream media became aware of riot grrrls, however, everything changed.  The book includes an extensive bibliography, notes, and index. Continue reading

I’m a Lebowski, You’re a Lebowski: Life, The Big Lebowski, and What Have You

By Bill Green, Ben Peskoe, Will Russell, & Scott Shuffitt; Foreward by Jeff Bridges

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Bloomsbury, 2007

Genre: Non-fiction, social science, popular culture

ISBN: 9781596912465

Intended audience: Achievers

Number of pages: 237

Setting: USA, mostly California but also Louisville, Kentucky

Time period: Contemporary

Description: This book is a must read for any “Achiever”, or true fan, of The Big Lebowski.  Written by the folks who created Lebowski Fest, it is filled with trivia, interviews, and true life stories upon which parts of the movie were based, such as the real Little Larry. Continue reading

This is Your Country on Drugs: the Secret History of Getting High in America

By Ryan Grim

Place: Publisher & Year: Hoboken: Wiley, 2009

Genres: Non-fiction, social sciences, history, popular culture

ISBN: 9780470167397

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 264 (including notes and index)

Setting: USA

Time period: 1800s – present

Plot summary: Grim tells the story of America’s relationship with various drugs throughout the country’s history up to present day.  He begins the book by asking the question – what happened to acid? – since neither he nor any of his friends can find it anymore.  He then goes on to explain why LSD could no longer be found.  From here, he moves backward in time, examining the rise and fall of various drugs throughout the nation’s history, beginning with alcohol and including opiates, cocaine, marijuana, speed, pharmaceuticals and many others.  Grim looks at the cyclical nature of drug use over time for various drugs and how this relates to social, political, and economic factors of the time period.  By the end of the book, Grim comes full circle in examining acid’s comeback. Continue reading