Last weekend, Lena Dunham’s much talked about HBO show Girls aired its season finale, and though like everyone else, we had our quibbles with the program, we’re finding ourselves more than a little sorry that we don’t have a new episode to look forward to tonight. There’s nothing like it on television, so while we wait for the second season, we thought we’d indulge in a little Girls-esque reading to slake our lust for realistic female friendships, uncomfortable-but-brilliant sex scenes, and bitingly accurate portrayals of semi-lost 20-somethings. Click through to see our recommendations for books to fill the Girls-shaped hole in your life (or just in your Sundays), and if you feel inspired, feel free to add to our list in the comments.
Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
Strange without being quirky and the perfect degree of naughty, Mary Gaitskill’s 1988 debut collection is filled with matter-of-fact stories about young, disenchanted women living in New York City — looking for human connection, going on Dexedrine binges, engaging in non-PC, semi-shocking sexual acts because a. they’re just trying to figure it out, and b. why shouldn’t they? Gaitskill is known for her use of S&M in her fiction (the film 2002 Secretary is a much watered down adaptation of one of the stories in this book), but the tales are even more notable for their honesty, candor, and perfectly unsentimental view of human existence. Plus, we know Dunham herself has read it, for whatever that’s worth.