Welcome back to Crack Magazine’s Book Club.

In our August instalment, we turn our hand to a different type of club culture – the niche world of the online book club. If, like us, you’re looking for a distraction whilst travelling to work in a human sweatbox, then you’ve come to the right stop. Whilst you’re still learning to cope with the heat, perhaps indulge in Lydia Lunch’s visceral revenge fantasies, or the musical history of UK cities. Alternatively, just fan yourselves with the pages. Either way, these are the books you’ll want to be seen with.

Lydia Lunch, So Real It Hurts

So Real It Hurts

Lydia Lunch

After being rejected by 26 American publishers, Lydia Lunch’s new book finally sees the light of day. Through personal essays and interviews, the no wave icon and former Crack Magazine Agony Aunt shares her musings on the monetisation of counterculture, and visceral revenge fantasies against misogynistic men. Chapters tread the line between fiction and, in Lunch’s opinion, what really should’ve happened.

Been in a spat recently with your un-woke male friend or a passerby? This will be right up your street. As Anthony Bourdain writes in the introduction, this book is perfect for anyone – from “grad students, book lovers, film historians, music nerds and straight-up perverts”.

Karl Whitney, Hit Factories: A Journey Through the Industrial Cities of British Pop

Hit Factories: A Journey Through the Industrial Cities of British Pop

Karl Whitney

Ever wonder why synth pop emerged in Sheffield? Why post-punk was birthed in Manchester? Trip-hop in Bristol? And why Coventry of all places, revived Jamaican ska in the punk era? Hit Factories maps out the birth of movements in Britain by asking: what does a city sound like? And why? In this book, author Karl Whitney unfolds the history of British music, providing readers with a deep dive into how scenes can be directly linked to their environments and industrialisation.

Amy Raphael, A Seat at the Table: Interviews with Women on the Frontline of Music

A Seat at the Table: Interviews with Women on the Frontline of Music

Amy Raphael

The follow-up to Amy Raphael’s 1995 book Never Mind the Bullocks – featuring Björk, Courtney Love, Kim Gordon, and Debbie Harry – has landed. In A Seat at the Table Raphael amplifies the voices of 18 artists, who share their thoughts on race, sexuality, self-doubt, love and empowerment. Héloïse Letissier (Christine and the Queens), Kate Tempest, Ibeyi, Tracey Thorn, Nadine Shah, Alison Moyet, producer Catherine Marks and Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo have all stepped up. An essential read.

Vinca Petersen, No System

Vinca Petersen: No System

Vinca Petersen

At the height of the free party movement in the UK and Europe in the 90s, photographer Vinca Petersen was there with a camera. No System captures the disillusionment with convention and the movement’s nomadic spirit. However, beyond images of parties, Petersen also provides viewers with an inside look into the day-to-day aspects of a life lived on the road. Through her images, Petersen dispels assumptions of the scene as being entirely carefree.

If you haven’t managed to check out her images at Saatchi Gallery’s Sweet Harmony: Rave | Today exhibition, buy this book instead.

Hannah Ewens, Fangirls: Scenes from Modern Music Culture

Fangirls: Scenes from Modern Music Culture

Hannah Ewens

The debut book from Crack Magazine contributor Hannah Ewens is here. A celebration of the joy, love and community of music fandoms, Fangirls focuses particularly on, well, the girls within these communities. Speaking to hundreds of fans around the world – from the Beyhive to Beliebers – Ewens reveals the untold stories behind mainstream stardom, and how fan groups of girls have had an impact on the rise of stars. Stan culture might have been getting a bad rep recently, but here, Ewens highlights the comradery and spirit of friendship in online communities.

Warhol on Basquiat. The Iconic Relationship Told in Andy Warhol’s Words and Pictures

Warhol on Basquiat: The Iconic Relationship Told in Andy Warhol’s Words and Pictures

Ed. Michael Dayton Hermann

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol’s electrifying synergy is retold entirely though Warhol’s eyes and words. Hundreds of unpublished photographs and excerpts from the Andy Warhol Diaries form a homage to the notorious duo, who collaborated with each other during New York’s thriving art scene in the 80s. This documentation of the pair’s ambiguous, complex and often extreme relationship, contains stunning candids of the pair along with images of Madonna, Grace Jones, Keith Haring and Fela Kuti. One of the best ways you can pass your time.


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