Assorted covers featured in the Anti-Heronie reading list.


| Riverton Free Library

Bad Behavior: Stories by Mary Gaitskill
Gaitskill's debut collection is full of powerful stories about dislocation, longing and desire which depict a disenchanted and rebellious urban fringe generation that is searching for human connection.

Big Swiss by Jen Beagin
Greta anonymously transcribes sex therapy sessions when she becomes infatuated with the newest client, a repressed married woman she affectionately refers to as Big Swiss. When she accidentally meets Big Swiss at the dog park, she introduces herself with a fake name and they quickly become enmeshed.

Bunny by Mona Awad
A lonely MFA student is approached by a clique of rich girls who call each other "Bunny” and invite her into their mysterious cult. Reality begins to blur in this down-the-rabbit-hole tale about creativity and agency.

Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings
The first book in the series that inspired the TV show Killing Eve, this spy drama follows a psychopathic, luxury-loving assassin and the MI6 agent who becomes obsessed with catching her.

Dare Me by Megan Abbott
This story about friendships in a competitive high school cheerleading squad quickly becomes a ruthless tale about ambition, power and the darkness of American girlhood.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Steinbeck’s masterpiece about the rivalry between two families in California farm country also happens to feature one of the most brutal anti-heroines in literature. Cathy Ames is monstrous, beautiful, indisputably evil and thrilling to read about.

Eileen by Otessa Moshfegh
Eileen Dunlop is an unassuming yet disturbed young woman trapped between being her father’s caretaker and her bleak job at a boys’ prison. She shoplifts, stalks and becomes infatuated with the prison’s new counselor in this Christmas story that’s both profound and perversely funny.

Election by Tom Perrotta
Time has recognized the fiercely ambitious Tracy Flick as the true heroine of this comedy about a low-stakes high school election. Also, check out the recently-published sequel Tracy Flick Can’t Win.

Emma by Jane Austen
Emma is nosey, meddling, self-righteous and one of Austen’s most loveable protagonists. She plays matchmaker to the people around her, whether they want her to or not, but is completely clueless when it comes to her own romantic life.

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
This graphic novel captures the absurdity of suburban American teenage-hood with wry dark humor and unexpected heartfelt moments. It follows Enid and Rebecca, outsiders who wander about town causing havoc and befriending local eccentrics during the summer after high school graduation.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
This bestseller is the first in the Millennium series. When a journalist is hired to investigate the 40-year-old disappearance case of a wealthy heiress, he enlists the help of punk rock tech prodigy Lisbeth Salander.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
What makes this a wildly compelling mystery is that the supposed victim, a seemingly ordinary suburban wife who disappears on her wedding anniversary, turns out to be far more complex than she seems. Amy’s journal entries give unexpected depth to this fast-paced psychological thriller.

Luster by Raven Leilani
Edie is a New Yorker stumbling through her 20s when she becomes involved with a couple who have agreed to an open marriage. She is invited into their home, where she navigates sexual and racial politics in this comedic story about a young woman trying to make sense of her life.

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert   
The inspiration for many an anti-heroine, the story of Emma Bovary still speaks to modern women. After marrying a dull doctor and falling into a disappointingly provincial life, free-spirited Emma takes refuge in her fantasies of a more beautiful existence. She spends lavishly and engages in a series of affairs, but it remains up to the reader whether she’s the villain or hero of this story.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
In this personal, profound story of childhood friendship, two little girls in a town outside of Naples become an allegory for Italy after WWII. Elena, who is cautious and shy, befriends her exact opposite in Lila – a brash, rebellious, sometimes harsh, but protective companion. Together they navigate poverty, school and romance, and learn to rely on each other above all else.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Korede will do anything to protect her sister, even help cover up her string of murders. But after her sister’s third boyfriend “goes missing,” she must reconsider how far she’ll go for family. This short novel is pulpy, sinister and darkly comedic.

Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder
An ambitious woman puts her career on hold to stay home with her newborn. After two years she finds, much to her horror, she is gradually turning into a dog. Her husband dismisses her fears while a mysterious group of other magical moms running a multi-level marketing scheme may hold the answers she seeks. This Kafkaesque tale of metamorphosis is funny and delightfully bizarre.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
A retired schoolteacher grapples with change in her small Maine town as the cast of townspeople around her each face their own challenges. Her stern, no-nonsense personality threatens to alienate her from her family before she arrives at a deeper understanding of herself and life.

Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier
An 18-year-old pregnant pizza delivery girl is floating through life doing all she can to ignore her rapidly approaching future. Reckless and dysfunctional, she avoids her family and develops a crush on a middle-aged married woman that quickly spirals out of control. This coming-of-age tale is as heartbreaking as it is hilarious.

Treasure Island!!! by Sara Levine
A hapless college graduate bounces between unsatisfying jobs and relationships before discovering Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and vowing to live by its core values: boldness, resolution, independence and horn-blowing. With gusto and joyful rebellion, she sets out in search of a more exciting life, burning the one she has to the ground in the process. It’s a hilarious criticism and celebration of the millennial generation.

Audience: Adult Seniors
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