It’s been a long, lonely five months since Broad City season two ended. We’ve all been suffering from terrible FOMO wondering what Abbi and Ilana are up to without us, futilely checking The Al Dente Dentist blog for updates, and whispering “yaaaaaas kween” to ourselves to numb the pain. Hannibal Buress’s new show is helping during this dry spell, to be fair, but as much as we all love Lincoln and his penchant for hanging around dog shelters, it’s just not the same.
Broad City asked the hard-hitting questions, like Is pegging on the first date socially acceptable? and Why did the characters from Rent think they just didn’t have to pay rent — like at all? So, what to do while we wait for our favorite chill slacker duo to return? Binge on other funny ladies (and a few token men) and try to avoid drug trips at Whole Foods, of course.
We don’t know much about Abbi and Ilana’s reading life, but given Ilana’s opinion on college (that “it was expensive”), we can guess that their tastes lie a little outside of your average English class curriculum. This list of books takes a stab at what the Broad City gals might be reading — and what you can read to get your fix of that manic Broad City joy. There’s a little something for die hard fans of Val, some sex-positive feminism for the Ilanas out there, some top notch doodles for the Abbis of the world, and some general misadventures all around.
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling just gets it. She's witty, she's hardworking, she keeps it real, and she's not afraid of rocking the occasional sequin. Why Not Me? gives us all another chance to pretend that Kaling is actually our best friend, because reading this book pretty much feels like chilling with your funny, successful friend, who's so down to earth you can't even be jealous of her. (Plus, she finally talks about her whole thing with B.J. Novak.) Probably the closest any one book will come to feeling like a sleepover with your girlfriends.
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
You may have heard of F. Scott Fitzgerald, he wrote some book called The Great Gatsby . Yes, Zelda Fitzgerald was his wife, and yes, she once threw herself down a flight of marble stairs at a party because her husband was ignoring her — but she's so much more than the party-girl wife of a famous author. She was a complicated, intelligent, intense woman, as well as the ultimate party-girl. It's hard to picture the Prohibition era with Zelda, so enjoy this trip back to the roaring 20s while you wait for another visit from Val.
Step Aside, Pops by Kate Beaton
Abbi would love the drawings, and Ilana would love the dose of obscure feminist history, all served up with Kate Beaton's signature, off-kilter humor. If you've been missing out of Beaton's excellent webcomics, now's your chance to catch up with her newest book. Only Beaton could cover everything from Janet Jackson's Nasty video to Nancy Drew to political activist Ida B. Wells with the same level of hilarity. Her cartoons are so cute and smart that you won't even mind you're learning about history.
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
If you've been with Broad City since its humble beginnings as a webseries, then you've probably also run across Issa Rae's wonderfully awkward series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. If you haven't seen it yet, go watch it. I'll wait. And once you've watched it, you'll understand why you need to read Rae's book of hilarious personal essays on everything from cybersexing to failed nicknames to eating alone in public. Also you'll probably want to hang out with her, because she seems like she's probably the best.
The Group by Mary McCarthy
Post-grad girls living in New York, dealing with dudes and money and birth control? But in the 1940s? So much has changed since then, and so much seems exactly the same. The friendships, at least, feel all too real: they travel together, have petty fights, drift apart, and come back together. The Group was supposedly the inspiration for Sex and the City, which is not exactly the same vibe as Broad City. But The Group is still an honest, funny exploration of post-grad friendship and 20-something sexuality and life in the city, so we can get behind Mary McCarthy's group of girls anyway.
Social Disease by Paul Rudnick
If you, like Ilana, are always looking for a party that's a solid 10, you need to check out some of the off-the-wall debauchery going down in Social Disease . Paul Rudnick is hysterical as ever, and his characters are lovably absurd. The book follows Guy, who's described as Pollyanna in leather, and his flirtatious wife, Venice, as they take on New York nightlife. Or at least, Rudnick's wildly exaggerated version of New York nightlife. It's the sort of novel that feels like a rowdy night out in all the right ways.
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
What can I say? It's Amy Poehler. She offers some choice episodes from her past, like rapping on SNL while hugely pregnant, some behind-the-scene looks at her present career, and some words of wisdom that will warm the most cynical of hearts. Amy Poehler is an executive producer on Broad City, which makes perfect sense with her brand of loud-and-proud comedy. Her essays are full of her trademark manic energy; she knows when to be irreverent, when to be personal, and when to drop some real world advice.
The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker has the sort of caustic wit that never goes out of style. The Portable Dorothy Parker is full of her best stories, essays, and poems, all bitingly funny and oh-so-real. She's a New York girl, too, and she's forever navigating the scumbag men and self-proclaimed artists who come with that territory. She covers the painful experience of when a guy doesn't text (well, ok, call), the woes of insomnia, and the joy of just not giving a damn about what some people think.
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Allie "God of Cake" Brosh is unflinchingly honest and ridiculously funny in this book, which features both words and pictures! She details stories of her life, her dog's below-average intelligence, and the games you can play with a brick, all accompanied by her wonderfully weird illustrations. She writes and draws with great insight on her history with cake, as well as her struggles with depression. But even at her most serious, Brosh manages to be the perfect blend of realism and MS Paint-illustrated comedy.
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay's 2014 essay collection on feminism, politics, pop culture and everything in between is utterly fearless. She explores topics as diverse as HBO's Girls, the color pink, JDate, and Chris Brown, all the while embracing her own imperfection. And, of course, her writing is sharp and perfectly clear, no matter what the topic. It's probably safe to assume that Gay is Ilana's idol (after Rihanna, Nicki, and Beyonce, that is), and it's no wonder. She's so fiercely intelligent and personal at the same time, and fun to read to boot.
Image: Comedy Central; Giphy