11 Books Like 'The Bold Type' That Will Hold You Over Until Season Two Is Announced
Freeform's The Bold Type hit screen like a millennial feminist firework this past summer, quickly becoming one of the network's most popular and talked about programs. Equal parts celebrated and maligned for its take on feminism, young women in the workplace, and its depiction of the magazine industry, it's been hard to escape the show if you are at all interested in television or pop culture. If you're in the camp who loves the program and have been obsessively watching since the beginning, you are probably feeling a little bit lost since the season finale... especially since a Season Two of The Bold Type is still up in the air.
But, as usual, there is nothing better to replace an on hiatus TV show than a tall stack of books that cover similar themes, take place in a similar world, or just have the kind of humor and characters you have come to love. All of the 11 books below are perfect for fans of The Bold Type who want more from the magazine industry, fashion world, and badass women like Jane, Kat, Sutton—and yes, Jacqueline, too—who are up front about their desires; in career, friendships, sexual relationships, feminism...and everything else. Whether you're looking for memoir, fiction or essay collections, there is something below for everyone. Read on, and stay bold.
'Not Pretty Enough: The Unlikely Triumph Of Helen Gurley Brown' by Gerri Hirshey
The Bold Type is loosely based off of the behind-the-scenes at Cosmopolitan magazine so it's only fitting to read a book about the OG editor at the fashion and lifestyle glossy, Helen Gurley Brown. Not Pretty Enough tells the true story of Brown's path from the Arkansas Ozarks to penning the controversial feminist text Sex and the Single Girl, becoming the highest-paid female ad copywriter on the West Coast, and transforming Hearst's failing literary magazine, Cosmopolitan, into a global juggernaut.
'Ten Girls To Watch' by Charity Shumway
Ten Girls To Watch combines the realities of breaking in to the magazine publishing industry with inspiring stories of women, perfect for The Bold Type fans looking to replenish their dose of girl power. When Dawn lands a job tracking down the past winners of Charm magazine's "Ten Girls to Watch" contest, she's thrilled. After all, she's being paid to interview fascinating women including mayors, opera singers, and air force pilots. But as Dawn learns their life stories, she'll discover that success, love, and friendship can be found in the most unexpected of places.
'Slouching Towards Bethlehem' by Joan Didion
Joan Didion was mentioned throughout The Bold Type, and for good reason. She remains one of the most celebrated journalists of our time, and a woman that many writers and journalists look to for inspiration. One of her most famous works, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, contains tons of her journalistic work, as well as more personal essays about writing, creativity and what it means to love and leave New York City.
'Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953' by Elizabeth Winder
Pain, Parties, Work tells the true story of Sylvia Plath's experience that would lay the groundwork for her novel, The Bell Jar. In May of 1953, a 21 year old Plath arrived in New York City, the guest editor of Mademoiselle’s annual College Issue. She was supposed to be having the time of her life. But what would follow was, in Plath’s words, 26 days of pain, parties, and work, that ultimately changed the course of her life. Consider this the dark side of Ten Girls To Watch... and the dark side of the industry we follow in The Bold Type.
'The Most Of Nora Ephron' by Nora Ephron
Nora Ephron is another writer who gets name dropped in The Bold Type, and it's not surprising. Ephron started her career as a journalist in the newspaper and magazine industries before she went on to become one of the most beloved and celebrated authors, screenwriters and directors of our time. The Most of Nora Ephron was published after her death in 2012 and contains some of her best journalistic work, essays, and even her entire novel, Heartburn, and the entire screenplay to When Harry Met Sally. If you needed some writing major inspo, this is it.
'We Are Never Meeting In Real Life' by Samantha Irby
The Bold Type doesn't shy away from discussions of sex and sexuality, and neither does Samantha Irby. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making "adult" budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette, or sharing awkward sexual encounters, she's as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths. If you were hoping to take the "Bold" out the The Bold Type and go one step further, you need Irby's wild and witty essay collection in your life.
'Grace: A Memoir' by Grace Coddington
For more information about what happens behind-the-scenes of one of the biggest female-centric magazines of all time, you'll want to read Grace: A Memoir. Coddington was the Creative Director at American Vogue for almost 30 years, working side by side with Anna Wintour. Here she talks not only about her work there, but her time at British Vogue, her modeling career and her early years. If The Bold Type made you want to learn more about the women who have made the magazine industry, this is the memoir for you.
'This Is Really Happening' by Erin Chack
Fans of the humor in The Bold Type will love these essays by Erin Chack, a senior writer at Buzzfeed. In This Is Really Happening, Chack captures the agony and the ecstasy of the millennial experience, whether it's her first kiss or her struggles with anxiety, and to what really goes on behind the scenes at a major modern Internet media company. It's witty, heartfelt and true-to-life about being a 20-something today, in everything from career to health, friendship to family.
'These Days Are Ours' by Michelle Haimoff
While These Days Are Ours is set in the early 2000s and takes a decidedly less upbeat look at being fresh out of college and trying to find yourself, fans of The Bold Type will enjoy the continuing themes of career, legacy, and power, and all of the different people you meet along the way as a young professional (or wannabe professional) in New York City, from the trust funds kids to the transplants.
'The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo' by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Anyone who loves the badass ladies of The Bold Type will totally fall for Old Hollywood actress Evelyn Hugo. Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story; but as Evelyn catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
'The Intern' by Gabrielle Tozer
While this one is about an internship (and it's set in Australia!) the story of another Cosmo-esque magazine and what really happens behind closed doors is a must-add to your TBR, The Bold Type fan. Josie’s luck changes though when she lands an internship at the glossy fashion magazine Sash. A coveted columnist job is up for grabs, but Josie’s got some tough competition in the form of two other interns. Battle lines are drawn and Josie quickly learns that the magazine industry is far from easy, especially under the reign of powerful editor, Rae Swanson.