Oddly specific Booklist Recommendation: Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats
For your friend who always gets distracted by the paperback spinners in thrift stores
You know the type, always hissing across the aisles at Goodwill or Salvation Army while you’re trying on that vintage sport coat. “Look at this one!” they say, giggling in disbelief and holding up a dog-eared 1960s paperback featuring a lurid and tastelessly illustrated cover designed to titillate readers of yore. This large-format book features hundreds upon hundreds of those fascinating covers, from Beatnik Wanton and Marijuana Girl to A Kiss a Day Keeps the Corpses Away and Jazzman in Nudetown. Even better, this is actually an entertaining and almost scholarly treatise on the phenomenon of “youthsploitation” novels, meaning your friend will learn a lot about the lurid literature written about and for juvenile delinquents, beats and bohemians, disaffected British youth, hippies and other counterculture types, musicians and groupies, and bikers and wannabes. With a resource this rich, there’s no need to face the sights, smells, and textures of “Sally Ann” to get your paperback kicks.
Buy Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950 to 1980