Tag: The Girls

Top Six Books Dealing With the Manson Murders


In 1969, four Manson Family members invaded the rented home of Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski in Los Angeles. Sharon Tate, who was pregnant, was murdered along with three friends and an 18 year old visitor.

The murders have gone down in history as one of the most infamous murders in America and the story isn’t fading away anytime soon, especially with Quentin Tarantino’s most recent film, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, dealing directly with the subject.

These ‘Manson Family’ murders have been dealt with in various ways through television, movies, and of course, books. Thus, we have created a list of six books for those interested in learning more about the man and the myth.



Member of the Family

Image via Amazon

6. ‘Member of the Family’ by Dianne Lake

Member of the Family by Dianne Lake is a memoir by one of Charles Manson’s ‘girls’, telling her story of life under him. At age 14, Dianne became part of the Manson cult and its youngest member. For two years, she endured manipulation, psychological control, and physical abuse under Manson’s dark sway.

From her perspective, Dianne describes the cult’s descent into madness before their forgone conclusion. With the help of authority figures, therapists, and the police, Dianne was rehabilitated and grew to live a normal life. Now with have her book which tells her side of the story, giving key insights into Manson’s madness and showcasing one of the darkest chapters of American history.



The Life and Times of Charles Manson

image via Amazon

5. ‘Manson: The life and Times of Charles manson’ by Jeff Guinn

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn is a definitive account of Charles Manson himself. The author puts Manson in the context of the sixties, showing how Manson adapted to the turbulent era, an era dominated by race riots, cultural revolutions, and the Vietnam War. The author traces Manson’s origins back to his childhood, utilizing interviews with Manson’s sister, cousin, friends, classmates, and his old cellmates to show how his personality developed overtime.

All this combines to create a portrait of the man known as one of America’s biggest monsters.



The Girls

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4. ‘The Girls’ by Emma Cline

The Girls by Emma Cline is a work of fiction but invaluable part of the Charles Manson myth nonetheless. The story tells of a familiar idea: where in Northern California, a girl called Evie Boyd is drawn into a group that showcases idea of freedom, disrespect for authority, and reckless abandonment of society. She becomes a thrall to a soon-to-be infamous cult, led by an enigmatic cult leader. Each day, Evie spirals further into darkness and further towards a path that leads to violence.

This is a great coming-of-age tale that explores the conditions that lead to the Manson Family to thrive and how that intertwines with the ideology of a teenage girl.



The Family

Image via Amazon

3. ‘The Family’ by Ed Sanders

The Family by Ed Sanders was originally published in 1971 and has become a classic of the true crime genre. Meticulously researched, Sanders interviews dozens of members of the cult, including Manson himself, providing a detailed look into their origins, ideology, and motives. While some information in this book is rife with potential misinformation, given that Sanders promotes ideas of urban myths and some ugly victim blaming, the bulk of the information is not only credible but also incredible.



Chaos, Charles Manson, the CIA , and the Secret History of the Sixties

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2. ‘Charles Manson, the Cia, and the Secret History of the sixties’ by Tom o’neil

This book by Tom O’Nei is less a straight account of the Manson murders than a fascinating, dizzying, at times frustrating array of all of the alternative theories surrounding the case, from the suggestion that the murders may have been the result of a drug deal gone sour to the theory that Manson was a participant in CIA-sponsored LSD mind control experiments. While such theories are by no means proven, and vary wildly in terms of their believability, O’Neill does an excellent job at poking holes in the Helter Skelter narrative (not to mention the reliability of Bugliosi, who died in 2015) and forcing readers to reassess what had already been viewed as the definitive take on the case.



Helter Skelter

image via AMazon

1. ‘Helter Skelter’ by Vincent Bugliosi 

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi was published in 1974 and is considered the definitive account of the Manson Murders. The chief prosecutor of the case, Bugliosi takes the readers through the twisted journey of his detective work surrounding the trial of Manson and his cult.

Although far from an unbiased source, Helter Skelter remains to this day a fundamental resource for anyone interested in the case.



Featured Image Via Amazon 

Headshot of Author Emma Cline

Judge Dismisses Copyright Claim Against ‘The Girls’ Author Emma Cline

The copyright claim against author Emma Cline filed by her ex-boyfriend that we previously reported on has been dropped, according to a Guardian story published earlier this month.


The sordid details of the lawsuit and Cline’s own countersuit evoke an atmosphere of pure paranoia, not to mention infidelity and domestic abuse.


Cline’s ex-boyfriend Chaz Reetz-Laiolo alleged in the original suit that Cline had installed spyware on his computer in order to steal from his screenplays for her novel. Cline filed a countersuit, admitting that while she did install the spyware, it wasn’t for stealing her ex’s intellectual property, but for keeping tabs on him romantically.


In dismissing the suit the presiding judge wrote:

“The commonalities Reetz-Laiolo identifies – an alienated youth, in the care of a single parent, falling in with a bad crowd and/or committing a crime, and being sent away as a result – are merely ‘familiar stock scenes and themes that are staples of literature and are not protected’.”


The draft of Reetz-Laiolo’s original complaint included sexually explicit and compromising material of Cline he received when the two of them were on better terms.


Cline’s lawyers claimed that the pictures and screenshots were included in the complaint as an attempt at extorting a settlement from the author. Her countersuit also alleged that Reetz-Laiolo was abusive, holding and choking Cline on at least one occasion.


It’s worth noting that Reetz-Laiolo’s original lawyer was David Boies, infamous for his efforts defending another notorious figure named Harvey Weinstein. Reetz-Laiolo’s officially filed complaint excised the erotic content.


Legal battles never truly die, however, and the judge left the possibility open for other claims to move forward, including emotional distress and even reworking the copyright infringement claim.


Cline’s agent and publisher have stood behind her, never doubting that the work was her own. For her part, Cline is glad that at least for now the suit is behind her. “My book is and always has been my own,” she said.


Featured Image Via Emma Cline’s Website

Emma Cline and The Girls

‘The Girls’ Author Emma Cline Faces Accusations of Plagiarism

The Girls  author Emma Cline is being sued by an ex-boyfriend who alleges that Cline plagiarized parts of her hugely popular novel “by using spyware to access his email and other accounts.”


The Guardian reports that Cline “vehemently denies” the claims, made by Chaz Reetz-Laiolo with whom she was in a relationship while the pair were aspiring writers. It is from this shared time together that the claims arise, Cline’s countersuit says, noting that it “amounts to a few stray phrases and passages that stemmed from the couple’s shared lives, conversations and reading of each other’s work.”


According to Reetz-Laiolo, he was sold a computer by Emma Cline which had spyware installed. He claims she used this spyware to access his private accounts in order to steal his writing. He also names Penguin Random House in the lawsuit, on the grounds that they “knowingly” published plagiarized work. His lawsuit requests that Penguin Random House cease printing Cline’s novel, and asks for unspecified damages. 


Image Via The Paris Review

Image Via The Paris Review


The countersuit states that Reetz-Laiolo’s allegations are the “ludicrous” acts of an envious man and are “part of a two-year assault on her mental health and literary reputation.” Cline’s countersuit acknowledges that during their relationship she utilized spyware to investigate Reetz-Laiolo’s possible infidelity, but states she retained no access to the spyware once the computer was no longer in her possession. Cline is requesting that the court declare that “she has not infringed any copyright and seeks damages of at least $75,000.”


According to Cline’s lawyers, she is attempting to:


Put a stop to an escalating campaign by her abusive ex-boyfriend to extract millions of dollars by intimidation and threat, all under the auspices of frivolous claims of copyright infringement, a long-stale complaint that Cline “invaded” his privacy, and a ludicrous theory that she hacked into and stole unpublished written work from his computer.


If you haven’t read The Girls, I would urge you to do so. It is, regardless of its origins, incredible. Set against the dreamy backdrop of 60s California, it explores the dark and difficult elements of female adolescence through the character of Evie, a young girl who becomes involved with a Manson-family inspired cult. 


Featured Image Via Wired and Penguin Random House

Emma Cline

‘The Girls’ Author Emma Cline Opens Up About Sexual Harassment in Publishing

In the wake of the myriad allegations of sexual assault and harassment  against film producer Harvey Weinstein, the question of the abuse of power has been raised not only in Hollywood but internationally, in every field. Women all over the world have used the #metoo hashtag to speak out about their experiences and highlight how widespread the problem truly is.


Emma Cline, author of the award-winning novel The Girls, whose fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Tin House, The Paris Review, and Granta, has written for The Cut about her experiences with sexual harassment in the publishing industry. She opens the article with an incident that occurred ‘years ago,’ at an awards ceremony for a literary prize she had won.


An older writer introduced himself. I imagined, for a moment, that maybe he saw me as a fellow writer. When someone gestured for us to stand together for a photograph, the writer put his hand on my back, then dropped it lower to grab my ass; how swiftly I was returned to my body, to the fact of my youth and gender.


She goes on to detail several other incidents of harassment by men high up in the publishing industry, begging for her number with drunken assurances that they would get her published, forgetting, ignoring or simply not considering the possibility that she had already been widely published. Cline then bravely relates a more extreme, more personal episode involving an abusive partner she had when she was twenty-two, which she did not report, thus illustrating the many levels on which power-play and abuse function in society. Cline says “This isn’t the first time I’ve written an essay about gendered violence. I wrote a whole novel about it. But here I am, again. And even as I write this, any anger I feel ebbs into weariness.”


Emma Cline

Emma Cline | emmacline.com



She echoes the sentiment of many women, tired of enduring a seemingly endless series of comments, passes and worse. In response to criticism leveled at Weinstein’s accusers and the many people who have spoken out in the wake of the accusation, who did not immediately speak out following the incidents, Cline says: 


Of course women attempt to appease men who’ve abused them, or try to transform the pain into friendship, blur the sharp edges in their minds into the shape of something manageable. It’s like teaching someone how to play a game and then punishing them when they follow the rules; women would act differently if we believed there was any other way to escape unharmed from the whims of men. We’re navigating a society defined by them, and suffering for it. Yet we’re blamed for our attempts to survive within those parameters.


Cline is brave to add her name and story to the ever-growing list of people speaking out about their own experiences. Hopefully this wave of stories and experiences made public will pave the way for real change.



Lana Del Rey reading LIFE magazine and The Girls by Emma Cline

The Lana Del Rey ‘Lust for Life’ Reading List

We can’t get enough of Lana Del Rey’s new album ‘Lust for Life,’ so we’ve put together the ultimate reading list with a book to match every song!


1. Love: The Girls by Emma Cline



The Girls

Image Courtesy of Amazon 


Emma Cline’s ‘The Girls’ would be the perfect accompaniment to this dreamy ballad. The song’s nostalgic tone and heart-beat rhythms echo the air of memory and conjure up the cool sixties Californian setting of Cline’s debut. Though the book is much darker, dealing with the protagonist Evie’s past as a teenage member of a dangerous cult, we think the eerily sweet vocals and repetition of “crazy, crazy, crazy” could definitely hint at the frightening themes of secrets, possession, and the past in this stunning book.


2. Lust for Life:  Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence 


Lady Chatterley's Lover

Image Courtesy of Penguin


This song, featuring The Weeknd, is a pretty straightforward love song as Lana demanda that The Weeknd ‘take off all [his] clothes.’ There’s no denying the somewhat sexual element to this duet and we think the famously raunchy ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ would be the perfect partner for this track!


3. 13 BeachesThe Lost Honor of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Böll



Book cover

Image Courtesy of Goodreads


Del Rey has said that this song is inspired by an experience of going to thirteen beaches before finding one where she was safe from the paparazzi, so we think a book that deals with lack of privacy would suit this song down to the ground! Heinrich Böll’s book ‘The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum’ depicts the awful effects of excessive media reporting on a person’s life.


4. CherrySingle White Female by John Lutz



Book cover

Image Courtesy of Amazon


We think this tune is a little spooky, between its declarations of love- ‘I fall to pieces when I’m with you,’ to the suddenly angrier ‘all of my peaches are ruined, bitch,’ the character Del Rey embodies in this song is clearly a little erratic and unpredictable, so we’ve chosen John Lutz’s famously creepy novel of obsession to go along with it!


5. White MustangAn Education by Lynn Barber


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Goodreads


This song deals with ill-advisedly falling for someone who has a great car, and we know someone who’s whole life changed when she did this. When Lynn Barber was still in school, she was seduced by an older man, who swept her away to a life of luxury…but that was only the beginning.


6. Summer BummerRiding in Cars with Boys: Confessions of a Bad Girl who Made Good by Beverly Donofrio


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Goodreads



Another memoir, this one deals with Beverly Donofrio’s early life as a rebel, riding around town with boys, drinking, smoking and disregarding authority. With guest vocals for A$AP Rocky, ‘Summer Bummer’  is the perfect soundtrack to this honest, funny and hopeful account of youth. 


7. Groupie Love: I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Former Groupie by Pamela Des Barres


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Pamela Des Barres



This account of life as a groupie in the 60s and 70s could have been the inspiration behind ‘Groupie Love.’ Charting her fifteen years of adventure as a groupie to the biggest bands of the era, Des Barres reveals details of her life during that time, including her affairs with the likes of Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page and Jim Morrison. 


8. In My Feelings: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Book cover

Image Courtesy of Goodreads


‘In My Feelings’ follows the singer putting her foot down and standing up for herself: ‘who’s doper than this bitch? Who’s freer than me?’ We think Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ which follows her own brave decision to leave behind the life in which she was unhappy and find her own best self, would be a great companion to this empowering tune.


9. Coachella- Woodstock In My MindGirls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon by Sheila Weller 


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Book Depository 

This song, dripping with nostalgic reverie and penned while Lana was at Coachella, looks to bridge the gap between the festivals of then and now. ‘Girls Like Us,’ a biography of three of the leading ladies of the 60s would go along very nicely. 


10. God Bless America- And All The Beautiful Women In ItThe Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares 


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia


This ode to sisterhood in the USA could only be accompanied by the marvelous ‘Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants’ series, following the adventures of a group of friends and their magical pair of jeans that somehow fits all of them perfectly. 


11. When The World Was At War, We Kept DancingThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood


Handmaid's Tale

Image Courtesy of Amazon


This song is inspired by the USA’s current political climate, and asks the question, ‘is this the end of an era, the end of America?’ In an interview with Flaunt, Lana asked ‘are we running out of time with this person at the helm of a ship? Will it crash?’ So we’ve chosen the book of the moment, Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopia ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ The book is set in a future where women are used for reproduction, forced to be completely subservient. This beautiful ballad reminds us to keep resisting. 


12. Beautiful People, Beautiful ProblemsThe Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Penguin


The queen of witchy wonder Stevie Nicks and the son of rock’n’roll, Sean Ono Lennon, both appear on this song declaring themselves beautiful people with beautiful problems. We’ve chosen ‘The Age of Innocence’ by Edith Wharton, which follows the scandalous lives of upper class society in 1800s New York. 


13. Tomorrow Never Came– Beatlebone by Kevin Barry


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Goodreads


Sung with Sean Ono Lennon, the son of John and Yoko, this simple love song references Sean’s famous parents and summers in the city. We’ve chosen Irish writer Kevin’ Barry’s award winning novel ‘Beatlebone’ to go along with it. ‘Beatlebone’ follows a fictional version of John Lennon who has left New York for Ireland. 



14. HeroinCandy by Kevin Brooks


Book cover


Image Courtesy of Goodreads


This astounding YA novel by English author Kevin Brooks follows sixteen-year-old Joe and his love affair with a young sex worker named Candy. His attempts to save her from her addiction plunge them both into more danger than he could ever have imagined. Once again, Lana Del Rey’s dreamy songs with dark subject matter would be the perfect companion to this tour-de-force that, although aimed at teens, will satisfy readers of any age. 


15. ChangeThe Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo 


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Image Courtesy of Amazon


Spin called this song “a quietly moving testimony to overcoming apathy in search of personal transformation.” In keeping with this mentality, we’ve chosen Paulo Coehlo’s beloved novel of self discovery and the part we play in shaping our own destiny.


16. Get FreeHot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman


Book cover

Image Courtesy of Target


This short story collection, exploring the lives of young women in new places, is not always upbeat. In parts, it can be extremely dark and unsettling. But, we think upbeat album closer ‘Get Free’ would make a great soundtrack for it. Lana sings: “I never really noticed that I had to decide/ To play someone’s game or live my own life,” and the young women who appear in this collection are all dealing with what it means to be alone in new places and navigate new territories, be they new countries, frightening situations, or sexual experiences.


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