Pussypedia: A Comprehensive Guide

Zoe Mendelson, illus. by Maria Conejo. Hachette Go, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-0-306-92428-6

Mendelson and Conejo, creators of the Pussypedia website, debut with a thorough and empowering guide to women’s health. Aiming to “democratize the information I found hiding in those journal articles and academic studies” and make a resource that’s “maximally accessible,” Mendelson covers reproductive anatomy and addresses such fraught topics as sexual assault, eugenics, and patriarchy. She also breaks down the basics of hormones, offering a primer on the menstrual cycle and hormone therapy. Along the way, she destigmatizes women’s sexual pleasure, shares opinions on contraception (including options for trans and nonbinary people), and offers a briefing on abortions and an explanation of what happens during the procedure. The author kicks body shame to the curb and, in delightfully sassy prose, keeps things realistic—“we could all really stand to stop calling our body parts by the names of the dudes who ‘discovered’ them.” Conejo’s bright illustrations, peppered throughout, add flair. Women looking to ditch the shame will find this smart, inclusive, and practical guide the perfect resource. Agent: Elianna Kan, Regal Hoffman & Assoc. (Aug.)