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From the bestselling author of Cinderella is Dead | To defeat an ancient curse, she must let her power bloom. “A dose of haunting mystery and a dropper of gothic fiction.” —Tracy Deonn, New York Times bestselling author of Legendborn; “Will wrap its vines around you and never let go.” —K. Ancrum, author of The Wicker King; “Bayron takes an old story, turns it on its head, and makes it her own.” —#1 New York Times bestselling author E.K. Johnston; “Poison Ivy fans, we have been blessed.” —Amparo Ortiz, author of Blazewrath Games
Stay cool out there, friends. Right now my entire city is sold out of air conditioners and fans, and we’re going through record-breaking heat. We’re muddling through with a dog pool (the kiddie pools were also sold out!) spraying ourselves and the dogs down with water every 5 minutes (to my dogs’ displeasure). I hope wherever you are, you’re keeping safe.
If you’re looking for some queer reads to distract you, hopefully you find some in today’s newsletter! This week had the 5th Tuesday of the month, which always means a smaller stable of books going out, but there are some great ones (including our sponsor!).
As we exit Pride month, I got to thinking about the baby gays out there and the people just beginning their journey to figuring out what the ever-expanding LGBTQIPAA2S+ initialism means. It can be intimidating to start educating yourself when there’s so much to learn, so here are a few accessible ways to get started.
Beyond the Gender Binary (Pocket Change Collective) by Alok Vaid-Menon
I love the Pocket Change Collective for tackling big subjects in tiny, accessible packaging. These really are small enough to fit into your back pocket, but give enough depth to not be simplistic. Pair this one with Continuum for two different perspectives of non-binary genders and gender non-conformity. These are great for starting conversations.
Sexuality: A Graphic Guide by Meg-John Barker
Don’t be fooled by the eye-catching illustrations: this and Queer: A Graphic History don’t shy away from big ideas and philosophical concepts, but the accompanying comics help to make it feel more manageable. These aren’t 101 definitions of terms, but instead look at the theory and history behind these topics. This is a great way to get a little bit more depth in your understanding of queer identities and sexuality.
A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by Mady G and J.R. Zuckerberg
This one is the most accessible book on this list to someone who really doesn’t know anything about queer and trans identities. The illustrations (snails!) are friendly, and the text assumes very little background. It’s a balance between being aimed at cis/allo/het, questioning, and newly-out readers. Also relevant to your interests: A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns.
All the Links Fit to Click
- Support these 56 queer-owned bookstores!
- Gay’s the Word bookstore has seen a lot of support from its community during the pandemic! Also, they have secret celebrity customers.
- An inclusive comics shop with a focus on BIPOC and LGBTQIAA+ stories is coming to Baltimore in August!
- Adapt these LGBTQ books into TV shows or movies, please.
- A bunch of book bloggers collaborated to recommend 100 books by trans and non-binary authors!
- These are some good book on sexual orientation and gender identity for tweens figuring things out.
- Here are some bisexual books.
- CBC recommends these Canadian books for Pride month.
- Reads Rainbow is continuing their intersectionality series with Neurodiversity and Disability in LGBT Lit, LGBT Lit and Faith, and Indigenous LGBTQ2S Lit.
- The Loki TV show has made queer Loki canon–the MCU’s first canon major queer character. But they’re way behind lots of other superhero comics and TV shows.
- Here is some amazing queer manga from the past 10 years.
- If you’re a fan of yuri manga, take this Kahoot quiz!
- Speaking of yuri, Sailor Moon Crystal is streaming on Netflix now! Uranus/Neptune is the ship of my heart.
LGBTQ Book Riot Posts
- 20 Must-Read LGBTQ Comics For Teens and Young Adults
- 30 Must-Read Queer Fairytale Retellings For Pride
- 25 of the Best Queer Historical Fiction Books
- Pride-ful Webtoons Comics
- 15 LGBTQ Graphic Novels for Middle Graders
- 5 More 2021 LGBTQ+ Horror Books for Pride
New Releases This Week
Stranger Things: Rebel Robin by A.R. Capetta (Lesbian YA Fantasy)
If you are a Stranger Things fan, you’re probably ordering this as we speak, because obviously Robin was the stand-out character of the series. This is a prequel story, where she’s trying to sneak off to Europe for the summer to live her full (lesbian) life: Operation Croissant. It also has an accompanying podcast voiced by the actor! I love A.R. Capetta’s previous YA books, like Once & Future and The Lost Coast (both VERY queer–big queer casts with trans, non-binary, asexual, gay, lesbian, bi, etc characters), so this one is sure to be a hit.
Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta (Sapphic YA Science Fiction)
Think Pacific Rim with an F/F enemies-to-lovers romance between two Asian teenage girls who give each other tattoos as a form of affection. It’s about a dystopian world dominated by Godolia overlords, who enact their will using giant mechanized weapons called Windups. Eris is a Gearbreaker, a rebel who destroys them from within. When she’s caught, she meets Sona, a Windups pilot who’s secretly on the rebels’ side. If you liked Crier’s War, this should be at the top of your TBR.
Bone House by K-Ming Chang (Queer Micropress/Chapbook Wuthering Heights Retelling)
Storm Bound (Cedarwood Beach #4) by Rhys Everly (M/M Romance)
Warn Me When It’s Time (A Charlie Mack Motown Mystery #6) by Cheryl A. Head (Lesbian Mystery)
Cinders of Yesterday by Jen Karner (F/F Fantasy)
A War of Swallowed Stars (Celestial Trilogy Book 3) by Sangu Mandanna (Sapphic YA Science Fiction)
How We Do Family: From Adoption to Trans Pregnancy, What We Learned about Love and LGBTQ Parenthood by Trystan Reese (Trans Memoir)