Our Queerest Shelves

Cryptid Romcoms and Queer Little Nightmares

Last weekend, I briefly surfaced from a years-long reading slump. I wanted to pick up a book instead of scrolling TikTok. I finished the middle grade book I was reading, read a novella from start to finish (We Had to Remove This Post, which was disturbing but thought-provoking), and then read a whole graphic novel. In the same day! On a whim!

I haven’t had a significant chunk of unscheduled time since then, so I’m crossing my fingers that it’s my new normal. Despite loving books, I am so easily led astray by the siren call of online videos. (And speaking of sirens, that’s a bit of foreshadowing for today’s Riot Recs!)

This week, I want to highlight the charity LGBT Books to Prisoners. You can donate either monetarily or with books. They’re especially looking for gay, bi, and trans books (they have an overflow of lesbian book at the moment). You can also purchase books off their Amazon wishlist.

Bookish Goods

a photo of someone wearing a white hoodie with the Heartstopper-style leaves across it

Heartstopper Leaves Hoodie by GiftUniversell

Find your fellow Heartstopper fans with this hoodie that has the iconic illustrations of leaves from the book and show. And for everyone else, it just seems like a cute seasonal sweatshirt for fall! This one goes up to 5x. $30+

New Releases

the cover of My Government Means to Kill Me

My Government Means to Kill Me by Rasheed Newson (Queer Historical Fiction)

This is a coming of age story about a young queer Black man in New York City in the 1980s, including volunteering at a home hospice for AIDS patients. It comes highly recommended by Andrew Sean Greer, the author of Less, among many others, and promises to be funny, sexy, and powerful.

this is why they hate us book cover

This Is Why They Hate Us by Aaron H. Aceves (Bisexual YA Contemporary)

Quique needs to get over his hopeless crush on Saleem, so he decides the best move is to pursue some fun flings with other people, which is only slightly complicated by the fact that he’s not out to anyone except his best friend. It turns out, though, that, as the back of the book puts it, “getting over one guy by getting under a bunch of others may not have been the best laid plan.”

Kissed by Her by Chelsea M. Cameron (F/F Romance)

Just a Touch Away by Jae (F/F Romance)

the cover of You & I, Rewritten, showing an illustration of two men holding books with papers flying around them

Call Me Enitan by L. Leigh (Sapphic Romance)

Like Real People Do by E.L. Massey (M/M Romance)

You & I, Rewritten by Chip Pons (M/M Romance)

A Flood of Blood to the Heart by Isis Molina (F/F Fantasy Short Stories)

Nine Stones Vol. 1 by Samuel Spano (M/M Graphic Novel)

The Insiders by Mark Oshiro (Queer Middle Grade Fiction) (Paperback Rerelease)

I’m Not Broken by Jesse Leon (Gay Memoir)

Gender Pioneers: A Celebration of Transgender, Non-binary and Intersex Icons by Philippa Punchard (Nonfiction)

For more new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

I asked you what you wanted to see in Riot Recs, and I got a request for queer cryptids/monster-hunting. It just so happens that I’m reading one right now, so that was easy. I also feel like cryptid stories are the perfect transition from summer to fall: there may be a sasquatch lurking in the woods while you’re camping, but they’re also unsettling enough to earn a spot on your horror/thriller reading season TBR. (Which is what fall is all about, right?)

Do you have any other queer cryptid books you recommend? Or do you have another topic/subgenre/trope/etc you’d like to see covered on OQS? Let me know on Twitter!

the cover of Patricia Wants to Cuddle

Patricia Wants to Cuddle by Samantha Allen

Imagine The Bachelor, but set on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. Now add lesbians. Now add a sasquatch. And look at that cover! This one promises to be part romcom, part horror thriller. As a queer woman who lives in the Pacific Northwest and loves a weird book, I am prepared for this to be my new favorite read.

the cover of Queer Little Nightmares

Queer Little Nightmares: An Anthology of Monstrous Fiction and Poetry edited by David Ly and Daniel Zomparelli (October 4th)

Let’s take a minute to admire how these covers match. Queer Little Nightmares is out at the beginning of October, and it’s a collection of queer stories and poems about monsters, from werewolves to a Minotaur to a gentle kaiju. Arsenal Pulp Press is my favorite publisher, so I can’t wait to get my paws on this one.

All the Links Fit to Click

That’s it for me this week! Until next time, you can find me at my sapphic book blog, the Lesbrary, as well as on Twitter @danikaellis. You can also hear me on All the Books or you can read my Book Riot posts.

Happy reading!