Categories
Our Queerest Shelves

LGBTQ Middle Grade Books To Vote For In the Goodreads Choice Awards

Happy December! If you’re in the northern hemisphere, I hope you’re keeping cozy and warm with a good book. And if you’re in the southern hemisphere, I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine with a good book!

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 books at the moment). You can also purchase books off their Amazon wishlist.

Bookish Goods

a photo of five bookmarks with cows and pride flag colors

Pride Cow Bookmark by Cha0ticP3ncil

Wouldn’t your reading life be improved with a pride cow bookmark? If your flag isn’t featured, you can request it by selecting the “personalized” option. $3

New Releases

We’re getting into the season where there are fewer new book releases, but there are still some excellent ones out this week you can’t miss!

never ever getting back together book cover

Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales (Bisexual F/F YA Romance)

When Maya is invited to go on a reality dating show called Second-Chance Romance to date her ex Jordy again, she agrees for one reason: revenge. Sure, it’s a little uncomfortable to be there with the person he cheated on her with, Skye — along with four more of his exes. But soon, Maya and Skye start to get closer to a romance that definitely wasn’t in the script.

We Deserve Monuments cover

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds (F/F YA Contemporary)

Avery’s mom has moved them to a small town in Georgia to take care of her dying grandmother. There’s a lot of tension between Avery’s mother and grandmother, so she finds comfort in new friendships (and maybe a romance) with two other teenage girls in town. Soon, though, the racist history of the town begins to make itself known, and Avery is forced to face the impact it’s had on her family.

Confessions by Sean Eads (Queer Fiction)

The Gentleman’s Book of Vices by Jess Everlee (M/M Historical Romance)

Aquamen cover

Geometries of Belonging (Birdverse) by R B Lemberg (Queer Fantasy Short Stories)

Here’s To Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (M/M YA Contemporary) (Paperback Rerelease)

Aquamen by Brandon Thomas, Chuck Brown, Sami Basri (Queer Superhero Comics)

Tell Me How to Be by Neel Patel (Queer Fiction) (Paperback Rerelease)

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

Riot Recommendations

This is the last Goodreads Choice Riot Recs! It’s the final round, and a few queer books still have a chance, like Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree and The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake in Fantasy, or The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes and I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston in Young Adult Fiction, so take a minute to vote if you haven’t already!

Here are some of the LGBTQ titles on the shortlist in the Middle Grade category.

Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor cover

Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor by Xiran Jay Zhao

From the author of Iron Widow, this middle grade fantasy with a gay Hui Chinese American Muslim main character promises to be Percy Jackson meets Yu-Gi-Oh!, while drawing on Chinese mythology.

the cover of Small Town Pride

Small Town Pride by Phil Stamper

This is from the author of The Gravity of Us and As Far as You’ll Take Me. Jake is adjusting to being the only out gay kid at his school. When his father hangs a Pride flag outside their house, neighbors start complaining to the mayor. What’s next, a Pride parade in their small town? Jake and his friends decide to do just that, even if it means fighting the mayor.

Another possibility is Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega, a queer-inclusive middle grade fantasy.

All the Links Fit to Click

Publishers Weekly posted an obituary for Ellen Wittlinger

32 of the best LGBTQ books to read yourself or gift others

10 Queer Graphic Novels To Read After Heartstopper

Epilogue Bookstore and Coffee Shop Starts Free Library for Queer Literature

Q&A: Sophie Gonzales, Author of Never Ever Getting Back Together

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

Happy reading!
Danika

Categories
Our Queerest Shelves

Queer YA Books To Vote For In the Goodreads Choice Awards

This Thanksgiving, let’s take some time to unpack the colonial legacy of this holiday. Autostraddle has an Anti-Colonial Reading List for Thanksgiving. You can also pick up some great queer and Two-Spirit novels! It’s worth remembering that homophobia and transphobia are inextricably linked to colonialism and white supremacy, and there’s no way to address the former without also dismantling the latter.

This is a great time to research your local Indigenous nations and donate to the organizations and campaigns they’re running. Another option is the LANDBACK campaign.

Bookish Goods

a photo of rainbow chandelier beaded earrings

Rainbow Beaded Earrings by BiuluArtisanBoutique

Show some pride with these rainbow earrings while also supporting an Indigenous-owned small business. Biulu Artisan Boutique is a co-op including Huichol, Cora, Tikuna, Andina (Quechua), and Embera peoples. $51

New Releases

cover of Astrid Parker Doesn't Fail by Ashley Herring Blake; illustration of a blond woman in a white dress and black high heels and a redheaded woman with short hair in overalls standing on the porch in front of a big wooden door

Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake (F/F Romance)

If you read Delilah Green Doesn’t Care, then you, too, have been eagerly anticipating the sequel following Delilah’s stepsister. Astrid is designing the Everwood Inn renovation for an HGTV show, but she keeps butting heads with the lead carpenter, Jordan — which turns out to make for good TV. But somewhere along the way, their animosity unexpectedly turns into something else…

The Red Scholar's Wake Book Cover

The Red Scholar’s Wake by Aliette de Bodard (Lesbian Space Opera)

Do I really have to say anything other than “lesbian space opera” and gesture towards the cover? There’s also space pirates, a sentient spaceship, and an F/F marriage of convenience. Oh, and did I mention that the sentient spaceship is who the main character is marrying?

Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese (Queer F/M Romance)

Up To Snow Good by Charlie Novak (M/M Christmas Romance)

At Midnight: 15 Beloved Fairytales Reimagined edited by Dahlia Adler (YA Anthology with LGBTQ Stories)

the cover of Up To Snow Good

Love and Rockets: The First Fifty: The Classic 40th Anniversary Collection by Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, et al (Queer Graphic Novel)

Men I Trust by Tommi Parrish (Sapphic Graphic Novel)

Hirano and Kagiura, Vol. 1 by Shou Harusono (M/M Manga)

Catch These Hands, Vol. 3 by Murata (F/F Manga)

Sirius: Twin Stars by Ana C. Sánchez (F/F Manga)

Even Though We’re Adults, Vol. 5 by Takako Shimura (F/F Manga)

The Future Is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (Queer Nonfiction) (Audiobook Rerelease)

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

Riot Recommendations

The Goodreads Choice Awards are still open for voting! If you haven’t voted already, consider giving some queer books a boost. Here are some of the LGBTQ options in the Best Young Adult Fiction category.

the cover of Hell Followed with Us

Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White

The New York Times calls this “A long, sustained scream to the various strains of anti-transgender legislation multiplying around the world.” It’s a post-apocalyptic story about Benji, a trans boy raised by a cult who used him to trigger the end of the world. He goes on the run, but he’s still mutating, becoming a monster that could end all of humanity. When he takes refuge with a group of queer teens, he soon finds they are keeping deadly secrets of their own.

the cover of The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes

I’m just going to use the author’s description of this book as a Reddit post, because I love it: “I (16F) got sent to a Catholic school with my brother (15M) after getting outed at my old school. I’m not out at the new school, but there’s this openly queer girl (16F) there who makes my gay heart do happy little flips. How do I date her without letting her know I’m gay?”

Other queer nominees in this category include She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick, Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie, I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston, The First To Die at the End by Adam Silvera, and Loveless by Alice Oseman (American release).

All the Links Fit to Click

Holigay Gift Guide: Queer Cookbooks for Every Home Chef on Your Shopping List

Eight Romance Novels Featuring Trans Women, by Trans Authors

Eight Queer Romances to Read if You Love Hallmark Holiday Movies

The Well of Loneliness: The book that could corrupt a nation

All of the LGBTQ Characters in the MCU So Far

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Revisiting The Color Purple wars

Why Queers Should Play Tabletop Roleplaying Games

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!
Danika

Categories
Our Queerest Shelves

Queer Fantasy Novels to Vote for in the Goodreads Choice Awards

Regardless of how you feel about Goodreads (and I’ve had my fair share of complaints), it’s worth scrolling through the Goodreads Choice Awards to get introduced to some new releases you might not have learned about otherwise. And, of course, I’m going to pull out some queer options you can vote for this year!

The charity I want to highlight this week is PFLAG’s Read With Love program, which is attempting to get more diverse books into libraries. You can find out more at their website, including ways to donate.

Bookish Goods

a photo of a T-shirt with the cover of The Gay Old Frog, showing a frog in a top hat

Gay Old Frog T-Shirt by MyLuckyShirt666

Let this shirt inspire you to be your best gay old frog self. $33

New Releases

Making Love with the Land: Essays cover

Making Love with the Land: Essays by Joshua Whitehead (Two-Spirit Essays)

From the author of Jonny Appleseed comes a collection of essays that are part memoir, part cultural commentary, “explor[ing] the relationships between body, language, and land.”

the cover of A Pros and Cons List for Strong Feelings

A Pros and Cons List for Strong Feelings by Will Betke-Brunswick (Genderqueer Graphic Memoir)

This memoir follows Will in the months after their mother is diagnosed with cancer, through hospital visits, jigsaw puzzles, and coming out as nonbinary. Each of the characters in this graphic memoir is represented as a bird!

Love in the Big City by Sang Young Park, translated by Anton Hur (Queer Fiction) (Paperback Rerelease)

Undercover” (Into Shadow collection) by Tamsyn Muir (Queer Short Story)

the cover of Her Vixen Actress

The Husky and His White Cat Shizun, Vol. 1 by Rou Bao Bu Chi Rou (M/M Historical Fiction)

All Work, Let’s Play by Rosyln Faulk (Bisexual M/M Romance)

Shy by Ashish Rastogi (M/M Sports Romance)

Her Vixen Actress by Violet Cowper (F/F Historical Romance)

Securing Ava by Anne Shade (F/F Romantic Suspense)

Born Andromeda by K.M. Watts (Bisexual F/M/M Polyamorous Sci Fi)

the cover of Love and War

The Frenemy Zone by Yolanda Wallace (F/F YA Contemporary)

Reader, I Murdered Him by Betsy Cornwell (Sapphic YA Historical Thriller)

Beneath the Burning Wave by Jennifer Hayashi Danns (Queer YA Fantasy)

Wicked Little Things by Justin Arnold (Queer YA Horror)

Love and War by Andrew Wheeler and Killian Ng (M/M Graphic Novel)

Failed Princesses, Vol. 6 by Ajiichi (Yuri Manga)

Yuri is My Job!, Vol. 10 by Miman (Yuri Manga)

Futari Escape by Shouichi Taguchi (Yuri Manga)

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

Riot Recommendations

It’s the Goodreads Choice Awards, AKA the book popularity contest of the year! They usually end up with very boring results, let’s be honest: just the books the most people have heard about, which are usually (white, cis/allo/het, neurotypical) bestsellers. But one can dream, so I thought I’d highlight some of the queer hopefuls in a few categories! This week: the fantasy category.

Cover of Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

This book seems to just be getting more and more popular since it was first published in February (and has since been picked up by Tor). It’s a cozy sapphic fantasy about an orc who retires from a life of adventuring to open her own coffee shop.

cover of The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean

I’ve recommended this book before, but I’m here to do it again. Devon is on the run with her young son, Cai. She comes from a society of book eaters; people who survive off consuming books instead of food. But Cai is a mind eater, and instead of giving him up to be used as a weapon, she’s willing to sacrifice everything to keep him safe. Even if it means feeding him human minds. This is a thought-provoking sapphic dark fantasy.

Other queer books in this category include When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill, The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake, Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel, and The World We Make (Great Cities, #2) by N.K. Jemisin — not a bad showing!

As always, if there’s a topic you’d like queer books recommendations for, let me know and it might be my next Riot Rec!

All the Links Fit to Click

Sapphic Literature Is on the Rise. Hopefully, It’s More Than Just a Trend

Sisters In Crime announced the winner of the Pride Award for Emerging LGBTQIA+ Crime Writers

‘My diabolical delight’ – Sarah Waters on her rip-roaring, salacious classic Fingersmith (Which is turning 20!! This is one of my favourite books of all time.)

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!
Danika

Categories
Our Queerest Shelves

Playing with Pronouns

I live in the warmest city in Canada. We usually only see a dusting of snow around February. So why is there white on the ground on this, the second week of November?? Absolutely ridiculous. Luckily, there’s no such thing as bad reading weather.

This week, as I think about the people who don’t necessarily have cozy homes to escape the cold in, I want to spotlight The Okra Project. They offer “free, delicious, and nutritious meals to Black Trans people experiencing food insecurity.” You can help out at their donate page.

Bookish Goods

a phot of an I Read Gay Banned Books sticker

I Read Gay Banned Books sticker by DamiAnimatedShop

There’s a lot of “I read banned books” merch, but few of them feature the books getting banned right now: queer books, books about racism and antiracism, and sex ed books. So I appreciate this more specific sticker! $3

New Releases

the cover of The Foghorn Echoes

The Foghorn Echoes by Danny Ramadan (Gay Fiction)

Ten years ago, Hussam and Wassim’s lives are changed forever when they’re caught by Hussam’s father in a romantic moment. Now, Hussam is a refugee in Canada, struggling with a controlling sponsor, but able to be openly gay. Wassim is still in Syria, living on the streets. There, he stumbles on someone else’s buried secrets.

Cover of Even Though I knew the End by C.L. Polk

Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk (Sapphic Historical Fantasy Novella)

From the author of Witchmark and The Midnight Bargain comes a new supernatural noir story. Helen sold her soul to save her brother. Before she spends an eternity in hell, though, she has one shot to have a happily ever after (at least in life) with the woman she loves. All she has to do is find the White City Vampire, a serial killer in Chicago. But she only has three days to do it.

Girlcrush by Florence Given (Bisexual Jekyll & Hyde Retelling)

This I Promise You (Noahverse #4) by Jordon Greene and Kalob Dàniel (M/M Romance)

the cover of The Stars Undying

Christmas Mouse by Rachel Spangler (F/F Holiday Romance)

The Fruit (Wrath & Athenaeum #3) by Na’amen Gobert Tilahun (Gay, M/M Fantasy)

The Last Hero (The First Sister #3) by Linden A. Lewis (Sapphic Fantasy)

The Stars Undying (Empire Without End #1) by Emery Robin (Queer Space Opera)

I Can’t Believe I Slept With You! Vol. 3 by Miyako Miyahara (Yuri Manga)

Holding Space: Life and Love Through a Queer Lens by Ryan Pfluger (Queer Photography)

the cover of My Paati's Saris

The Nightland Express by J.M. Lee (Trans YA Historical)

Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston by Esme Symes-Smith (Nonbinary Middle Grade Fantasy)

My Paati’s Saris by Jyoti Rajan Gopal and Art Twink (Gender Nonconforming Picture Book)

A Song for the Unsung: Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the 1963 March on Washington written by Carole Boston Weatherford and Rob Sanders, illustrated by Byron McCray (Gay Nonfiction Picture Book)

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

Riot Recommendations

I recently finished listening to the audiobook of Critical Role: The Mighty Nein — The Nine Eyes of Lucien by Madeleine Roux, which came out last week. I didn’t include it in last week’s newsletter because I wasn’t 100% sure if it had queer content or what the representation was. Now that I’ve finished it, though, I can tell you it has a genderfluid pansexual main character!

The main character’s queer identity is only mentioned in passing a few times in the book, and not until about halfway through, but there is another genderfluid side character in the story, and they change pronouns throughout, cycling through she, he, or they depending on the day. It was the first time I’d seen that in a book.

So, this week I’ve decided to highlight some books that use pronouns in ways I rarely see represented.

In the Watchful City cover

In the Watchful City by S. Qiouyi Lu

This is an experimental sci-fi story with multiple nonbinary characters, one of whom is also integrated into the city’s security system. The main character, Anima, uses æ/ær/ær pronouns. The other character, Vessel, uses se/ser/ser pronouns.

The Heartbreak Bakery book cover

The Heartbreak Bakery by A.R. Capetta

This is the first book I’ve read with a main character who doesn’t use pronouns at all, and writing my review afterwards, I realized how difficult I found writing without them. This is a delightful, magical, and oh-so-queer YA book about a baker who accidentally bakes heartbreak into brownies, which cause everyone who eats them to break up.

Meet Cute Diary Book Cover

Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

I loved this queer and trans fake dating YA novel — especially the deeply flawed main character. Another thing I appreciated about it was that a side character experiments with different pronouns throughout, which I don’t often see represented in books, though it sure happens a lot in real life!

As always, if there’s a topic you’d like queer books recommendations for, let me know on Twitter and it might be my next Riot Rec!

All the Links Fit to Click

LGBTQ Reads: Happy Native American Heritage Month!

10 Fabulous LGBTQ Magical Girl Comics for Queer Readers

When We Were Sisters by Fatimah Asghar was reviewed at Autostraddle

Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk was reviewed at Tor.com

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi was reviewed at Autostraddle as part of their Queer Naija Lit series

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!
Danika

Categories
Our Queerest Shelves

Indigiqueer and Two-Spirit Speculative Fiction

It’s Native American Heritage Month! I have a couple of queer SFF books by Indigenous authors to recommend, but before we get there, if you are living on stolen land (as I am), consider using this month to educate yourself on colonialism and Indigenous resistance in your area, and check out LANDBACK for more information on Indigenous sovereignty.

Bookish Goods

a sticker with a flower border that says From the queer library of...

From the Queer Library of…Bookplate by OWhatAFeeling

Make sure your borrowed queer books make their way back to you with these queer ex libris stickers. $2 each or five for $6.

New Releases

the cover of Màgòdiz

Màgòdiz by Gabe Calderón (Two-Spirit Sci-Fi)

In this dystopian future, after a war destroys most of the world, the remaining humans have forgotten how to read, write, or create the tools they once had. Enforcers controlled by the spirit who started this war roam the Earth to keep them in line. Màgòdiz follows six Indigenous people, some of them Two-Spirit, as they survive and fight back against this invading force.

the cover of How to Excavate a Heart

How to Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia Arlow (Lesbian YA Romance)

Hitting May with her car was an accident; Shani was a little distracted by her recent breakup. Still, it’s not surprising that it started May and Shani’s relationship off on the wrong foot. When they’re snowed in together on Christmas Eve, though, these two Jewish lesbian teenagers start to fall for each other — but is Shani ready for that kind of vulnerability? (Also, crucially, look at the corgi with his little booties on the cover!!)

Small Game: A Novel by Blair Braverman (Sapphic Survival Thriller)

Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun (F/F Holiday Romance)

the cover of Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble

Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble by Alexis Hall (M/M Romance)

A Restless Truth (The Last Binding #2) by Freya Marske (Lesbian Fantasy)

Ocean’s Echo (Winter’s Orbit #2) by Everina Maxwell (M/M Sci-Fi)

The Reckless Kind by Carly Heath (Asexual YA Historical Fiction) (Paperback Rerelease)

Girls of Fate and Fury (Girls of Paper and Fire #3) by Natasha Ngan (Sapphic YA Fantasy) (Paperback Rerelease)

Silver in the Mist by Emily Victoria (Asexual YA Fantasy)

the cover of Rethinking Gender

They Both Die at the End Collector’s Edition by Adam Silvera (M/M YA SFF)

My Pinup by Hilton Als (Queer Memoir)

I Am Onir and I Am Gay: A Memoir by Onir Onir (Gay Memoir)

Love This For You: How to Rewrite the Rules and Live Authentically by Deni Todorović (Queer & Nonbinary Nonfiction)

Heaven by Emerson Whitney (Nonbinary Nonfiction)

Rethinking Gender: An Illustrated Exploration by Louie Läuger (Trans & Nonbinary Graphic Nonfiction)

The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On by Franny Choi (Queer Poetry)

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

Riot Recommendations

November is Native American Heritage Month! Here are a couple great queer SFF books by Native American authors to add to your TBR this month or any time.

the cover of Love After the End

Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction edited by Joshua Whitehead

SFF is pretty firmly rooted in colonialism, from medieval Europe as the default fantasy setting to literally colonizing or being invaded as a go-to plot in sci-fi. These Indigiqueer and Two-Spirit speculative fiction stories take a very different perspective, and I think just the introduction by Joshua Whitehead is worth picking this book up for, though I enjoyed all the stories! Also, there’s an M/M teen romance where one of them is an AI, cyber-engineered, super-intelligent rat, so what are you waiting for?

Book cover of Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

If you’re looking for an expansive high fantasy story that isn’t based on medieval Europe, you should definitely pick up the Between Earth and Sky series, which is inspired by Pre-Columbian Americas and packed full of queer as well as disabled characters. From the starred Kirkus review: “A beautifully crafted setting with complex character dynamics and layers of political intrigue? Perfection.”

As always, if there’s a topic you’d like queer books recommendations for, let me know on Twitter and it might be my next Riot Rec!

All the Links Fit to Click

Out100 2022: LGBTQ+ Literary and Publishing Stars

Life Advice for Book Lovers: Finding Solace in the Sad and Sapphic

Gutter Talk: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Making Queer Comics With the Creators of Blade Maidens

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!
Danika

Categories
Our Queerest Shelves

Cute or Cannibal?: Two Takes on Queer Halloween Horror Comics

There are only a few more days until Halloween! But there are so many great queer reads perfect for the season! Luckily, I have a couple of recommendations you can read in one sitting, whether you prefer Halloween to be a cozy cute affair or on the gory side.

The nonprofit I wanted to highlight today is Black Trans Advocacy, which advocates for health, housing, and employment equality for Black trans people. You can find out more about them on their website, and you can support them at their donation page.

Bookish Goods

a photo of a shirt with a line art illustration of a woman, plants, and constellations with the text "Slender Aphrodite has overcome me with longing for a girl" by Sappho

Sappho Shirt by PipingHotTees

Given a link later in this post, I thought I’d include a lesbian poetry shirt. This Sappho shirt says, “Slender Aphrodite has overcome me with longing for a girl,” and I love that it’s labelled “subtle lesbian pride.” Nothing more subtle than that! $25

New Releases

Don’t forget to check out the sponsor of today’s newsletter, which is also a queer book out this week! If you haven’t read the first book, it just came out in paperback.

the cover of The Call-Out

The Call-Out: A Novel in Rhyme by Cat Fitzpatrick (Queer and Trans Women Fiction)

Cat Fitzpatrick was one of the editors on a favorite anthology of mine, Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy From Transgender Writers, so I’m excited to read a whole novel of hers! This follows six queer women, most of them trans, in Brooklyn, and it discusses racism in queer communities, call-out culture, feminist theory, and more — oh, and it’s all told in rhyming poetry.

the cover of The Sevenfold Hunters

The Sevenfold Hunters by Rose Egal (Sapphic YA Science Fiction)

This is one I hope gets a different cover for the paperback edition, because I feel like this one looks a little generic sci-fi, when this actually follows a queer teen hijabi alien hunter! This looks like a lot of fun, and it promises a found family element with the team tasked with freeing Earth.

Ghost Town by Kevin Chen, translated by Darryl Sterk (Gay Fiction)

Cupid Calling by Viano Oniomoh (M/M Romance)

the cover of Ghost Town

His Christmas Guardian by Cindy Dees (M/M Romantic Suspense)

Into the Riverlands (The Singing Hills Cycle #3) by Nghi Vo (Sapphic and Nonbinary Fantasy)

In The Shadow of the Throne by Kate Sheridan, Gaia Cardinali, and Micah Myers (Gay YA Fantasy)

It Took Luke: Overworked & Underpaid by Mark Bouchard and Bayleigh Underwood (Queer Horror Graphic Novel)

Anne: An Adaptation of Anne of Green Gables (Sort Of) by Kathleen Gros (Sapphic Middle Grade Graphic Novel)

Last Gender, Vol. 1 by Rei Taki (Queer Manga)

How Do We Relationship?, Vol. 7 by Tamifull (Sapphic Manga)

the cover of Queer Silence

Heretic: A Memoir by Jeanna Kadlec (Queer Memoir)

Unprotected: A Memoir by Billy Porter (Gay Memoir) (Paperback Rerelease)

Angels and Earthworms: An Unexpected Journey to Joy, Love, and Miracles by Lorraine Segal (Lesbian Memoir)

Revolution Is Love: A Year of Black Trans Liberation by Qween Jean, Raquel Willis, Joela Rivera, and Mikelle Street (Trans Nonfiction)

Queer Silence: On Disability and Rhetorical Absence by J. Logan Smilges (Queer Nonfiction)

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

Riot Recommendations

It’s the last Our Queerest Shelves before Halloween, so here are a couple choices of queer comics you could read Halloween night, whether you’re looking for something cute and seasonal or something a little more bloody.

the cover of Eat the Rich by Sarah Gailey

Eat the Rich by Sarah Gailey, Pius Bak, and Roman Titov

I was looking for a topic that would give me an opportunity to recommend this book I just read. Joey is on her way to becoming a lawyer, so she shouldn’t feel so awkward meeting her rich boyfriend’s family — she’ll be one of them soon. But it turns out their family and community has certain…tastes. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it’s sapphic and certainly lives up to expectations.

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker cover

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker

If you want to pick up something seasonal but not, you know, about cannibalism, try Mooncakes! It’s a romance and adventure between a Deaf queer witch and a nonbinary werewolf. Also, she has two grandmas who own a magic bookstore together, which is truly life goals.

As always, if there’s a topic you’d like queer books recommendations for, let me know on Twitter and it might be my next Riot Rec!

All the Links Fit to Click

It’s Asexual Awareness Week! Here are some recs: 21 Ace Books To Read During Ace Week, Quiz: Which Sapphic Asexual Book Should You Read This Ace Week?, Sapphic Asexual and Demisexual Stories, Demisexual YA SFF, and Asexual Awareness Week Roundtable

A Queer Woman’s Place Is in the Horror Story

Organizing My Bookshelf Helped Me Learn to Love My Queer Identity

Gaylor fans think Taylor Swift wrote a book of lesbian poetry under a pseudonym. I’m not a big fan of public speculation of someone’s orientation/identity, but congratulations to this lesbian poet for getting a spike in sales out of it.

Heretic by Jeanna Kadlec was reviewed at Autostraddle

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!
Danika

Categories
Our Queerest Shelves

I Was a Queer Teenage Werewolf

I’m writing this from the sunny shores of Venice beach! It’s not exactly autumnal/Halloween vibes, but I’ve had a great time actually meeting my Book Riot co-workers for the first time. But enough about me. Let’s get into the books!

The charity I want to highlight this week is PFLAG’s Read With Love program, which is attempting to get more diverse books into libraries. You can find out more at their website, including ways to donate.

Bookish Goods

a sticker of an open book with the text "Ask me about my gay fanfiction"

Ask Me About My Gay Fanfiction sticker by CraftyQueerStudio

That’s one way to make new friends. $5

New Releases

Lavender House Book Cover

Lavender House by Lev AC Rosen (Queer Historical Mystery)

Lavender House is a refuge for queer people in the 1950s, where those living there don’t have to hide who they are. It’s funded by the owner of a soap empire, but when she dies mysteriously, Andy — a gay detective — is hired by her widow to find out if it was murder.

Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck things cover

Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad (Sapphic YA Contemporary)

This follows the four Singh sisters, whose family owns the Songbird Inn: the most romantic inn in America. Over four seasons, each of the sisters finds love, including photographer Sirisha, who falls for an actress in the theater troupe that just came to town — now she just has to work up the courage to talk to her.

The Lost Century by Larissa Lai (Queer Historical Fiction)

Reprieve by James Han Mattson (Queer Horror) (Paperback Rerelease)

I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman (Trans and Gay YA Contemporary)

Heartstopper Yearbook cover

The Heartstopper Yearbook by Alice Oseman (LGBTQ YA Tie-In Book)

Nothing Sung and Nothing Spoken by Nita Tyndall (F/F YA Historical Fiction)

Hazel Hill is Gonna Win This One by Maggie Horne (Queer Middle Grade)

She Loves to Cook, and She Loves to Eat, Vol. 1 by Sakaomi Yuzaki (Yuri Manga)

README.txt: A Memoir by Chelsea Manning (Trans Memoir)

This Arab Is Queer: An Anthology by LGBTQ+ Arab Writers by Elias Jahshan (Queer Nonfiction)

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

Riot Recommendations

Obviously I’m going to keep on the Halloween theme as long as I can, so this week’s riot recs are YA graphic novels about queer werewolves!

cover of Blackwater

Blackwater by Jeannette Arroyo and Ren Graham

This promises to be Riverdale meets Stranger Things, following two teenage boys who fall for each other while investigating paranormal mysteries in the town of Blackwater, Maine. There are ghosts and werewolves, but also trans and chronic illness representation.

cover of Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle, featuring cartoon of four young people standing in front of a full moon

Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle

Becca is the new girl at school, so she’s thrilled to be accepted into the popular girls’ group. And if that means becoming a werewolf and killing and eating a few boys, so be it. The pack eventually turns on each other, but not before two of them fall for each other.

As always, if there’s a topic you’d like queer books recommendations for, let me know on Twitter and it might be my next Riot Rec!

All the Links Fit to Click

Adam Silvera Is Writing the Books He Wished He Had as a Queer Teen

Queer Books Databases Make It Easy To Search for Your Next LGBTQ+ Read

Hayley Kiyoko is writing a book based on her song “Girls Like Girls”!! Available for preorder now.

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!

Danika

Categories
Our Queerest Shelves

A Punch to the Face of Gay Halloween Vibes

I am full on in the Halloween spirit. Sure, there are a few weeks to go, but I’ve been watching scary movies and reading horror novels ever since the first of October came around. So let’s get into some witchy reads!

This week I wanted to highlight the charity Hope In a Box. They supply rural public schools with “curated books with LGBTQ characters, detailed curriculum for these books tied to Common Core State Standards, and extensive training and mentorship on how to cultivate an inclusive classroom.” You can find out more at the Hope In a Box website and support them by donating. You can also buy a box outright for your own classroom.

Bookish Goods

a photo of a Read More Queer Books hoodie

Read More Queer Books Sweater by JazzyDesignsEtsy

It’s sweater weather!! At least, it is here. And what better way to bundle up than with a Read More Queer Books sweatshirt? $26+

New Releases

the cover of Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner

Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner (F/F Romance)

It’s hard to believe this is out today, because I feel like I’ve been hearing people talk about the “MILF book” for years! During Family Weekend, Cassie slips away from the university and into a bar, where she has what is supposed to be a casual fling. Except, whoops, it turns out she hooked up with her friend’s mom.

the cover of Nikhil Out Loud

Nikhil Out Loud by Maulik Pancholy (Gay Middle Grade Contemporary)

Nikhil is a 13-year-old voice actor, the star of Raj Reddy in Outer Space. When his family moves to a small town in Ohio, though, his life turns upside down. He is cast in the school musical because of his experience as an actor, but he can’t sing — and adults are protesting an openly gay star being on stage. To make matters worse, his voice is beginning to change, which means leaving the role of Raj behind him.

When Things Happen Together by Jordan Clayden-Lewis (Gay Fiction)

Daughters of the New Year by E. M. Tran (Lesbian Fiction)

the cover of Season of Love

Jade Is a Twisted Green by Tanya Turton (Queer Woman Fiction)

Before All the World by Moriel Rothman-Zecher (Gay Historical Fiction)

Army of Lovers by K.M. Soehnlein (Queer ’80s Historical Fiction)

Pacifique by Sarah L. Taggart (Sapphic Thriller)

Season of Love by Helena Greer (F/F Holiday Romance)

Rain by Joe Hill, David M. Booher, and Zoe Thorogood (Sapphic Horror Graphic Novel)

the cover of The Name-Bearer

Black and White: Tough Love at the Office Vol. 1 by Sal Jiang (Yuri Manga)

I’m in Love with the Villainess (Light Novel) Vol. 5 by Inori and Hanagata (Yuri Light Novel)

The Edge of Being by James Brandon (Queer Guy YA Contemporary)

The Other Ones by Fran Hart (M/M YA Halloween Romance UK Release)

The Name-Bearer by Natalia Hernandez (Queer YA Fantasy)

Sixteen Souls by Rosie Talbot (Queer YA Fantasy)

A House Unsettled by Trynne Delaney (Queer YA Horror)

the cover of Where the Lost Ones Go

Twelfth Grade Night by Molly Horton Booth, Stephanie Kate Strohm & Jamie Green (Bisexual YA Graphic Novel Retelling of Twelfth Night)

Where the Lost Ones Go by Akemi Dawn Bowman (Sapphic Middle Grade Fantasy)

Something Great by Jeanette Bradley (Nonbinary Picture Book)

Phoenix Gets Greater by Marty Wilson-Trudeau, Phoenix Wilson, and Megan Kyak-Monteith (Two-Spirit Picture Book)

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

Riot Recommendations

It’s October 13th, which is practically October 31st, so of course I’m going with a Halloween-y theme today! And that theme is…witches! There are so many great queer witch books, but here are a couple.

the cover of Witchmark: a blue-toned city street with trees and a cobblestone road, with a silhoutte of a man wearing a bowler on a bicycle. a woman and another man are reflected on the street in the shadow of the bike.

Witchmark by C.L. Polk

Miles is a witch, but that’s been more trouble than help in his life. He enlisted in the war to escape being detected, but there, his witchmark and healing powers are exposed. Now, he has to trust another soldier in order to keep his freedom. This is a magical gas lamp fantasy with an M/M romance.

Payback's a Witch cover

Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper

Do you want to get punched in the face with Halloween vibes? This is the book for you. It’s like Halloweentown or Hocus Pocus, but as a bisexual F/F adult romance. It takes place in a magical village that doubles as a Halloween tourist trap. There are three women who bond by getting revenge on their mutual ex, a warlock — and then two of them fall for each other. There’s also a magical competition! This is a fun and fluffy seasonal read.

As always, if there’s a topic you’d like queer books recommendations for, let me know on Twitter and it might be my next Riot Rec!

All the Links Fit to Click

10 Queer Haunted House Books

Author Meryl Wilsner on Writing MILFs, Age Gaps, and Twisting Tropes

The Family Outing Is a Vivid Memoir of Neglect, Secrets, and the Power of Family

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!
Danika

Categories
Our Queerest Shelves

Bringing the Lesbian Vampire Home

There are two different book covers included in this post that feature queer underwater monsters. I’m sorry/you’re welcome.

Today’s featured charity is Pride and Less Prejudice, which provides LGBTQ-inclusive books to K-3 classrooms. This is a great, productive way of opposing censorship in schools. Here’s their donation page to help out!

Bookish Goods

a photo of stickers of rainbow books with Gay Agenda on the cover

Gay Agenda Sticker by CraftyQueerStudio

My personal gay agenda is more of a TBR, so these stickers are perfect.

New Releases

A Scatter of Light cover

A Scatter of Light by Malinda Lo (Sapphic YA Contemporary)

Aria didn’t plan to spend the summer with her grandmother in California, and she certainly didn’t expect to fall for Steph, her grandmother’s gardener. The only problem — other than that Aria thought she was straight until now — is that Steph already has a girlfriend. This is a messy coming of age story set in the way-back time of 2008. Explorations of astronomy, time, and art weave through this beautiful and bittersweet novel. For Last Night at the Telegraph Club fans, there’s also a brief update on the main characters!

I talk about this book more in depth in this week’s All the Books episode.

The First to Die at the End cover

The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera (M/M Fantasy)

They Both Die at the End was a huge hit that’s still being regularly recommended on TikTok five years later, so this prequel is highly anticipated. It takes place at the launch of Death-Cast, while everyone is waiting to see if it really can predict how people will die. Orion and Valentino meet and quickly fall for each other. One gets a call, one doesn’t, but they decide to spend the day together, even if, for one of them, it may be their last.

the cover of The Future Is Disabled

The Future is Disabled by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (Queer Essays)

Carework was such an incredible read, and Bodymap is my favorite book of poetry, so I knew I would love this, and I was absolutely right. It discusses disability justice during the pandemic as well as into the future. I look forward to rereading this soon, because there is so much to think about packed into this essay collection.

I talk about this book more in depth in this week’s All the Books episode.

The Language of Bodies by Suzanne DeWitt Hall (Sapphic Thriller)

Blue-Skinned Gods by SJ Sindu (Queer Fiction) (Paperback Rerelease)

the cover of Tentacles & Triathlons

Tentacles & Triathlons by Ashley Bennett (M/M Fantasy Romance)

Imperfect Illusions by Vanora Lawless (M/M Historical Fantasy Romance)

The Rising Tide by Amy Lane (M/M Fantasy)

Kalyna the Soothsayer by Elijah Kinch Spector (Bisexual Fantasy)

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

A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson (Queer Polyamorous Dracula’s Wives Retelling) (Hardcover Rerelease)

the cover of Queer Little Nightmares

Anne Of Greenville by Mariko Tamaki (YA Anne of Green Gables Retelling)

A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo (Sapphic YA Thriller) (Paperback Rerelease)

The Restless Dark by Erica Waters (Sapphic YA Supernatural Thriller)

Thieves by Lucie Bryon (Sapphic YA Graphic Novel)

Hollow by Shannon Watters, Branden Boyer-White, and Berenice Nelle (F/F YA Fantasy Graphic Novel)

the cover of Hollow

The Summer You Were There Vol. 1 by Yuama (Yuri Manga)

Big Love: Reclaiming Myself, My People, My Country by Brooke Blurton (Queer Memoir)

The Family Outing: A Memoir by Jessi Hempel (Queer Memoir)

Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark by Cassandra Peterson (Bisexual Memoir) (Paperback Rerelease)

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

Riot Recommendations

It’s October, which means everyone should read Carmen Maria Machado’s books. I don’t make the rules. (Yes, I do.) I’ve chosen this theme partly because It Came From the Closet is out today — I snuck in another featured new release in this section because there are too many amazing options! — but also because she’s in a documentary called Queer for Fear on Shudder! I can’t wait to see it!

the cover of It Came From The Closet

It Came From The Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror edited by Joe Vallese

What could be more fitting for the October Our Queerest Shelves newsletter than this book? It’s a collection of essays by queer and trans writers about different aspects of horror movies, including an essay from Carmen Maria Machado about Jennifer’s Body.

Carmilla cover

Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, edited by Carmen Maria Machado

I’ve always been drawn to Carmilla, the lesbian vampire novel that predated Dracula, but I also know that it was written to be a story about queer women as villains and monsters. Then, I read Machado’s version, which elegantly reframes the entire narrative just by adding a new intro and a handful of footnotes. It also has some great illustrations. I loved it so much I wrote a whole post about it: Bringing the Lesbian Vampire Home: Carmen Maria Machado’s Reclamation of Carmilla.

As always, if there’s a topic you’d like queer books recommendations for, let me know on Twitter and it might be my next Riot Rec!

All the Links Fit to Click

Autostraddle: Malinda Lo’s New Coming-of-Age Queer Novel, A Scatter of Light, Shines Brilliantly

Autostraddle: It Came From the Closet Gave Me New Appreciation for the Horror Genre

Alexander Chee reviewed All Down Darkness Wide by Seán Hewitt at The Atlantic

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!
Danika

Categories
Our Queerest Shelves

It Gets Gay in the Sequel

It’s almost October! In this week’s new releases, I have two takes on books to add to your seasonal TBR: an M/M Halloween romance that’s as sweet as trick-or-treating, or a blood-drenched gothic sapphic horror novel…or both!

For today’s featured charity or nonprofit, I wanted to highlight the Trans Lifeline, a crisis hotline for trans people that also gives microgrants to help trans people change legal documentation to reflect their gender. You can find out more at their website, and you can help out at their donation page.

Bookish Goods

a mug with a painting of queer book spines, including Pet, The Song of Achilles, and Her Body and Other Parties

Queer Pride Favorites Bookshelf Mug by HangryCreates

I love the variety of LGBTQ books represented on this mug! Set your day off right with drinking your morning coffee from a queer books mug. $18

New Releases

house of hunger book cover

House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson (Sapphic Gothic Horror)

If you’re looking for a queer gothic horror novel for your October TBR, here’s a perfect candidate. Marion makes a desperate decision to try to escape poverty by signing up to be a bloodmaid for the elites. She quickly catches the eye of the notorious Countess Lisavet, which may prove deadly.

the cover of The Rivals of Casper Road

The Rivals of Casper Road by Roan Parrish (M/M Halloween Romance)

Just look at this cover!! Here is another take on a seasonal read: a comforting Halloween romance. Zachary is his neighborhood’s reigning Halloween decorating champion. Bram, his new neighbor, is determined to steal his crown. Then the competition turns to prank wars, and then to something else entirely… This looks so cute I can barely stand it.

Concerning My Daughter by Kim Hye-Jin, translated by Jamie Chang (Queer Fiction)

The Sleeping Car Porter by Suzette Mayr (Queer Historical Fiction)

Book cover of The Genesis of Misery

We’re Here: The Best Queer Speculative Fiction 2021 edited by L. D. Lewis and Charles Payseur (Queer SFF Anthology)

The Tide That Binds Us by Alexis C. Maness (Sapphic Mermaid Fantasy)

Lark Ascending by Silas House (Gay Sci FI)

The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang (Nonbinary Sci Fi)

Lark and Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender (Nonbinary YA Contemporary)

How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy (Sapphic YA Fantasy)

the cover of How to Succeed in Witchcraft

My Name Is Magic by Xan van Rooyen (Nonbinary YA Fantasy)

Forest Hills Bootleg Society by Dave Baker & Nicole Goux (Lesbian YA Graphic Novel)

The Trouble With Robots by Michelle Mohrweis (Bisexual Middle Grade Contemporary)

Heaven Official’s Blessing: Tian Guan Ci Fu (Novel) Vol. 4 by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu (M/M Fantasy Light Novel)

Love is an Illusion! Vol. 1 by Fargo (M/M Manga)

I’m in Love with the Villainess (Manga), Vol. 3 by Inori and Aonoshimo (F/F Yuri Fantasy Manga)

Cats and Sugar Bowls by Yukiko (F/F Manga Erotica)

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

Riot Recommendations

In honor of the cover reveal for the new Nico di Angelo book by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro (scroll down!) I thought I’d share some YA fantasy series that get gay in the sequel. (Yes, I know the Rick Riordan book are middle grade, but close enough.)

the cover of The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce

The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce

Coincidentally, it was Mark Oshiro who got me reading Tamora Pierce. They were reading all of Pierce’s books in order, reacting to each chapter, and I decided to come along for the ride. The Will of the Empress would be the 26th book I read of hers, the ninth set in the Emelan world with the same characters, but it was the only one I owned before starting the project. Because I knew there was a lesbian main character. I spent eight books guessing which of the three girls would come out by the end of the series, which was another layer of delight to reading a series I loved. While this could technically stand alone, I recommend starting with Sandry’s book, the first Emelan/Circle of Magic story.

the cover of Court of Lions

Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud

In the first book in the series, Mirage, we follow Amani’s journey entering the court as Princess Maram’s body double. We only see glimpses of Maram, who is hated by her kingdom. In the sequel, this antivillain gets her own point of view — and a sapphic romance.

As always, if there’s a topic you’d like queer books recommendations for, let me know on Twitter and it might be my next Riot Rec!

All the Links Fit to Click

This is not a drill! The new Nico di Angelo book has a title, cover, and release date! It’s called The Sun and the Star, it’s co-authored by the incredible Mark Oshiro, and it will be out May 2, 2023. Check out the gorgeous (and gay) cover!

LGBTQ Reads shared tons of new bisexual books for Bi Visibility Day, with links to previous years’ lists!

‘We’re seeing a relaunch of an old story’: Exploring the movement to ban books with LGBTQ characters

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!
Danika