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When Detective Frankie Loomis begins investigating a brilliant college student’s sudden death, she knows in her gut there’s more to the story. To English professor Jack Dorian, Taryn was the ultimate fantasy. And now that she’s dead, his problems are just beginning. After Frankie uncovers sordid secrets, it becomes clear that Jack may know the truth. He’s guilty of deception… but is he capable of cold-blooded murder? From New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen and acclaimed thriller writer Gary Braver comes a sexy murder mystery about a reckless affair and dangerous secrets.
Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that should absolutely be put at the top of your TBR pile. Recommended books will vary across genre and age category and include shiny new books, older books you may have missed, and some classics I suggest finally getting around to. Make space for another pile of books on your floor because here we go!
Today’s pick is a nonfiction comic that truly lives up to its title. It has been an invaluable educational tool for me and I’ve probably given away at least a half dozen copies.
A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by Mady G. and Jules Zuckerberg
This lovely little comic is a super beginner’s guide for both people who are figuring out their own queer and/or trans identity as well as the people who are in their support network who want to learn more about queer and trans identities. By no means is the information in this book exhaustive as it’s small enough to fit into a large pocket. It manages to cover the basics of some really common questions without being overwhelming or academic.
The main characters are snails and some adorable non-humanoid creatures. It’s clear the authors don’t want you to assign gender to the characters, which is a really good thing to practice.
It’s written in a format where each little section is titled by a question, then some discussion about the answer or answers. It begins with “What is queer?” which is wonderful because that’s a question that a lot of people have. Many people who aren’t under the LGBTQ+ umbrella can be confused by it. The truth is that queer can mean different things to different people. Some people are also concerned that it used to be a slur and this book addresses that as well.
The book also offers simplified information on the definitions of and differences between gender, sex, sexual orientation or attraction, and gender expression. There’s also a section in this book that caught me by surprise but not in a bad way because it totally belongs here, and that is a section on relationship basics and what some signs of healthy relationships are and also what are some red flags. The thing is, a lot of us as teens learn about relationships from what is modeled in our life and what we see in the media. It’s rare that any of us, especially those of us in the LGBTQIA+ crowd, are given a resource before mistakes are made.
I love that this book exists. It can help alleviate some of the emotional labor involved in educating people about queer and trans identities and do so in a way that is thoughtful and fun.
That’s it for now, book-lovers!
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