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!