Our Queerest Shelves

Here. Queer. Used To It?

After a brief departure, I’m back to giving queer recs for the Read Harder challenge! I always loving queering the prompts. This time, we’re looking at books about queer activism. We’re here, we’re queer, but some people seem to still not be used to it…

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This week, I want to highlight OutRight Action International, an organization that fights for LGBTQ rights around the world. You can find out more about them at their website, and you can help at their donation page.

Bookish Goods

a photo of a sweatshirt with a trans flag and the text Protect Trans Kids

Protect Trans Kids Sweatshirt by MegEmikoArt

With the amount of laws recently passed targeting trans kids, there’s never been a better time to let them know you’ve got their back. 50% of proceeds from sales are donated to Trans Justice Funding Project. $36

New Releases

I’ve split new releases into adult on Tuesday and YA/children’s on Thursday — though the rest of the newsletter will always include both — but I’ve run into a problem, which is that this list is less diverse than usual, since more authors of color are being published in YA than in adult books. This is a major problem in publishing, and queer books are no exception.

the cover of After Sappho

After Sappho: A Novel by Selby Wynn Schwartz (Sapphic Fiction)

A novel getting longlisted for the Booker prize before its release date is certainly one way to pique my interest! This is told in a series of vignettes from the lives of women — Rina Faccio in 1892, Romaine Brooks in 1902, and Virginia Woolf in 1923 — all of whom find inspiration in Sappho as they forge their own queer identities.

the cover of Fieldwork

Fieldwork: A Forager’s Memoir by Iliana Regan (Queer Memoir)

Iliana Regan is a Michelin star-winning chef, and in this memoir, she explores her lifelong relationship with foraging, alongside discussing her complicated relationship to her gender.

This Unlikely Soil by Andrea Routley (Queer Women Short Stories)

The World and All That It Holds by Aleksandar Hemon (Queer Historical Fiction)

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

Riot Recommendations

I’ve dipped back into the Read Harder 2023 challenge this Riot Recs, and task #3 is: Read a book about activism. Almost every book about queer history is also a book about activism, to be honest, because it’s always been a fight to just be recognized. There are so many incredible books I could choose, but I wanted to highlight a couple you might not have heard of.

the cover of It Was Vulgar And It Was Beautiful

It Was Vulgar and It Was Beautiful: How AIDS Activists Used Art to Fight a Pandemic by Jack Lowery

I just started reading this one, and I am fascinated. It discusses how the art collective Gran Fury helped create branding and propaganda to drum up support for the fight against AIDS, and how these images helped capture media attention and therefore sway the public. This has some great practical takeaways for organizing today.

the cover of Crip Kinship

Crip Kinship: The Disability Justice & Art Activism of Sins Invalid by Shayda Kafai

Disability Justice is a movement that is led by queer and trans disabled people of color. This book looks at the creation of Sins Invalid, an art collective that puts on performances by disabled people to represent their own experiences. This is a valuable glimpse into the challenges and rewards of organizing, especially from a place of accessibility and inclusion for all bodyminds.

All the Links Fit to Click

Do a queer literature word search!

GLAAD announced their GLAAD Media Awards 2023 nominations list, including Outstanding Comic Book, Outstanding Original Graphic Novel/Anthology, and Outstanding Magazine.

6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did) 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. You can also hear me on All the Books or you can read my Book Riot posts.

Happy reading!