Our Queerest Shelves

Drag Is Not a Crime

One of today’s new releases is a Harlequin Medical Romance between two Black women, and it warms my heart to see LGBTQ books in places that used to be so very straight (and white). Little victories!

Today’s featured Bookish Good (that gives this newsletter its title) is raising money for the Tennessee Equality Project. Even if you don’t need another tee shirt, consider donating to this organization working for equality for LGBTQ people in Tennessee.

Looking for fascinating stories, informed takes, useful advice, and more drawn from our collective experience as power readers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and bookish professionals? Subscribe to The Deep Dive, a biweekly newsletter to inform and inspire readers, delivered to your inbox! Your first read (The Power Reader’s Guide to Reading Logs & Trackers) is on the house. Check out all the details and choose your membership level at

Bookish Goods

Drag is Not a Crime Shirt by StangirlThings

I first saw this DARE parody shirt on Critical Role (a quite queer D&D show) and fell in love with it. Now you can get it and have $5 go toward the Tennessee Equality Project! Available in S to 3XL sizes. $25

New Releases

cover of the archive undying

The Archive Undying by Emma Mieko Candon (Queer Sci-Fi)

In the Downworld Sequence, AI gods rule. Khuon Mo is one robotic god who turned against creations, striking down a whole city. But before it died, it brought back its favorite child, Sunai. In the 17 years since, Sunai has been running away from his destiny, escaping with drugs and men. But one of the men he sleeps with leads him right back to the dangerous politics of AI gods. This is described as a “sci-fi series where AI deities and brutal police states clash, wielding giant robots steered by pilot-priests with corrupted bodies”!

the cover of Daddy Boy

Daddy Boy by Emerson Whitney (Nonbinary Memoir)

In 2017, Emerson was divorcing their dominatrix wife that they called Daddy, and was feeling completely lost. They dive into storm chasing, and along the way, they remember the father figures in their life, trying to put together their own relationship to masculinity as an adult. Emerson explains, “We often look to our gender roles as a sort of map for aging. I wanted to know what the process looked like without that: not man-ness, not-woman-ness.”

Twin Babies to Reunite Them by Ann McIntosh (F/F Romance)

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield (Sapphic Speculative Fiction) (Paperback Rerelease)

the cover of Twin Babies to Reunite Them

The Red Scholar’s Wake by Aliette de Bodard, narrated by Aoife Hinds (Sapphic Fantasy) (Audiobook Rerelease)

Hearts Forged in Dragon Fire by Erica Hollis (Lesbian F/F YA Fantasy)

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake, narrated by Krystal Hammond (Sapphic YA Contemporary) (Audiobook Rerelease)

Negative Money by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram (Nonbinary Poetry)

Song of My Softening by Omotara James (Queer Poetry)

God Themselves by Jae Nichelle, narrated by the author (Queer Poetry) (Audiobook Rerelease)

Begin Transmission: The Trans Allegories of the Matrix by Tilly Bridges (Nonfiction)

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

Riot Recommendations

Today, I’m returning again to the 2023 Read Harder Challenge! The next task up is #12: Read a nonfiction book about BIPOC and/or queer history, but since I just covered that in Pride is a Protest, let’s skip to #13: Read an author local to you.

Obviously, this depends on where you are! I live in BC, Canada, and it probably comes as no shock to say that there are a lot of queer authors to choose from in the Vancouver and Victoria areas. Here are just two!

the cover of Pride Puppy

Robin Stevenson

Robin Stevenson has been writing queer YA and kids’ books since 2010! She has Pride books for babies (Pride Colors), young kids (Pride Puppy!), and tweens/teens (Pride), along with a ton of other books, both fiction and nonfiction. I also appreciate the she does writing about abortion access (My Body My Choice: The Fight for Abortion Rights as well as the sapphic YA novel Under Threat). Oh, and she regularly sponsors and raises money for refugees coming to the area. What a fantastic person.

the cover of The Gospel of Breaking

Jillian Christmas

Jillian Christmas is a queer, Afro-Caribbean author whose first book is a poetry collection called The Gospel of Breaking. Her work often discusses colonialism as well as queerness. In 2021, she won the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers. I also highly recommend her picture book The Magic Shell, which follows an ungendered child character traveling through time to meet different generations of their ancestors.

All the Links Fit to Click

12 Sapphic Roller Derby Books for When You Miss the Track (The Lesbrary)

The 10 Most Highly Anticipated Sapphic Books Out in the Rest of 2023 (The Lesbrary)

the cover of And Tango Makes Three

Authors of And Tango Makes Three sue over Don’t Say Gay law that got their book banned in a Florida school (Pink News)

Ferndale library adds more LGBTQ+ books after “Hide the Pride campaign attempt to remove them — this is a heartwarming response to anti-LGBTQ censorship: the community raised money to replace the books plus lots more!

Book Bans Be Damned: Chicago’s Queer-Owned Bookstores Won’t Stop Fighting For LGBTQ+ Community (Block Club Chicago)

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

Happy reading!