Our Queerest Shelves

Bisexual Werebears and Other Queer Shapeshifters

We’re back! Luckily, this was a light week for new releases, so even though there wasn’t a Tuesday newsletter, this one isn’t out of control. I hope you enjoyed your long weekend, if you had one, and let’s talk about queer books!

Prison Books Collective is looking for more queer fiction, especially trans and gay books! The information on how to donate books is on their Instagram!

What do S.A. Cosby, Khaled Hosseini, Sarah Bakewell, and Yahdon Israel have in common? They’ve been guests on Book Riot’s newest podcast, First Edition where co-founder Jeff O’Neal explores the wide bookish world. Subscribe to hear them and stay to hear Book Riot’s editors pick the “it” book of the month.

Bookish Goods

a pin of Nimona with dragon wings

Nimona Recycled Acrylic Pin by FleurMarigold

Everyone is loving the Nimona movie! If you want to carry Nimona everywhere you go, here’s a pin to preorder! $13

New Releases

Because of the holiday, there aren’t many books out this week. Also, the releases I could find aren’t as diverse as I’d like: we need more queer books by and about people of colour!

the cover of A Place for Us

A Place for Us by Brandon J. Wolf (Queer Memoir)

Brandon J. Wolf is an LGBTQ+ activist who is also a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub terror attack. In this memoir, he talks about his journey growing up in a racist and homophobic small town in rural Oregon to finding his community in Orlando — and how that safe space was ripped away. This experience inspired him to become the activist he is today, and A Place for Us reminds us that the fight is not over: “With our backs against the wall,” he writes, “we find a way out together.”

the cover of All About Romance

All About Romance by Daniel Tawse (Nonbinary YA Contemporary) (UK Release)

The U.S. may have paused most of its releases for the Fourth of July, but the UK didn’t! This UK YA release is about Roman, a nonbinary teen in a small town where they feel isolated, especially in terms of dating. When they start getting anonymous postcards in their locker, they think they know who their secret admirer is — but will they be brave enough to act?

A Man of Lies by Ben Crane (Achillean Crime Fiction)

The Beasts of Paris by Stef Penney (Achillean Historical Fiction)

Of Love and Libraries by Brenna Bailey (F/F Romance)

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

Riot Recommendations

Since Nimona is getting so much attention, I thought I’d highlight a couple of other queer books with shapeshifting main characters! Now, “gay shapeshifter books” is a very specific genre, but I’ve gone in a different direction with these two.

the cover of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl

Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor

This is your favorite queer author’s favorite queer book. It’s praised by Carmen Maria Machado, Eileen Myles, Michelle Tea, Maggie Nelson, and many more. It follows Paul, a queer person in 1993 who can change their body at will: from Riot Grrrl to leather cub. Paul travels across the country, celebrating the joys and mourning the losses of the queer community in the early ’90s.

the cover of Bearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw

Bearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw

Zelda is a bisexual plus-sized woman working in the fashion world — who is also a werebear. Which is really damaging her wardrobe. This book is filled with wacky romantic hijinks as she plays bodyguard for a fae nobleman while crushing on a werewolf. (There’s also a female love interest, but I won’t spoil who.) This was such a fun read, and it was a real shock when I read Khaw’s other books and found out they usually write gruesome horror novels!

This was a limited release, so the physical copy is hard to get ahold of, but you can find the ebook on Kobo.

All the Links Fit to Click

Happy Disability Pride Month 2023! (LGBTQ Reads)

Minnie Bruce Pratt, Lesbian Poet, Essayist, and Activist, Has Died at 76

9 must-read books encapsulating the queer Asian experience

Book Ban Corner

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!