It’s Pride month, and time to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community! 🌈
There’s been a lot happening recently, with the Black Lives Matter protests and the transphobic remarks from JK Rowling, so I thought it would be a good idea to highlight books from these communities, and celebrate their awesome stories! However, as I was going through my own books, I realized I didn’t have a lot of books focusing on these stories. So, I went to Twitter to find some suggestions (As, when in doubt, go to Twitter!)
I picked the top five books I found interesting to me from the threads, and just in case you wanted to look a little further, I included the original threads (as well as for myself, because, let’s be honest, I will probably look through the lists again and want more books 😂).
Now, without further ado, here are my top five book picks!
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.
When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….
But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.
Felix Ever After first caught my eye because of the beautiful cover art, but after reading a sample of the first three chapters, I was ready to hear more of Felix’s story! It’s also a book that interests me, because Kacen Callender is Black, queer and trans, and being able to read a fictional story from an OWN voices author adds extra depth to the story, instead of from someone who hasn’t lived through these experiences.
GLAMOURPUSS by Cat Fitzpatrick
How many errors can one person make?
Enough, it seems, to fill a poetry book
(And poetry is also a mistake).
Oh gentle reader, open it and look;
A gallery of girls Cat used to be,
Expressing plainly, though in janky verse,
Their hope, confusion, and insouciancy;
Embarrassments all giving way to worse;
Stories of hiking, or plastic surgery
Or office jobs, or of this frightful dress
She wore when she was twenty; Sympathy
And ridicule and even ruthlessness
Towards her past. What does she have to lose,
As long as you find something you can use?
Through her poetry, Cat talks about her experience as a transwoman, being raw and honest with it all. As I’ve been wanting to read more poetry recently, I thought this would be a great book to add to my list.
An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
Odd-mannered, obsessive, withdrawn, Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She’s used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, as they accuse, she’d be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remained of her world, save for stories told around the cookfire.
Aster lives in the low-deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, the Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship’s leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster, who they consider to be less than human.
When the autopsy of Matilda’s sovereign reveals a surprising link between his death and her mother’s suicide some quarter-century before, Aster retraces her mother’s footsteps. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer and sowing the seeds of civil war, Aster learns there may be a way off the ship if she’s willing to fight for it.
I originally heard about this book from readwithcindy’s Booktube channel, and I already had it on one of my reading lists. After hearing about how great the characters were, and the books explores the identity and oppression through race, class and gender, I’m adding it to my list of books to read this month. Rivers Solomon is non-binary, and I heard they explore this identity specifically in their novel, which further peaked my interest.
The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.
Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.
I’ve heard this is a great book for those who loved The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (which I loved!), but I’ve also heard this is nothing like The Night Circus 😂 Despite the mixed reviews, I love a good story about traveling performance groups… so hopefully I won’t be disappointed 😂 Anne-Marie McLemore is also a queer Latinx, and is inspired by fairytales and stories from their own childhood, which will be interesting to see how it’s incorporated in The Weight of Feathers.
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour.
Told in verse, The Black Flamingo is about the main character, Michael’s journey as he accepts his identity and becomes involved in the world of drag. After having read a sample of it, I’m excited to get my hands on it and continue reading! I also think it will be interesting reading from the perspective of someone from the UK, as Dean Atta is Black and queer himself, and it’s not a perspective I hear from that often, as a lot of the books I read are from American authors.
I hope you found some fun new books to check out, and I will see you guys next week with a new post!
Thanks for reading, and have an awesome weekend! Happy Pride! 🌈❤
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