Book Recommendations for Pride


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Book Recommendations for Pride

Edited: Jun 14, 2020, 12:56 pm

I'm expecting this to be a messy thread in which I'm mostly talking to myself, but anyone is welcome to talk, make suggestions, or point out errors.

Last year, before mass layoffs of its book bloggers, B&N posted an article about science fiction characters who are queer men. Some of the books discussed were written by queer authors.

Science fiction novels and authors:
Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delaney
Kameron Hurley’s The Stars Are Legion and The Light Brigade
David Gerrold
Marlon JamesBlack Leopard, Red Wolf
Kai Ashante Wilson's The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps and A Taste of Honey
Docile by K.M. Szpara

Mainstream authors mentioned:
Carson McCullers
Truman Capote
Gore Vidal
James Baldwin

Edited: Jul 19, 2020, 9:28 am

From "100 Unapologetically Queer Authors Share the (LGBTQ) Books that Changed Their Lives" by Oprah Magazine,

1. In at the Deep End by Kate Davies
Dahlia Adler, author of Out on Good Behavior

2. Family Dancing by David Leavitt
for Rumaan Alam, author of Leave the World Behind

3. Heaven's Coast by Mark Doty
Elissa Altman, author of Motherland: A Memoir of Love, Loathing, and Longing

4. Beebo Brinker by Ann Bannon
Carol Anshaw, author of Right after the Weather

5. Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson
Zaina Arafat, author You Exist Too Much

6. Bastard out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things

7. What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
Fatimah Asghar, author of If They Come for Us

8. Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives
Alison Bechdel, author of Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama

9. Men on Men Vol. 1
Mark Bibbins, author of 13th Balloon

10. Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (as inspiration)
Amy Bloom, author of White Houses

11. The Swimming-Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst
Christopher Bollen, author of A Beautiful Crime

12. Canary by Canary Conn
Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs

13. Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
Sarah Broom, author of The Yellow House

14. and 36. Ceremonies: Prose and Poetry by Essex Hemphill
Jericho Brown, author of The Tradition
Casey Gerald, author of There Will Be No Miracles Here

15. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Kacen Callender, author of Felix Ever After

16. Poems and Prose by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Casey Cep, author of Furious Hours

17. Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai
K-Ming Chang, author of Bestiary

18. Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson
Bill Clegg, author of The End of the Day

19. and 20. Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
Garrard Conley, author of Boy Erased
and Dominique Crenn, author of Rebel Chef: In Search of What Matters

21. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Emily Danforth, author of Plain Bad Heroines

22. Moab Is My Washpot: An Autobiography, by Stephen Fry
Kate Davies, author of In at the Deep End

23. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde
Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Patsy

24. Loving in the War Years by Cherríe Moraga
Carolina de Robertis, author of Cantoras

25. Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
Jaquira Diaz, author of Ordinary Girls

26. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Naoise Dolan, author of Exciting Times

27. The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister by Anne Lister
Emma Donoghue, author of The Pull of the Stars

28. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Mark Doty, author of What Is the Grass

29. Numbers by John Rechy
Benjamin Dreyer, author of Dreyer's English

30. Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles
Gaby Dunn, author of Bury the Lede

31. and 34. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Cameron Esposito, author of Save Yourself
Emil Ferris, author of My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

32. and 33. Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson
Melissa Faliveno, author of Tomboyland
Melissa Febos, author of Abandon Me

35. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (inspiration)
Claire Rudy Foster, author of Shine of the Ever

(#36 is above, as a repeat.)

37. The Motion of Light in Water by Samuel R. Delany
Masha Gessen, author of Surviving Autocracy

38. Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman
John Glynn, author of Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer

39. My Tender Matador by Pedro Lemebel
Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness

40. Women by Chloe Caldwell
Katie Heaney, author of Would You Rather?

41. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Katie Hill, author of She Will Rise: Becoming a Warrior in the Battle for True Equality

42. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
A.M. Homes, author of Days of Awe

43. The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
Genevieve Hudson, author of Boys of Alabama

44. Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran
Richie Jackson, author of Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son

45. Child of the Sun by Kyle Onstott and Lance Horner
Marlon James, author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf

46. Technical Difficulties by June Jordan
Chelsey Johnson, author of Stray City

47. Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South by E. Patrick Johnson
Saeed Jones, author of How We Fight for Our Lives

48. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Peter Kispert, author of I Know You Know Who I Am

49. Trash by Dorothy Allison
Gabrielle Korn, author of Everybody (Else) Is Perfect: How I Survived Hypocrisy, Beauty, Clicks, and Likes

50. Am I Blue?: Coming Out from the Silence
Sam Lansky, author of Broken People

51. Edinburgh by Alexander Chee
Celia Laskey, author of Under the Rainbow

52. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
Malinda Lo, author of A Line in the Dark

53. A Compass Error by Sybille Bedford
Daniel M. Lavery, author of Something That May Shock and Discredit You

54. Meet Me There by Samuel Ace
Andrea Lawlor, author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl

55. Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration by David Wojnarowicz
Paul Lisicky, author of Later: My Life at the Edge of the World

56. House Rules by Heather Lewis
T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

57. Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer by John Glynn
Greg Mania, author of Born to Be Public

58. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
Mesha Maren, author of Sugar Run

59. Something Queer Is Going on: A Mystery by Elizabeth Levy
Ilana Masad, author of All My Mother's Lovers

60. She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan
Sarah McBride, author of Tomorrow Will Be Different

These are only the recommendations. The article has explanations of each choice.

(I'll be back to continue entering the books, authors, and touchstone formatting.)

Edited: Jul 18, 2020, 10:14 pm

>2 aspirit:
I've only read a few of these. A few I own now. And a few more I have on my wishlist.

A couple books mentioned above that have stuck with me the most are:

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters and She's Not There by Jenny Boylan.

First, Tipping the Velvet. I can't now remember if I read the book first or watched the BBC production first. Both are fantastic. I'm not really into historical fiction, but Sarah Waters is a brilliant author of this genre, if that's what you could call it. I love all of her books and I love all of the BBC mini-series that have been created from them. Nan and Kitty stuck in my head long after reading this book. And Sarah Waters is one of those authors who, every time I see one of her books for sale I'm tempted to buy it. Even if I already own a copy.

Jenny Boylan's book is the first book I read by a trans author about a transgender person's life and experiences. I worked in a bookstore at the time and I would pick this book up during my breaks and read it in one of the overstuffed chairs in the middle of the gender studies section. I had recently met a person identifying as transgender for the first time and this book was an eye-opener. I've since read several books of fiction and non-fiction about all different types of trans people, but this one really made an impact. Boylan is a voice of authority and I follow her activism and education to this day.

Some of the other books that made an impression at the time that I read them were books by Jeanette Winterson, Rita Mae Brown, and The Awakening by Kate Chopin.
The latter I originally read in high school and I loved it. I remember at the time, thinking that it was a very lesbian novel and a very feminist novel. I recently found a copy at a used bookstore and I re-read it this year. It did not nearly affect me in the same way as it did when I read it 20+ years ago. I also recently re-acquired Rubyfruit Jungle by Brown and Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Winterson. Both were among the very first lesbian books I read (Rubyfruit Jungle, the first!) when exploring my sexuality. I remember loving them at the time, but for the life of me could not even tell you the plots now. But they are currently on my TBR (again) stack.

Edited: May 31, 2021, 8:14 am

I realized I didn't finish recording >2 aspirit: the list of over 100 recommendations.

61. (also 26.) The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Casey McQuiston, author of Red, White & Royal Blue

62. The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
Daniel Mendelsohn, author of Three Rings: A Tale of Exile, Narrative, and Fate

63. (also 21.) Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Kate Milliken, author of Kept Animals

64. In the Life: A Black Gay Anthology
Darnell Moore, author of No Ashes in the Fire

65. A Different Person by James Merrill
Benjamin Moser, author of Sontag: Her Life and Work

66. Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg
Eileen Myles, author of Evolution

67. Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson
Patrick Nathan, author of Some Hell

68 and 70. The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
Chani Nicholas, author of You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance
Camille Perri, author of When Katie Met Cassidy


71. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Tommy Pico, author of Feed

72. (Orlando) Natalia Borges Polesso, author of Amora

73. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
Rory Power, author of Burn Our Bodies Down

74. Fall On Your Knees by Anne Marie MacDonald
Jordy Rosenberg, author of Confessions of the Fox



77. Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
Steven Rowley, author of The Editor




81. The Complete Claudine by Colette
Farrar, Strauss & Giroux-3PL
Cathleen Schine, author of The Grammarians

82. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Sarah Schulman, author of Maggie Terry



85. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Carter Sickels, author of The Prettiest Star

86. Carmen Giménez Smith, author of Be Recorder

87. Red Dirt Revival by Tim'm West
Danez Smith, author of Homie














May 30, 2021, 8:39 pm

I've been posting recent female queer speculative fiction I read on twitter.

2019 and 2020 are collected on my dreamwidth and this is the twitter thread for 2021 which I need to add to.

Highlights include:

Sarah Pinkser's A Song For A New Day about trying to play live music in a postpandemic world that has moved all performance to virtual spaces, which won the Nebula (it came out pre-Covid, but the award happened amidst it all)

Arkady Martine's A Memory Called Empire which won the Hugo - a young ambassador from a small space station culture is sent into the heart of the neighbouring Aztec-like space empire.

Samantha Shannon's Priory of the Orange Tree Epic fantasy with dragons, East meets West, and an alternate world whose historical roots are not the usual one used for fantasy.

Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth which is a whole lot of fun, the sequel Harrow the Ninth is wonderfully disorienting.

Kameron Hurley's The Light Brigade (mentioned above) is a reply to Heinlein's Starship Troopers, corporation employed soldiers are beamed around the solar system to fight boogieman Martians, but not everyone arrives the way they left.

This is How You Lose the Time War Rival agents in a long drawn out war across time and space start a correspondence that leads to passion and duplicity. Beautifully written.

Charlie Jane Anders City in the Middle of the Night On a tidally locked planet, a shy young woman from the dark side of town becomes enamoured with a rebel from the elite - and then there’s several more platonic relationships among the main characters that are just as interesting, alongside a fascinating first contact story. Everything I want from sf.

CL Polk's Kingston Cycle novellas: political intrigue and hidden magics coming to light as our heros try to right a great wrong and change the way their country works.

Nghi Vo's The Singing Hills Cycle novellas: beautiful tales of exile and choices made.

May 31, 2021, 4:00 am

Sensible Footwear by Kate Charlesworth is on my To Read shelf for June or July.

May 31, 2021, 4:47 am

Oh, and the next books I have to read are:

The Unbroken

We Are Satellites

Victories Greater Than Death