Feature image by Oksana Horiun via Getty Images/iStock
Aaaaaand we’re back! It’s been a grueling, intense, and heavy week and as of right now when I’m drafting this note, it’s only Monday. How is everyone doing? In these moments of political fury and anguish, I find myself really ambivalent about pleasure reading. Escapism feels like a luxury I haven’t earned, but equally, I know better than to argue with theeeee bell hooks about how self care and pleasure in the face of oppression are radical acts. All that to say, I’m sitting next to a stack of some truly delicious gay novels, including some of the sports romances recommended by Sally, and I can’t tell if I have the heart to start reading them yet or not. A fictional happy-ever-after doesn’t always satisfy when it’s a real-life happy-ever-after that I desperately, deeply want. (I will settle for happy-sometimes-occasionally-after if I must.)
Anyway, it’s funny to think that I thought this installment of Rainbow Reading would be all jokes about Elon Musk buying twitter and the internet going all heart-eyes for Heartstopper on Netflix. This time around, I’m experimenting with the ratio of cool social media tidbits, so let me know what y’all think. Whew! What a weird couple weeks!
A Quick Rainbow Reading Guest Note From Managing Editor Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya:
This weekend —Saturday May 7 at 8 p.m. Eastern to be exact —our pals at Loyalty Bookstore are holding a virtual BIG GAY FUNDRAISER to support trans and queer youth in Florida and Texas. All funds collected from ticket sales (it’s pay-what-you-will starting at $1!) and 10% of profits from book sales for the event will be split between Zebra Coalition, Equality Texas, and Lambda Legal. I will be reading at the event, and so will my girlfriend Kristen Arnett (and it’s our first time being featured on the same lineup! GAY). We’re joined by lots of fine folks whose work you might be familiar with, like T Kira Māhealani Madden, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Alyssa Cole, Sarah Gailey, and MORE! Plus, it’s hosted by Rainbow Reading fav, @lupita.reads! It’s gonna be a very good, very gay time. Register here! Okay, I’m passing the mic back to Yashwina! xoxo
Let’s make like a banana and split. On this week’s Rainbow Reading, we’ve got:
Shelf Care: Reviews, Essays, and other Things of Note
- So many hotly anticipated queer books are out this week, including Casey McQuiston’s latest, I Kissed Shara Wheeler!
- Michelle Hart’s We Do What We Do In The Dark is also out now, and you all know how eager I’ve been for this one!
- If you’d like to be annoyed by something that isn’t The News, here is a hotly-debated advice column letter from a writer upset that their friend wasn’t sufficiently enthusiastic about the personal essays they shared
- Also out this week is The Love That Dares, an anthology of LGBTQ+ letters from throughout history.
- What are y’all’s thoughts about rejection letters?
- “This singular history of a prison, and the queer women and trans people held there, is a window into the policing of queerness and radical politics in the twentieth century.” Historian Hugh Ryan’s book about The Women’s House of Detention is out next week, and after so thoroughly enjoying his book When Brooklyn Was Queer, I’m really stoked for more of his work!
- Once again I am asking cis journalists to stop being weird about their subjects’ pronouns:
- This essay from author Ilana Masad’s substack about caregiving, comfort, and elderly cats got me in my feelings
- Virology got a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly this week!
- IT STARTED OUT WITH A FISH, HOW DID IT END UP LIKE THIS, IT WAS ONLY A FISH, IT WAS ONLY A FISH – okay, okay, I’ll stop now, but Sabrina Imbler’s final column for NYT is delightful
- I love Debutiful’s events, and this one in support of TGI Justice looks amazing — ft Ilana Masad, SJ Sindu, and Emma Copley Eisenberg!
Autocorrect: Books content from the last couple weeks at Autostraddle!
Damn, it’s been a GOOD few weeks for Autostraddle Books coverage!!
- Em reviewed In Sensorium by Tanaïs!
- Sally came to my rescue and collected 10 queer sports romance novels!
- Heather reviewed Flung Out of Space, the graphic novel about Patricia Highsmith and the origins of Carol!
- Riese is back with Things I Read That I Loved!
- Casey rounded up the best Butch romance novels too!
- Heather also reviewed I Kissed Shara Wheeler!
- Drew reviewed We Do What We Do In The Dark!
That’s all she wrote, folks! If you’re a queer writer, particularly an early-career queer writer: I’d love to hear about the cool things you’re up to so that I can share links to your published essays, book reviews, short stories, poems, and longform features on LGBTQ+ topics! Please email me links for consideration at email@example.com with the subject line “Rainbow Reading Submission” — I’m an avid browser-tab-collector, and I especially want to hear from you if you’ve just landed your first publication or first major byline.