Lez Liberty Lit: Silent Book Club


Hey there and welcome to this week’s Lez Liberty Lit!

Things About Queer Books (And Other Books Relevant To Your Interests)

“The history of Native people in this country is, for the most part, poorly taught,” writes Désirée Zamorano at the Los Angeles Review of Books in a review of Marcie Rendon’s Murder on the Red River.

Women on book covers often appear as headless, as having heads but facing away, or as having heads and bodies but facing away. “Walk into a bookstore and see which authors receive what Eugenia Williamson, in a wonderful essay on ‘the implied correlation between feminine imagery and literary inferiority,’ aptly terms the ‘Sexy Back’ or ‘Headless Woman.’ I’ll save you the work: they’re rarely men,” writes Anna Solomon at the Millions.

Good memoir comes from saying what can’t be said.”

What should typography look like in virtual reality?

At the New Yorker, Jia Tolentino wrote about Jenny Zhang’s Sour Heart. And in an interview at Lit Hub with Monika Zaleska, Zhang discusses fiction and non-fiction, political and aesthetic concerns, writing immigration, and family bonds, noting:

“It’s such an extraordinary thing to grow up with a family where you depend on each other so much because the institutions that are supposed to protect you are not quite there, and I wanted to capture that in these stories. So often in stories about immigrants, they’re about second-generation children who rebel and hate their parents and feel so much shame about the culture and country their parents came from. I didn’t want to give into a white American gaze that wants these stories about immigrants hating themselves. I wanted to show families that love each other.”

Honestly the idea of a silent book club is genius.

There are not very many living mothers in fairy tales.

It’s Not the Booker season.

What role do women have in Viking literature?

Read books by people of color. Read these new releases by women in translation. Read these small-press books out in August. Read these books based on your astrological sign. Read these feminist books. Read these books about birds.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. Silent book club is my dream hangout. I like to read alone at bars, but I want a person who will read alone like two seats down from me so we can make eye contact if something ridiculous happens. I accidentally made a friend who also read alone at my favorite bar and we would “hang out” by sitting at opposite ends of the bar not talking to each other at all and it was perfect, but then she moved to North Carolina.

    The end.

    • This is possibly my favourite friendship story of all time.

      I often think of myself as being like a cat – I want to be around people, I just don’t want to have to interact with them unless I feel like it. I want us to sit quietly and do our own thing and occasionally hand each other snacks or maybe once in a while get into deep conversations about interesting ideas when something cool happens to come up.

  2. “I like to read alone at bars, but I want a person who will read alone like two seats down from me so we can make eye contact if something ridiculous happens.” <--- same

  3. I know this has nothing to do with books, but… how can I meet/woo/date/marry/grow old with the girl in the thumbnail? Because hot damn.

  4. Also, apropos of nothing except BOOKS! I just finished

    It is SO GOOD! It examines the effect of a particular event on the different female members of a Métis family ( and a few others, including a Métis cop with a racist partner), and it draws you in so effortlessly, and gives you such an instant sense of each character. I loved it so much – highly recommend, but with trigger warnings for violence/abuse (it’s very well handled – it’s central to the story but doesn’t linger. The women and their own journeys are the focus).

  5. You know when you walk into silent bookclub and hear muffled snickers and giggling. That would totally be me the whole damn time. On a side note, Dragon Loves Tacos is a fucking work of art.

  6. I apologize as this is slightly off-topic from the post itself, but: I want to flail about N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy 1. ending this week and 2. getting a TV series!!!

    It’s fantasy/sci-fi of a caliber I haven’t found in a long time, with unflinching examination of human trauma and resilience… and a ton of casual queer representation, e.g. (tiny spoiler? not really?) even in the face of the apocalypse, nobody is persecuting anyone for their genitals, gender identity, family structure, or sexual preferences and that was really refreshing. I wouldn’t say queer identity is a major theme of the trilogy, but racial tension and prejudice absolutely are, and in the times we are living in a sweeping epic of loss and love like this was exactly what my soul needed (and possibly yours, too).


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