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Rainbow Reading: Book Recommendations From Hot People Just Hit Different

Feature image photo by Westend61 via Getty Images

A book in faded colors of the rainbow is open, and the words RAINBOW READING are on top of it.
illustration by A. Andrews

Hey howdy, pals!

I hope this tail end of summer has been treating you kindly — I’ve been reading outside as much as possible, listening to that Lofi Beats playlist for hours on end, eating lots of fresh bread, and making some ill-advised trips to the bookstore. I thought I knew what my TBR roster was, but no — Nona the Ninth arrived on my doorstep (so now naturally I have to reread Gideon and Harrow too just to, ahem, refresh my memory. No other reason. 😉) and I was recommended A Memory Called Empire, which rocketed to the top of the list. What can I say, book recommendations from hot people just hit different. I’m a simple gal. (Hotties, share your recs in the comments!)

This little run of sci-fi and genre fiction has been such a pleasant surprise; it’s been a long time since I had to get stuck in to something so imaginatively rigorous since I’m usually more of a realism/nonfiction gal, and I’ve found it refreshing and invigorating. What a fun time!

Alrighty, let’s make like a Vespa and scoot. On this week’s Rainbow Reading, we’ve got:

Shelf Care: Reviews, Essays, and other Things of Note

“These are more like stories of young people coming into themselves. There’s confusion as to what they really want, what they desire. But there’s also a freeness to the way they consider these parts to themselves, even set against the rigidly gendered backdrop of the fashion industry.”

— Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya in her review of Body Grammar

Autocorrect: Books content from the last couple weeks at Autostraddle!

Small Press Spotlight

Hybrid poetry-essays? You know that’ll get my attention! Dream Rooms is “part essay, part poem, part fever dream journal entry” and spans trans identity, queer sexuality, ecology, body politics, and more. This blurb from Chase Joynt got my attention: “A quick-witted, momentum-filled, tender rebellion of a book.” Count me in. You can preorder from Bookhug Press here — can’t wait to celebrate its publication on October 18!

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 protected] 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.

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Yashwina Canter is a reader, writer, and dyke putting down roots in Portland, Oregon. You can find her online at @yashwinacanter.

Yashwina has written 53 articles for us.


  1. i preordered nona a while back and am excited for her to arrive soon! but i’m torn – do i do a reread of gideon and harrow to refresh (i would say i don’t really remember most of what happened in harrow but i cannot claim to have understood it the first time haha) and accept that i’ll be way behind the internet, or do i just go in cold and hope for the best?

  2. I love this book coverage!! Our Wives Under The Sea remains a true favorite of mine but I can’t wait to dig into others listed here. I especially appreciate the small press shout-outs. Thank you for writing!!

  3. Great news about Becky Chambers! And in related good news for me, A Prayer for the Crown-shy just became available for me at my library!

    And The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri and This is Why They Hate Us by Aaron H Aceves are “in transit”. Just in time for the weekend. I love my library.

  4. Stay for the speech after Becky Chambers, where Arkady Martine thanks her wife in her speech, which is lovely as well. Loved a Memory Called Empire and looking forward to A Desolation called Peace.

  5. I never look at book recommendations, it’s so stupid for me. All people have different tastes and desires. I’d rather work than choose a book for someone I don’t know. By the way, I recently found a duplicate content checker that made my job easier, you can check out that. This saved time I can spend on myself. I think it’s much better than spending on others.

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