Hey hi, everyone!
Happy first birthday to the Rainbow Reading column! I’m honored and delighted to have pestered y’all for the last year, and I cannot wait to do it all over again. I’ve gotten to holler about so many amazing books, and y’all in the comments have introduced me to so many new favs, and you’ve even indulged my stupid jokes and overcommitted-bits while you were at it! (I particularly appreciate that last one.)
One last note — the HarperCollins Union’s strike continues with still (!) no word from management. There are some HarperCollins titles on this list, since the union isn’t calling for a boycott, and Rainbow Reading wholeheartedly supports the union as they pursue a fair contract for their workers. Visit their linktree here to learn more about how you can support them!
So, once more with feeling. 2023’s off to an exciting start, so let’s make like a hat and go on ahead; this week on Rainbow Reading, we’ve got:
Shelf Care: Reviews, Essays, and other Things of Note
- GET HYPE GET HYPE GET HYPE: our ever-beloved and intrepid Casey has pulled together the dreamiest list of 2023’s most anticipated queer books!
- Marisa Crane’s rad-as-hell debut I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself is out next week!
- Don’t forget to preorder Amelia Possanza’s Lesbian Love Story , coming out this spring!
- The New Life is finally out, so you can come holler with me about this poignant examination of queer literary bravery during Oscar Wilde’s trial
- Whole lotta good romance coming your way too!
- Taleen Voskuni’s debut Sorry, Bro has my undivided attention – after her tech bro bf fumbles his proposal beyond all possible comprehension (🤢), Armenian-American Nareh is sent to a series of Armenian cultural events in the city by her mother in the hopes that she’ll find a nice Armenian boy. Instead, it’s not the boys who catch Nareh’s eye…
- Last time, I described Behind The Scenes as “Hot Lesbian Filmmaker Learns To Love Again” but I didn’t do adequate justice to the pugs in this charming romance novel. So yeah, it’s Hot Lesbian Filmmaker Learns To Love Again But There Are Show-Stealing Pugs And Also Gay ASMR (GaySMR?)
- Put-upon wedding planner finds love at a cat cafe in Karis Walsh’s latest!
- A queer romance novelist coming into her own in her 70s pays tribute to her lost lover and stands up to homophobia past and present in The Queering
- I’ve been seeing this one everywhere – Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute is a friends-to-enemies-to-lovers romance featuring some sweet bi rep!
- Bisexual chaos in Hollywood in Sizzle Reel – this one comes out later this spring!
- Anita Kelly, author of the delicious Love and Other Disasters and my personal fav Wherever Is Your Heart, is back this March with Something Wild and Wonderful!
- Adam Silvera’s YA hit They Both Die At The End is being adapted into a Netflix series by Bad Bunny, one of the Bridgerton writers, and one of theYellowjackets producers!
- Got a hankering for some sweet YA romance?
- Camryn Garrett’s latest, Friday I’m In Love, is “a love letter to romantic comedies, sweet sixteen blowouts, black joy and queer pride” and I’m simply smitten with this protagonist throwing herself a coming-out party.
- Two weeks until 6 Time We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did) comes out!
- You know I’m gonna love it when the title is a reference to The Breakfast Club: As You Walk On By is the story of a promposal-gone-wrong and a paean to those Deep Meaningful Conversations you have at house parties.
- There’s also an interesting trend of YA books dealing with the tangled feelings that arise when our lives online and IRL are at odds
- Out of Character: coming in early February, Jenna Miller’s debut is billed as “Dumplin’meetsGeekerella” and “a queer, body-positive love story that explores online and offline relationships in all of their messiness”
- Brighter Than The Moon: This one’s a love triangle story about a vlogger, her long-distance crush, and the best friend she sends to scout out whether her crush is who he says he is. If you’re a David Levithan or Adam Silvera fan, this one’s for you!
- I’m a total sucker for interconnected short stories and novellas — this collection from Lambda Award finalist Andrea Routley, set in the Western Canadian wilderness, balances being pensive and profound with startlingly inventive premises (“A dog that bites, a bear suffering from a hemorrhoid, an aggressive willow tree, berried-up Dungeness crabs and erotic mussels” ….???!!!!)
- Fans of M. E. Girard’s Girl Mans Up will be delighted to know that her next book, Then Everything Happens at Once, hits shelves at the end of this month!
- Cody Daigle-Orians’ (@AceDadAdvice on Instagram) guide to living your best asexual life is out at the end of February! (Or, if you want it sooner, it comes out in the UK in a couple weeks, and Blackwells UK will ship to the US for free!)
- Astral projection, queer history, and Stranger Things vibes: Another Dimension of Us is somehow about interdimensional time travel, the AIDS crisis, first love, lightning strikes, a Murder House, and more, and it sounds absolutely awesome.
- After Sappho, Selby Wynn Schwartz’s hybrid novel about the fictionalized lives of queer history icons, was longlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize and comes out here in the States in a couple weeks!
- Gay romance meets frat slasher horror —The Pledgecomes out in February!
- Aleksandar Hemon is back withThe World and All It Holdsat the end of January!
- Such Pretty Flowers, K. L. Cerra’s debut psychological thriller, has total Southern-Gothic-Daphne-du-Maurier-but-GAY energy.
- Don’t forget to preorder your copy of Casey Plett’s reissued collection A Safe Girl to Love — hearing Casey read from this book a few months ago gave me chills so powerful I STILL haven’t recovered.
Autocorrect: Books content from the last couple weeks at Autostraddle!
As ever, as always: we’ve had some absolutely banging books coverage here at Autostraddle over the last two weeks:
- Heather reviewed Seasparrow!
- If you didn’t listen to me when I literally told you first thing to read Casey’s list of Winter 2023 titles, here is your chance to redeem yourself.
- Casey also gathered up this awesome list of Eight New Queer Indigenous Books!
- Lauren spoke with Nicole Morse about Selfie Aesthetics: Seeing Trans Feminist Futures in Self-Representational Art!
- Stef reviewed Alex D. Ketchum’s Ingredients for Revolution (and I’m absolutely in love with how Stef brings these beloved spaces to life in their review – how have you got me yearning for a cafe on the other side of the country that I’ve never visited before???)
- Casey chose Kiss Her Once For Me as the standout sapphic holiday romance of the year!
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.