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Rainbow Reading: Happy “Our Wives Under The Sea” Week to All Who Celebrate

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

Hi hi, friends!

I’m sure you can all already imagine how little chill I have this week: my favorite book of the last [redacted amount of time], Our Wives Under the Sea, came out in the U.S. this week, I’ve been banging pots and pans together about it in this column for as long as the grown-ups left me unsupervised, and I cannot WAIT to have more friends to discuss this marvel with. Kayla wrote a superb review (with a superb title) and I’ll be interviewing Julia as well —you know how we get here at Autostraddle when we’re fully #obsessed with a book! Between this one and Chris Belcher’s Pretty Baby, it’s been a very, very good time.

The best part is, there are many amazing new books out — and many, many more good ones on the horizon too. I’ve included some of the September and October books I’ve got my eye on in here, and although it feels ridiculous to imagine autumn while it’s ninety bazillion degrees outside, it’s nice to know how much there is to look forward to.

Alrighty, 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

  • New Becky Chambers, too! A Prayer for the Crown-Shy is out this week, and I cannot wait to attend Becky’s Portland reading — if you’re going to be there on Friday, come say hi!
  • Gay Vampire Summer? Sure seems that way!
    • Baby Teeth by Meg Grehan — vampires in verse! Remember when YA novels-in-verse had that whole moment back in the 00s? I hope that’s coming back…
    • Youngblood by Sasha Laurens —vampire dark academia! This one’s out next week, and gets this week’s Trashwina Banter Blurb Award: “This is the lesbian vampire boarding school story I’ve always needed, but it’s smarter, nastier, and more fun than I ever could have dreamed,” according to Kylie Schachte
  • Yashwina Canter Plays The Long Game: Jeremy Atherton Lin, author of NBCC-Award-winning Gay Bar, just sold his next book: a novel about gay marriage, gay partnership, and the ways that queer people have built lives and pursued stability both within and without legal structures. Sign me tf up.
  • Lots of fun gay food romance happening now too — first there was Love and Other Disasters, and now there is The Romance Recipe!
  • LOTE is out in the U.S. at long last, and I’m consumed with envy that I won’t be in NYC to attend this event next week. You lucky shits! I hope you all go and I hope you all have the best time and make me fantastically jealous, because that is the best way by far to celebrate the arrival of Shola’s brilliant bubble of a book.

  • Ever since Kayla told me about this one last week, I’ve been smitten from afar — Sirens and Muses by Antonia Angress is an art school riff on Trust Fall, The Secret History, and Writers and Lovers, a social and creative coming-of-age story set in 2011 against the backdrop of #Occupy, economic turmoil, and more.
  • My friend Ahna has been live-texting me her read of the latest K-Ming Chang, and Gods of Want sounds breathtaking! (Plus, if you haven’t read Bestiary yet, you’re in for a treat.
  • I’ve been yelling at everyone in earshot about how much fun I had reading Body Grammar, and it seems like a nice time to revisit Jules’ interview with Angel Olsen from a few weeks ago or her list of books about queer selfhood from Electric Lit!
  • I keep hearing excellent things about Louis Bayard’s book Jackie and Me, which I mentioned a few weeks ago! (I do stand by my Jackie x Marilyn stance, however.)
  • Technicolor Space Opera? Oh hell yes! August Kitko and the Mechas from Space came out last week and has one of the most delightfully bonkers sci-fi premises I’ve seen in a minute. I’m excited about this one!
  • What’s the word on The Work Wife? The blurbs on this one are very impressive: power, ambition, and sacrifice collide amidst Hollywood glamour!
  • I was so delighted to discover more desi queer lit in the last installment of RR, and it’s led me to this fantastic list from bookstagrammer Maya of @mnmbooks!
  • Beloved paranormal mystery webcomic Blackwater makes its graphic novel debut next week too — preorder this one here!
  • Revised, reissued, and coming this fall: TikTok sensation Piper CJ’s The Night and Its Moon!
  • Are we staring down the barrel of Hot Memoir Fall? Be honest.
    • Chelsea Manning’s long-anticipated memoir README.txt has such a perfect title.
    • Autostraddle Beloved Jeanna Kadlec’s memoir Heretic comes out the following week; it’s going to be a very good October!
  • CHAOS MILF ROMANCE: Also this October, Mistakes Were Made is a cheeky, playful, and sweet age-gap romance!
  • Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology came out a couple months ago, but I think I might be drifting into another one of my poetry moods, and this one sounds perfect for reading outside while making the most of the summer…

Armfield has written a novel so chock-full of stunning sentences that that urge to scream needled its way into me throughout my firstandsecond reads of the book. The language inOur Wives Under The Seais like a fork’s tines moving through perfectly cooked fish: grotesque and lovely all at once, flesh and skin pulled from bone.

—Kayla is, as ever, right about Our Wives Under the Sea

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

Another couple of banger weeks for books coverage!

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.

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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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.


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