We may earn a commission through product links on this page. But we only recommend stuff we love.

Rainbow Reading: The 2022 Lambda Literary Award Winners, Erotic Cookbooks, and More!

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, everyone!

Mercury stationed direct a couple weeks ago, and to be honest, it’s had more kick than the retrograde did. (All of which is to say, I’m blaming space for the fact that I’m going through it.) Trying to surround myself with nice things, at present, so I’m curled up on my best friend’s couch with their absurdly tiny dog and a big ol hefty stack of novels — including an elusive, long-sought-after paperback of Jeanne Cordova’s autobiographical novel about lesbian nuns, Kicking the Habit! I’ve been looking for a secondhand copy of this one for a while, and if there was ever a time I needed good luck it was now, so I’m thankful.

What are you reading right now? Is Pride month being kind to you? Are you surrounded with the queer art that feeds your brain peace and wonder at the creativity of our community? Are hot smart gays making you laugh? I sure hope so.

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

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

“fellas, is it gay to—”
  • Louis Bayard has written a novel from the perspective of Lem Billings, JFK’s “””””super close friend”””””” called Jackie & Me, and if the photo above is anything to go by,,,,,,,,, well. 👀
    (I mean, in my heart of hearts I wish Marilyn Monroe and Jackie had run off together because frankly both of them were way too good for JFK but that’s a conversation for another day)
  • On the LGBTQ&A Podcast, Jeffrey Masters interviews Danica Roem about her new memoir, Burn The Page and it’s a great conversation!
  • Andrew Holleran, author of the classic Dancer from the Dance, is back with a new novel — The Kingdom of Sand sounds like an elegiac queer Florida masterpiece, and I need someone to text me when Kristen Arnett drops her take on it.
  • The fine folks of Eater have written a history of erotic cookbooks. The innuendoes write themselves.
  • “It’s exactly what I want.” Drew’s got me really excited about Tahara with her latest review for Autostraddle!
  • Historical M/F bisexual chaos romance? As of last week, Cat Sebastian is back with The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes!
  • It is going to be wildly difficult for anything to follow Rainbow Rainbow, but I’m still ravenous for more queer short fiction — so I’m excited about Fruiting Bodies, which came out last week!
  • Author of Cool for the Summer, Dahlia Adler is back with Home Field Advantage which sounds right up my street — y’all know I’m a simple girl. Can’t help being what I am.
  • It’s a book, but not like a book-book, but this is my column so I say it counts — The Book of Queer is a lighthearted and loving homage to the queer heroes of history, and this documentary series features a host of beloved queer celebs! It’s streaming now on Discovery+ and looks like a delightful way to spend your screen time.

“Each one of us has an infinite number of versions we could’ve been. We can long for those other versions, we can hope the lives of others have more ease, but we have to accept the version that exists. Do whatever it takes. Read the books you should’ve read earlier, watch the shows you should’ve watched earlier, find a therapist who does EMDR, or just get out of your own head for five fucking seconds so you can take your estrogen shot and tell the people you love how you’re feeling.”

— Drew on Nevada by Imogen Binnie

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

Hooooooboy it’s been a delicious couple weeks of books coverage here — look at all this goodness 👀

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?

Join AF+!


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. Gay men have been criticizing “The Book of Queer” for promoting hackneyed stereotypes about gay men (one called the over-the-top behavior “nauseating”), and many of its historical claims are also sketchy at best. Some have already been thoroughly debunked by historians.

  2. Thanks to my library (and my prowess at signing up early for library waitlists) I’ve read a lot of newly released books lately.

    Since the last Rainbow Reading, I read I Kissed Shara Wheeler and She Gets the Girls – two new and excellent YA rom coms.

    You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi was really good, although I was glad that I’d read a couple reviews ahead of time warning that it’s not a typical genre romance (the main love interest doesn’t show up until like 30% through). It’s a beautiful book about grief and healing, with lots of messiness. And one of the best written portrayals of a visual artist that I’ve read in a long time.

    A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall was pretty meh for me. I’d put it on hold before I read the scathing review of the first chapter someone posted on the last RR.

    I’m currently reading The Stars and the Blackness Between Them, thanks to A. Tony Jerome’s Pride survival pack recommendation.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!