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
- I insist on kicking this list off with shea’s beautiful love letter to trans kids. Share far, share wide 💛
- The annual Lambda Literary Lammy awards announced their winners this week! Congratulations to all this year’s finalists and to the winners!
- Important to read: “As a queer teacher, violence feels inescapable.”
- They announced the cast of the forthcoming adaptation of Red, White, and Royal Blue and of course the Casey McQuiston hive is a-buzzin!
- I’M ONLY GOING TO SAY THIS ONCE: HAVE YOU PREORDERED OUR WIVES UNDER THE SEA YET. I SWEAR TO GOD—
- Out now: Body Grammar by Jules Ohman is here! By the time I’m back in Portland, my preorder will be waiting for me, but bc I’m (an Aries) impatient, I’ve started the audiobook already from my library. I’m bummed to miss their event with Kimberly King Parsons back in PDX, but if any of y’all go, you have to tell me what a great time you have!
- Anthology Time!
- This anthology of Queer YA speculative fiction authors seems like a great antidote to any midsummer sluggishness (or is that just my woozy brain?) — this one came out last week and there are several stories I’m especially curious about!
- Heckin Lewd: Trans and Nonbinary Erotica features some incredible writers and sounds like a great time!
- Wildly problematic as it is (especially for a queer Indian kid!), I can’t help having a soft spot for E.M. Forster’s literature, and this novel seems like a really intelligent and fascinating perspective on Forster’s young lover and the ways those stories echo through time.
- LET’S TALK ABOUT HOW MUCH I LOVED FIRE ISLAND. Hulu’s new gay! jane! austen! adaptation! is a delightful tribute to found family and the ways that we love each other even amidst intra-community stereotypes and micro/aggressions, and Carmen did a great job distilling why this movie grabbed my heartstrings the way it did.
- I loved Fire Island for myriad reasons, but chief among them is the fact that it’s a surprisingly and playfully faithful adaptation of its source material — over at Slate, Marissa Martinelli has charted out how this take tackles Jane Austen’s original!
- (If anyone ever hurts Bowen Yang’s feelings again, please know, it’s on sight. Watching Bowen Yang be sad emotionally wrecked me.)
- I’m not very far in yet, but so far The Other Mother is breathtaking — what a powerful and moving and unusual story of queer legacy and family-making!
- 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.”
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 👀
- shea reviewed The J Girls!
- Stef reviewed Voice of the Fish!
- Niko interviewed Imogen Binnie, and Drew wrote about Nevada!
- Melissa Faliveno reviewed This Body I Wore!
- Kayla reviewed Exalted!
- Chinelo reviewed Content Warning: Everything!
- Casey’s latest quiz tells you which Trans YA book you should read this Pride month!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.