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Rainbow Reading: We Fell in Love (With Some Rad New Books) in October

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 howdy, pals!

It’s been an, ahem, eventful couple weeks, discourse-wise. The Queen and Coolio both bit it, Adam Levine should read Vanessa’s Autostraddle Guide to Sexting, Lizzo played a sparkly flute that once belonged to a president no one liked (then or now tbh!) but racists are mad anyway, transphobes are losing their shit because a cute cartoon alien doesn’t do human gender, you might or might not be hot enough to write about Marilyn Monroe, some FuzzBeed Attempt Man “lost focus and had a consensual workplace relationship”, the list goes on. I’m tired. The internet has worn me out, at least for now, and so pure content fatigue has cured my book hangover and chased me into some delightful new reading territory. My drought is broken! My screen time is down! Praise BE!

Firstly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t shout Kayla’s novelette Helen House to the high heavens: it’s not too late to preorder a signed special edition hardcover from Miami bookstore Books and Books, and we’ll be celebrating its pub day on 10/18! Are you in Gainesville, Florida by any chance? If so, you won’t want to miss this event with Kayla, Ryan Rivas, and Kristen Arnett, hosted by the fine folks of Third House Books!

Across the board, October is an exciting reading month; so many good books are coming out now in anticipation of the holidays’ sales rush, we’re close enough to smell the tantalizing new releases of 2023, the awards cycle is whirring along, and there are some truly magnificent pieces published each week by amazing queer writers. When (known homosexual) Anne Shirley said “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”, when Girl in Red sang “We Fell In Love In October”, when this tweeter declared “october is an inherently gay month”they were right.

(okay this riff on the try guys thing was funny.)

Righty-o, let’s make like a trampoline and bounce! This week on Rainbow Reading, we’ve got:

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

YEAH THIS IS REAL LIFE, congratulations Sonora!
Thank fucking god for Marissa Higgins and this stunning new story!
yes, could not agree more. (The Scratch Daughters, sequel to last year’s sensation The Scapegracers, is out 10/25.)

“Piepzna-Samarasinha beautifully describes how disabled people — especially BIPOC and queer disabled people — have been caring for each other, keeping each other alive, and fighting for justice, as well as how these skills and models can create the future. The book delves into the importance of disabled joy and pleasure, unapologetically claiming these things without feeling the need to justify them to an ableist world.”

— Katie Reilly in her review of The Future is Disabled, which is out now!

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

Yooooo, it’s been an especially good few weeks here for Autostraddle books coverage — lotta treats in this list!

Also, if you haven’t joined A+ yet, now’s the perfect time — you don’t want to miss out on book club events like this one with Sarah Thankam Mathews, or on our subscribers-only series like Things I’ve Never Asked, where my best and dearest childhood friend dropped some gorgeous insights on queer horror, genre-as-inheritance, and what a weird-ass kid I was. Get on in there!

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.


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