February in the UK is LGBTQ+ History Month (In the U.S it’s Black History month so I’ve also added a couple of books for that theme too) I rarely stick to TBRs but I felt like it might be a good idea to talk about some of the LGBTQ+ books I own and still have to read, and direct you to other posts I’ve made here and on my channel about LGBTQ+ books I have already read. Check out my most Recent video, my January Reading Wrap Up!
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My TBR February 2021
Queer: A Graphic History: Activist-academic Meg-John Barker and cartoonist Julia Scheele illuminate the histories of queer thought and LGBTQ+ action in this groundbreaking nonfiction graphic novel. From identity politics and gender roles to privilege and exclusion, Queer explores how we came to view sex, gender and sexuality in the ways that we do; how these ideas get tangled up with our culture and our understanding of biology, psychology and sexology; and how these views have been disputed and challenged. Along the way we look at key landmarks which shift our perspective of what’s ‘normal’ – Alfred Kinsey’s view of sexuality as a spectrum, Judith Butler’s view of gendered behaviour as a performance, the play Wicked, or moments in Casino Royale when we’re invited to view James Bond with the kind of desiring gaze usually directed at female bodies in mainstream media. Presented in a brilliantly engaging and witty style, this is a unique portrait of the universe of queer thinking.
Sub Rosa: In this stunning, Lambda Literary Award-winning debut novel, Amber Dawn subverts the classic hero’s quest adventure to create a dark post-feminist vision. Sub Rosa‘s reluctant heroine is a teenaged runaway named “Little”; she stumbles upon an underground society of ghosts and magicians, missing girls and would-be johns: a place called Sub Rosa. Not long after she is initiated into this family of magical prostitutes, Little is called upon to lead them through a maze of feral darkness: a calling burdened with grotesque enemies, strange allies, and memories from a foggy past. Sub Rosa is a beautiful, gutsy, fantastical allegory of our times.
Trans Britain: Over the last five years, transgender people have seemed to burst into the public eye: Time declared 2014 a ‘trans tipping point’, while American Vogue named 2015 ‘the year of trans visibility’. From our television screens to the ballot box, transgender people have suddenly become part of the zeitgeist. This apparently overnight emergence, though, is just the latest stage in a long and varied history. The renown of Paris Lees and Hari Nef has its roots in the efforts of those who struggled for equality before them, but were met with indifference – and often outright hostility – from mainstream society. Trans Britain chronicles this journey in the words of those who were there to witness a marginalised community grow into the visible phenomenon we recognise today: activists, film-makers, broadcasters, parents, an actress, a rock musician and a priest, among many others. Here is everything you always wanted to know about the background of the trans community, but never knew how to ask
Human Enough: When Noah Lau joined the Vampire Hunters Association, seeking justice for his parents’ deaths, he didn’t anticipate ending up imprisoned in the house of the vampire he was supposed to kill—and he definitely didn’t anticipate falling for that vampire’s lover. Six months later, Noah’s life has gotten significantly more complicated. On top of being autistic in a world that doesn’t try to understand him, he still hunts vampires for a living…while dating a vampire himself. Awkward. Yet Jordan Cross is sweet and kind, and after braving their inner demons and Jordan’s vicious partner together, Noah wouldn’t trade him for the world. But when one of Jordan’s vampire friends goes missing and Noah’s new boss at the VHA becomes suspicious about some of his recent cases, what starts off as a routine paperwork check soon leads Noah to a sinister conspiracy. As he investigates, he and Jordan get sucked into a deadly web of intrigue that will test the limits of their relationship—and possibly break them. After all, in a world where vampires feed on humans and humans fear vampires, can a vampire and a vampire hunter truly find a happy ending together?
The Picture of Dorian Grey: Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it ﬁrst appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting inﬂuence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”
The Great Gatsby: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story is of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his new love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.
The Black Kids: This coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots. Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year. Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids. As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?
Who Do You Serve? Who Do You Protect?: What is the reality of policing in the United States? Do the police keep anyone safe and secure other than the very wealthy? How do recent police killings of young black people in the United States fit into the historical and global context of anti-blackness? This collection of reports and essays (the first collaboration between Truthout and Haymarket Books) explores police violence against black, brown, indigenous and other marginalized communities, miscarriages of justice, and failures of token accountability and reform measures. It also makes a compelling and provocative argument against calling the police. Contributions cover a broad range of issues including the killing by police of black men and women, police violence against Latino and indigenous communities, law enforcement’s treatment of pregnant people and those with mental illness, and the impact of racist police violence on parenting, as well as specific stories such as a Detroit police conspiracy to slap murder convictions on young black men using police informant and the failure of Chicago’s much-touted Independent Police Review Authority, the body supposedly responsible for investigating police misconduct. The title Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?is no mere provocation: the book also explores alternatives for keeping communities safe.
For other LGBTQ+ Recommendations, I posted this video during Pride Month last year. I will also be posting a video next week all about books featuring Bisexual Characters, if you’d like to check that out, give my channel a sub. I also wrote this list of Sapphic books I’d like to read sometime last year, and recently books I would like to read more of this year.
If you are looking to learn more about LGBTQ+ issues, I have many posts you can check out. I had a talk about androgyny on my channel, the importance of same gender dance couples, I also discussed the first two Harry Potter books with an analytical point of view, I also posted about being in LGBTQ+ productions and why it is really important to pay marginalised actors for their labour, and I read Heartstopper for the first time. On my blog, I wrote about Elliot Page coming out and the reporting of trans news, how to be a better trans ally, reviewed Cemetery Boys which was the first Own Voices Trans book I read, wrote about the historic LGBTQ+ sites around the world, and made numerous lists about Queer content available online (specifically Netflix) for you to check out at your leisure.
I would also like to ask that you consider making donations or sending money to LGBTQ+ and BIPOC people this month. There are many people (including myself) struggling with money and fundraising for life saving things, from shelter to medications and surgeries. Directly donating to an individual makes more of a direct impact than donating to a charity. You can tip me on Ko-Fi and find many crowdfunding pages on twitter and a few on the comments of my blog post on Trans Allyship. Also, there are millions of posts tweeted daily, I often RT them so check out my Twitter page for more.
Check out my Queer Lit Reads Recommendations video and my The Ghosts We Keep Reading Vlog!
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