So, a few days ago I made this post talking about the Blogosphere’s pride month bingo challenge + some of the potential reads that I was thinking about for that challenge. After discovering that my library system doesn’t carry If Not, Winter (please imagine me shaking my fist in rage at this revelation) I threw that tentative TBR out the window and came up with a brand new (and much longer) one.
This TBR isn’t solely LGBT+ books, since I’m in a book club that is not particularly concerned with the significance of rainbow flags in June, but of the six books on this list, five are confirmed LGBT+ and I think that’s great. I am slightly terrified, however, since A) I’m a mood reader and have a problem with sticking to a formal TBR and B) six books is rather a lot for me. So far this year, four books per month has been my average.
But, what is the point of TBRs if not to be ambitious? (The other option for TBRs is realism, you say? Sorry, I don’t know her). Without further ado, here are the books:
ACE: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen
This is a piece of nonfiction about… well, about what it’s like being asexual. After a lot of introspection I now consider myself somewhere on the ace spectrum, and I want to read more about other ace peoples’ experiences. I’ve always felt a bit alienated by how so much of the human world is defined by the allegedly universal experience of sexual attraction, and that sense of alienation has only gotten stronger in recent years. Chen is asexual herself, and is careful to include the perspectives of disabled aces and aces of color.
When Tara Met Farah by Tara Pammi
This is a super cute, F/F romance novella about an Indian Muslim girl coming to America and falling for her Indian-American housemate via math tutoring sessions. I’m actually in the middle of this right now, and the sweetness has reached cavity-inducing levels in spite of Farah dealing with her grief for a lost family member. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this book, but the sweetness levels going off the charts is a major turn-off for me. I can’t say I’m enjoying this, but I don’t want to DNF just yet.
Once and Future by A. R. Capetta
Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Trilogy + the movie “King Arthur” (2004) really cemented my love of Arthurian myth. I actually have yet to read a non-historical interpretation, and this seems like a great place to start!
Ari, a girl, is the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur, and is supposed to bring peace and harmony to not just Britain but the entire galaxy via her finding of the sword Excalibur. She meets Merlin, who is aging backwards, and a girl named Gwen who is playing the part of Guinevere, and together they plan to bring down the awful Mercer corporation (possibly representing the character Mordred from the legends?) that is oppressing everyone. This is an F/F sci-fi romance.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
I’m buddy-reading this book with Sarah @ Suits of Stories!
Rosemary Harper is running from her past, and then she runs into the Wayfarer, an aging spaceship with a ragtag crew who create wormholes through space to aid interstellar travel. Signed on as a clerk, Rosemary starts to learn the meaning of family… but when a tunneling job becomes dangerous, the bonds of this new family get put to the test.
In short, this is a book about a queer found family in space, which is exactly what I want out of a space opera. I’m less than 10% into this one so far, but am enjoying it immensely; the world is interesting, the characters are quirky but grounded, and I can’t wait to explore more and see what kind of dangerous mission the Wayfarer will embark upon.
Beach Read by Emily Henry
This is the non-LGBT+ book on my TBR. There is a background wlw couple, but the main romance is between a cishet man with a cishet woman, so I don’t consider it an LGBT+ book.
I’ll be honest, I picked up this book because I thought it would be funny and lighthearted. The characters’ names — “Augustus” for the male lead and “January” for the female lead — seemed silly and over the top, and the premise of the two leads (who are both writers struggling with their drafts) swapping genres for the summer seemed intriguing. This is another one that I’m about 50% through, and it’s managing to hold my attention pretty well. Henry is doing a good job of keeping her thumb on the lighthearted side of the scale without doing a disservice to her darker elements.
Heartstopper (vol. 1) by Alice Oseman
This is another buddy read with Sarah, and is also the group pick for June for the Blogosphere discord server of book bloggers. (Here is a link to join).
I’ve been meaning to dive into the world of Alice Oseman for a long time now, and this is definitely one of her most famous works. You can read the comic for free on webtoon! The two main characters are Charlie, “an openly gay over-thinker,” and Nick, “a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player,” who meet each other at an all-boys school. They become friends, and then something more. This is an M/M graphic novel.
Confession: I… do not know how much of this I will read. Graphic novels like Heartstopper are like potato chips; once you start consuming them, it’s hard to stop. I might end up reading the entire Heartstopper series this June, but I can’t guarantee it.
And that’s it! I’m very excited to get reading this June, and I can’t wait to enjoy all of these books. Happy reading, and happy Pride, everyone!