This weekend is Pride Weekend, with The big Pride march today, here in Edinburgh, so to celebrate I have decided to share some LGBTQIA+ books, just a few out of the many on my shelves, to share the love of this amazing and diverse community of stories and creators.
The tag was created by Elle at Unwrapping Words, so do pop over there to see her answers! I really loved the openness to the tag and that there is only one rule: all books given as answers should be LGBTQIA+ in some way.
Oh there are so many I could pick for this category from Sapphic rep in Girl, Serpent, Thorn and The Midnight Lie (which also had a gender non conforming love interest), Intersex MC in Pantomime and a whole host of rep from Bi, M/M, Trans characters in the Wayward Children series. However looking at my shelves one series jumped out as me as a favourite and that is:
About the book:
I was in an accident. I got out. I’m safe now.
An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.
A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town.
A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England.
A boy who would give anything to relive his past, and one who would give anything to live at all.
A romance that will shake the very foundations of time.
To be honest I don’t tend to delve into the ‘status’ of authors I try to read diversely but I don’t require those writing queer stories to be out, its none of my business. Yet my shelves do contain many out and proud authors and I love that, to name a few such as V.E. Schwab, Becky Chambers and Charlie Jane Anders . Again its hard to choose just one but the first one to jump off the shelves at me was :
Under the Whispering Door
T J Klune
About the book:
Welcome to Charon’s Crossing.
The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through.
When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.
And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.
But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.
I am not a big Historical reader, historical SFF yes! but historical not really so the only one on my list that I can really mention is:
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Taylor Jenkinds Reid
About the book:
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
4. Book You Can’t Wait to Read
Ok I am currently reading both of these but I just had to mention them as itching to get back to reading them as soon as I am finished with writing this tag:
Her Majesty’s Royal Coven
About the book:
If you look hard enough at old photographs, we’re there in the background: healers in the trenches; Suffragettes; Bletchley Park oracles; land girls and resistance fighters. Why is it we help in times of crisis? We have a gift. We are stronger than Mundanes, plain and simple.
At the dawn of their adolescence, on the eve of the summer solstice, four young girls–Helena, Leonie, Niamh and Elle–took the oath to join Her Majesty’s Royal Coven, established by Queen Elizabeth I as a covert government department. Now, decades later, the witch community is still reeling from a civil war and Helena is now the reigning High Priestess of the organization. Yet Helena is the only one of her friend group still enmeshed in the stale bureaucracy of HMRC. Elle is trying to pretend she’s a normal housewife, and Niamh has become a country vet, using her powers to heal sick animals. In what Helena perceives as the deepest betrayal, Leonie has defected to start her own more inclusive and intersectional coven, Diaspora. And now Helena has a bigger problem. A young warlock of extraordinary capabilities has been captured by authorities and seems to threaten the very existence of HMRC. With conflicting beliefs over the best course of action, the four friends must decide where their loyalties lie: with preserving tradition, or doing what is right.
Juno Dawson explores gender and the corrupting nature of power in a delightful and provocative story of magic and matriarchy, friendship and feminism. Dealing with all the aspects of contemporary womanhood, as well as being phenomenally powerful witches, Niamh, Helena, Leonie and Elle may have grown apart but they will always be bound by the sisterhood of the coven.
About the book:
“No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers.” Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill—but she doesn’t care. She’d rather play a monster than a maid.
But in Luli’s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes—even if that means becoming the monster herself.
Ok there are literally at least 50-100 on my shelves that have some form of LGBTQIA+ rep in them and I can’t mention them all so I went for the first one that jumped into my mind. Part of the colloquially known “Sapphic Trilogy” this was one of my favourite reads of 2021!
C. L. Clark
About the book:
Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.
Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.
Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.
6. Graphic Novel
There are a few such as Nimona, and Heart stopper that I want to mention for obvious reasons but I had to go with something I little more recent.
Twelve Percent Dread
About the book:
Katie and Nas are best friends, exes, co-dependents. They share everything, including a tiny room in a North London townhouse belonging to their landlord Jeremy, former host of the hit 90s show ‘Football Lads’.
While Katie bounces from job to job and obsesses about falling behind in life, Nas has bigger things in mind–waiting endlessly for their visa to come through, while working on a seismic art project that will revolutionize politics and society as we know it. Their friend Emma, meanwhile, seems to have it all figured out–job, mortgage, engagement–yet the long hours working for tech giant Arko and endless wedding admin prove equally dread-inducing.
But when Katie’s latest job finds her tutoring the daughter of Arko’s formidable CEO, Michelle, and Emma welcomes the eccentric and enigmatic Alicia to her team at Arko, none of the three women are aware that their lives–and possibly the future of society itself–are about to change forever.
7. Wildcard!/Free Choice
Ok bear with me as I am picking work by a white Cis/Het Male for the wild card. Yes I know, but hear me out. I am picking Lock in and The Kajiu Preservation Society by John Scalzi. In both of these works Scalzi does not gender his protagonists. There are no pronouns used for the protagonists of these books, they have not been prescribed a gender at all. I think this is a really good exercise for you the reader to question how you see gender. When I read both Lock in and KPS my mental image of the MC did flick back and forth between male presenting and female presenting depending on what what happening at the time. For example, at the start of KPS I thought of the MC as female having to fight for their place in a male dominated industry, but they slowly became male as they took work for a delivery company which highlights my own preconceptions of gender of what is a “male job” and a “female job”. I am a Biological Scientist that has a degree where I researched the evolution of sex chromosomes I am very aware the sex, gender and sexuality are very fluid right down to the genetic level, but there are still inbuilt societal preconceptions I need to break and by reading books that challenge my thinking like those that make me think “why have I made the character that gender?” It makes me a better ally to all the wonderful queer, LGBTQIA+ spectrum out there.