Give me your recommendations for the most escapist books

Featured image of Malte Mueller via Getty Images

Hello, hello, friends!

So I’ll skip the jokes and assume neither of us is having a great time. I’m so sorry the news continues to be relentlessly downbeat, and I hope you’re all surrounding yourself with the kind of art that lifts you up, lights you up, and sustains you. Sometimes I get cynical about reading for pleasure and put it aside, but then a few weeks go by and I’m like Why do I feel like literal garbage? And the answer is that I haven’t given my brain anything to rebuild itself, so that’s my lesson learned. I’m trying to be more intentional, treating my reading like preventive health care, and remembering that joy and resilience don’t just come out of the blue—they’re faculties I have a responsibility to train and maintain with my community. myself. What are some good things you’ve been reading? There’s been a ton of new queer romance out there, as well as queer mystery, and I’m all ears for your best escapist recommendations.

All right, let’s do like tennis and rebound. This week rainbow readingwe have:

Care of the shelves: reviews, essays and other important things

  • Reductress, once again, with a perennial comedy content: “Calling my rep wasn’t enough so I fucked his wife”
    • weekly editors excited about it
    • Kirkus excited about it
    • library journal excited about it
    • The Guardian excited about it
    • this weird writer you may have heard of named Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya says it’s one of the best books she’s ever read
    • I’m just saying we can’t everybody be wrong lol
  • American readers rejoice:BATCH it’s here! Shola von Reinhold’s stunning debut novel has been winning hearts, minds and awards in the UK over the last two years for its playful yet rigorous imaginative/speculative story imagining black artists in turn-of-the-century modernist/Bloomsbury circles. XX. It’s such a clever novel about the lost and found heroes of our artistic heritage, and also (I can’t stress this enough)funny as hell. Thank goodness the intrepid folks at Duke University Press have brought the novel to this side of the pond:it’s out now!
  • David Davis X It’s hitting shelves this week, and this kinky gay vigilante adventure is a bloody delight. Leigh Cowart, author of the superb it hurts so goodagree with me:
  • A gritty coming of age set amid mid-1980s tattoo shops? Hell yeah! Jobs for girls with artistic talent It came out last week, and I’m so intrigued by this premise!
  • I finally started reading home court advantage and excuse me Dahlia Adler heLLO?? This book is doing things to my heart! I am weak.
  • A Leopold and Loeb historical fiction with a gender swap? 👀 You have my attention! jazzed up is a Harlem Renaissance-era jazz-inflected riff on a true crime that just came out this week.
  • happy birthday book to Vera Kelly: Lost and Found, the conclusion to Vera Kelly’s beloved mystery trilogy! Full disclosure, I was on Rosalie’s publicity team when she worked in publishing, and being a part of the process was a career highlight. It’s a beautiful, emotionally rich and historically detailed series, and who could resist such a beautiful cover? I feel very lucky to be able to savor this latest installment as a civilian!
  • Also in mid-July, Chris Belcher’s memoir Pretty Baby about her time as a Los Angeles Lesbian Domme covers homosexuality, class, sex work, academia, and darkly funny questions about how we navigate the darker sides of our desires.
  • Historically, I haven’t had the best time with quarter-life crisis novels about zillennials in the workplace, but This could all be different promises a refreshing new take on the genre that has had my ears perking – this one is getting great early reviews and features a cleverly written Indian-American lead, which I love to see! Definitely excited to sink my teeth into this story of a young queer immigrant community building community amid social chaos and absurdity. This one comes out this August.
  • NEW K-MING CHANG INCOMING —I’m not going to get the creeps one bit about this. The gods of tales have heard my prayers, and gods of necessity comes out July 12, in a few weeks!
  • Bad homosexuals, written by Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller, who host a raucous and wonderful podcast of the same name, is out now. Surely you all know how I feel about the chaotic queers in history, so you can imagine how much fun I’ve had with this one. I also loved last week’s conversation event between Ben and Grace Lavery, which you can watch here!

  • This one has received mixed reviews, but the premise is interesting: in this debut novel, a ghost watches the affair of George Sand and Frederic Chopin and falls in love with Sand from afar while pondering the circumstances of his own death in the 14th century. . Briefly, a delicious life comes out July 19!
  • I can’t believe I just found out about these amazing memories now: another appalachian it’s a memoir about growing up in Appalachia as a queer Indian girl, and the rave reviews have enlightened me. I am so excited to report on this!
  • Playing the Long Game: This September, Duke University Press will release Feels Good: Queer Black Women and Chicago Party Politicsand I’ve already marked it on my calendar because this sounds superb.

Hell followed us It has also been on my radar; This review by Megan on @booksnblazers has definitely upped my TBR!

Seeing a book of this artistic caliber succeed across the board feels like a triumph, especially at a time when every day seems to bring new punitive and restrictive laws around the affirmation of LGBTQ+ childcare and access to LGBTQ+ literature. I think a lot about this quote from my friend Lane, the queer indie artist behind coyote snout: Queer teachers are living proof of queer futures. The same feels very, very true of LaCour and his career. Writing him for queer adults feels like a hopeful and encouraging gesture to his younger readers as well, a promise that no matter who they become, there will be stories waiting for them.

— Me, getting poetic aboutgood herb by Nina LaCour

AutoCorrect: Book content from the last two weeks on Autostraddle!

It’s been another amazing couple of weeks for Autostraddle book coverage. Look at us!

That’s all he wrote, folks! If you are a queer writer, particularly a early career weird writer: I’d love to hear what great things you’re doing so I can share links to your published essays, book reviews, short stories, poems, and extensive reporting on LGBTQ+ issues! Email me with links for your consideration at with the subject line “Rainbow Reading Submission.” or important first line.

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Yashwina Canter is a reader, writer, and lesbian putting down roots in Portland, Oregon. You can find her online at @yashwinacanter.

Yashwina has written 23 articles for us.

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