Five LGBTQ books to add to your reading list – Amherst Wire

Books Everyone Should Read This Spring

Title of the book: “Priory of the Orange Tree”

Samantha Shannon’s “Orange Tree Priory” combines many elements of fantasy world-building and inserts politically motivated storylines. I read this book in two days (it was the pandemic, I needed an escape) and the world drew me in. The world of the book is separated between East and West, where each world has its religion and beliefs. The book explores different political motives, romance, magic and dragons! I emphasize the world because it’s massive and (don’t hate me) I can draw comparisons to Tolkien’s style of worldbuilding. There are also a large number of perspectives as the book contains a bunch of characters. The book is around 800 pages, so I recommend this book for people who want to commit their time to a story and go through it slowly as well as someone with a lot of patience.

Book Title: “Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tombs Series)”

“Gideon the Ninth” by Tamsyn Muir is a book a person should read if they want to laugh. The gist of the story is that the end of the world has occurred and the entire solar system has been resurrected in a new order; necromancers in space. Characters are the focus of this series of books, all of them quirky and weird in the best way. The story is centered around queer characters, but there isn’t much romance, so if you just want to read about queer people in space living with heartbreaking longing, then this book is for you. There’s a lot of jargon in this book and the world is a bit unexplained, but I think that was done on purpose so I just rode with it and enjoyed the characters. So if you’re like me and inexperienced in the sci-fi genre, I’ll say it was confusing at first. The author has an amazing imagination, and if you’re craving a scarier, darker, and funnier book, this is the book for you.

Book Title: “Cinderella Is Dead”

“Cinderella Is Dead” by Kalynn Bayron is a book that I highly recommend for people who want to start in the fantasy genre. Set in a dystopian world where the Cinderella story is used to suppress women, the main protagonist sparks a rebellion while fleeing the constricted kingdom. I’m such a fan of authors who twist fairy tales, and the book gives more depth to the original story and characters. The plot is fast-paced, but that’s what makes it so good. The fast-paced plot makes the book feel like a roller coaster and I honestly had to force myself to put it down because I needed to know what happened next. The queer relationship in this book is so healthy in my opinion, and the book explores what it’s like to live in our modern society as queer women (many dystopian themes in the book that I can personally attribute to real life as my experience as a queer woman). The book is fast-paced, so if you’re a fan of shorter, fast-paced stories, this one’s for you.

Book Title: “Felix Ever After”

It’s been on my reading list and it’s on this list because all the reviews I’ve read have been positive and this book has touched so many people. I remember seeing this book featured maybe once or twice on my TikTok and subtly displayed at Barnes & Noble, but from what I’ve seen this book has touched so many people that I think we need to all to do their due diligence and bring this book back into the public spotlight. The plot synopsis is that Felix, a male transgender person, struggles through his high school journey and must overcome and overcome challenges that many young transgender people face during this age period. This book falls under young adult literature, but based on the subject matter and plot summary, it seems to show how queer and/or transgender teens felt during this difficult stage of growing up. As someone who wants to revisit my queer teenage years, I think this book will help many LGBTQ people look back and try to heal from past experiences.

Book Title: “Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: An Indigenous LGBT Science Fiction Anthology”

This anthology has also been on my to-read list because one, it shows queer joy and as far as I know no one dies, and two, it showcases the underrepresented members of our community. This anthology has brought joy to so many readers, most importantly to Indigenous readers and I believe this is so important to members of our community. Plus, I think just showing queer joy in such a fantastic way will help break the cycle of readers reading book after book about queer pain; we need a queer addition “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. Plus, this book is an anthology, so if you want a short burst of hope without the big 1,000-page tombstone, this is the book for you.

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