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

Books everyone should read this spring

Book title: “Priory of the Orange Tree”

Samantha Shannon’s “Priory of the Orange Tree” combines many elements of large fantasy world-building as well as inserting plots driven by a political motive. I read this book in two days (it was the pandemic, I needed escapism) and the world pulled me in. The book’s world is separated between the East and the 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 is massive, and (do not hate me) I can make comparisons to Tolkien’s style of world-building. There is also a large number of perspectives because the book contains a bunch of characters. The book is about 800 pages, so I recommend this book for people who want to devote their time to one story and slowly burn through it as well as a person with a whole lot of patience.

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

“Gideon the Ninth” by Tamsyn Muir is a book a person should read if they want to laugh. The main gist of the story is that the end of the world occurred, and the entire solar system was resurrected into a new order; necromancers in space. The characters are the focal point of this book series, with all of them being quirky and weird in the best way. The story does center around queer characters, but there is not a lot of romance so if you just want to read about queer people in space living life with heartbreaking longing then this book is for you. This book does have a lot of jargon and the world is a little unexplained, but I think that was done on purpose so I just rolled with it and enjoyed the characters. So if you are like me and are inexperienced in the sci-fi genre, I will disclaim that it was confusing in the beginning. The author has an amazing imagination, and if you are feeling for a more spooky, dark, funny book then this book is for you.

Book Title: “Cinderella is Dead”

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

Book Title: “Felix Ever After”

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

Book Title: “Love Beyond Body, Space and Time: An Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi Anthology”

This anthology has also been on my to-be-read list because first, it shows queer joy and as far as I am aware no one dies, and second, it showcases under-represented members of our community. This anthology sparked joy in so many readers, more importantly in Indigenous readers and I believe that is so important to members of our community. Also, I think that just showcasing queer joy in such a fantastical way will help break the cycle of readers reading book after book about queer pain; we need a “Chicken Soup for the Soul” queer addition. Plus, this book is an anthology so if you want a short burst of hope without the large 1,000-page tomb then this book is for you.

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