Now, I’m not completely sure what I read when, though I know most of these were sometime between October and now. Most are available now, or will be soon so lets get started!
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
As a bisexual person, I was interested in this story because a) it was about a bisexual person and b) it was written at a time that well, alternative lifestyles and relationships in the wrong places could get you harassed or worse.
What it led to was a deep appreciation for James Baldwin as a writer and speaker. He’s another writer/speaker that we should have learned about in school, but was left out of the history books though he was as influential as MLK and Malcom X. (Also considered dangerous by the FBI, because of what he spoke about and his alleged sexuality). I discovered Giovanni’s Room by accident from a post via bi.org.
It’s a very emotional book with a lot of layers and I DO NOT recommend it for anyone that is questioning their own sexuality. If I had read it even ten years ago, I would have spun a 180 promptly walked back into the closet. Well, maybe not — but you can’t help but feel the struggle the main character, David, goes through as he tries to reconcile himself between two people he cares about. One, being his fiancé– a woman currently in Spain, and the other a man he meets at a bar in Paris.
What I do absolutely recommend is discovering the speeches and writings from James Baldwin. All of it resonates today. My hope is that his name becomes as well known as some of the other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.
Queen by Katee Robert
I recommend this whole series for anyone looking out for a different kind of vampire book with polyamory love interests and plenty of swords crossing. This book is out now, but I received an advanced copy via Katee Robert’s patreon.
This was the third and final book in the Bloodlines series. As always, Katee Robert writes a fast pace, main character driven book. With a lot of plot in this one, there wasn’t as much sex as the previous books in the series, however, the scenes that are there definitely live up to a Katee Robert novel.
If I Were A Weapon by Skye Kilaen
This kicks off the “All These Gifts” series, with a Sapphic romance that has a really solid grumpy/sunshine trope between the main character and the love interest. I very much enjoyed the sci-fi elements and the feel of corporate/government conspiracy plots that swirl around the characters.
If you loved Heroes and X-files, this will be right up your alley. I was a beta reader for this book. It’s release date is in January 11, 2022. You can check out all the info here.
Charline’s Solstice by S. Bolanos
This is the second book for the Moons of Mystery series and it’s even spicier than the first one! Set in a world where werewolves exist, but are living in secret, Charline is introduced to werewolf society by her friend Sara. She falls for a very sexy Beta wolf named David, and things progress from there.
Like baking, romance, and urban fantasy settings, this series will definitely tickle all of those spots and leave you wanting more. I read early versions of this and was very entertained by the final draft as well. You can find it and Sara’s Moon available on S. Bolanos’ website, here.
Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge, Translated by Jeremy Tiang
This book had so many layers of storytelling, I’m not sure where to start exactly. It’s main character is a journalist, but she writes mostly about the beasts that populate the city she lives in. These beasts all look like humans except for particular features that denotes them as beasts.
Each chapter is a story about a beast, but its also about the journalist. How she becomes a voice for the beasts and writes stories about them. Some of them she has romantic relationships with and some of them save her life. The end is not much of a surprise, but it’s surprising in how easily you are carried along with the story and reach the end, and feel satisfied by it.
Pick this one up if you’re looking for something that is definitely NOT the western style of storytelling, and certainly isn’t your everyday sci-fi book. A bookseller used the word “atmospheric” to describe it, and you could go with that if you like. You can read more about it here.