Best of the Indies and Self-Published
This is one area where I always feel that AfterEllen readers know more than I do, so I loved seeing all the books that were either self-published or released from smaller presses that were nominated for the Visibility Awards this year.
The Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer is considered “new adult,” another buzz phrase of 2013 that refers to a novel that fits in an area between YA and adult. Zimmer introduces us to Kendall Bettencourt, a young Hollywood star who moves her longtime best friend Payton to LA, so that she can have at least one person with her who knows who she really is. Except there’s one thing Payton knows that Kendall doesn’t: that she wishes Kendall was more than just her best friend.
Exception to the Rule by Cindy Rizzo was another popular title, this romance being between two college freshman in Massachusetts who come from completely different worlds. This opposites-attract tale also includes glimpses into the often overlooked world of the LGBT homeless community.
Other favorites this year included Playing My Love by Angie Peach and At Seventeen by Gerri Hill, as well as The Eternal Autumn by Cassandra Duffy, the second book of a series set in a witchy fantasy world full of “sinister beauty.”
In the Less-Queer But Still Exciting Book World
The Nobel Prize in Literature this year was award to a woman, which is always a reason to cheer. Canadian Alice Munro was awarded for being a master of the contemporary short story, the first female winner since Herta Muller in 2009.
The prestigious Booker Prize was also given to a lady this year, Eleanor Catton, for her massive novel The Luminaries. Catton is also a mere 28 years old (in case you haven’t had an opportunity today to feel badly about yourself yet).
Also, remember that time J.K. Rowling released a crime novel under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith? J.K. and Beyonce, pulling out all the stops with their surprises in the 2013. The Cuckoo’s Calling shot up the bestseller charts this summer after the big reveal, although it’s important to note that Robert Galbraith had already received positive reviews from establishments such as the New York Times before he was outed as J.K.