It seems like many of you have enjoyed or are enjoying The Raven’s Heart this month, which makes me very glad. I’ll be posting a discussion post for that soon. Until then, here are your choices to mull over for May!
I’ll admit that there is absolutely nothing linking these choices together this month other than being three recent books I’ve been really wanting to read. I’ll return to a more cohesive theme next month. Are there any genres in particular you’ve been wanting to see? I’m thinking of delving into some poetry or (non-memoir) non-fiction soon, neither of which we’ve highlighted in the club thus far. I’d also like to give more attention to graphic novels. Speaking of which, the nominees for the prestigious Eisner Awards were announced last week, and there are a number of nods to queer authors or queer characters, including Justin Hall’s No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics and Ellen Forney’s Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo & Me, as well as some technical nominations for Batwoman.
Onto this month’s selections:
Nevada, Imogen Binnie (Topside Press, April 2013)
I feel there’s been more buzz about this book than any other queer book so far this year, at least in the circles I stalk. Here’s the blurb straight from the publisher: “Nevada is the darkly comedic story of Maria Griffiths, a young trans woman living in New York City and trying to stay true to her punk values while working retail. When she finds out her girlfriend has lied to her, the world she thought she’d carefully built for herself begins to unravel, and Maria sets out on a journey that will most certainly change her forever.” I always love journeys that change lives forever! And punk values! Even more than that, I love books about trans women actually written by trans women, because sadly, we still don’t have enough of them. Michelle Tea loved this book, The Lesbrary loved this book, and gosh, I love that cover.
Silhouette of a Sparrow, Molly Beth Griffin (Milkweed, September 2012)
I’ve restrained from doing an all-YA month for the book club, if only because I already give YA so much attention in the (neglected as of late) Your New School Library column. But it’s time to throw in at least one. And speaking of beautiful covers, wowee, is this one outstanding. This coming of age tale takes place in the ‘20s in Minnesota, when 16-year-old Garnet Richardson escapes her oppressive mother to a resort town for the summer. Here, she explores amusement parks, dance halls, and a dashing flapper named Isabella, all of which forces Garnet to balance what people expect of her with what she truly wants. Youth in summertime! Flappers! What more could you want!
Before the Rain: A Memoir of Love and Revolution, Luisita Lopez Torregrosa (Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt, August 2012)
Completely different from the first two, I learned about this book while researching for my 2012 literary roundup, and have been wanting to get my hands on it ever since. Half political history of Torregrosa’s time as a journalist in the Philippines and its bloody upheavals, half passionate love story of her affair with another writer, every excerpt I’ve seen from it leaves me both aching and further intrigued. It’s also a Lammy finalist in the impressive Lesbian Memoir/Biography category this year.
Speaking of the Lammy’s, they’ve officially announced all of the guests and performers who will be in attendance, and it sounds awesome.
All three selections are available as ebooks in addition to print.
There have also been some questions recently concerning what this book club is all about, or how to join it. So for those of you just tuning in, there are no strict rules, and the only way to join is to decide if you want to read some books with us or not! There’s no pressure to read every single month or contribute to every post or have super deep things to say, although all of those things are always welcome. I post a discussion for the chosen book at the end of each month here on the site, but most of the discussion throughout the month happens over at our Goodreads page. You can also follow our Tumblr for news or random book-related queer tidbits. If you ever have any thoughts or suggestions about the book club, always feel free to hit me up.
I’ll post the results for our May book on Friday, and The Raven’s Heart discussion early next week.