Queer Book Roundup: September

While I review new young adult books each month in Your New School Library (did you catch last week’s?), sometimes there are some extra literary tidbits I want to share that just don’t fit in one column. Alas, this month was one of those times! Here’s some extra booky news for all us booky queers.

The first thing I wanted to mention are new editions of two wonderful lady-lovin’ young adult books which were released this summer. The first is Sara Ryan’s 2001 hit, Empress of the World, with now includes a new introduction by David Levithan, quite the important dude in the queer YA publishing world. Anytime a book is worthy of having an introduction to it written by someone else, you know the author’s done something right. It also has a bunch of extra materials, including a Q&A, recommended booklist, music playlist, and three short stories that Ryan describes as such:

— The Eisner-nominated “Me and Edith Head,” with art by Steve Lieber, about Katrina Lansdale, which takes place before Empress happens
— “Click” with art by Dylan Meconis, about Battle Hall Davies, which takes place between the events of Empress and The Rules for Hearts
— And the brand-new, never-before-published “Comparative Anatomy,” with art by Natalie Nourigat, about Nicola Lancaster, which takes place after the events of both novels.

You say “Eisner-nominated” and I’m in.

The next book is Mayra Lazara Dole’s Down to the Bone, which remains one of the best, and sadly one of the only, lesbian young adult books with a Latina protagonist. As opposed to the extra material in Empress of the World, this one got almost completely rewritten in order to reach new heights of sophistication and awesomeness. Dole says:

Down to the Bone’s 2012 expanded, updated second edition has drastically changed from the original bestselling classic. The old Harper Collins 2008 version was written for very young questioning teens. Now, the main character’s voice is older, savvy and irreverent because her experiences are more complex and layered. Since the girls no longer attend Catholic school, all “issues” are gone, and some chapters were deleted and others added.

What Dole forgot to mention is that the cover is also a million times sexier. Phew!

And speaking of Down to the Bone, it’s the next book club selection in Bitch Magazine’s Beyond Judy Blume series. While the book discussions take place in Portland (you can see me there!), I would recommend everyone reading along!

Other tidbits:

Here’s an altogether adorable story Lucy Hallowell passed on to me: hero of the 2012 Olympics soccer player Alex Morgan signed a deal with Simon & Schuster to write a series of middle grade novels called The Kicks, about a group of soccer-playing best friends. Morgan’s editor says they’re meant to show that “sports are such an integral part of girls’ lives – as much as friends and boys.” And/or GIRLS. Duh. The first book is set to be published summer of 2013.

Along with all the new fall book releases also comes fall book tours, and there are some good ones to try and catch in your local city: Malindo Lo will be appearing at several events this fall, one of which being the Brooklyn Book Festival on September 23rd, which is hosting so many amazing authors that it’s almost ridiculous. Basically, it makes me irrationally mad that I don’t yet live in Brooklyn. If you’re still anxiously awaiting your copy of Adaptation and want some more Malinda Lo to bide your time, you also must check out her absolutely beautiful guest post on Nova Ren Suma’s blog about her writing Turning Points.

Libba Bray, hilarious and feminist writer extraordinaire, will also be on tour this fall promoting her new book The Diviners, a Prohibition-era novel set in New York City starring a murder-mystery-sleuthing girl who may also possess some superpowers. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. While it’s not released until September 18th, film rights have already been snatched up for it, which says something. You can watch a super creepy book trailer at Entertainment Weekly.

Speaking of spooky tales with great female characters, amazingly-pink-haired Laini Taylor will also be kicking off a book tour in November for the highly-anticipated follow up to 2011’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone with Days of Blood and Starlight. And if those aren’t two fantastic titles, I don’t know what is. Think Twilight but more well-written and empowering, starring mythological angels instead of vampires. For reals, I never knew angels could be so bad-ass.

And for all the Harry Potter nerds out there who aren’t yet aware, registration is now open for next year’s LeakyCon, which will be held in both Portland, Oregon and London. And for you Harry Potter fans–or Doctor Who fans, or Joss Whedon fans, or John Green fans–who also lean towards the left, has everyone checked out the amazing swag at Nerds For Obama?

Lastly, since I know this has been very youth-lit heavy (sorry not sorry!), here’s a brief list of some new releases coming up by wonderful female authors that are meant for “grown ups,” whatever that means: In September, Zadie Smith’s NW; J.K. Rowling’s first adult venture, The Casual Vacancy, which I’m really hoping is more promising than the cover design, and Emma Straub’s first full-length novel, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures. In November, we have Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior, and a collection of stories by Alice Munro called Dear Life. Jeanette Winterson also has a new book called The Daylight Gate, but from what I can tell, it’s so far only available in the UK.

And in graphic novel news of awesomeness, Hope Larsen’s graphic novel adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic A Wrinkle in Time will be released in October.

What are you looking forward to reading this fall?

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