Man o' War spans over several years of River McIntyre's life, beginning with a personal realization so sudden and intimidating that they jump into the literal shark tank at the local SeaPlanet. Intimate like a diary, McIntyre's identity and growth washes over them in waves as time ticks by-- an achingly real portrayal that mirrors many trans experiences in a way that holds your heart in a vice grip. Man o' War is a blistering novel that caught me in its tide, a fully-rounded and resolute coming of age.
Emo's not dead, and this interview-format styled recount of its prime era proves the genre's lasting influence and legacy on pop culture, going through the highs and the lows of it all. I'll always be an emo kid at heart, but this book completely rekindled the fire and adoration I have for this period in music-- and I even learned some things I hadn't known about! Where Are Your Boys Tonight? is everything I hoped it would be and so much more.
After strangers Hallie and Jack have a very hot and embarrassing one-night stand, the two meet again through a dating app-- and make a bet on who can find love first-- without considering that they might fall for each other. I truly had so much fun while reading this sweet and hilarious rom-com! Jack and Hallie's easygoing banter, genuine chemistry, and gradual love connection was such a delight!
When I read The Travelling Cat Chronicles years ago, I felt like it was a book that a reader of any age could relate to, especially if they loved cats. I feel the same way about The Goodbye Cat, a collection of seven stories that explore the emotional depths of love and companionship between humans and their feline family members in a perfect balance of charming and bittersweet. The Goodbye Cat is so wonderfully heartwarming and heartrending at once-- perfect for fans of novels like The Cat Who Saved Books and Before the Coffee Gets Cold.
I completely savored every page of this beautiful historical romance between two young men in the late 1950's, a time where being gay could get you arrested. The slow-burn trepidation between Nick and Andy evolves into something so safe and loving-- I cherished their story, and would have been happy to witness more of their adoration far beyond the last page.
Joshua Whitehead is hands-down one of the greatest writers of our time. This vivid, grounding book isn't about any one thing, yet overall generates thoughts and teachings of decolonization in not just the mind, body, and spirit of the self, but in all Earthly relations and the ways that we perceive the world we live in. That being said, Making Love with the Land brings forth much contemplation about the reader's identity while Whitehead ruminates on his-- regarding how we see ourselves, and how others see us. There is no easy or simple way to summarize this brilliant book other than it's the kind of book that is bound to become re-read, marked up, worn, and well-loved as readers revisit it again and again. I can't emphasize enough how moved I was by this book, and I urge everyone to read it and take their time with it.
Audacious in its humor while packing an emotional punch. Elliott's journey of realization and healing includes (but isn't limited to) much self reflection, complex relationships of all kinds, and raises questions regarding what's considered the "ideal" gay male experience. A raw, fervent novel of navigating the dating and business world as a disabled person.
Sometimes being The Gay Best Friend is awkward: never feeling quite like one of the guys, in addition to feeling tokenized by your gal pals. Domenic loves his soon-to-be-married best friends Patrick and Kate, but he's found himself caught in the middle of all sorts of scandal involving members of both wedding parties. This enticingly juicy dramedy had me completely invested! Reading it felt like watching a satisfying comfort movie worth revisiting.
Written and put together with compassion, nuance, and emotionally difficult truths, Real explains how both the home environment and the world around us in childhood is shaped by patriarchy, emotionally wounding boys and men. In his work as a relational recovery therapist, Real shares stories about men of all ages on their path to healing their relationships, psychic wounds, and repairing their own inner selves. Whether you are a man or love a man in any capacity, be it your spouse, brother, father, or friend, this is an essential read for understanding ourselves and each other, and to help each other recover. This is undoubtedly a book of lasting impact.
Rising meteorologist Ari Abrams loves a rainy day, but there's a storm brewing at KSEA6 News between two divorced starring staff, and Ari is tired of it dampening the atmosphere. Teaming up with sports reporter Russell, the two hatch a plan to make their bosses fall in love again-- and there might be love in the forecast between them, too. Solomon has a knack for capturing the aesthetic of the Pacific Northwest in all of its glory, and Weather Girl is no exception with its cozy warmth and crackling sparks. This novel is without a doubt the rom-com of the rainy season, broadcasting sunshine into the heart.
One perceptive community center librarian changes the lives of five different people with unexpected book recommendations that speak to their hearts-- books they may have never come across otherwise. These inspiring and thoughtful interlocking narratives celebrate the profound joy of everything bookish-- stories, libraries, bookshops, and the people that love them. A novel that readers will find worth revisiting throughout time.
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I'm not sure I will ever fall in love with a pop culture history book the way I've fallen in love with Nöthin' But a Good Time. Told in a tell-all in interview format from various musicians and bigwigs from the 1980's glam metal scene, I learned even more about all the wild shenanigans of the time, and this book did an incredible job of bringing the sex, drugs, and rock n' roll of the LA strip to life before my eyes. It's been a month since I finished this book and I'm still obsessed with it! I've fallen in love with the glam all over again.
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The Berry Pickers is a family saga centered around two of its youngest members: Ruthie, who was kidnapped as a child by a white family, and her brother Joe, the last person to see her before she disappeared. Brilliant and emotionally charged, this novel is ripe with the distressing reality and aftermath of Indian boarding schools, attempted cultural assimilation, and MMIW-- but Peters also explores the complexities of familial love as well as the emotional tenderness that encompasses families and relationships as they grow and change throughout the ages.
Broder is an auto-read author for me, and in Death Valley she perfectly executes a balance of deadpan existentialist humor with the very real and complicated emotions of impending grief and vulnerability we must experiences as we allow ourselves to love and be loved. Death Valley is like if Didion's Play It As It Lays and Strayed's Wild were to combine-- woman vs the void meets a poignant journey of transformation.
This book may be classified as a novel, but arguably does more justice to Sacajewea's story than many of the sanitized historical recounts of her life-- not hiding the fact that that she was stolen, sold, brutalized, and pregnant, all before the age of twelve. Earling wrote The Lost Journals of Sacajewea for the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition, now finally published in book form to read worldwide. Essential for any American History reader.
In this atmospheric novel, Nuttall takes us to two islands of their own creation, loosely modeled after Aotearoa and Vancouver Island-- and here, they are mother and daughter. Nuttall gifts us glimpses into the lives of many generations of women between these two lands and cultures over time. Tauhou is an imaginative, spiritual, and heartfelt experience to read. This is the kind of book you will want to revisit and connect its segments in different ways.
Shortly after Wren and Lewis get married, Lewis is diagnosed with a mutation of Charcharodon Carcharias-- he has nine months until his transformation to a great white shark is complete. Habeck gives this poignant and heart-rending story a lot of room to breathe between impactful moments of past and present for three key characters-- Wren, Lewis, and Angela. Shark Heart is a testament to how beginnings and endings are often one and the same, and how our hearts continue to endure and weather through tides of life.
Growing up in India, Priyanka Kumar felt connected to the natural world. It was hard to find that in America as an adult-- until she and her husband were invited to go on a bird walk, unlocking that passion once again. Conversations with Birds chronicles just some of Kumar's most significant avian encounters in the American southwest, ranging across the map from songbirds to birds of prey. These beautiful reflections range from spiritual and breathtaking to concerns of how our rapidly changing climate puts all of life at risk-- not just the things with feathers. Gorgeous, stirring, and memorable.
You could consider The Cat and The City to be both a novel and a short story collection-- a nimble calico cat winds her way through the lives of many Tokyo residents; young and old, salarymen and yakuza, and so many more. Some know her well, while others get a glimpse-- there are times you wonder if she can even take on her own human form. These characters range from charming to caustic, worlds intersecting throughout this feline's travels without realizing. Brilliantly connected and put together, you'll want to revisit The Cat and the City again and again to connect the dots of these bustling lives.
Something More chronicles Jessie's year in ninth grade as she comes to terms with her autism diagnosis while also navigating new friendships and feelings about boys. There's a perfect amount of drama and realism in this thoughtful coming of age novel that fans of Jenny Han will love-- I was completely invested!
Alexis Hall is ushering in a new era of historical romance with Viola Caroll, a trans woman who left her old life behind after war to live authentically. Two years later, she must come face to face with Gracewood, her closest childhood friend, who has no idea she's more alive than ever. With A Lady for a Duke, Hall sheds a little light on the often overlooked happy endings for LGBT folk in history, as we've always been here-- and what a delight it is to read a sweet, sensual, and heart-mending romance that celebrates it.
Gabe, Sal, Heath, and Reese have been inseparable gay best friends for years, but this summer they're all flying solo on their own trips of self-discovery in academics, careers, and relationships. Driven, clever, and sweet, these perfectly imperfect golden boys were such a joy to journey with, and I'm already eagerly awaiting to see what's in store for them next! If you're looking for a warm contemporary to escape with, Golden Boys is the book you need to be reading.
Avery hardly knows a thing about her estranged grandmother, Mama Letty. When her family relocates from DC to Georgia, Avery is set on uncovering the unspoken mysteries that tore her family apart-- only she has no idea how far back they go. We Deserve Monuments is a phenomenal and emotionally captivating debut that weaves together small town secrecy, intersectional identity, and America's violent history into one stunning, poignant, and sure-to-be influential novel. The kind of book that will keep you up until 2 AM-- or at least, it did for me.
There are many paths in life to take, whether it's the boys you date or the college you choose-- and everyone seems to have an opinion on what's best for June Chu, but she has yet to decide what she thinks is best for herself. Boys I Know is Judy Blume's Forever for the modern age, carrying with it the expectations of family, academics, and relationships. June's journey through senior year is all too relatable in all of its messy, soul-searching glory.
When Nicolás Caraveo is encouraged to move to New York by his cousin Daisy Fay, he finds himself neighbors with the enigmatic and alluring Jay Gatsby. You might think you know this story already... but I can assure you that this retelling is an enticing, intersectional crown jewel that just might surpass the original. McLemore has long been a master of writing atmosphere and longing, and this really shines in Self-Made Boys.
A vibrant and thoughtful novel with a focus on existentialism, the speed of light, and the paths we choose in life for comfort or happiness. Like the light, Fuyuko absorbs the inner workings and relations of the few people that orbit around her semi-reclusive lifestyle as a freelance copy-editor, in turn ruminating on the route she's taking in her own livelihood. Quiet, contemplative, and bittersweet.
Talty's writing evokes all five senses in these interwoven stories about an Indigenous family and present-day coming of age on a Penobscot reservation. While each can be read on their own, Night of the Living Rez feels like a full novel in the way it jumps throughout time, unveiling prominent details about recurring characters throughout the experience this book brings. The kind of collection you'll want to revisit again and again.
Tansy Adams needs money to purchase her late father's beloved bookstore; Infamous socialite and romance cover model Gemma van Dalen needs a wife to inherit her grandfather's company. The two agree to a mutually beneficial marriage of convenience-- now all they have to do is make their families believe it's legitimate. Fortunately, the undeniable spark between Gemma and Tansy doesn't make it too difficult... Bellefleur has become an auto-read author for me, and The Fiancee Farce is an excellent page-turning romance that hits all the right notes! I hope to see more of their family and friends finding happy ever afters in the future!
Snarky, sensual, and sweet, Delilah Green Doesn't Care is a firecracker of a romance with genuine characters that I would love to know, and I'm in awe of Blake's ability to bring everything to the table with this novel-- and I'm eagerly awaiting what other shenanigans the residents of Bright Falls have in store in the future.
There's a skeleton inside of everyone, encased in flesh bags, and we are all going to die eventually. These are a few of the main consistent that cycle through Gilda's brain, and they become amplified after a car accident that breaks her arm. The ER professionals are no help with managing her panic attacks, and her family prefers to pretend nothing is wrong. When she walks into a church seeking a mental health support group, Gilda is unintentionally roped into a job as their new receptionist. In dire need of cash. she omits that she's an atheist lesbian and finds herself wrapped up in the mystery death of her predecessor, an elderly woman named Grace. Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is artfully sardonic and neurotic, a timely portrayal of the millennial struggle. I was completely hooked on Gilda's train of thought and the way that Austin chose to piece together all these moments in Gilda's life leading up to her present.