It’s LGBT history month this February.
LGBT+ books are great, not just because of what is already available but because of the potential.
Novel writing is, relatively, a fairly new phenomenon in history (thank you university tutors for this knowledge) although to us a bookshop full of novel may be an ordinary feat. Fiction can be marked by movements/ trending periods/ revolutions. As society changes the relevance of the stories that we read changes as well.
Changes in society are reflected in documentation and have been since stories were first written down. Storytellers, ultimately and in some form or another, tell a truth and there will always be a place for that.
During my last couple of years at university I went through a phase, I’ve probably mentioned it, of buying books and then putting them on my bookshelves without reading them. So, I’m a little behind with recent releases. I’m currently catching up a bit at the moment and I will get there eventually (and then buy more books).
So, with that in mind and a will to want to read more, here are my current favourite LGBT+ books and recommendations.
First up is ‘Cut & Run’ by Abigail Roux (The first four books in the series were co-written with Madeline Urban). A friend recommended this series to me and she managed to intrigue me with a description of the third book, ‘Fish & Chips’. It was an unusual method but it definitely worked (she was right, the third book is utterly brilliant but the sixth book, ‘Stars & Stripes’ is my absolute favourite). The plot is fast-paced, gritty and full of so much angst at times in between the calmer moments. No spoilers, but the series did it’s best to break my heart many times yet, I have still re-read the series more than once.
Like a super-powered team-up two fantastic authors Jocelynn Drake (I already loved Jocelynn’s writing from her paranormal romance Dark Days series) and Rinda Elliot (I’d not read her work before but now I know that she is so nice and I think she’s brilliant) got together to write the Unbreakable Bonds series. Together they decided to self-publish which meant even more work on their parts but they’ve done brilliantly.
I have to make a confession here: I’ve only read the first book in the series.
I know! The first story, ‘Shiver’, was so compelling and I’ve been meaning to buy the next ones for months (every time they announce the release of another one I feel such a mix of happiness and guilt. Just see my earlier comment about buying books and not reading them. It’s fine. I’m catching up.) The point is, ‘Shiver’ reminded me of how captivating contemporary fiction can be and their characters are so fascinating.
Plus, as a great bonus, there are lots of little short stories from both authors to go with the series (I’ve read more of these I must admit) which they blog (free to read on the blog obviously) and short stories available in cute books as well to complete the set! Right now, this week, they’ve been blogging short Valentines stories which I have been reading (I happened to ask what the characters were up to for Valentine’s Day a couple of days before they started to release them. Did I ruin the surprise? 🙂 ) and they are amazing.
I thought for a long time about what else to recommend. It’s not that I’ve run out of choices it’s just that I apparently don’t really have a third favourite as nothing immediately sprang to mind which was a little odd.
So, I’m going to go ahead and recommend ‘Carry On’ by Rainbow Rowell for a few reasons. Firstly, well, I’ve read it recently and I mentioned it a couple of blog posts ago. Secondly it’s YA fiction in a way that my other two recommendations really are not and, thirdly, I liked how it made the point that saving (or destroying) the world was a much bigger priority than the gender that you’re attracted to, without trivialising the moment of realisation about who the character liked (I have so many feelings about the character Baz (and about Simon a bit) (I loved Penny) but I will spare you from that).
As for future reads, well I quite want to read ‘Not Your Sidekick’ by C.B. Lee. I read the little taster bit that they have on amazon and I really enjoyed the beginning of the story. It’s published by Independent Publishing which is (no surprise) an independent publisher so, as it is expected, the book is a little more expensive, relatively, compared to some others but I’m looking forward to getting it, hopefully soon.
After a bit of work over the weekend I managed to add some pages to the menu so that there is a separate space for my poetry and for the future guest blogs to be seen. The poetry I’ve been writing for this month will eventually be able to be seen under the header of ‘February 2017’ on the drop-down menu from ‘Poetry’ but currently there is only the first poem on the page. I will upload the rest of them soon.
For now, here is today’s poem.
Dragged across and smeared.
Red. Gold. Blue. Green. Purple.
Each fingerprint a colour chosen
at random or maybe on purpose.
They blur together and make a
pretty mess across a canvas that
is not a canvas at all but is my
favourite medium to work with.
Art is art is art is art is art is art.
The joy in the movement of each
swirl and dot and splatter.
My hands drip, bleed, with colour.
Forget the paintbrushes and
the paper. Make art live louder
than it has before. What does
Art mean? No answer. No need.
Choose all of the colours.