Bookseller’s Choice
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loves these books and thinks
maybe you might too
It’s mostly: scifi, fantasy,
queer fiction, anarchist/revolutionary
and a smattering of other delights. The
books are written by all sorts of authors
from different parts of the world. You can
find ideas and visions from people who
are very different from you, probably, and
that’s important. It’s books that will
hopefully be fun or challenge you and be
and maybe make you cry. If you read any
of these and enjoy them, let me know!
The City in the Middle of the Night
by Charlie Jane Anders
As with everything Charlie Jane writes,
this book has veins of magic pulsing
through it, bringing the words off the page
and into new dimensions. The City in the
Middle of the Night will entertain you; it is
imaginative and exciting. But it will also
make you feel; it's characters are real and
the situations they are in are
disconcertingly relatable. This book is
by Assata Shakur
Assata tells us one of the
necessary stories. It is
heartbreaking and inspiring
by turns and reveals a life
pushing the definitions of
courage and bravery to their
fullest limits. Assata Shakur
currently lives in Cuba and
continues to inspire
revolutionaries everywhere.
by Akwaeke Emezi
Wow! Akwaeke Emezi's vision
of a post-liberation world is
breath-taking. But they don't
stop there; they show us how a
revolution must be made every
day and how complacency lets
the horrors creep back in. CW
for references to sexual assault
and child abuse.
We Want It All
edited by Andrea Abi-Karam & Kay Gabriel
From them. Magazine: Beyond a “narrow
fight over particular rights and recognitions,”
as Abi-Karam and Gabriel note in their
introduction, We Want It All offers a vision of
trans liberation that “touches directly on
movements for ecological and climate
justice, for a world without prisons and
borders, for a liberatory reworking of gender
and sexual relations, and for universal
access to housing and health-care.” Put
more simply, We Want It All takes its title
literally: “What we want is nothing other than
a world in which everything belongs to
Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars
by Kai Cheng Thom
I don't want to say that trans people
have magic powers, because there's
already enough exoticising and
dehumanizing of us in popular
culture....buuuuuuuut Kai Cheng Thom
has magic powers and she filled this
story with so much of it, glitter oozes
from the pages. Read and be delighted.
Shut Up, You’re Pretty
by Tea Mutonji
Ummm, yes please! This
title is everything. The
stories are real, and they
hurt. But they are also
beautiful and they tug
the strings of my heart.
The Raven Tower
by Ann Leckie
This book left me speechless, utterly,
completely devoid of words. Reading
it felt like Ann Lecking flexing on her
readers, like a taunt on every page,
goading us into her strange, unique
world, until she finally pulled the rug
out, leaving us flailing, falling, utterly
undone. This book is absolutely
A People’s Future of the
united states
edited by Victor LaValle and
John Joseph Adams
This is a spectacular collection.
The futures imagined here are
disparate, wild; some are
hopeful, others...less so.
Speculative fiction offers
windows into our present time
that realistic fiction is often
unable to; the authors in this
collection use it to great effect.
by Andrea Abi-Karam
Wow! Andrea distills so much rage
and anger into a most ferocious
concentration in these poems. As I
read I could feel them placing a
switchblade into my hands, showing
me how to use it, as "Kill Bro // Kill
Cop" repeated in my mind.
Lilith's Brood
by Octavia Butler
This is my favorite of Octavia Butler's
works. She asks questions which don't
have easy answers, and are perhaps,
unanswerable, except by those of whom
they are asked. Especially challenging are
the themes of consent and hierarchy in,
supposedly, symbiotic relationships. As
with most of her works, Butler concerns
herself with how people survive within
these lopsided power structures, and in so
doing, illuminates oft-ignored realities of
the human experience.
The Dreamblood Duology
by N. K. Jemisin (includes The
Killing Moon and The Shadowed
Everyone knows N.K. Jemisin from
her Broken Earth trilogy, and rightly
so as that is probably the best
fantasy series to ever be written.
And her older stuff is amazing too!
The Dreamblood Duology is rich in
everything that make books good
and this series is excellent.
The Incorrigible Children of
Ashton Place series by
Maryrose Wood (#1 is
Mysterious Howling)
This is my favorite series for
young readers, ever. I even took
a character's name as my middle
name (no really). Maryrose
Wood's writing is so absolutely
gorgeous and her world so
wonderfully whimsical, I never
wanted to leave. Awhoo! Awhoo!
The Wayward Children series
by Seanan McGuire (especially and specifically Down Among The Sticks And
Bones and In An Absent Dream)
Okay, so stick with me. This series is kinda split into two strains: The odd
numbered books tell a linear story and the even numbered books are stand-
alone stories that tell the background of characters from the main one.
What are they about? A child finds a doorway that asks her to 'Make Sure'.
She steps through and finds herself in a world, tailored made for her needs
and temperament. She lives in this new, magical place, making friends with
its occupants, learning more about herself and finding the acceptance she
has longed for her whole life. But then, Something Happens, and she is
transported back to our own world, sometimes violently, sometimes by
choice. The adults in her life believe she has been kidnapped, or run away,
but whatever they choose, they will not listen to her. She becomes more and
more isolated from those around her, desperately longing to find another
doorway, to go back to her home. Her parents enroll her in Eleanor West's
Home for Wayward Children, believing it to be a state-of-the-art boarding
school dedicated to treating mentally unwell children like their own. But it is
really a place where all the children who have been torn from their true
homes too early can find solace in each other's company. And so begins our
linear tale.
This series is wonderful but it's the stand-alone tales that get me. They are
heartbreakingly perfect, and I mean that in it's most literal sense; my heart
was torn in pieces over and over again. My copies are tear-stained and the
binding is weak from my grip as I pressed them to my chest. Each one feels
so like a trans/queer allegory, they hit so hard and so close to the secret
If you like books full of magic that also make you cry, this series is perfect.
Little Fish
by Casey Plett
Little Fish took me into its arms and
swallowed me until I disappeared
completely, only to spit me out again
with all my secrets laid bare under the
piercing moonlight of Casey Plett's
words. No other book has felt so fully
like an author dipping their pen into the
well of my soul; no other book has
been this overwhelming.
We Both Laughed In Pleasure
by Lou Sullivan, edited by Ellis Martin
& Zach Ozma
Come for the cute butt on the cover,
stay for the most thoroughly self-
documented life of a trans man to exist
in the english language. Lou’s diaries
are beautiful to read and Ellis Martin &
Zack Ozma have done a lovely job
curating this book from literally
thousands of pages.
Bella Figura
by Kamin Mohammadi
Kamin Mohammadi takes us
through a year of her life in Italy,
showing what it mean to live as a
‘beautiful figure’. This book is so
romantic, so sensual, and in a
year where it can be hard to find a
reason to change out of
sweatpants, Kamin encourages us
to love ourselves and find ways of
injecting beauty into the mundane.
The Mermaid, the Witch, and the
by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
This book is so lovely! My favorite
are the chapters when the Sea
speaks; literally crying over every
one. But everything else too! The
Mermaids, the Witch, the
enchanting world! This is a
fabulous debut novel from Maggie
Tokuda-Hall, I can’t wait for more!
by Mattlida Bernstein Sycamore
Gender pronouns are fluid, the drugs
are in supply and everything is gay,
Gay, GAY! This book is exciting, like
when the molly hits, and exhausting,
like the next day. Alexa is a wild and
entrancing narrator and swept me
away for the ride.
edited by Phaidon
I am currently accepting
applications for someone to
provide me with
accommodations like the ones
pictured in this book. Tell your
friends. xox, Adelaide
My Sister, the Serial Killer
by Oyinkan Braithwaite
This is one of the most shockingly
delightful books I’ve stumbled
across. The title is SO intriguing and
the book itself does not let down. In
so many ways it is a traditional piece
of realistic fiction, but the absurdity of
the macabre that Oyinkan
Braithwaite peppers throughout
elevates it to a completely unique
and singular place on any bookshelf.
by Arielle Twist
Disintegrate: a dream, a longing.
Dissociate: all day.
I am going to study Arielle Twists's
words; resonate with them, learn from
them. Feel them in my depths, they
shake, they rock my bones.
Heads of the Colored People
by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Reading the story, Belle Lettres, had
me cracking up; I decided
immediately that I like Nafissa
Thompson-Spires's writing. It is sharp,
full of wit and has many-layered
textures, some of which I'm sure, as a
white reader, I am not privy to. I'm
looking forward to more of her short
stories in the future, she is excellent
at them.
Pereira Maintains
by Antonio Tabucchi
What if journalists weren’t so predictably
disappointing all the time? What if they
took an active role in fighting the
injustices they report on? Pereira
Maintains is a reference point for what
that might look like. It contextualises the
liberal hand-wringing so common today
and is an accusation against everyone
who speak excuses instead of actively
fighting the rise of fascism.
The Witches of New York
By Ami McKay
19th century witchy-feminist
fiction? That’s pretty much all
this girl needs. (Well, maybe a
cozy chair, large glass of wine
and my cat-friend Matilda curled
up in my lap.)
A Year Inside MS-13
by Juan Jose Martinez D'Aubuisson
Rather than a voyeuristic look into the lives of
gangsters, this book is important for how it
humanizes it's subjects and reveals the
incredibly brutal and bleak worlds they
inhabit. It is an indictment of u.s. immigration
policy, past and present, and a prescient
reminder that the news' caricatures of these
men are as ridiculous and absurd as borders
The Selected Works of Voltairine
De Cleyre
edited by Alexander Berkman
Nothing I have encountered holds
more beauty, joy, more exuberance
for life than the Idea. What anarchism
as a theory and anarchy as a social
reality offer is nothing short of total
liberation, for the collective and the
individual. De Cleyre's writings are
some of the most moving and
provocative to come out of the early
20th century. Prepare to be
They Were Her Property
by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
There is an unbroken line between the white
women, slave holders detailed in this book,
racist suffragettes, those who overwhelmingly
voted for trump (twice) and those who insist
on championing a 'tough on crime' candidate
(biden) and his top-cop vice presidential pick
(harris) during a national uprising against
police and anti-Black racism. Until we (white
women), reckon with this lineage and set
aside any insistence on the progression of
'women's rights' as somehow distinct from
racial equity, true social justice will remain as
ashes in our mouths.
Black Steel Magnolias in the Hour
of Chaos Theory
by James Cagney
These are quite incredible poems. If
you have an opportunity to hear them
read aloud, take it! James Cagney
(no, not that one, he dead) reads and
writes in the small space wisdom
Soledad Brother
by George Jackson
Every summer we (Abolitionists)
commemorate Black August.
George and his brother Jonathan’s
actions during this month, though
one year apart, have given us a
legacy of resistance to the modern-
day slavery of the prison system.
This is an incredibly important book
to read.
Maroon the Implacable
by Russell 'Maroon' Shoatz
This book is comprised of essays
written during Russell Shoatz's lengthy
prison sentence, the majority of which
he has spent in solitary confinement,
due to the prison system's inability to
crush his spirit (or keep him locked up;
he has escaped prison twice!). He is
currently struggling with severe health
problems and the movement to
demand his freedom has been
reinvigorated. For abolitionists and
revolutionaries everywhere, he is
The Girl Who Circumnavigated
Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own
by Catherynne M. Valente
At the beginning of ‘rona I read my
insta followers a bedtime story every
night. I chose this book and it was a
smashing success. It’s a lovely
fairytale, at turns exciting, others more
somber. It is delightful and inventive
and I highly recommend it for children
of all ages.
Pangayaw and Decolonizing
by Bas Umali
The struggle for decolonization and total
liberation is alive and strong in the
Philippines, despite duterte’s best efforts
to stamp it out. Anarchism takes so many
different forms, depending on local
context; this book does a wonderful job of
furthering the struggle and offering
potential strategies that we can all learn
Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the
By Sarah Ladipo Manyika
Morayo, the protagonist of this perfect
novella, is the type of older woman I
hope to someday be. She lives a vibrant
life, remembering the fullness she has
lived while remaining intensely curious
about the young people around her. This
is a wonderfully meditative book.
My Eighty-One Years of
by May Picqueray
May Picqueray writes with such
joy about her life in anarchy and
wow, it is intoxicating! The
whimsy! The violence! The
absolute dedication to total
liberation! I swoon!
Thursday's and Every Other Sunday Off
by Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor
Race, gender, and class all intersect in this
incisive examination of the lives of Black
domestic workers. Originally published in
1972, many of the stories, and certainly the
analysis, are just as prescient today; it's a gift
that it has been reprinted.
What it Means When a Man Falls
From the Sky
by Lesley Nneka Arimah
In each story Lesley Nneka Arimah
beckoned me forward, up a hill, with
promises of wonders too incredible
to imagine, just over the peak. By
the time I crested each ridge, it was
too late, and I found myself
plummeting over the edge of a cliff.
Take these stories slowly and let
each wreck you in it's way.
How Mamas Love Their Babies
by Juniper Fitzgerald, illustrations
by Elise Peterson
Other picture books have made
me cry more than this but I've
never felt so grateful for another
to exist. Juniper Fitzgerald and
Elise Peterson have given a gift
with this creation.
Annals of the Western Shore
by Ursula K. Le Guin
One day my friends and I decided we were going to get the
archipelago from Earthsea tattooed across our butts, so our
fannies, when seen in total, would reproduce the map at the
beginning of each book in the series. We probably aren’t
going to get any tattoos from Annals of the Western Shore,
but I am going to read it and reread it. I love Ursula Le Guin so
much and I go to her books when I need to slow down, dream
better and get in touch with truths deep within the foundations
of existence.
Queer and Trans Artists of Color
interviews by Nia King, edited by Maliha Ahmed
This third volume of Queer & Trans Artists of Color is easily my
favorite, not only because Nia King interviews some of my friends
(!!!) but I was able to see several of the contributors when they
debuted the book. There is such a great and wide array of artists
and artistic disciplines represented in these pages, it truly is a
*this book is self-published and so not able to be linked to our website. Please
give us a call or stop by if you would like a copy!
100 Boyfriends
by Brontez Purnell
Find a friend, a partner, a
random, and read each other
chapters, preferably in bed.
Guaranteed to up the vibes and,
goddamn if you aren’t wet, then I
dunno, call a doctor.
I Hope We Choose Love
by Kai Cheng Thom
In many ways these essays are a
love letter to movements for
liberation. Kai Cheng challenges us
to do better, to act from love. Her
critiques are sober reflections on the
gaps between our desires to create
more magical worlds and our
behaviors which so often reflect the
carceral logic of our current one.
The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion
By Margaret Killjoy
A queer anarchist traveler arrives in Freedom, Iowa, a
utopic community of former itinerants and misfits,
searching for answers to her friend's recent suicide. While
there she experiences a taste of anarchy; a society with
no obvious hierarchy, no material want and an abundance
of care and generosity. But lurking beneath this appealing
veneer is a force strange and mysterious, otherworldly and
oh so deadly. This novella is a lot of fun, and Margaret
Killjoy does a fantastic job of teasing out the contradictions
inherent to utopic enterprises.