I was so very, very stressed about my reading challenge at the beginning of the month, but now I look at my stats and it’s… I honestly read so much in December?? On an even brighter note, literally everything I read this week, I can put in the post!!
So let’s not waste any more time and get right into it.
Diverse reads of the week
Fortitude Smashed (Camellia Clock Cycle #1) by Taylor Brooke
I just posted a full length review of this, so I suppose there’s no need to get into details, but let me rehash some main points: it’s a m/m romance with the premise that boils down to “soulmates”. The style is very much a purple prose and the whole thing is highly forgettable, but hey, if you have a free afternoon & want to relax… go for it.
Reason Number One by Briston Brooks
A young adult m/m romance that has to come with some tw: sexual assault, blood, talk of past rape, abuse, talk of past bullying, off-screen homophobia, internalized homophobia. That’s a long list, I realise, but don’t let it discourage you. Because in the end, this is an incredibly soft story & the love part of it is simply beautiful. Also the MC & his twin sister are Native American, there’s a Black and a Japanese side character, and the LI is bisexual.
Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson
Okay, yes, the MC starts out as a horrible sexist asshole. You will want to fight him at least 27 different times. But just stick with him, okay? He tries to figure himself out and unlearn all that internalized homophobia! And on the plus note, his awful behaviour actually gets called out by others and recognized by him, and he apologizes for everything. Anyway, gay MC & LI, as well as a bisexual side character.
Selected Poems by Federico García Lorca
I don’t really like reading selected poems collections, since the author wasn’t the one to do the selecting & I’m just expected to trust someone else’s taste. So it’s a bit like Russian roulette. Which was the case here, unfortunately. But in the end, I still fell in love with Lorca’s voice and that is really all that matters, right?
I’m sure everyone knows this, but just so we’re clear: Federico was gay and murdered for both that and his very much leftist beliefs in 1936.
Sonnets of Dark Love by Federico García Lorca
So in terms of a background, those poems were written in 1935 and only published after Lorca’s death. They’re about his love for & relationship with Ramirez de Lucas. “Lorca did not go to Mexico on exile (despite warnings that he may be killed) because Ramirez de Lucas’ family refused him permission to travel with Lorca abroad. Ramirez de Lucas was under 21, and in Spain, at the time, you could not legally travel without parental permission.”
A middle grade graphic novel about a human bakery girl who participates in an alien cooking show. In space. The alien designs are absolutely marvelous, the whole thing hilarious and so very, very warm! And our protagonist – Peony – even has time to fall for one of the other contestants, Neptunia. My lesbian heart was so happy that the book didn’t shy away from it and was actually very clear about their relationship!
Diverse to be reads of the week
The Hierophant’s Daughter (The Disgraced Martyr Trilogy, #1)
by M.F. Sullivan
- basically me trying to branch out with my reading choices
Other than that I added some poetry collections by gay and lesbian poets, so let me get them all in one place.
- Voluntary Servitude: Poems by Mark Wunderlich
- Mad for Meat by Kevin Simmonds
- Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality by Kevin Simmonds (Editor)
- Milk and Honey: A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry by Julie R. Enszer (Editor)
- C. P. Cavafy: Collected Poems by Constantinos P. Cavafis
So as you can see, I really am doing well in December! And we still have some days left. 😮
What diverse books did you read this week?