Well, it’s Pride Month.
Although to be fair it feels more like Wrath month that it ever has. I read an instagram post from @YourTitaKate that had Micah Bazant’s words (often attributed to the amazing Marsha P Johnson), “No Pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.”
And I’m really feeling that this month.
2021 had 1,597 book challenges, a 4x increase over 2019. The majority of the books challenged had LGBTQ+ themes or Black characters.
As of March, nearly 240 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced across state legislatures just in 2022. Several of them, most notably the anti-transgender bills in Texas and the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida, have been enacted into law. Many of these bills target transgender children and their families, caregivers and teachers.
In addition to these actions targeting the LGBTQ+ community, Republicans have been working on banning abortion (which directly affect marginalized and underserved communities), birth control, critical race theory (read: any history that is not whyte supremacist pro-America propaganda), and setting up these hot issue (and still really, really awful) bills to force the issues away from other ways they are trying to take and hold on to power (redistricting and purging voter rolls, for example).
So, while we celebrate how far we have come (because we have all come a very long way), we cannot forget that for many of us, we have not come far enough.
Anywho, here’s my tbr for the month.
The Official TBR
Blurbs from Goodreads. ARCs noted by a *
Can’t Resist Her by Kianna Alexander*
After years away from home, Summer Graves is back in Austin, Texas, to accept a new teaching position. Of all the changes to the old neighborhood, the most dispiriting one is the slated demolition of the high school her grandmother founded. There’s no way she can let developers destroy her memories and her family legacy. But the challenge stirs memories of another kind. Aiko Holt is on the architectural team, and neither can forget the kiss they shared at their senior-year dance. Can they put aside their differences long enough to agree on love?
The Bodyguard by Katherine Center*
Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindgerten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker. When Jack’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch to help out. Only one catch: He doesn’t want his family to know about his stalker. Or the bodyguard thing. And so Hannah—against her will and her better judgment—finds herself pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover. It’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.
A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers*
After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home. They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.
The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi*
Sylah dreams of days growing up in the resistance, being told she would spark a revolution that would free the Empire from the red-blooded ruling classes’ tyranny. Anoor has been told she’s nothing, no one, a disappointment by the only person who matters: her mother, the most powerful ruler in the Empire Hassa moves through the world unseen by upper classes, so she knows what it means to be invisible. As the Empire begins a set of trials of combat and skill designed to find its new leaders, the stage is set for blood to flow, power to shift, and cities to burn.
What Moves the Dead by T Kingfisher*
When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania. What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves. Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.
The Second Rebel by Linden Lewis
Astrid has reclaimed her name and her voice, and now seeks to bring down the Sisterhood from within. Throwing herself into the lioness’ den, Astrid must confront and challenge the Aunts who run the Gean religious institution, but she quickly discovers that the business of politics is far deadlier than she ever expected. Meanwhile, on an outlaw colony station deep in space, Hiro val Akira seeks to bring a dangerous ally into the rebellion. Whispers of a digital woman fuel Hiro’s search, but they are not the only person looking for this link to the mysterious race of Synthetics.
A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows*
Velasin vin Aaro never planned to marry at all, let alone a girl from neighboring Tithena. When an ugly confrontation reveals his preference for men, Vel fears he’s ruined the diplomatic union before it can even begin. But while his family is ready to disown him, the Tithenai envoy has a different solution: for Vel to marry his former intended’s brother instead. Caethari Aeduria always knew he might end up in a political marriage, but his sudden betrothal to a man from Ralia, where such relationships are forbidden, comes as a shock. With an unknown faction willing to kill to end their new alliance, Vel and Cae have no choice but to trust each other. Survival is one thing, but love—as both will learn—is quite another.
The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston*
Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead. When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.
The Unofficial TBR
Because what is life without overcommitment?
- A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
- The Princess Affair by Nell Stark
- The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
- Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid*
- Frederick Douglass by David Blight (currently reading)
- Café con Lychee by Emory Lee
- Fresh Banana Leaves by Jessica Hernandez
- Secret City by James Kirchick