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Find more Over the Rainbow
The Over the Rainbow committee of ALA’s Rainbow Roundtable (formerly ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table) gave careful consideration to a wide range of fiction and nonfiction that represents the continued expansion of queer publishing, choosing 70 titles to make up the complete 2020 Over the Rainbow book list. The depth of substantial topics covered and the number of quality books from all over the genre spectrum is thrilling. No longer is the focus solely upon stories of tragedy; many selections were about lives filled with joy. Below please find the top 10 Over the Rainbow titles. The full list can be found here: www.glbtrt.ala.org/overtherainbow.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf. By Marlon James. Penguin, $30 (9780735220171).
Violent, lyrical, and intense prose, with stories inside stories and diversions that are literal as well as narrative, mark the story of a troubled warrior caught up in a complex quest in a high-fantasy version of Africa.
Buying Gay: How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement. By David K. Johnson. Columbia University Press, $32 (9780231189101).
An important study of male-physique magazines, and how they facilitated not only gay male community and desire, but also created a market of things to buy and sell, and profits to be made.
Claiming the B in LGBT: Illuminating the Bisexual Narrative. Edited by Kate Harrad. Thorntree Press, $24.95 (9781944934606).
An engaging and clear primer on bisexuality that tackles persistent and pernicious myths and explores bisexuality’s intersections with non-monogamy, gender, race, disability, and faith, among other topics, interspersed with diverse testimonials of bisexual people.
Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers. By Jake Skeets. Milkweed, $16 (9781571315205).
Skeets, an essential and ambitious new voice, tells fierce stories of growing up queer and indigenous in the American West. His debut collection of poems is a mix of brutality and tenderness, showcasing the raw beauty and horror of the southwest.
Gideon the Ninth. By Tamsyn Muir. Tor, $25.99 (9781250313195).
After growing up in the geriatric Ninth house of bone magicians, Gideon longs to be anywhere else. When she plans a daring escape, she is instead forced by the Emperor to fight against the other eight necromancer houses alongside her childhood nemesis.
In the Dream House: A Memoir. By Carmen Maria Machado. Graywolf, $26 (9781644450031).
In this essential read, Machado writes about her own experience in an abusive relationship within the broader context of lesbian and/or queer domestic abuse. All the pieces of her life, experiences, and relationships create this “dream house” that also builds a structure to surround the experience.
Introduction to Transgender Studies. By Ardel Haefele-Thomas. Harrington Park Press, $59 (9781939594273).
This undergraduate textbook focuses on the transgender experience on a global scale, has chapters focused on the history of transgender society, and includes many stories and perspectives written by members of the transgender community.
The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics. By Olivia Waite. Avon, $6.99 (9780062931795).
After her father’s death and her female lover’s sudden wedding to a man, Lucy distracts herself with the translation of a famous French astronomy text. She is unexpectedly aided by the widowed Countess of Moth, and soon the two are navigating their differences, their shared goals, and, ultimately, their love for one another.
The Priory of the Orange Tree. By Samantha Shannon. Bloomsbury, $32 (9781635570298).
This welcome queer addition to the existing catalog of high-fantasy novels presents a story of magic, dragons, and political intrigue from three unique perspectives. At over 800 pages, this feminist fantasy tale will delight readers looking for a long read with a unique setting and well-developed characters.
When Brooklyn Was Queer. By Hugh Ryan. St. Martin’s, $29.99 (9781250169914).
Ryan recreates the evolution of Brooklyn’s queer scene from the era of Walt Whitman up to Stonewall, highlighting the lives of well-known queer historical figures like Carson McCullers and Hart Crane along with less well-known figures such as male impersonator Florence Hines and dancer Mabel Hampton.
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