In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicles, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
With fall here, there’s plenty to read this September. From a queer Love, Simon that meets sports to a pilot who wants nothing more than to fly, we’ve got you covered for the month of September with a list of LGBTQ+ books you should read.
A special shoutout goes to Netgalley, the premier source of getting books in advance if you’re looking to review books. All the summaries were sourced from Netgalley (and from Amazon) and we hope this helps get readers interested in these creative queer writers!
1. Eighty Days by A.C. Esguerra
Summary: A pilot wants nothing more than to fly. Or so he thought, until he crosses paths with a mysterious thief whose tricks draw him into unchartered territory and new adventure. In a life where the truth changes as quickly as clouds in the sky, the pilot must decide for himself what freedom really means.
2. One Life by Megan Rapinoe; Emma Brockes
Summary: In One Life, Megan Rapinoe invites readers on a remarkable journey, looking back on both her victories and her failures, and pulls back the curtain on events we know only from the headlines. After the 2011 World Cup, discouraged by how few athletes were open about their sexuality, Rapinoe decided to come out publicly as gay and use her platform to advocate for marriage equality. Recognizing the power she had to bring attention to critical issues, in 2016 she took a knee during the national anthem in solidarity with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick to protest racial injustice and police brutality—the first high-profile white athlete to do so. The backlash was immediate, but it couldn’t compare to the overwhelming support. Rapinoe became a force of change.
3. The Hollow Heart by Marie Rutkoski
Summary: At the end of The Midnight Lie, Nirrim offered up her heart to the god of thieves in order to restore her people’s memories of their city’s history. The Half Kith who once lived imprisoned behind the city’s wall now realize that many among them are powerful. Meanwhile, the person Nirrim once loved most, Sid, has returned to her home country of Herran, where she must navigate the politics of being a rogue princess who has finally agreed to do her duty.
In the Herrani court, rumors begin to grow of a new threat rising across the sea, of magic unleashed on the world, and of a cruel, black-haired queen who can push false memories into your mind, so that you believe your dearest friends to be your enemies.
Sid doesn’t know that this queen is Nirrim, who seeks her revenge against a world that has wronged her. Can Sid save Nirrim from herself? Does Nirrim even want to be saved? As blood is shed and war begins, Sid and Nirrim find that it might not matter what they want…for the gods have their own plans.
4. Between His Lover and the Deep Blue Sea by Merry Farmer
Summary: Sailing Master Septimus Bolton has spent his entire life at sea…in more ways than one. Now that his ship has been decommissioned at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, he has nothing to do but accept the invitation of one of his fellow naval officers to convalesce for the summer at a remote country estate in Yorkshire. Septimus would do anything to get back to sea…
…until a pair of blue eyes and a mischievous smile tempt him to forget everything, including discretion.
Adam Seymour has had to fight for everything he has, from the scholarship that allowed him to attend university to the right to be himself. Now, as tutor to the Duke of Malton’s precocious children, he has a comfortable life in a grand country estate far away from ridicule. His goal of starting a school for underprivileged children once his noble charges outgrow his tutelage seems well within reach…
…until temptation arrives at Wodehouse Abbey in the form of handsome, older, irresistible Septimus.
It doesn’t matter how hard Septimus fights his feelings for Adam, the two men can’t seem to stay away from each other. But when Septimus is offered the chance of a lifetime in the form of the ship he’s always wanted to command, he will have to choose between the possibility of lifelong love and the dream that is finally within his reach.
5. Would You Like To Be A Family? by Koyama
Summary: When he runs into Natsui and his son at the supermarket, Takemura is surprised to find out that Natsui’s a single father… and even more surprised to be invited to dinner with no room to decline! Soon, he finds himself getting entangled in the inviting warmth of their family life. What are these tender, yearning feelings growing in him as he spends time with Natsui and Mori? “
6. Sidelined by Kara Bietz
Summary: Julian Jackson has a short to-do list for his senior year at Crenshaw County High School in Meridien, Texas: football, football, and more football. He knows he’s only got one chance to earn a college scholarship and make it out of his small town, and keeping his head down, his grades up, and his cleats on the field is that one chance. And then Elijah Vance walks back into his life, throwing all of his carefully-laid plans into a tailspin.
Elijah and Julian used to be best friends, maybe even on their way to something more than just friends. But three years ago, Elijah broke into the school to steal money from the coach’s office, and Julian was the one who turned him in. After that, Elijah and his family disappeared without a trace. And now he’s back, sitting at Julian’s grandmother’s kitchen table. But time and distance haven’t erased all of their feelings, and Elijah knows that he finally has a chance to prove to Julian that he’s not the same person he was three years ago. But with secrets still growing between them and an uncertain future barreling towards them, it may be harder to lean on each other than they thought.
7. Savage Love from A to Z by Dan Savage
Summary: Dan Savage has been talking frankly about sex and relationships for 30 years, and has built an international following thanks to his sex-positive Savage Love column and podcast. To celebrate this milestone comes Savage Love from A to Z, an illustrated collection of 26 never-before-published essays that provides a thoughtful, frank dive into Savage’s trademark phrases and philosophies. This hardcover book is for anyone who’s had sex, is currently having sex, or hopes to have sex!
8. Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
Summary: Welcome to Charon’s Crossing. The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through. When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead. And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.
But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days. Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.
9. Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo
Summary: Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom that hungers for him.
As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble.
And there is something awful lurking, waiting for those walls to fall.
10. Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki
Summary: Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six. When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka’s ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She’s found her final candidate.
But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn’t have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan’s kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul’s worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.
As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found.
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)