Thursday, July 6, 2017

QSR Guest Post: Luci's TBR List

Hi everyone!

In our last #qsrchat, I hinted that I was going to share my TBR for Queer Summer Reading with you, so without further ado, here it is:

1. read a book that represents (part of) your queer identity

CITY OF STRIFE (Claudie Arseneault)

Isandor, City of Spires.

A hundred and thirty years have passed since Arathiel last set foot in his home city. Isandor hasn’t changed—bickering merchant families still vie for power through eccentric shows of wealth—but he has. His family is long dead, a magical trap has dulled his senses, and he returns seeking a sense of belonging now long lost.

Arathiel hides in the Lower City, piecing together a new life among in a shelter dedicated to the homeless and the poor, befriending an uncommon trio: the Shelter’s rageful owner, Larryn, his dark elven friend Hasryan, and Cal the cheese-loving halfling. When Hasryan is accused of Isandor's most infamous assassination of the last decade, what little peace Arathiel has managed to find for himself is shattered. Hasryan is innocent… he thinks. In order to save him, Arathiel may have to shatter the shreds of home he’d managed to build for himself.

Arathiel could appeal to the Dathirii—a noble elven family who knew him before he disappeared—but he would have to stop hiding, and they have battles of their own to fight. The idealistic Lord Dathirii is waging a battle of honour and justice against the cruel Myrian Empire, objecting to their slavery, their magics, and inhumane treatment of their apprentices. One he could win, if only he could convince Isandor’s rulers to stop courting Myrian’s favours for profit.

In the ripples that follow Diel’s opposition, friendships shatter and alliances crumble. Arathiel, the Dathirii, and everyone in Isandor fights to preserve their homes, even if the struggle changes them irrevocably.

I’ve been wanting to read this since it came out, but my depression never left me the energy to immerse myself in a fantasy setting. I’m really looking forward to reading own voices aro rep! And it’s been far too long since I last read anything high fantasy…

1b. read an own voices queer book

NO MORE HEROES (Michelle Kan)

The peaceful nights are kept under the clandestine and watchful eye of young, gifted vigilantes the world over. But a sudden rash of vigilante deaths heralds the arrival of a new and unfamiliar enemy – one whose motive is as unclear as their identity. Someone or something seems determined to disturb the peace, and they're going straight for the watchmen to do it. In a city where those who are gifted make up their own rules, who will step forward when the threat of a swift end is real and there stands so little to gain?

No More Heroes is an urban fantasy action/adventure novel about young, would-be heroes who get more than they bargained for when they delve deeper into a world they never knew they were a part of. Featuring a diverse cast of players, discord, a mystery to be solved, plenty of literary action and high-stakes battles, No More Heroes is a story about self-belief and camaraderie, persistence in the face of trials, and what it means to be the best version of yourself.

I’ve heard so many great things about this book! Like with CITY OF STRIFE, I bought it months ago, but never got around to reading it. NO MORE HEROES also has own voices aro rep, and I’m really excited to meet all these fictional aros (and hold them in my heart forever!)

2. read a book that represents a different aspect of queerness


Parole is still burning. And now the day everyone has been waiting for is finally here: it’s collapsed. A lucky few managed to escape with their lives. But while their city burned, the world outside suffered its own devastating disaster. The Tartarus Zone is a deadly wasteland a thousand miles wide, filled with toxic storms, ghostly horrors, and just as many Eyes in the Sky as ever. Somehow, this new nightmare is connected to Parole. And it’s spreading.

Now Parole’s only hope lies in the hands of three teenagers reunited by their long-lost friend Gabriel - in their dreams. Growing up outside Parole, Shiloh Cole always had to keep xir energetic powers a secret, except from xir parents, Parole’s strategist-hero Garrett, and Tartarus expert Maureen. When Parole collapsed, all contact was lost. Now, connected by Gabriel and their colliding pasts, xie joins collapse survivor Annie and the enigmatic, charismatic Chance on a desperate cross-country race, carrying a disc of xir mother’s vital plans, whose encrypted contents may be Parole’s salvation. First they’ll board the FireRunner, a ship full of familiar faces that now sails through Tartarus’ poison storms. Together, they’ll survive Tartarus’ hazards, send a lifeline to lost Parole - and uncover the mystery connecting every one of them.

The world outside Parole isn't the one they remember, and it didn’t want them back. But they'll save it just the same. It's what heroes do.

If you know me at all, you’ve PROBABLY heard me talk about how much I love CHAMELEON MOON (if you haven’t: I love it SO MUCH). THE LIFELINE SIGNAL has been sitting on my shelf for a while now (do you notice a pattern?) because I’ve been scared to read on because I just know it will give me so many FEELINGS and AAAAA *flails* but I’m finally going to read it now. And cry, probably (don’t judge me).

2b. read a queer book that is set in a different country


Mumbai has emptied under the threat of imminent nuclear annihilation; gangs of marauding Hindu and Muslim thugs rove the desolate streets; yet Sarita can think of only one thing: buying the last pomegranate that remains in perhaps the entire city. She is convinced that the fruit holds the key to reuniting her with her physicist husband, Karun, who has been mysteriously missing for more than a fortnight.

Searching for his own lover in the midst of this turmoil is Jaz—cocky, handsome, and glib. "The Jazter," as he calls himself, is Muslim, but his true religion has steadfastly been sex with men. Dodging danger at every step, both he and Sarita are inexorably drawn to Devi ma, the patron goddess who has reputedly appeared in person to save her city. What they find will alter their lives more fundamentally than any apocalypse to come.

I’m supposed to be reading this book for a class, so I decided to combine “business” and pleasure and use it for this prompt ;)

3. read a queer book from a genre you read a lot

PETER DARLING (Austin Chant)

Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.

But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.

Romances! I can’t get enough of them. I loved Austin Chant’s COFFEE BOY, and I loved what little I managed to read of PETER DARLING so far, but I made the mistake of starting it during a time when I had so much to do I could never find the time to read. I can’t wait to get back into it!

4. read a queer book from a genre you rarely read


Dear Herculine, a harrowingly eloquent cri de coeur, melds consciousnesses and bodies across one and a half centuries, from 1832–2014. Intersexed writer Aaron Apps to intersex reader, the long-dead martyr to early gender-reassignment surgery, Herculine Barbin, speaks from a place so far inside of the abjected subject that it comes out the other end as estranged, engorged and gorgeous language, in letters comprising ‘two intersexed bodies composed of multiple parts, and the mess of flesh and text that stands between.’ Unlike Yeats, who desired to be consumed in artifice to escape the human condition, that of being ‘sick with desire/ And fastened to a dying animal/[That] knows not what it is,’ Apps plunges into the carnal killing floor with his nineteenth-century interlocutor, binding their fates as he is ‘shackled to a rotting double, rotting in the space between, rotting in the space of the letters.’ Apps’s fearlessness and the beauty of his prose inspires, pushing poetry, kicking and screaming and expiring with shame, to where it desperately wants to go. A brilliant achievement that defies the triumphalism of that descriptor, Dear Herculine is a cache of love letters urgently needed to heal this world.

I’m not sure how I came across this book, but it sounds super interesting!

4b. read a queer comic/graphic novel


Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together... and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!

Someone bought me this off my amazon wishlist (thank you, friend!) and I haven’t found the time to read it yet. It seems fun and light-hearted, which makes it sound like a perfect summer read!

4c. read a queer nonfiction book


You might know that I’m super into musicals (I am so into musicals. Really. Ask me about it, I dare you) and I’m going to go see Ludwig2 – The Musical in August. Ludwig II. was King of Bavaria (where I live!) and queer, so this musical is like the perfect combination of my interests. However, I don’t expect there to be a lot of (historically accurate) information, so I decided to also read this biography to get a look into the real history behind the musical.

So, that’s my reading list for this summer! Is there anything that caught your eye? Do you already have ideas for what you’re going to read?

xoxo Lucia

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