Staff Picks by Tag

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The Councillor By E. J. Beaton Cover Image
ISBN: 9780756418335
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: DAW - April 26th, 2022

Oh, Lysande, my love! If you are interested in getting to know a bisexual bookworm who is struggling with a drug addiction and can't stop thinking about choking a man who wears a living snake as jewelry, this might be the book for you. This story is full of political intrigue, scheming, examinations of class and privilege, beautiful prose, and just a touch of spiciness. Keep an eye out for Book 2 in 2023!

Review by Mia

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Pretty Baby: A Memoir By Chris Belcher Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982175825
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - July 12th, 2022

As "LA's Renowned Lesbian Dominatrix", Chris Belcher could pay off her student loans while working towards her doctorate, and keep from slipping into the cycle of poverty she had escaped from once she left West Virginia. She was also able to examine gender dynamics behind the dungeon door, and the way masculinity presents itself when she has her boot pushing into someone's back. Complicated questions of sexuality, queerness, identity, and power arise with every essay in this memoir, as well as the way society harms those that deviate from the norm. 

Review by Sarah C.

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A Master of Djinn (Dead Djinn Universe #1) By P. Djèlí Clark Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250267689
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tordotcom - May 11th, 2021

Thank you, P. Djeli Clark, for writing this Victorian Egyptian steampunk novel just for me!  "A Master of Djinn" melds the mysterious adventures of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody archaeological mysteries with the snarky steampunk vibe of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series.  Along with a dash of the inclusive romance that I've been devouring lately and a cast of multicultural characters, the result is the most entertaining book I've read this year from the most original voice I could hope to find.

Review by Deborah

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Milk Fed: A Novel By Melissa Broder Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982142490
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Scribner - February 2nd, 2021

This has it all: an eating disorder, mommy issues, frozen yogurt, sex, the spirit of Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, and lots more. The detail Broder brings to this story of appetite (that of spirituality, sensuality, and food) is magnificent. You feel like you're under the neon lights of the kosher Chinese Polynesian American restaurant in the middle of LA, rooting for Rachel as she starts feeding herself in more ways than one. Let me assure you that it's not for everyone, with a big trigger warning and explicit sex scenes, but it could be for you.

Review by Emily

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The Tradition By Jericho Brown Cover Image
ISBN: 9781556594861
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Copper Canyon Press - April 2nd, 2019

There's a reason why he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2020! These poems are lovely and devastating. Beautiful and heartbreaking, of course, with titles like "Bullet Points" as a black man in America and lines like "I love a man I know I could die" as an openly gay, HIV-positive man. Read this if you want something solid and good.

Review by Emily

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Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel (Booker Prize Winner) By Bernardine Evaristo Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802156983
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grove Press, Black Cat - November 5th, 2019

This novel is both the stories of twelve women and a sweeping history of the Black British experience. With poetic prose, dazzling characters, and intricate details, it is impossible not to get lost in Evaristo's work.

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Cantoras By Carolina De Robertis Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525563433
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - June 2nd, 2020

In a time when being queer meant (at best) imprisonment under a brutal dictatorship, five women band together in the beginnings of friendship. They create a safe haven in a beach hut along the coast, where they are free to be who they are and love who they want. A triumph, a celebration, and a mourning all in one.

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How to Cure a Ghost By Fariha Róisín, Monica Ramos (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Fariha Róisín, Monica Ramos (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781419737565
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Abrams Image - September 24th, 2019

The rage in Roisin's poetry collection slashes through to your heart, then the tenderness sews you back together again. This work explores accepting one's intersectional self and the weight of shame, ancestral trauma, and oppression. A book about survival, dedicated to survivors.

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How to Love a Country: Poems By Richard Blanco Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807043073
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Beacon Press - March 24th, 2020

Blanco was the first openly gay, Latino, immigrant, as well as the youngest person to be the US inaugural poet when he read for Obama's second term. He brings this energy with him in this collection, his beautiful language depicting such heartbreak toward America's tendency for gun violence, racism, and LGBTQ oppression. Throughout, you can see him struggling with the idea of nationhood, digging his way closer to the answer of how to truly love a country.  


Review by Emily

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The House of Impossible Beauties: A Novel By Joseph Cassara Cover Image
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780062676993
Published: Ecco - November 6th, 2018

If you have seen Paris is Burning or Netflix's Pose, you should read this book. This story is a fictionalized telling of the real House of Xtravaganza family members as they navigate 1980's New York, from walking in balls to walking the piers. Cassara shows us the dangers that can come with finding one's way in a bigoted society and shines a light on the strength, determination, and humor of these characters who ache to be seen.