LGBTQ+

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir, by Samra Habib

How do you find yourself when the world tells you that you don’t exist?
Growing up as an Ahmadi Muslim in Pakistan, Samra Habib learned from a young age that revealing their identity could put them in grave danger. But fleeing the threat of Islamic extremists and emigrating to Canada did not solve any of these problems. Instead, Samra was faced with a whole new host of challenges: racism, bullying, poverty and an arranged marriage.
With their life policed by men, and with their only example of womanhood being a pious and obedient wife, Samra began a journey of self-discovery. A journey that would encompass faith, art, love and queer sexuality, and which would take them across the globe in search of a truth that was inside them all along. Read More »

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Silver in the Wood, by Emily Tesh

There is a Wild Man who dwells in the quiet green depths of Greenhollow and there are many legends and stories about him in the local village. Tobias lives a perfectly unremarkable life in his cottage with his cat, and his dryads. He listens to the wood and keeps himself to himself. Until, however, Greenhollow Hall acquires a new, handsome and very curious owner in Henry Silver. Old secrets better left buried are dug up, and Tobias must confront his troubled past. Read More »

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The Prophets, by Robert Jones Jr.

A cotton plantation in the deep South does not seem a likely place for a tender romance. But amidst all of the horror and hardship, Isaiah has Samuel and Samuel has Isaiah. Separated from the rest of the slaves by their roles working in the barn with the animals, the two men have created a place of refuge, intimacy and hope for themselves. Their relationship is acknowledged but mostly ignored by the rest of the plantation. Until that is, a fellow slave seeks to gain the Master’s favour by preaching the gospel.
Suddenly, Samuel and Isaiah’s love, which was once so pure, is seen as sinful and a danger to the harmony of the wider plantation. As the enslaved begin to turn on one another, the two men’s future on the plantation becomes more and more uncertain. Read More »

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This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

On a battlefield, among the ashes of a dying world, an agent finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. So begins an unlikely correspondence between two enemy agents, Red and Blue, each determined to win the war for their faction. What started as a battlefield taunt soon turns into something else, something romantic and epic. But also, something forbidden.
The discovery of their correspondence, let alone their blossoming relationship, could mean death for each of them. There is still a war going on after all, and someone has to win the war. Read More »

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The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai

In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for a Chicago art gallery, is about the pull off the coup of his career. The collection of extraordinary 1920s paintings will not only secure his career but make a name for the gallery. But as his professional life is soaring, the world around him is crumbling. At the height of the AIDS epidemic, his friends are dying one by one. After his friend Nico’s funeral, the virus circles ever closer and soon the only person Yale has left is Nico’s younger sister Fiona.
Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris trying to reconnect with her estranged daughter Claire. Staying with a friend from Chicago, a famous photographer who captured the AIDS crisis in all of its raw details, Fiona can finally start to explore how much the epidemic affected her life. Read More »

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my to-read shelf:
Katie Munro's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book lists (to-read shelf)