An Award-Winning Independent Bookshop, Mostly Books, based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire got in touch for this edition’s Fynest Reads. They shared with us their favourite LGBTQIA+ literature, from Fiction to non, and old to new.

 

Nonfiction

 

Bad Gays: A Homosexual History by Huw Lemmey, Ben Miller

 ISBN: 9781839763274

Price: £20.00

Following on from their popular podcast, Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller have penned this entertaining and enlightening book on the changing face of same-sex desire. Told through the lives and deeds of some of history’s more notorious homosexuals, from Hadrian to Roy Cohn, Bad Gays is a fun and informative foray into ‘the love that dare not speak its name’.

 

None of the Above: Reflections on Life Beyond the Binary by Travis Alabanza

 ISBN: 9781838854317

Price: £16.99

Published: 4 Aug 2022

 A new book from the award-winning performer and writer. In None of the Above Alabanza examines seven phrases people have directed at them in regards to their gender identity. As with Travis’ theatre work, this is a beautiful book teaming with insight and humour, which questions not just the binary of gender but the way we interact with each other in a society hellbent on restricting who we are.

 

The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice by Shon Faye

 ISBN: 9780141991801

Price: 10.99

Released last year to great acclaim and now out in paperback, this has to be one of the most engaging and exciting political books we have had in the shop. While the focus is rightly on the lives of transgender people the book reveals how many of the issues facing trans people lie at the root of wider inequalities and social issues. Faye writes with such wit and clarity you finish the book with a renewed sense of the injustices in the world, but more importantly, you are left with a sense that change can and will happen.

 

Fiction

 

Our Wives Under The Sea by Julia Armfield

 ISBN: 9781529017236

Price: £16.99

Armfield’s debut novel has been selected by many publications as a top pick for 2022, and we can see why. It is both a beautiful queer love story and a haunting rumination on what might lie in the deepest parts of the ocean. Miri and Leah are married, but after a deep-sea expedition goes wrong Leah comes home to Miri somehow ‘wrong’. So begins an exploration of love, grief, and the ocean. This had one of our booksellers in tears by the end!

 

The Inverts by Crystal Jeans

 ISBN: 9780008365905

Price: £8.99

If you love a globetrotting queer historical romp, then this is the book for you! Lifelong friends Bettina and Bart, both very much gay, decide to enter into a lavender marriage. The roaring 20s and the 30s roll by in a haze of cigarettes, cocktails, and sex – but tragedy is on the horizon. This is the perfect book to read on a dull Sunday afternoon, hilarious, exciting, and beautiful.

 

Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart

 ISBN: 9781529068764

Price: £16.99

When an advanced reading copy of Stuart’s new book arrived at the shop there was almost a fight over who got to take it home. Shuggie Bain was a favourite for several of our booksellers, Stuart’s decisive prose and brilliant characterisation draws you deep into the emotional world of his stories. Young Mungo, which depicts the love between two boys in a working-class community, is no different and is sure to be a big hit this year.

 

Concerning My Daughter by Kim Hye-jin

 ISBN: 9781529057676

Price: £14.99

Translated from Korean and already in international-bestseller Concerning My Daughter focuses on a mother whose thirty-something-year-old daughter comes to live with her, and to her shock, comes accompanied by her daughter’s girlfriend. Having spent her life dedicated to her children and husband the mother cannot comprehend a love that breaks the mould of the traditional family unit. Until an incident at work has her questioning her long-held beliefs. We’re a big fan of translated fiction in the shop, and one of our booksellers, in particular, is excited to read this award-winning piece of Korean fiction.

 

Poetry

 

Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

 ISBN: 9781787333840

Price: £14.99

The new poetry collection from the author of On Earth Were Briefly Gorgeous. No one writes like Vuong, and we highly recommend those readers who typically don’t pick up poetry to give this a go. Created from the grief he felt after the loss of his mother, this is sure to be a poignant, profound, and heartbreaking experience.

 

Limbic by Peter Scalpello

ISBN: 9781838390044

Price: £10.99

A debut poetry collection exploring queer discovery and both the joyful and darker sides of sex and attraction. From lads’ holidays to chemsex, and teenage fumblings this is a vital and arresting collection of poetry from an exciting new talent.

 Middle Grade

 

Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms by Jamar J. Perry

ISBN: 9781526646859

Price: £6.99

A wonderful new edition to the world of middle-grade fiction. Cameron Battle grew up with stories of the kingdom of Chidani, but since his parents vanished two years ago his grandmother has kept the book containing these stories hidden away. One day Cameron and his friends rediscover the book and are suddenly transported to the fabled kingdom, but is Cameron ready to be a hero? We think Cameron Battle is set to become as iconic a character as Percy Jackson, and not only does this book have all the thrills anyone could possibly want it is also a celebration of black joy and young romance.

 

Alice Austen Lived Here by Alex Gino

ISBN: 9780702316166

Price: £6.99

Centring on two non-binary children, Sam and TJ, Alice Austen Lived Here follows these two friends as they enter a competition to choose a new statue for their home state of Staten Island. Sick of history classes overrun with DSCWM (Dead Straight Cis White Men) they decide that other histories deserve to be told. So, when Sam learns about the life of Alice Austen, a photographer who lived openly with her same-sex partner, they know they’ve come across the perfect choice for the new commemorative statue! A great novel about how we view history and rediscovering the stories of people like us.

 

YA

Here’s To Us by Adam Silvera, Becky Albertalli

ISBN: 9781398505209

Price: £8.99

Following on from their hit What If It’s Us, Silvera and Albertalli have teamed up once more to bring us the long-awaited sequel! Despite things not working out last time, Arthur and Ben keep bumping into each other, and when Arthur sees Ben cuddled up with another boy he feels a pang of jealously – despite having a boyfriend he loves back home. These two authors make for a great team and so we cannot wait to tuck into this next instalment.

 

 

 

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