Blog, Bookish Life

Queer Books to Gift this Holiday Season & Bookstores to Buy From

Editors Note – “Natalia!” you might be saying to yourself, “The “Holiday Season” ended on Christmas Day! Why are we still talking about gifts?!” Because my darlings, there are like a million holidays celebrated during the months of December through January. Additionally, it is 2020 and time is an illusion. Life is too short to leave gift giving to one season only. Show appreciation and love throughout the year cool cats and kittens. 

We may be on the other side of the holiday season – but if you’re still trying to find a gift for a loved one, an acquaintance, or even yourself, I have some suggestions. Feminist Book Club has you covered with their incredible gift bundles that are still available! I highly recommend the YA Contemporary Bundle as it has the beautiful Queer novel You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson along with some goodies that will make anyones day.

However, if you have already purchased a Feminist Book Club Gift Bundle (or two or three) I have some amazing book recommendations paired with bookstores to purchase them from! I specifically am focusing on recommending books written by Queer authors and Queer owned bookstores to support this holiday season. Where you spend your money matters and this holiday season show your support of the Queer community by buying books written by Queer authors from Queer owned bookstores.

1. In the Dream House from The Irreverent Bookworm (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado is a novel that depicts Machado’s emotionally abusive same-sex relationship in an extremely poetic and though provoking way. Machado writes about how she survived this devastating time in her life and how being in an abusive same-sex relationship is incredibly difficult because of the lack of resources and support because of societal beliefs about heteronormativity and what it means to be in an abusive relationship. In the Dream House represents a same-sex relationship between two female identifying people who are bisexual and lesbian. You can read my review of In the Dream House on the Feminist Book Club blog here!

2. Rubyfruit Jungle from Charis Books (Decatur, Georgia)

Published in 1973, Rubyfruit Jungle, is a queer classic as it depicts a young girl coming to grips with her sexuality with “explicit lesbianism.” A highly reflective coming of age novel that takes place in the South, Rubyfruit Jungle is a book that is one representation of the lesbian identity.

3. Tomorrow Will Be Different from Loyalty Books (Washington, DC)

A powerful memoir from Delaware Senator-Elect, Sarah McBride, Tomorrow Will Be Different is an empowering story written by the first transgender person to speak at a national political convention and her story of finding her identity and embracing who she truly is.

4. Felix Ever After from Bluestockings Books (New York, New York)

Felix Ever After is a young adult novel that follows transgender teen, Felix, as he attends art school and develops friendships that will last a lifetime. You can read my review of Felix Ever After on the Feminist Book Club blog here! 

5. I Wish You All the Best from Bookwoman Books (Austin, Texas) 

After coming out to their parents as non-binary, Ben is kicked out of their house and forced to contact their estranged sister to find somewhere to stay. After dealing with a great deal of  stress from the large changes in their life, Ben finds a friend to rely on and someone who sees them for who they truly are. I Wish You All the Best is a highly rated young adult novel that represents one story of a non-binary teen.

6. Black Leopard, Red Wolf from West Side Books (Denver, Colorado)

A queer fantasy novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf  is the first in the Dark Star trilogy that draws on African history and mythology to write a unique adventure that will draw readers in from the beginning.

7. How We Fight for Our Lives from A Room of One’s Own (Madison, Wisconsin)

How We Fight For Our Lives is a memoir by Saeed Jones that narrates his life growing up as a black gay man and what it means to be living with these intersecting identities. An incredible memoir where the author is extremely vulnerable with the reader, How We Fight For Our Lives is a Lambda Literary winner for good reason.

Claudia Neu has a passion for language immersion and intersectional children's literature. When she is not working with children or reading, you can find Claudia cuddling with her cat or trying to keep her houseplants alive. Check out her instagram @claudianeureads for more book recommendations and reviews. Favorite genres: queer literature, contemporary fiction, and young adult.

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