Hey guys. If you’re writing to request a books, booze, and bands rec, please check through the tag (linked below) to make sure I haven’t done it already! I have like 100 of these in my inbox and probably half of them are repeats.
do you know of any books with gay protags where the 'coming out' isn't particularly good, or rather, is bad, but still ends hopeful/happy?
This is sort of an arguable thing about More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera - I think some people find it more hopeful than others, but essentially, “More happy than not” is a pretty good description of its ending, and it sounds like it could be what you’re looking for. (In general, I think he strikes a great balance of toughness and happiness in his books, and highly rec everything he writes.) True Letters From a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan might also hit the right chord, though I think that comes more from internal strife than external. I guess technically It Looks Like This by Rafi Mittelfehldt fits too, but I have a tough time with the path to hope/happiness in that one for reasons I won’t spoil. It’s worth a mention, at any rate!
It’s time for a summer cleaning, so I thought I would organise my book recs once and for all. I’ll try to update this post once in a while and I also added it to my info page so that you can access all those links super easily. HAVE FUN.
Why you should read The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers:
IT HAS A HUGE EMPHASIS ON FOUND FAMILY and also on moving forward and how you sometimes need different people at different stages of your life
The alien cultures, man, they are like nothing I’ve ever seen before on this scale. It’s not just surface stuff, it’s down to the belief systems and social interactions and how they view things like motherhood and violence and even board games! Also, FEMALE ALIENS WITHOUT BREASTS WHO ARE CONSIDERED VERY ATTRACTIVE TO HUMANS CAN I GET A HELL YEAH
Gender and sexuality are definitely way more fluid, one of the crew members is a species that changes gender across their lifetime (plus there is a crew member that goes by they pronouns, though not exactly in a nb way, it’s hard to explain)
Imagine Firefly, except in a universe full of aliens like Guardians of the Galaxy, and the crew aren’t criminals (for the most part) and are just generally a bit nicer. And by nicer I mean, as someone else more eloquent than me said about this book “they’re not all good people, but most of them are trying to be”. They care about each other despite all the cultural differences that sometimes have them screaming
most of the humans on the crew are not white
TWO FEMALE MEMBERS OF THE CREW BECOME A COUPLE I’m not gonna say which because it totally took me by surprise and that was an incredible thing cos I already adored this book and then it gave me the one thing it was missing that I hadn’t dared hope for
polyamory is discussed frequently and is a base part of one of the alien cultures and it’s very normalised and respected
seriously everyone does their hardest to be respectful of each other’s culture and all the differences and even though sometimes they fail or really struggle they really TRY and that’s what makes it so great
the book is genuinely hilarious (“What do your crazy speciests do?” “Live on gated farms and have private orgies.” “How is that any different than what the rest of you do?”“We don’t have gates and anybody can come to our orgies.”)
there’s plot but it’s very character driven in a way that works really well
Kizzy - my favourite character who is just a joy (imagine Kaylee Frye if she was Chinese, hyped up on extreme amounts of caffeine, and totally eccentric)
REALLY AMAZING PLATONIC MALE/FEMALE RELATIONSHIPS
like seriously every damn relationship in this book is so incredible and important and well done
I’ve never done a book rec on here before and the fact that I feel the need to do this should in itself say something about how amazing it is
SPACE GIRLFRIENDS NEED I SAY MORE
amazing and compelling alien cultures
a crew/found family that are so beautiful in their differences and how they do their best to respect and accommodate them
it’s really fucking funny
“Ninety percent of all problems are caused by people being assholes.”“What causes the other ten percent?”“Natural disasters.”
We are all sad right now so if anyone is interested in consuming lesbian romance novels until they forget about the world here are some potentially more obscure recs to enjoy. Some of these novels have dark themes or dark moments but I consider all of them optimistic novels at heart and all end happily. A warning for any kiddos, there is sex beware lol.
Blurred Lines by KD Williamson – Cheesy romance novel, A+
quality. A brash hotshot detective gets shot and meets a cold doctor with no
personal life. This is the best iteration of the most cliché lesbian romance
novel plotline ever, and BOY is it a doozy. This book works so well because the
two characters genuinely talk and get to know each other and help each other
and their relationship is not forced or rushed. They have a lot of melodrama
going on but the relationship between them doesn’t start until they are equal,
until no one is hurt or is being pushed or off balance. An actual healthy relationship?????
Heiresses of Russ 2012 – Short story collection. Uneven but
fun, worth 4$. There is a story about a middle aged latina
submarine captain who steals a ship and recruits a mermaid to help her escape american waters by promising to teach her how to pilot the ship. In return the mermaid is
gonna destroy all the men they come across. The mermaid can’t use the pedals so has to sit in her lap. Like, all you need to know.
When Women Were Warriors by Catherine M Wilson – A super fun solid quality
w!w fantasy trilogy. It is long, you need to read all three to complete the romance arc
but the fantasy aspect is good. Smart plucky headstrong young woman
comes to train as a warrior and is apprenticed to a quiet traumatized outsider
who doesn’t think she has anything to give anyone. The outsider won’t train her
and when she gets severely wounded MC saves her life out of sheer spite. It’s
gold. Their relationship is beautiful, it develops slowly and lets both
characters grow and heal and learn. It is about found families and how to be wise,
and what we have to teach others and it’s a Good Novel.