In November, I tried to stick to my November TBR. I read about half of the Netgalley books on that TBR, which I consider to be pretty successful as I read some other Netgalley books as well. I also read two books for IndigAThon: Elatsoe and This Town Sleeps. My TBR was longer than that, but most of the books were audiobooks and I didn’t listen to very many audiobooks in November. I did however love both of the books I did read for IndigAThon, so I consider that a win!
I ended up reading 33 books, so overall, it was another really successful reading month! I’m well on my way to reaching my Goodreads goal in December.
My plan for December is to read mainly seasonal reads – my TBR will follow soon!
In this post, I’ll share my Goodreads reviews of my 4 and 5 star reads of October. Want to keep track of my reading in more detail? Feel free to add me on Goodreads!
Edward van de Vendel, red. – Gloei
“Dit is wat we niet zouden moeten vergeten:
iedereen die niet op iedereen blijkt te lijken
moet altijd bereid zijn zich te laten bekijken.”
Ik heb deze interviewbundel in kleine stukjes moeten lezen – af en toe een interview – gewoon om ze allemaal goed te laten bezinken. Want wat was dit een ontzettend bijzondere bundel, en wat betekent deze bundel veel voor me.
Aan alles is te merken wat een zorgvuldige, bedachtzame interviewer Edward van de Vendel is, en dat maakte de interviews nog beduidend mooier. Het is duidelijk dat hij heel zorgvuldig is in de vragen die hij stelt, en het was mooi om te zien met hoeveel respect de deelnemers werden benaderd. Gecombineerd met prachtige gedichten en portretten per deelnemer was dit echt fantastisch om te lezen.
Ik denk dat dit echt een must read is voor iedereen, of je nou queer bent of niet. Het biedt zoveel inzicht in hoeveel verschillende ervaringen LGBTQ+-mensen kunnen hebben, en het beslaat echt het hele spectrum.
Mijn eigen queer-identiteit is ook minder “standaard” (ik ben aromantisch, aseksueel en non-binair) en daarom vond ik het geweldig om te zien dat er aandacht werd besteed aan mensen die normaal gesproken misschien niet direct aan het woord komen. Er was ook veel aandacht voor intersectionaliteit, door bijvoorbeeld mensen met verschillende etnische achtergronden te interviewen en mensen met een beperking.
Zelf ben ik dus ook queer en ik vind dat daar een bepaalde verantwoordelijkheid bij hoort: om een goede ally te zijn voor andere mensen in de LGBTQ+-community die andere ervaringen hebben dan jij. Dit boek biedt daar zoveel inzicht in dat het me daarbij voor mijn gevoel veel heeft geholpen.
Veel dank aan Querido voor het recensie-exemplaar, en vooral ook veel dank aan de deelnemers voor het delen van hun verhaal!
Kelly Jensen, ed. – Body Talk
This non-fiction anthology is a definite must read. It will make you feel seen, it will make you become more understanding and empathetic, it will teach you many things you won’t be taught anywhere else.
So many different topics were discussed in this book, and they were all equally important. Disability, body image, being trans, just so many different topics. I found this book really inclusive, really educational and really validating.
Talia Hibbert – Act Your Age, Eve Brown
You can read my full review here!
Adriana Herrera – American Christmas
Ahh this was the perfect read to get me in an early Christmas mood. I might actually reread it closer to Christmas, that’s how much I enjoyed it.
It was such a fluffy, heartwarming read, and I loved seeing so many recurring characters from one of my favourite romance series.
Trung Le Nguyen – The Magic Fish
Please read this. It’s so quietly beautiful, the text, the art, the main story and the fairytales are woven together so masterfully, it will warm your heart. It’s a new favourite graphic novel for me for sure.
Eli Wray – Sugar and Spice
Oh my god I’m literally grinning like a dork over here thinking about what I’ve just read. Wow. Okay. So. This was absolutely delightful and such a fluffy Christmas novella, and I think I may have just found a new favourite author.
This novella really reminded me of Xan West’s books, which you know I love, because they had the same kindness and the same joy and the same care. I absolutely adore that because it’s something I really crave. Seeing so much trans joy just makes me so happy and it makes me feel like I get to be happy too.
This book also meant two firsts for me: my first book where the person using they/them pronouns is writting from third person POV, meaning you see A LOT of their pronouns. I often get the impression that authors and/or publishers shy away from this and I think it does so much in terms of normalization and acceptance to just embrace it and go for it.
The second first is that I don’t think I’ve previously read a romance between two non-binary characters, which was just absolutely amazing. The book might be short but it really shows how there’s many ways to be non-binary – one of them uses they/them pronouns and one of them uses she/her pronouns, for instance.
So yeah, read this for so much trans joy! I found it really empowering and heartwarming and just super loveable. Can’t wait to read more from this author!!
Steven Salvatore – Can’t Take That Away
My new goal in life is to do whatever it takes to protect Carey.
This is such a messy contemporary, and brilliantly so. It just feels so incredibly real, and at the same time all of the bad things are balanced out by all the good, affirming, supportive things. Really, there’s even on-page therapy!! Which means that even though this has its hard moments, it was ultimately a really comforting and empowering read.
CWs: suicidal ideation, depression, assault, transphobia, misgendering, homophobia/queerphobia, bullying, Alzheimer’s, death of a grandparent
Tracy Deonn – Legendborn
This would be an AMAZING TV show, just saying
Kate Stayman-London – One to Watch
One to Watch was a book I was a little hesitant to read because several people warned me about the amount of fatphobia in it. Then I talked to someone else who said she really loved this book and felt very seen by it, and I felt so reassured, I basically dove in straight away. And I too, felt really seen by it and I’m so glad I made the choice to read it!
The thing is, fatphobia is a thing that is unfortunately rampant in our society. So it’s something you deal with a lot if you’re fat. And I felt so seen by this book because it really showed so many ways in which fatphobia tries to control fat people, especially people who were assigned female at birth (I’m personally an AFAB non-binary person so I’ve had many of the same experiences that the main character had, since I’ve always been perceived as a girl/woman). I personally think this was handled very well in the book, and I found it comfortingly realistic to read about Bea’s experiences; it made me feel like “yes, these are things that really happen, someone actually sees this!” Which was just really comforting to me.
What I especially loved is how diet culture did not influence Bea in the slightest. Sure, she had her insecurities, but they all had external causes. She never felt like she should change and she was such an empowering character to see in a book!
The book itself is just so incredibly fun and entertaining. It’s quick, snappy and to the point, and where I first was really unsure if I was gonna love Bea’s suitors, I ended up really loving some of them. Lucky for me, she ended up with my favourite one!
Charlot Kristensen – What We Don’t Talk About
I didn’t write a review for this book, but it’s a gorgeous graphic novel about the difficulties of being in an interracial relationship.
TJ Klune – The Lightning-Struck Heart
I read all four books in the Tales of Verania series and again didn’t write a review, but this is a very ridiculous but also very funny, kind-hearted and comforting series. Before picking it up, I would urge you to look up reviews and trigger warnings as this series is really not for everybody.
Elle McNicoll – A Kind of Spark
The autistic community sees… so much ableism, and so many people trying to tell our stories and speak for us. So to have a book like this, for children, means so much. I’ve already read this book twice, because I found it somewhat hard to read at first and wanted to give myself the opportunity to really let it sink in and to form an actual opinion on it. It wasn’t hard at first because I didn’t like the book, but because it hit a little too close to home and I read it at a time where I couldn’t handle that very well. The second time I read it, I found it such an empowering book. Addie is an extremely relatable main character, even for me at 27 years old, and it gave me so much strength to see how she stood up for herself and dealt with her teacher’s and classmate’s bullying. I would highly recommend this to everyone who’s autistic and everyone who wants to understand autistic people better.
Darcie Little Badger – Elatsoe
This is SUCH a COOL book!
Eli Wray – The First Noel
I didn’t review this novella, but I would highly recommend it.
Rachel Lynn Solomon – Our Year of Maybe
I don’t really know why, but my expectations for this weren’t very high. I thought it might be a 3 star read – enjoyable but not too memorable. But this honestly really took me by surprise. It was a much stronger, much more complex book than I was expecting. It dealt with so many different themes and it just felt so incredibly real.
Dennis E. Staples – This Town Sleeps
I didn’t review this book either, but I thought it was very intriguing.