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Pride Month Picks

To celebrate Pride Month, here are some of our favourite books on queerness and sexuality. Click on the covers to be redirected to the product page.
 

ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE

Young Adult

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is the beloved cult classic about family, friendship and first love, from award-winning author Benjamin Alire Sáenz. This lyrical novel will enrapture readers of Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End), The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Call Me by Your Name.
 

MEMORIAL

Fiction

Benson and Mike are two young guys who have been together for a few years - good years - but now they're not sure why they're still a couple. There's the sex, sure, and the meals Mike cooks for Benson, and, well, they love each other. But when Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother, Mitsuko, arrives for a visit, Mike picks up and flies across the world to say goodbye. In Japan he undergoes an extraordinary transformation, discovering the truth about his family and his past, while back home, Mitsuko and Benson are stuck living together as unconventional roommates, an absurd domestic situation that ends up meaning more to each of them than they ever could have predicted...
 

REAL LIFE

Fiction

Wallace has spent his summer in the lab breeding a strain of microscopic worms. He is four years into a biochemistry degree at a lakeside Midwestern university, a life that's a world away from his childhood in Alabama.
His father died a few weeks ago, but Wallace didn't go back for the funeral, and he hasn't told his friends Miller, Yngve, Cole and Emma. For reasons of self-preservation, he has become used to keeping a wary distance even from those closest to him. But, over the course of one blustery end-of-summer weekend, the destruction of his work and a series of intense confrontations force Wallace to grapple with both the trauma of the past, and the question of the future.
 

A LITTLE LIFE

Fiction

When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he'll not only be unable to overcome but that will define his life forever.
 

STRAIGHT SEX: RETHINKING THE POLITICS OF PLEASURE

Nonfiction

Is heterosexual sex inherently damaging to women? Is it possible for women to enjoy sensuality and pleasure with men that does not increase male power? Lynne Segal's unflinching examination of feminist thinking on sexuality over the past twenty-five years tackles these questions head on. Only two decades ago, politically aware women often declared themselves both sexual liberationists and feminists - their right to sexual fulfillment symbolized their right to selfhood. However, the most positive women's writing on female sexuality in recent years has come primarily from the lesbian community. Segal addresses the silence of heterosexual feminists on questions of sex and love and notes the shift toward sexual conservatism. She looks at the trends that followed Sixties radicalism: sex as a subversive activity, the ""liberated orgasm,"" sex advice literature, gender uncertainties, Queer politics, antipornography campaigns, and the rise of the moral right.
 

SEXUALITY: A GRAPHIC GUIDE

Nonfiction

Sex is everywhere. It’s in the stories we love – and the stories we fear. It defines who we are and our place in society … at least we’re told it ought to.

Sex and sexuality can seem like a house of horrors, full of monsters and potential pitfalls. We often live with fear, shame and frustration when it comes to our own sexuality, and with judgement when it comes to others’. Sex advice manuals, debates over sex work and stories of sexual “dysfunction” only add to our anxiety.
With compassion, humour, erudition and a touch of the erotic, Meg-John Barker and Jules Scheele shine a light through the darkness and unmask the monsters.
 

QUEER: A GRAPHIC HISTORY

Nonfiction

Activist-academic Meg-John Barker and cartoonist Jules Scheele illuminate the histories of queer thought and LGBTQ+ action in this groundbreaking non-fiction graphic novel.

From identity politics and gender roles to privilege and exclusion, Queer explores how we came to view sex, gender and sexuality in the ways that we do; how these ideas get tangled up with our culture and our understanding of biology, psychology and sexology; and how these views have been disputed and challenged.

THE DISCOMFORT OF EVENING

Fiction

Ten-year-old Jas has a unique way of experiencing her universe: the feeling of udder ointment on her skin as protection against harsh winters; the texture of green warts, like capers, on migrating toads; the sound of 'blush words' that aren't in the Bible. But when a tragic accident ruptures the family, her curiosity warps into a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies - unlocking a darkness that threatens to derail them all.

DETRANSITION, BABY

Fiction

Reese nearly had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York, a job she didn't hate. She'd scraped together a life previous generations of trans women could only dream of; the only thing missing was a child. Then everything fell apart and three years on Reese is still in self-destruct mode, avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.

When her ex calls to ask if she wants to be a mother, Reese finds herself intrigued. After being attacked in the street, Amy de-transitioned to become Ames, changed jobs and, thinking he was infertile, started an affair with his boss Katrina. Now Katrina's pregnant. Could the three of them form an unconventional family - and raise the baby together?

ON GETTING OFF: SEX AND PHILOSOPHY

Nonfiction

Why is screwing so funny?
How should we think about our most shocking fantasies?
What is so captivating about nudity?
Inspired by philosophy, literature, and private life, Damon Young explores the paradoxes of the bedroom. On Getting Off will f**k with your mind.
 

WE PLAY OURSELVES

Fiction

When Cass - a thirty-something, promising, queer playwright - receives a prestigious award, it seems as though her career is finally taking off. That is until she finds herself at the centre of a searing public shaming, which relegates her from rising star in New York to a nobody on her best friend's sofa in L.A. As she comes to terms with the extent of her failure, she is forced to question who she is without the thing that has always defined her: her art. So she fills the days by stalking her playwright nemesis, of whom she is excruciatingly envious, and getting pulled into the orbit of the charismatic but manipulative filmmaker next door. As Cass becomes increasingly involved with her neighbour and the group of pugilistic teenage girls she's documenting, Cass begins to dream of a comeback. But when the film spins dangerously out of control, Cass is once again forced to reckon with her ambition, and her rage.
 

Have we missed any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below!