Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week's theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!
This week's theme is 'Books I Decided to DNF (did not finish) too Quickly', but as someone who's a big fan of DNFing books that just aren't working for me, I decided to talk about my LGBT+ recommendations for Pride instead - Happy Pride Month!
(I'm also hoping to read at least one LGBT+ novel this month - you can take a look at my TBR here, if you like.)
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire: We're starting off with a strange recommendation because I didn't actually enjoy this one very much; I liked the concept far more than its execution, but this is the only book I've come across (so far) in which the protagonist identifies as asexual, and describes herself as such, and we need far more asexual representation in fiction.
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley: Set in America in 1959 when black students were first admitted to previously all-white high schools, this powerful debut follows two teenage girls, Sarah and Linda, as they battle racism, both outwardly and inwardly, and their growing feelings for each other.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: Another fantastic voice in the world of YA, Becky Albertalli's debut follows Simon as he tries to find the courage to tell his friends and family that he's gay, only to be blackmailed by a fellow student who wants his help winning the affection of a girl at school. This is fun, funny and heart-warming, and has some brilliant things to say about the process of coming out.
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: A spoiled, wealthy, bisexual boy from an aristocratic family is given the opportunity to take a tour of Europe before he must resolve himself to the family business in this incredibly fun novel. Add to the mix the best friend he's fallen in love with, a sister with no intention of going to finishing school and a theft that sees them being pursued across Europe and you have a wild ride of a novel.
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters: Quite possibly the twistiest, turniest book I've ever read, Fingersmith is considered Sarah Waters' masterpiece and reads like a Dickensian thriller - only this time, the women have agency. Because of the Victorian setting this one is a great book to read in the autumn, but if you're looking for something to sink your teeth into for Pride this month I'd definitely recommend this one.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers: This is one of my favourite science fiction novels. While its focus is far more on character than plot, the universe Chambers has created is such a beautiful, hopeful vision of the future. She explores sexuality, gender, family units, war, peace and what it means to be human, and if you haven't read this one yet then I can't recommend it enough.
A Portable Shelter by Kirsty Logan: The stories in this collection, inspired by Scottish folklore, are told to an unborn child by its mothers, who are eagerly awaiting its birth. It's a lovely, melancholic collection and definitely one to read for anyone interested in folklore and fairy tales.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: One of my favourite novels of all time, this stunning novel tells the story of Patroclus and Achilles, from their childhood together up to their roles in the Trojan War, and their relationship as it grows from friendship, to companionship to love. Definitely one to read if you haven't already!
Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu: Given that this is a Victorian novella I can't imagine Le Fanu would have described this as a lesbian story but, like most early vampire stories, Carmilla is awash with homoeroticism. This novella was released about 25 years before Dracula and, in my opinion, is the far better work. One to read if you'd like something short this month!
The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg: This beautiful graphic novel has stories within stories as two women in love tell tales to a friend of the husband of one of the women who has made a bet that he can seduce her while her husband is away. Inspired by The Arabian Nights, it features stories about and for women in a fantasy world where women are second-class citizens.
Which books made your list this week?