Thanks to Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts for this meme!

This week, I’ll be sharing some more of the books I’ve read for my Reading the Rainbow LGBTQ BINGO Challenge for Pride Month. Some of the books were part of my unofficial challenge to once again read all the picture books from Publishers Weekly’s annual LGBT showcase. Some of the books are also part of my Season of Baldwin Reading Challenge.

We Are Little Feminists: FamiliesWe Are Little Feminists: Families by Little Feminist
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This board book was a delight. Loved seeing all the representations of diverse families that for the longest time haven’t been shown. Inspiring to see that they exist and it’s possible.

Andy Warhol (Little People, BIG DREAMS Book 60)Andy Warhol by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Little People, Big Dreams is a nonfiction picture book series imported from Spain. These are simple biographies to introduce young readers to these people. The books include a timeline and photos.

This one focuses on Andy Warhol who was a shy young kid who loved to draw and became one of the most influential artists of all time.

I PromiseI Promise by Catherine Hernandez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A sweet picture book celebrating diverse families and that love is a promise to every child.

Jacob's School Play: Starring He, She, and TheyJacob’s School Play: Starring He, She, and They by Ian Hoffman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jacob’s back and this time readers will learn about people’s pronouns through his eyes as his school puts on a play.

Tuesday Is Daddy's DayTuesday Is Daddy’s Day by Elliot Kreloff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I appreciated that while this picture book features an LGBTQ family that it’s more about the kid’s experience living some days with her mom and some days with her dad and his new partner. It’s a positive example of co-parenting.

The Bravest Knight Who Ever LivedThe Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived by Daniel Errico
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An LGBTQ fairy tale that shows that happily ever afters can come in many forms and is meant for any one.

Love Is Love: The Journey Continues (Love Around the World (2))Love Is Love: The Journey Continues (Love Around the World by Fleur Pierets
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bittersweet beautiful story based on the couple’s real life adventures celebrating their love all over the world. Bittersweet because Julian passed away.

RuPaul (Little People, BIG DREAMS Book 61)RuPaul by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Little People, Big Dreams is a nonfiction picture book series imported from Spain. These are simple biographies to introduce young readers to these people. The books include a timeline and photos.

In the latest installment, the spotlight is shone on famous drag artist RuPaul from his childhood spent playing dress-up to his success in adulthood helping others show off what makes them special.

The Tea Dragon Tapestry (Tea Dragon, #3)The Tea Dragon Tapestry by Kay O’Neill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This series has been a delightful discovery and I love recommending the books to readers who want to be totally seeped in a world of quiet magic.

No Way, They Were Gay?: Hidden Lives and Secret Loves (Queer History Project)No Way, They Were Gay?: Hidden Lives and Secret Loves by Lee Wind
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A must have for every middle school and high school library. A delightful read into learning about some LGBTQ+ people whose stories have been whitewashed to conform to a heteronormative idea of what’s normal. The mini sections for each biography as well as side-notes provide more context and each chapter ends with thought provoking questions. Readers will definitely (and rightfully) wonder how much of history is actually told considering who are the ones who get to the opportunities to tell them.

Apsara EngineApsara Engine by Bishakh Kumar Som
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting collection of stories that are a bit open ended, mysterious and confusing. Mostly depressing but fantastical at times. Maybe they were all somehow interconnected or maybe I was just hoping they were?

A Simple Suburban Murder (Tom Mason & Scott Carpenter, #1)A Simple Suburban Murder by Mark Richard Zubro
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a recommendation I got from a library’s blog post about gay mysteries. I wanted to check it out for my Reading the Rainbow BINGO challenge. It intrigued me because I do enjoy mysteries and if I liked it there would be other books for me to read. The problem with that would be I would want to binge-read the entire series. Fortunately, I didn’t really enjoy the novel because it seemed outdated even when it was first published almost two decades ago so I was glad to have just finished the book.

Torch Song Trilogy: PlaysTorch Song Trilogy: Plays by Harvey Fierstein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fascinating play a drag artist’s love life in the 70’s and 80’s. Includes the original separate plays of the trilogy and then a newer mash-up of them.

If Beale Street Could TalkIf Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

James Baldwin does it again with another beautiful and heartbreaking novel that reflects the ugliness and scariness of that time- and, unfortunately, of his time, still, as well. It also celebrates the love and hope and perseverance of those a country, a system, is determined to break but knows it can’t.

The characters are memorable. You’ll be swept away in the love story of Tish and Fonny. You’ll be reading with bated breath to see how the story unfolds and the ending is surely something to think about.

A scene between the two families was probably one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.

I am (and continue to be) in awe of Baldwin’s writing.

Another CountryAnother Country by James Baldwin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wasn’t expecting this novel to be so long! I even had to up the speed of the audiobook so it would go faster but not enough so the narrator sounded like a chipmunk.

I also read a few summaries since the first seemed quite spoilery, the second too vague and the third even more spoilery!

Maybe because I was meeting a friend to discuss this book and that time was fast approaching but the length of the book really affected my feelings towards it, I was exhausted by the time I actually finished.

If each character was a country, I felt we spent too long on each one when a slight layover could have sufficed.

The storytelling and writing were still superb and insightful but some of the tactics he’s known for (like time jumping) really annoyed me during this read. Plus, I didn’t like any of the characters. I don’t have any problems with realistic fiction but I also want it to be slightly different from real life.

Part of this challenge has always included consuming other media aside from books- documentaries, TV shows, podcasts, articles, online videos, just to name a few. Here are just some of them…

-Pride (Documentary) Hulu

-Love, Victor (Season 2) Hulu

-Pose (Season 3) FX -Fiertes (Proud) (French three part mini-series)

-Making Gay History (Season 8) Podcast

-”20 Stories of LGBTQ+ People Working to Save Lives on the Frontline” (Article) The Advocate

-”Gay men speak out after being turned away from donating blood during coronavirus pandemic: ‘We are turning away perfectly healthy donors’” (Article) Good Morning America

-Stop Killing Us: Black Transgender Women’s Lived Experiences (Video) Complex News

You can view all the books I’ve read on my Goodreads page. Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!

4 thoughts on “My Reading Week #IMWAYR- June 28, 2021- A Whole Lot of Gay Books!

  1. Wow—I love all that you’ve been reading and watching for your challenge and for Pride Month! All of the picture books look utterly delightful, and I should really look into the Tea Dragon books by Kay O’Neill—so many people have enjoyed them! The James Baldwin books sound great as well. Thanks so much for the wonderful post!

  2. Some of these are new to me; some I know, Earl. Thanks for the list. I will be sure to get “No Way, They Were Gay?” & I am noting your Baldwin titles, too.

  3. So many 4 star reviews! I don’t know if I’ve seen that many from you, so I am definitely intrigued! I haven’t read any of the Little People, Big Dreams books, but now I want to! Thank you for sharing them with me.
    Also, I need to watch Love, Victor! I loved the book 🙂

    Happy reading this week!

  4. It looks like you have had a very fine reading week! I’ve added many to my list. I just picked up I Promise from the library. I wish they had copies of The Little Feminist books. I am big fan of the Tea Dragon series. They are great magical stories that showcase and celebrate diversity in its many iterations.

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