All of July was Transathon, hosted by Ocean over on Twitter. This event was about reading and enjoying books by transgender and non-binary authors. I do this year-round, but it was the perfect opportunity to focus solely on my huge list of books by not-cis authors I’ve been meaning to get to.
I ended up reading a total of 9 books for Transathon! I’ve already posted about Homesick by Nino Cipri (review here) and Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe (review here), but here are mini reviews for the 7 other titles I read during this event:
Something That May Shock and Discredit You by Daniel Lavery
A memoir rooted in faith, literary classics, pop culture, and the author’s experiences being trans. I loved his subtly romantic, lush writing style. His retelling of Jacob wrestling with the angel was especially moving and powerful.
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
So cute and sweet! Non-binary main character with anxiety and depression. Full of good examples of setting boundaries and what healthy relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners look like. This book does tackle serious themes (the main character gets kicked out of their house after coming out), but it’s a feel-good story overall. It’s such an important book for LGBTQ teens to have in their lives.
She of the Mountains by Vivek Shraya
A poetic coming-of-age novel that explores identity and incorporates creative interpretations of traditional Hindu stories. Shraya’s prose really hones in on how the same words can be used to degrade or to empower.
On My Way to Liberation by H. Melt
This is a short chapbook with some truly powerful poetry. “City of Trans Liberation” made me cry. Wow. I love the order in which these poems appear in the collection, because the last two wrapped everything up so well. I want to read everything H. Melt has written.
Tranny by Laura Jane Grace
I loved this memoir so much, and I don’t even know that much about Against Me!’s music. This was a great blend of music memoir and trans memoir, with discovering oneself being a common thread. Perfect for fellow Xennials/Oregon Trail Generation readers, especially trans and leftist readers in this age group. I feel like I have more to say about this one, especially thinking about some of the criticism other readers have given it, so I’ll probably write up a full review in the near future.
Coming in September, this memoir is about the author and their husband’s decision to raise their child as free from gender boundaries as possible, without the pressure of gender stereotypes. Because their kid is still so young, the book focuses on the baby/toddler/preschool years only. An interesting, sweet, happy book (thanks in part to a lot of privilege). This is another book that will likely have a more fleshed-out review soon.
Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore
Anna-Marie McLemore’s writing is always so beautiful and easy to get lost in. This novel jumps back and forth between present time and the 1518 Strasbourg dancing plague, and features a Romani girl and a trans boy. Because of the fairy tale-like atmosphere and the fact that I usually listen to nonfiction or very realistic fiction on audiobook, I wish I’d read the print version rather than listened to it. I know I would have enjoyed the more dramatic moments much more in print. I might give this a reread in the future.