It’s the last day of 2021 – seemingly the day to reflect back on the year that has been or in this case an opportunity to ponder the books i’ve chosen to read this year and pick out a top 5. Yes, you read that right, just 5 – with maybe a bonus number 6!
And so what follows are my top 5 queer books that i have read this year, not all these books have been released in 2021, not all of them sit within LesFic. Put simply, they are the books that have crossed my path and left their mark in one way or another.
- Charon Docks at Daylight – Zoe Reed – Much longer than the average lesfic story, but my FAVOURITE book of 2021. A solid enemies to lovers romance, CDAD falls into my most loved genre (post-apocalyptic) and delivers an intense, heart wrenching last few chapters. The author also provides an alternative universe short for this story over on fiction press.
- Warm Pearls and Paper Cranes – E.V. Bancroft – A romance which literally spans the ages, isn’t a story i expected to fall in love with and yet somehow i did. Set in both 1939 and 2019, this book boasts both a unique storyline and superb quality writing from a new author. Getting a reader to thoroughly enjoy a genre which they wouldn’t usually gravitate towards, is no mean feat, – hence making my top 5 of 2021.
- Fighting with Pride: LGBTQ in the Armed Forces – Craig Jones (Editor) – There’s a powerful quote in the front of this book – ‘When i was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one’. 21 words, 21 impactful words that i’ve carried with me pretty much all year. This book covers 10 personal stories of personnel in the British Armed Forces, who served under the ban on lgbtq+ individuals. A somber reminder of the work still to do.
- Judge Me, Judge Me Not: A Memoir of Sexual Discovery – James Merrick – A thought provoking memoir, which in parts reflected some of my own family’s history. What has stayed with me since reading this book, is that James’ journey to be his truth self, is in part a journey that many queer individuals will be able to identity with. An ever evolving journey requiring true honesty and vulnerability, if you are to live the life you dream.
- Swift Vengeance – Jean Copeland, Jackie D., Erin Zak – A three-way writing concept which was too good to miss. Having read the authors separately i was intrigued to see how this would pan out from a readers perspective and i wasn’t disappointed. I never fail to be surprised when books and/or authors lead me to something new. A playlist used by one of the authors when writing this book introduced me to the musician Forest Blakk. Sometimes books take you down unexpected paths.
6. LesFic Eclectic Volume 3 – Robyn Nyx (Editor) – My review of this totally free anthology is still in the works, but having finished reading it in those no man land days between Christmas and New Year, i can confirm it serves as the perfect palate cleanser before embarking on another year of reading. Quite possibly the best volume yet and as usual a magnificent selection of old and new voices with true variety to be found between it’s pages.