My Revised June Pride TBR: Reading as Many Books by Black Queer Authors As I Can!!

This is proof that I’m terrible with TBRs!

I made my original June TBR right before Black Lives Matter protests broke out all over the world, spurring people and companies and also the book community to take action. One of the things that we can do in the book world moving forward is to read from Black authors and support their work.

So! I decided to drop a few books off my original Pride TBR to make room for more books by Black authors. Of course, I’ll be holding myself accountable to keep this same energy throughout the entire year instead of just this month with the protests, but I thought it was especially fitting for June since Pride exists today because of Black queer activists!!

(I also was looking at my TBR and realizing that I wasn’t really too excited about some of the books. And as a mood reader, especially right now with my inability to focus, being excited about the books I plan to read is really important!)

 

BLM links & resources

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RUNNING WITH LIONS

Running With LionsThis was the first book I picked up for Pride almost a week ago and I still haven’t finished it… This is how you know my focus is absolutely terrible right now!

I’m about halfway through and, um, unfortunately not enjoying it too much? Something is off about the writing and it bothers me a lot, and it makes the book overall feel very weirdly written, including the characters and the romance. So far it’s at 2 stars so we’ll see where it goes from here!!

⇒ rep: bisexual MC, gay Pakistani Muslim LI

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HOW TO BE REMY CAMERON

How to Be Remy CameronI discovered that this is also on Scribd, so you bet I’ll be reading it after I finish Running with Lions! Even if I don’t end up loving Running with Lions, I still want to read this since I’ve been meaning to read Julian Winters’ books for a while.

From the Goodreads blurb, it seems like this is literally just a book about discovering who you are. Which I love! I’m definitely into character-driven books like these. I also have heard that there’s a focus on family which I’m really excited about!!

⇒ rep: Black gay MC, Korean gay LI

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THE BLACK FLAMINGO

The Black FlamingoI’ve heard only the highest of praise for this book (and it won the Stonewall award!), so I’m confident that I’ll love it too. It’s also told in verse, which makes me extra excited for it since I haven’t read poetry in so long!!

I adore stories about self-discovery and coming to terms with your identity, and this book tackles exactly that. Pretty much everything I’ve heard about this book has described it as “beautiful” so I’m ready to dive in to its gorgeous writing!!

⇒ rep: biracial (Black Jamaican, white) gay MC

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FULL DISCLOSURE

Full DisclosureI’ve been wanting to read this book for so long, so when I saw it was available at my library, I got so excited!! My friend Elise’s review of it is also a large part of why I think I’m going to love this book (as her reviews always are with any book).

I haven’t read a book with a character that has HIV, so I’m looking forward to that representation, along with all the other amazing things I’ve heard about it, including its phenomenal writing and character relationships.

⇒ rep: Black bisexual MC with HIV, Asian bisexual SC, Asian asexual lesbian SC

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LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE

Let's Talk About LoveI’m just really excited about a Black queer girl because I will always be excited over Black queer girls, and I’ve heard that this is a really cute book! Lots of romance (we’ll see how much of that, I can handle, as a happiness hater…) but also lots of friendship too.

I’ll be honest, I am a bit nervous that I’m not going to like this one, but I do want to still try it out because I’ve been interested in reading Claire Kann’s books for a while now!

⇒ rep: Black biromantic asexual MC

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THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS

The Beauty That RemainsThis is a book about grief, which is GREAT because I’ve been feeling so meh about a lot of the books I read recently and I just really want something that’ll make me emotional. I think this is going to be a very character-focused book so I’m excited for that!

Also I just saw that there’s leukemia involved, so now I know I’m going to cry. (If you’re unaware, my mom has had leukemia since 2012, and anything involving cancer or illness is essentially my only trigger in books!)

⇒ rep: Black MC, gay MC, Korean MC

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THE FIFTH SEASON

The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)I think I read about 140 pages of this earlier this year but wasn’t able to finish because it took me a long time to really get into it—but once I was into it, I couldn’t stop reading. I know I’m having focus problems right now but I’m still hoping that I can get through this? Because it’s award-winning and I’ve heard only the best things about it, and I also really enjoyed what I read!!

(Remembering what I read will also be a challenge… It’s fine, I’ll wing it!)

⇒ rep: Black cast, several queer SCs, polyamory

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AN UNKINDNESS OF GHOSTS

An Unkindness of GhostsI’m trying to read more adult, so this is perfect! I read Rivers Solomon’s The Deep earlier this year and enjoyed it, so I hope I like this book from them as well. It’s sci-fi, which I haven’t read in so long, but it looks to be on the heavier side and not as easy to read.

The world in this book sounds really intriguing—there’s a spaceship where the lower decks are reserved for darker-skinned people—and I’m excited to see how this concept will be written!! Their writing in The Deep was beautiful so I have no doubt that this will be beautiful too.

⇒ rep: Black queer (intersex) autistic MC, nonbinary SC

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NON-BLACK BOOKS

Steel Crow Saga  Girl, Serpent, Thorn  Forest of Souls (Shamanborn, #1)  The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

  • Steel Crow Saga: I’m checking this out from my library and I genuinely believe it’s going to be a new favorite of mine. I’m trying so hard to lower my expectations because I don’t want to be disappointed but I can’t!!! (Asian f/f)
  • Girl, Serpent, Thorn: I have a physical ARC of this and I am dying to read it!! I read the first few paragraphs because I couldn’t help myself and I’m already in love (Persian f/f)
  • Forest of Souls: I didn’t finish reading this in May, so I have to finish it to review it later this month… (This is not queer!)
  • Percy Jackson: I’m actually feeling like this might be a maybe rather than a definitive yes?? I could reread PJO any time, so if I don’t have enough time for all the books on this list, I probably will just push it back to July.

shall we chat

what’s on your June TBR, if you have one? remember to include Black authors in your reading not just now but throughout the year! also I’ve always been curious: do you enjoy reading TBRs?

(I always feel like TBRs don’t do as well as other posts, which always is a surprise to me because I personally LOVE reading them)

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60 thoughts on “My Revised June Pride TBR: Reading as Many Books by Black Queer Authors As I Can!!

  1. I just ordered two books by Black authors (Just Mercy and Stamped from the Beginning) from a local bookstore that I’m very excited to read. Hope you enjoy these books!

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  2. The Beauty That Remains is SUCH a beautiful book, it almost made me cry!! i really hope you enjoy it ❤ i’m sorry you’re not liking Running With Lions so far, it’s on my tbr this month :(( i’ve been wanting to read The Black Flamingo for so long as well and i might get to it soon, i hope we both love it!! and same about maybe not re-reading PJO this month, i was planning on but now i have a bunch more high-priority books on my tbr and i might push it to July as well…

    i’m terrible with TBRs as well lmao but i really love reading these posts!! hope you have a lovely reading month 🥰🥰

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    1. i’m so glad to hear you enjoy the beauty that remains!! i think i definitely am going to cry, knowing about the leukemia aspect 😭 and i hope you enjoy running with lions more than me! i’ve been super slumpy lately so take my opinion with a grain of salt aha. and yes, i think the excitement over pjo has worn off a bit, enough that i can push it back to july!! which is great because i want to focus on more diverse books 🥰

      ah it makes me happy to hear you enjoy reading tbrs! have a great reading month too, ash <3

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  3. I’m currently reading Let’s Talk About Love and adore it!!!! I find Alice to be super relatable. Also, a book by another LGTBQIAP black author that I feel is really under-hyped is Queen of the Conquered. The story itself isn’t LGTBQ+, but the author is enby. It was a very powerful novel that just blew me away.

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    1. Oof I forgot to mention the author of Queen of the Conquered. Their name is Kacen Callender, and I just realized they’re the author of Felix Ever After!

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        1. I hadn’t been too interested in Felix originally, but after reading Queen of the Conquered, I don’t know if I can possibly wait to read it! Their writing really captured me.

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  4. I agree that the writing of Running with Lions felt kind of off! I couldn’t get into it! I just pre-ordered The Summer is Everything, though. Fingers crossed!
    (Also, thank you for consolidating BLM resources in this post.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i hope you enjoy all of these books! i just bought Running With Lions so we’ll see what I’ll think about it! hopefully i will enjoy it, but i feel like we have similar tastes so i am a little worried. i have so many books on my mind that i wanna read this month, but like,,, where’s the time.
    okay but you HAVE to read Girl, Serpent. Thorn i have been screaming about it for a month!! it is sooooo good!! hope you enjoy it!!

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    1. ahh thank u maha 🥺 i hope you enjoy running with lions more than me — i’ve been really slumpy so that might just be contributing to my recent book hate lmao. and i know!!! it’s been a week and i’ve only finished one book… and i don’t have school what am i doing

      YES i will read girl, serpent, thorn no matter what i am so excited for it!!!

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  6. Oh this is such a wonderful TBR, I hope you’ll love all of these books! I adore The Beauty That Remains, though I cried within the first few pages, fair warning ahah. It is such a beautiful, beautiful book overall <3 and I need to read Let's Talk About Love someday, it sounds so good! :) aah, I also can't wait to hear what you think of Girl, Serpent, Thorn, I loved that one so much :D

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  7. I don’t have TBR. It’s a proof of and a witness to my failure in sticking to it. So I usually just pick up books that I feel like reading at the moment and go with it. And now with the BLM it prompts me to seek out even more books by Black authors.

    I do enjoy TBR posts. It’s an easy way to discover less known titles to me 😊

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    1. i also don’t usually have tbrs and am total mood reader! i just like to have them for may and june (and i still fail to follow them 😭) i’m glad that you’re seeking out Black authors right now!! hope you continue to read and love their books <3

      and i’m so happy to hear you enjoy tbr posts!! thank u for sharing your input 🥺

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  8. These are such GREAT books (even though I’ve somehow missed reading most of them??????) Since publishing paid me trending yesterday, i learned about The Fifth Season and somehow have never read it? now it’s going on my summer TBR pile ASAP

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  9. the writing is def one of the issues that i had with Running With Lions! OOOOHHHH lets talk about love is a book that i was really hyped about last year but im also SCARED I WONT LOVE IT. THE BLACK FLAMINGO OMG it sound amazingggggg and i want to read it ASAP!!! LOVE THIS POST AS PER!

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  10. Love how you revised your TBR! I’ve also been revising my reading plans for this month+ to try to include more #ownvoices black rep. I’m actually currently reading Let’s Talk About Love! I’m just over halfway through and adoring it! It’s so cute and fun and ahhhh, so good. I also ordered the books “The Deep,” “A Song Below Water,” and “Get a Life, Chloe Brown” and I can’t wait for them to arrive so I can pick them up sometime soon!
    Oooh, I’ve been eyeing The Fifth Season for awhile, so I’m curious to see what ya think of it! And oooh, Forest of Souls! I adored Lori M. Lee’s “A Gate of Thread and Stone” books as a high schooler and I can’t wait to read more by her!
    (And personally, I find TBR posts both fun to make and read!)
    Happy reading! <3

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    1. ALSO, after seeing you excitedly talk about Girl, Serpent, Thorn on your first June TBR post, I requested it on Netgalley and I got an email today saying that I got approved and it took everything in me not to screech out loud!! 😍😍 like YASSSSS, give me all the sapphic children

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  11. This is an amazing list, May! I haven’t read a lot of these but I just added a lot of them to my TBR and I’m very excited to read them now.💗 I actually didn’t realize I had read The Beauty That Remains until I just tried to put it on my TBR- but now looking at the synopsis, I remember really enjoying it and I hope you do too! The different perspectives of each character and focus on music were really amazing.

    I love reading TBR posts, too, to answer that question! I always get recommendations from them, as I did from this, so thank you for that! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you!! i’m glad i could introduce you to some new books to add to your tbr 🥰 and aahh that’s so funny! but i’m really happy you enjoyed it (though i’m lowkey scared about getting triggered 😭) and i think the focus on music is going to be so refreshing to read, i can’t wait!

      and yay i’m glad you like reading tbrs too!! they definitely give me so many new books to look out for <3

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