December’s here. The end of the cycle. It is always important to take a moment and reflect as the year comes to an end, and it is all the more necessary to do so after a whirlwind year such as 2020.
December is like reaching the last page of an addicting novel and being left on a cliff-hanger. Some storylines were nicely tied up, other questions still remain unanswered, and you start prophesizing about the sequel. You accept the completion of this part of the story, yet look forward to where it’ll take you next.
Take this final month of the year to reflect on everything you have seen and experienced. Take it all in, and allow yourself to be refreshed and ready to embrace the new year. Take a breath, read a book, and prepare yourself.
December’s anticipated LGBTQ+ books are here for you.
Take an exhilarating trip into the future with the Black queer-centered collection Black Futures. Edited by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham, Black Futures offers “images, photos, essays, memes, dialogues, recipes, tweets, poetry, and more–to tell the story of the radical, imaginative, provocative, and gorgeous world that Black creators are bringing forth today.”
If you’d like to take a moment to reflect, The Freezer Door by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore “records the ebb and flow of desire in daily life” and questions what it is to belong. Flip through The Drag Explosion, a collection of photos by Linda Simpson from the 1980s and 90s, “a tribute to a golden age” of the drag scene.
Embrace and remember history in the wake of World AIDS Day with The Storm: One Voice From the AIDS Generation by Christopher Zyda, a memoir of living through the epidemic in Los Angeles during the 80s and 90s. Discover the work of Ruth Coker Burks in All the Young Men, the telling of the bonds she made as a nurse for HIV/AIDS patients at the beginning of the crisis. Or grapple with the resilience and struggle wrought by the AIDS epidemic in the new fiction title As If Death Summoned by Alan Rose. Rose’s novel “testifies to the power of grief to erode a life, and–for those who can find a way through their grief–the power to rebuild and renew it.”
Face your fears with a chilling contemporary queer ghost story, one that mixes the threat of gentrification with supernatural unrest. Sam J. Miller’s The Blade Between explores “a rapidly changing city in upstate New York and the mysterious forces that threaten it.”
Refresh yourself with a modern retelling of Sophocles’ Antigone with Tiny by Mairead Case, a journey that delves into mourning and understanding grief. Go on a journey of self-discovering with The Ballad of Ami Miles by Kristy Dallas Alley. Read of a dystopian future, resistance, and a heroic drag queen in Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez.
Give poetry a try with Wound from the Mouth of a Wound by Torrin A. Greathouse, a nod to persistence and a collection that “teaches us that fragility is not synonymous with flaw.” Kopano Maroga’s debut of Jesus Thesis and Other Critical Fabulations: Poems is an introspective anthology that works alongside Christian myth so they may emerge “reborn.”
There is so much unknown waiting for us in 2021. Whether you are looking to reflect on the year, or refresh yourself and prepare for the new year, there is something waiting for you in this month’s releases. Look through these new arrivals, and find what it is you need to close out the year.