Sunday Lowdown #123

WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS books to read for pride month

I’ve reviewed several books with LGBTQ+ characters on Grab the Lapels, though some I read before I started this site in 2013. While I did not plan any reading in 2021 around celebratory months, I have interviewed LGBTQ authors and read books with Queer characters throughout June (happily but) unintentionally.

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on

Reviews of books with LGBTQ characters and an interview with a trans woman forthcoming within the next month:

  • An American Radical by Susan Rosenberg
  • Ultra by Olivia Hill
  • The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel
  • Martha Moody by Susan Stinson
  • Meet the Writer: Olivia Hill
Photo by Rosemary Ketchum on


This week kicked off with my review of Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara. I’ve been trying to locate and read books recommended by my Australian readers, but I was surprised by the connections my Canadian readers made between the girls stolen and transported to a “school” in Australia and the 215 children’s bodies found in a mass grave in near a Canadian “school” for indigenous children.

Then, we hopped back to the United States to meet Rebecca Frost, a writer whose work focuses on the American true crime novel, its origins, and why readers are so fascinated. Her forthcoming work examining Stephen King’s books garnered attention, too!


What happens when a mother sleepwalks herself to the river and drowns, leaving behind a grieving husband, an unmanageable teen, and a precocious ten-year-old daughter named Elvis? Why, they bake enough 3-D rabbit cakes to be entered to have a Guiness World Record. Review Tuesday.

Both books reviewed forthcoming this week have more than a healthy dose of satire, that sense of “this would never happen” but kinda/sorta seems like it could. When Laura Rider plans to write her first-ever romance novel, she orchestrates her husband and the local NPR-type radio host as the lead characters. Review Thursday.


Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 242
Owned Books on TBR Today: 223 (<this number is moving up and down more than I would like)

I found the “more new recommendations for you” button on The Story Graph and was attacked by so many made-for-me titles. Also, thanks to Laila @ Big Reading Life for her recommendation.


  1. I think the only book I know of all you mention here is the Aussie one. I missed your review, so will go back and check it. Sounds like you had a good discussion.

    As for next week’s books, I do like satire. The book I’m reading now is satirical.


  2. For once I’m ahead of WG, I’ve read 2 – Too Much Lip and The Long Way .. (your recommendation. I must buy #2. Also I have The Snow Queen keyed up to read later this week, speaking of SF rather then LGBTQ).
    As I said, I was really pleased you reviewed Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence. I’m sure there are parallels in the US as well as Canada. We can look for them next year. I’ll write something on my blog soon, as you suggested, and we can start choosing titles.


    • Nice! I can’t wait to read what you think about The Snow Queen. I will say it dumps you in at the beginning, so I just had to keep reading and wrap my head around it, though a more avid sci-fi fan like yourself might take to it like a fish to water.


  3. I like the look of the Hibbert novels so will look out for your review with interest. I have read Jonathan from Queer Eye’s memoir and have a book with a trans theme later in the month, so doing my bit where I can, though forgot to hashtag JVN’s.


    • Next year, once I’m done with #ReadingValdemar, I’m going to make a plan with a spreadsheet to actually review celebratory months at the right time! Basically, I don’t want to read books by and about LGBTQ people in June, I want to publish the reviews in June.

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    • My absolute favorite was Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher, though the story of Lois Lenz also gives you a good idea of the “career girl”/secretary trope that was really funny. She was obsessed with filing systems.

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