Reading list for Disability Awareness Month

When I first moved to New Orleans I was fresh out of college and fumbling my way through becoming a special education teacher. I knew I wanted to do right by my students and that meant leaning in and learning more than I ever could have imagined about disability, more specifically, disability justice. 

I turned to my favorite corner of the internet, Bookstagram, where I found thoughtful, passionate, and kind disabled readers that shared books, resources, and lived experiences with me. Without Bookstagram and the fantastic community of disabled readers I definitely would not be where I am in my journey with disability justice (always have room to grow though)! 

Below are some books that have shaped my learning around disability justice that I’d highly recommend you check out all year long 🙂 

Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century

This is always my go-to rec, especially if you’re new to disability justice! 

One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent–but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

From Harriet McBryde Johnson’s account of her debate with Peter Singer over her own personhood to original pieces by authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma; from blog posts, manifestos, and eulogies to Congressional testimonies, and beyond: this anthology gives a glimpse into the rich complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and the past with hope and love.

Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life by Alice Wong

A fantastic memoir from one of my favorite and most beloved disabled activists, Alice Wong is an incredible force and I’m thankful to be alive in her lifetime. 

In Chinese culture, the tiger is deeply revered for its confidence, passion, ambition, and ferocity. That same fighting spirit resides in Alice Wong.

Drawing on a collection of original essays, previously published work, conversations, graphics, photos, commissioned art by disabled and Asian American artists, and more, Alice uses her unique talent to share an impressionistic scrapbook of her life as an Asian American disabled activist, community organizer, media maker, and dreamer. From her love of food and pop culture to her unwavering commitment to dismantling systemic ableism, Alice shares her thoughts on creativity, access, power, care, the pandemic, mortality, and the future. As a self-described disabled oracle, Alice traces her origins, tells her story, and creates a space for disabled people to be in conversation with one another and the world. Filled with incisive wit, joy, and rage, Wong’s Year of the Tiger will galvanize readers with big cat energy.

Sipping Dom Pérignon Through a Straw: Reimagining Success as a Disabled Achiever by Eddie Ndopu

If you’re looking for a disabled memoir that really displays the ways in which academia is ableist and classist then you’re going to want to check this one out! Highly recommend it on audio! 

A memoir penned with one good finger, Ndopu writes about being profoundly disabled and profoundly successful.

Global humanitarian Eddie Ndopu was born with spinal muscular atrophy, a rare degenerative motor neuron disease affecting his mobility. He was told that he wouldn’t live beyond age five and yet, Ndopu thrived. He grew up loving pop music, lip syncing the latest hits, and watching The Bold and the Beautiful for the haute couture, and was the only wheelchair user at his school, where he flourished academically. By his late teens, he had become a sought-after speaker, traveling the world to address audiences about disability justice. 

Ndopu was ecstatic when he was later accepted on a full scholarship into one of the world’s most prestigious schools, Oxford University. But he soon learns that it’s not just the medical community he must thwart– it’s the educational one too.

In Sipping Dom Pérignon Through a Straw, we follow Ndopu, sporting his oversized, bejeweled sunglasses, as he scales the mountain of success, only to find exclusion, discrimination, and neglect waiting for him on the other side. Like every other student, Ndopu tries to keep up appearances–dashing to and from his public policy lectures before meeting for cocktails with his squad, all while campaigning to become student body president. Privately, however, Ndopu faces obstacles that are all too familiar to people with disabilities, yet remain unnoticed by most people. With the revolving door of care aides, hefty bills, and a lack of support from the university, Ndopu feels alienated by his environment. As he soars professionally, sipping champagne with world leaders, he continues to feel the loneliness and pressure of being the only one in the room. Determined to carve out his place in the world, he must challenge bias at the highest echelons of power and prestige. But as the pressure mounts, Ndopu must find his stride or collapse under the crushing weight of ableism.

This evocative, searing, and vulnerable prose will leave you spellbound by Ndopu’s remarkable journey to reach beyond ableism, reminding us of our own capacity for resilience.

Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig

My favorite/ best read of 2023. Rebekah’s writing is concise, unapologetic, and she tackles the struggles of teaching disability justice to young people– something that really resonated with me as I used to be a special education teacher. 

Growing up as a paralyzed girl during the 90s and early 2000s, Rebekah Taussig only saw disability depicted as something monstrous (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). None of this felt right; and as she got older, she longed for more stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling.

Writing about the rhythms and textures of what it means to live in a body that doesn’t fit, Rebekah reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and how the pervasiveness of ableism in our everyday media directly translates to everyday life.

Disability affects all of us, directly or indirectly, at one point or another. By exploring this truth in poignant and lyrical essays, Taussig illustrates the need for more stories and more voices to understand the diversity of humanity. Sitting Pretty challenges us as a society to be patient and vigilant, practical and imaginative, kind and relentless, as we set to work to write an entirely different story.

This year, I’m challenging myself to read more nonfiction and I’ve made a challenge creatively called the ‘Layne’s 2024 Big Brain Reading Challenge.’ Below are the disability justice books on my list, feel free to play along with me and pick up some of these books in 2024. 

Disability Pride: Dispatches from a Post-ADA World by Ben Mattlin

There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural History of Blindness by M. Leona Godin

The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me by Keah Brown

Black Disability Politics by Sami Schalk

Crip Kinship: The Disability Justice & Art Activism of Sins Invalid by Shayda Kafai

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

The Future Is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

All Our Families: Disability Lineage and the Future of Kinship by Jennifer Natalya Fink

Books by Trans, Non-Binary, and Gender Queer Authors to Commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed on November 20th every year to honor, memorialize, and pay homage to those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. 

To honor trans, non-binary, and genderqueer folks on November 20th, I’ve curated a list of books written by those voices. In addition to reading these books please consider donating to the following organizations. Now, more than ever, our trans, non-binary, and queer community members need our allyship in order to fight against the insidious and pervasive transphobic rhetoric that’s spanning across the US. 

To see a more comprehensive list of organizations supporting trans folks check out this list from Them that features organizations in all 50 states. 

Gender Euphoria by Laura Kate Dale (she/ her)

GENDER EUPHORIA: a powerful feeling of happiness experienced as a result of moving away from one’s birth-assigned gender.

So often the stories shared by trans people about their transition center on gender dysphoria: a feeling of deep discomfort with their birth-assigned gender, and a powerful catalyst for coming out or transitioning. But for many non-cisgender people, it’s gender euphoria that pushes forward their transition: the joy the first time a parent calls them by their new chosen name, the first time they have the confidence to cut their hair short, the first time they truly embrace themself.

In this groundbreaking anthology, nineteen trans, non-binary, agender, gender-fluid, and intersex writers share their experiences of gender euphoria: an agender dominatrix being called “Daddy,” an Arab trans man getting his first tattoos, a trans woman embracing her inner fighter.

What they have in common are their feelings of elation, pride, confidence, freedom and ecstasy as a direct result of coming out as non-cisgender, and how coming to terms with their gender has brought unimaginable joy into their lives.

Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon (they/ them, Author) Ashley Lukashevsky (they/ she, Illustrator)

In Beyond the Gender Binary, poet, artist, and LGBTQIA+ rights advocate Alok Vaid-Menon deconstructs, demystifies, and reimagines the gender binary.

Pocket Change Collective is a series of small books with big ideas from today’s leading activists and artists. In this installment, Beyond the Gender Binary, Alok Vaid-Menon challenges the world to see gender not in black and white, but in full color. Taking from their own experiences as a gender-nonconforming artist, they show us that gender is a malleable and creative form of expression. The only limit is your imagination.

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe (e/em/eir) 

In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia’s intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears.

Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity–what it means and how to think about it–for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas (he/ they)

It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into the light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road…

Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, asks for Wendy’s help to rescue the missing kids. But, in order to find them, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods.

The Witch King by H. E. Edgmon (he/ they)

To save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal fiancé he left behind.

In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft…don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to fae prince Emyr North was supposed to change that. But when Wyatt lost control of his magic one devastating night, he fled to the human world.

Now a coldly distant Emyr has hunted him down. Despite transgender Wyatt’s newfound identity and troubling past, Emyr claims they must marry now or risk losing the throne. Jaded, Wyatt strikes a deal with the enemy, hoping to escape Asalin forever. But as he gets to know Emyr again, Wyatt realizes the boy he once loved may still exist. And as the witches face worsening conditions, he must decide what’s more important–his people or his freedom.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (they/ them)

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures. 

But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.

Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo (he/ they)

Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom that hungers for him.

As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble.

And there is something awful lurking, waiting for those walls to fall.

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi (they/ them)

Feyi Adekola wants to learn how to be alive again. 

It’s been five years since the accident that killed the love of her life and she’s almost a new person now–an artist with her own studio and sharing a brownstone apartment with her ride-or-die best friend, Joy, who insists it’s time for Feyi to ease back into the dating scene. Feyi isn’t ready for anything serious, but a steamy encounter at a rooftop party cascades into a whirlwind summer she could have never imagined: a luxury trip to a tropical island, decadent meals in the glamorous home of a celebrity chef, and a major curator who wants to launch her art career.

She’s even started dating the perfect guy, but their new relationship might be sabotaged before it has a chance by the overwhelming desire Feyi feels every time she locks eyes with the one person in the house who is most definitely off-limits–his father.

This new life she asked for just got a lot more complicated, and Feyi must begin her search for real answers. Who is she ready to become? Can she release her past and honor her grief while still embracing her future? And, of course, there’s the biggest question of all–how far is she willing to go for a second chance at love? 

Horse Barbie: A Memoir by Geena Rocero (she/ her)

As a young femme in 1990s Manila, Geena Rocero heard, “Bakla, bakla!,” a taunt aimed at her feminine sway, whenever she left the tiny universe of her eskinita. Eventually, she found her place in trans pageants, the Philippines’ informal national sport. When her competitors mocked her as a “horse Barbie” due to her statuesque physique, tumbling hair, long neck, and dark skin, she leaned into the epithet. By seventeen, she was the Philippines’ highest-earning trans pageant queen. 

A year later, Geena moved to the United States where she could change her name and gender marker on her documents. But legal recognition didn’t mean safety. In order to survive, Geena went stealth and hid her trans identity, gaining one type of freedom at the expense of another. For a while, it worked. She became an in-demand model. But as her star rose, her sense of self eroded. She craved acceptance as her authentic self yet had to remain vigilant in order to protect her dream career. The high-stakes double life finally forced Geena to decide herself if she wanted to reclaim the power of Horse Barbie once and for all: radiant, head held high, and unabashedly herself.

A dazzling testimony from an icon who sits at the center of transgender history and activism, Horse Barbie is a celebratory and universal story of survival, love, and pure joy.

Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist (he/ they)

Med school dropout Lena is desperate for a job, any job, to help her parents, who are approaching bankruptcy after her father was injured and laid off nearly simultaneously. So when she is offered a position, against all odds, working for one of Boston’s most elite families, the illustrious and secretive Verdeaus, she knows she must accept–no matter how bizarre the interview or how vague the job description. 

By day, she is assistant to the family doctor and his charge, Jonathan, the sickly, poetic, drunken heir to the family empire, who is as difficult as his illness is mysterious. By night, Lena discovers the more sinister side of the family, as she works overtime at their lavish parties, helping to hide their self-destructive tendencies . . . and trying not to fall for Jonathan’s alluring sister, Audrey. But when she stumbles upon the knowledge that the Verdeau patriarch is the one responsible for the ruin of her own family, Lena vows to get revenge–a poison-filled quest that leads her further into this hedonistic world than she ever bargained for, forcing her to decide how much, and whom, she’s willing to sacrifice for payback.

The perfect next read for fans of Mexican Gothic, Tripping Arcadia is a page-turning and shocking tale with an unforgettable protagonist that explores family legacy and inheritance, the sacrifices we must make to get by in today’s world, and the intoxicating, dangerous power of wealth.

HAPPY NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY: 3 Books that Validated My Queer Identity as a Late Bloomer, Chaotic Bisexual

I self-identify as a late bloomer because when I had the realization that I was not strictly into men that fact reared up and slapped me in the face like a tidal wave. There were flashes of my childhood that I was looking back on, cocked head, like “really Layne? You didn’t know that you were a little bit gay?”

Please enjoy a short list of moments from my childhood where I definitely should have known I was queer: 

  • Rewatching the Beautiful Liar music video over and over and over again and wondering why I was so obsessed with it. Haven’t seen it? Don’t worry it’s linked right here. 
  • Playing softball. Okay, I get it, this one is kind of cliche. But like if the shoe fits, girlypop!
  • Shego from Kim Possible. This is a universal gay experience, right? 
  • And last but not least having like ~a lot~ of really intense ~friendships~ with girls and then getting like ~a little bit upset~ when they got boyfriends. 

Anywho, you’re here for a book list, and a booklist I shall provide. Below are some books that have been a cornerstone to my queer identity:

Women by Chloe Caldwell 

When I was twenty-two I came out as queer. I was moving to New Orleans and I ended things with my college boyfriend with a “sorry I think I want to have sex with women so I think we need to break up!” phone call (def could have handled that one better, sorry Quang)! Bright-eyed and bushy tailed I was ready to explore queer dating in New Orleans. Only, it was really difficult, and I was saddled with the debilitating, persistent anxiety that I wasn’t actually queer. Then my friend Jess lovingly patted me on the head and said, “here read this,” and handed me Chloe’s book, Women. 

And I devoured that shit. 

Women was an eye-opening and revolutionary read for me that really highlighted why I struggled with my intense relationships with girls growing up. It illuminated how even though I was hiding behind this deeply integrated Impostor Syndrome, I was still a queer person who was mainly attracted to a person’s identity, morals, ideas etc. than I was to their specific gender. There’s such a special place in my heart for this book because it really represented my first validation as a queer woman. I re-read this one from time to time and I still really love it.

In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado 

Buckle up to get wrecked because this one fucked me up!! My friend Jinhe (also a fellow chaotic bisexual *salute emoji*) decided that she wanted to buddy-read this one with me at the very beginning of lockdown. I, as per usual, was very behind on my buddy read and casually decided to read the entire book, without reading the back cover copy, a day before we were supposed to chat about it. HA HA HA, I was in the fetal position. Screaming, crying, throwing up! 

This is a memoir about Carmen’s abusive relationship with a woman, in case you’re living under a literal rock and haven’t heard of this masterpiece. This book spoke to me in a different, but still very acute, way. I was in an abusive relationship in late high school/early college and reading Carmen’s memoir about her experiences was like getting teleported back into my 17-19 year old body because I could have sworn I was reading my literal diary. 

Carmen Maria Machado is a writer that truly will define my entire existence as a queer reader. I’ve never been more validated by a book in my ~entire life~. Read it, sob whilst clutching it to your chest, and then slide into my DMs and tell me all your little thoughts about it. 

Old Enough by Haley Jackobson 

Oh man, this was another one where I was like “lol stop being inside my head! Hahahaha.” I really enjoyed the main character’s journey in this book. It’s very much a coming-of-age, queer identity coming to fruition kind of book. 

“Old Enough” made me feel seen in some great ways. Like Sav, I was assaulted and it took me a long time to realize what exactly happened, that it was not okay, that I was raped. The myriad of emotions that Sav experiences and untangles in this novel really captured my personal experience with sexual assault and for that, I’m really grateful. It would have been so beneficial for me to have had this book when I was in college! 

I was completely knocked off balance by my first queer crush. I felt totally overwhelmed navigating my sexuality and it took a while (lol sometimes still processing) for me to feel confident in my queerness. Reading Sav’s experience navigating her identity was lovely and I (again!) saw myself in her! 

Some final thoughts on gay reading and queer books… 

Books have been a magical, loving, and revolutionary portal for me my entire life. When I was a child they helped me navigate through complex feelings that I was experiencing for the first time. In adolescence, they modeled healthy relationships and pushed me to think critically about the world around me. In adulthood, they have validated my experiences with my sexuality, identity, trauma, and so much more. My love for reading has truly pushed me at every stage of my life to be a better, more empathetic, and nuanced person. 

Queer books hold an incredibly loving space in my heart because before I was ever validated by the queer community, I was quietly finding the courage to truly accept myself authentically in the pages of queer books with vibrant, lovable LGBTQ+ characters. 

Happy National Coming Out Day to all my LGBTQ+ siblings whether you are “out” or not. Your identity is valid and you are seen and loved no matter what stage you’re at in your coming out process.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE: Books to Read in Solidarity with the SAG-AFTRA Strike Members

With the SAG-AFTRA strike grinding all productions of our favorite films and tv shows to a halt I bet you’re looking for something to keep you brain occupied (and no watching The Office for the 50th time is no longer an option.) While you’re waiting for the hardworking people of Hollywood to get paid a living wage support them by reading a few books that are serving fuck capitalism. 


Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers’ Rights by Molly Smith and Juno Mac

How the law harms sex workers—and what they want instead

Do you have to endorse prostitution in order to support sex worker rights? Should clients be criminalized, and can the police deliver justice?

In Revolting Prostitutes, sex workers Juno Mac and Molly Smith bring a fresh perspective to questions that have long been contentious. Speaking from a growing global sex worker rights movement, and situating their argument firmly within wider questions of migration, work, feminism, and resistance to white supremacy, they make it clear that anyone committed to working towards justice and freedom should be in support of the sex worker rights movement.



The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class-and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida

In recent years, the young, educated, and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline. And yet all is not well, Richard Florida argues in The New Urban Crisis. Florida, one of the first scholars to anticipate this back-to-the-city movement in his groundbreaking The Rise of the Creative Class, demonstrates how the same forces that power the growth of the world’s superstar cities also generate their vexing challenges: gentrification, unaffordability, segregation, and inequality. Meanwhile, many more cities still stagnate, and middle-class neighborhoods everywhere are disappearing. Our winner-take-all cities are just one manifestation of a profound crisis in today’s urbanized knowledge economy.

A bracingly original work of research and analysis, The New Urban Crisis offers a compelling diagnosis of our economic ills and a bold prescription for more inclusive cities capable of ensuring growth and prosperity for all.


Profit Over People: Neoliberalism & Global Order by Noam Chomsky

Why is the Atlantic slowly filling with crude petroleum, threatening a millions-of-years-old ecological balance? Why did traders at prominent banks take high-risk gambles with the money entrusted to them by hundreds of thousands of clients around the world, expanding and leveraging their investments to the point that failure led to a global financial crisis that left millions of people jobless and hundreds of cities economically devastated? Why would the world’s most powerful military spend ten years fighting an enemy that presents no direct threat to secure resources for corporations?

The culprit in all cases is neoliberal ideology—the belief in the supremacy of “free” markets to drive and govern human affairs. And in the years since the initial publication of Noam Chomsky’s Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order, the bitter vines of neoliberalism have only twisted themselves further into the world economy, obliterating the public’s voice in public affairs and substituting the bottom line in place of people’s basic obligation to care for one another as ends in themselves. In Profit Over People, Chomsky reveals the roots of the present crisis, tracing the history of neoliberalism through an incisive analysis of free trade agreements of the 1990s, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund—and describes the movements of resistance to the increasing interference by the private sector in global affairs.

In the years since the initial publication of Profit Over People, the stakes have only risen. Now more than ever, Profit Over People is one of the key texts explaining how the crisis facing us operates—and how, through Chomsky’s analysis of resistance, we may find an escape from the closing net.


Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone by by Sarah Jaffe

A deeply-reported examination of why “doing what you love” is a recipe for exploitation, creating a new tyranny of work in which we cheerily acquiesce to doing jobs that take over our lives.

You’re told that if you “do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Whether it’s working for “exposure” and “experience,” or enduring poor treatment in the name of “being part of the family,” all employees are pushed to make sacrifices for the privilege of being able to do what we love.

In Work Won’t Love You Back, Sarah Jaffe, a preeminent voice on labor, inequality, and social movements, examines this “labor of love” myth—the idea that certain work is not really work, and therefore should be done out of passion instead of pay. Told through the lives and experiences of workers in various industries—from the unpaid intern, to the overworked teacher, to the nonprofit worker and even the professional athlete—Jaffe reveals how all of us have been tricked into buying into a new tyranny of work.

As Jaffe argues, understanding the trap of the labor of love will empower us to work less and demand what our work is worth. And once freed from those binds, we can finally figure out what actually gives us joy, pleasure, and satisfaction.


How to Be an Anticapitalist in the Twenty-First Century by Erik Olin Wright

What is wrong with capitalism, and how can we change it?

Capitalism has transformed the world and increased our productivity, but at the cost of enormous human suffering. Our shared values—equality and fairness, democracy and freedom, community and solidarity—can provide both the basis for a critique of capitalism and help to guide us toward a socialist and democratic society.

Erik Olin Wright has distilled decades of work into this concise and tightly argued manifesto: analyzing the varieties of anticapitalism, assessing different strategic approaches, and laying the foundations for a society dedicated to human flourishing. How to Be an Anticapitalist in the Twenty-First Century is an urgent and powerful argument for socialism, and an unparalleled guide to help us get there. Another world is possible. Included is an afterword by the author’s close friend and collaborator Michael Burawoy.


Women, Race, & Class by Angela Y. Davis

From one of our most important scholars and civil rights activist icon, a powerful study of the women’s liberation movement and the tangled knot of oppression facing Black women.

“Angela Davis is herself a woman of undeniable courage. She should be heard.”—The New York Times

Angela Davis provides a powerful history of the social and political influence of whiteness and elitism in feminism, from abolitionist days to the present, and demonstrates how the racist and classist biases of its leaders inevitably hampered any collective ambitions. While Black women were aided by some activists like Sarah and Angelina Grimke and the suffrage cause found unwavering support in Frederick Douglass, many women played on the fears of white supremacists for political gain rather than take an intersectional approach to liberation. Here, Davis not only contextualizes the legacy and pitfalls of civil and women’s rights activists, but also discusses Communist women, the murder of Emmitt Till, and Margaret Sanger’s racism. Davis shows readers how the inequalities between Black and white women influence the contemporary issues of rape, reproductive freedom, housework and child care in this bold and indispensable work.


Three Strikes: Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls, and the Fighting Spirit of Labor’s Last Century by Howard Zinn, Robin D.G. Kelley, Dana Frank

Three renowned historians present stirring tales of labor: Howard Zinn tells the grim tale of the Ludlow Massacre, a drama of beleaguered immigrant workers, Mother Jones, and the politics of corporate power in the age of the robber barons. Dana Frank brings to light the little-known story of a successful sit-in conducted by the ‘counter girls’ at the Detroit Woolworth’s during the Great Depression. Robin D. G. Kelley’s story of a movie theater musicians’ strike in New York asks what defines work in times of changing technology.




Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King’s Last Campaign by Michael K. Honey

The definitive history of the epic struggle for economic justice that became Martin Luther King Jr.’s last crusade.

Memphis in 1968 was ruled by a paternalistic “plantation mentality” embodied in its good-old-boy mayor, Henry Loeb. Wretched conditions, abusive white supervisors, poor education, and low wages locked most black workers into poverty. Then two sanitation workers were chewed up like garbage in the back of a faulty truck, igniting a public employee strike that brought to a boil long-simmering issues of racial injustice.

With novelistic drama and rich scholarly detail, Michael Honey brings to life the magnetic characters who clashed on the Memphis battlefield: stalwart black workers; fiery black ministers; volatile, young, black-power advocates; idealistic organizers and tough-talking unionists; the first black members of the Memphis city council; the white upper crust who sought to prevent change or conflagration; and, finally, the magisterial Martin Luther King Jr., undertaking a Poor People’s Campaign at the crossroads of his life, vilified as a subversive, hounded by the FBI, and seeing in the working poor of Memphis his hopes for a better America.


It Started in Wisconsin: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Labor Protest by Mari Jo Buhle (Editor), Paul Buhle (Editor), John Nichols (Introduction), Michael Moore (Afterword), Patrick Barrett (Contributor)

In the spring of 2011, Wisconsinites took to the streets in what became the largest and liveliest labor demonstrations in modern American history. Protesters in the Middle East sent greetings—and pizzas—to the thousands occupying the Capitol building in Madison, and 150,000 demonstrators converged on the city.

In a year that has seen a revival of protest in America, here is a riveting account of the first great wave of grassroots resistance to the corporate restructuring of the Great Recession.

It Started in Wisconsin includes eyewitness reports by striking teachers, students, and others (such as Wisconsin-born musician Tom Morello), as well as essays explaining Wisconsin’s progressive legacy by acclaimed historians. The book lays bare the national corporate campaign that crafted Wisconsin’s anti-union legislation and similar laws across the country, and it conveys the infectious esprit de corps that pervaded the protests with original pictures and comics.


A History of America in Ten Strikes by Erik Loomis

Powerful and accessible, A History of America in Ten Strikes challenges all of our contemporary assumptions around labor, unions, and American workers. In this brilliant book, labor historian Erik Loomis recounts ten critical workers’ strikes in American labor history that everyone needs to know about (and then provides an annotated list of the 150 most important moments in American labor history in the appendix). From the Lowell Mill Girls strike in the 1830s to Justice for Janitors in 1990, these labor uprisings do not just reflect the times in which they occurred, but speak directly to the present moment.

For example, we often think that Lincoln ended slavery by proclaiming the slaves emancipated, but Loomis shows that they freed themselves during the Civil War by simply withdrawing their labor. He shows how the hopes and aspirations of a generation were made into demands at a GM plant in Lordstown in 1972. And he takes us to the forests of the Pacific Northwest in the early nineteenth century where the radical organizers known as the Wobblies made their biggest inroads against the power of bosses. But there were also moments when the movement was crushed by corporations and the government; Loomis helps us understand the present perilous condition of American workers and draws lessons from both the victories and defeats of the past.

In crystalline narratives, labor historian Erik Loomis lifts the curtain on workers’ struggles, giving us a fresh perspective on American history from the boots up.

Strikes include:

  • Lowell Mill Girls Strike (Massachusetts, 1830–40)
  • Slaves on Strike (The Confederacy, 1861–65)
  • The Eight-Hour Day Strikes (Chicago, 1886)
  • The Anthracite Strike (Pennsylvania, 1902)
  • The Bread and Roses Strike (Massachusetts, 1912)
  • The Flint Sit-Down Strike (Michigan, 1937)
  • The Oakland General Strike (California, 1946)
  • Lordstown (Ohio, 1972)
  • Air Traffic Controllers (1981)
  • Justice for Janitors (Los Angeles, 1990)


Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest by Laura Raicovich

A leading activist museum director explains why museums are at the center of a political storm

In an age of protest, cultural institutions have come under fire. Protestors have mobilized against sources of museum funding, as happened at the Metropolitan Museum, and against board appointments, forcing tear gas manufacturer Warren Kanders to resign at the Whitney. That is to say nothing of demonstrations against exhibitions and artworks. Protests have roiled institutions across the world, from the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim to the Akron Art Museum. A popular expectation has grown that galleries and museums should work for social change.

As Director of the Queens Museum, Laura Raicovich helped turn that New York muni- cipal institution into a public commons for art and activism, organizing high-powered exhibitions that doubled as political protests. Then in January 2018, she resigned, after a dispute with the Queens Museum board and city officials. This public controversy followed the museum’s responses to Donald Trump’s election, including her objections to the Israeli government using the museum for an event featuring Vice President Mike Pence.

In this lucid and accessible book, Raicovich examines some of the key museum flashpoints and provides historical context for the current controversies. She shows how art museums arose as colonial institutions bearing an ideology of neutrality that masks their role in upholding conservative, capitalist values. And she suggests ways museums can be reinvented to serve better, public ends.



Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor by Steven Greenhouse

We live in an era of soaring corporate profits and anemic wage gains, one in which low-paid jobs and blighted blue-collar communities have become a common feature of our nation’s landscape. Behind these trends lies a little-discussed problem: the decades-long decline in worker power. 

Award-winning journalist and author Steven Greenhouse guides us through the key episodes and trends in history that are essential to understanding some of our nation’s most pressing problems, including increased income inequality, declining social mobility, and the concentration of political power in the hands of the wealthy few. He exposes the modern labor landscape with the stories of dozens of American workers, from GM employees to Uber drivers to underpaid schoolteachers. Their fight to take power back is crucial for America’s future, and Greenhouse proposes concrete, feasible ways in which workers’ collective power can be—and is being—rekindled and reimagined in the twenty-first century.

Beaten Down, Worked Up is a stirring and essential look at labor in America, poised as it is between the tumultuous struggles of the past and the vital, hopeful struggles ahead.


Books Written by Left-Handed People to Celebrate International Left-Handed Day!

Today is International Left-Handed Day and in order to celebrate we have created a list of lefties that have also written books. Now, did they write the entire book with their left hand? The world may never know. Anyway, there are a bunch of lists out there about left-handed authors and they mostly feature the same folks over and over again I mean okay, we get it H.G. Wells was like one of the only famous left handed authors. 

Well, lucky for you I took a deep dive. That’s right, I did a deep dive to find some fresh and new folks to spotlight for International Left-Handed Day. And I found a lot of cool people on those lists. Did you know Carid B is left-handed? Because I surely did not. Unfortunately I cannot officially highlight her in this list because she hasn’t written any books, only bars. *Sigh* 

Without further ado I present to you a list of lefty authors and some books they have written! 

Another Country by James Baldwin

From one of the most important American novelists of the twentieth century–a novel of sexual, racial, political, artistic passions, set in Greenwich Village, Harlem, and France. – “Brilliant and fiercely told.” –The New York Times

Stunning for its emotional intensity and haunting sensuality, this book depicts men and women, blacks and whites, stripped of their masks of gender and race by love and hatred at the most elemental and sublime.

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency–a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective–the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence. Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve always suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Oprah Winfrey and Bruce D. Perry 

Have you ever wondered “Why did I do that?” or “Why can’t I just control my behavior?” Others may judge our reactions and think, “What’s wrong with that person?” When questioning our emotions, it’s easy to place the blame on ourselves; holding ourselves and those around us to an impossible standard. It’s time we started asking a different question.

Through deeply personal conversations, Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry offer a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”

Here, Winfrey shares stories from her own past, understanding through experience the vulnerability that comes from facing trauma and adversity at a young age. In conversation throughout the book, she and Dr. Perry focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves. It’s a subtle but profound shift in our approach to trauma, and it’s one that allows us to understand our pasts in order to clear a path to our future–opening the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

In the magical world of Wonderland and the back-to-front Looking-Glass kingdom, order is turned upside-down: a baby turns into a pig; time is abandoned at a tea-party; and a chaotic game of chess makes a 7-year-old a Queen.

Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking: Everything You Need to Know to Make Fabulous Food

Based on a new cooking show, this book will give experienced as well as novice cooks the desire, confidence and inspiration to get cooking. Ramsay will offer simple, accessible recipes with a wow factor. Gordon has traveled the world from India and the Far East to LA and Europe, and the recipes in this book will draw all these culinary influences together to show us simple, vibrant and delicious recipes that reflect the way we eat today. For example: Miso braised salmon filet with Asian vegetables, Pork and Bacon slider with homemade bbq sauce, Curried Sweetcorn Soup, Wild Mushroom Risotto Arancini, and Baked Lemon Cheesecake with Raspberries.

Each chapter will concentrate on a different area of cooking–from the classics to the secret of cooking with Chili and spice, through roasting, baking, and helpful sections on cooking good food for less and cooking for a crowd. Woven into the book will be useful tricks and tips–from ways to save time and money, to cleaning and prepping ingredients, to pan frying like a pro.

Stuffed full of delicious recipes, invaluable tips and lashings of Gordon’s trademark cheeky wit, Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking is the ultimate cooking lesson from the ultimate chef.

Yearbook by Seth Rogan 

Hi! I’m Seth! I was asked to describe my book, Yearbook, for the inside flap (which is a gross phrase) and for websites and shit like that, so… here it goes!!!

Yearbook is a collection of true stories that I desperately hope are just funny at worst, and life-changingly amazing at best. (I understand that it’s likely the former, which is a fancy “book” way of saying “the first one.”)

I talk about my grandparents, doing stand-up comedy as a teenager, bar mitzvahs, and Jewish summer camp, and tell way more stories about doing drugs than my mother would like. I also talk about some of my adventures in Los Angeles, and surely say things about other famous people that will create a wildly awkward conversation for me at a party one day.

I hope you enjoy the book should you buy it, and if you don’t enjoy it, I’m sorry. If you ever see me on the street and explain the situation, I’ll do my best to make it up to you.

*I was beaten by Bill O’Reilly, which really sucks.


33 books to celebrate 33 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

In case you didn’t know, the month of July is Disability Pride Month! Earlier this month, we spotlighted several disabled bookish influencers and highlighted a book by a disabled author they’d recommend. If you haven’t checked out that list, be sure to do so! 

Disability Independence Day is celebrated every year on July 26! Why July 26? Great question, I’d love to tell you. July 26, 1990, was the day that the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. 

“The landmark legislation has served as a de facto bill of rights for Americans with disabilities by assuring their access to economic and civic opportunities. Its passage represented an unprecedented bipartisan effort to acknowledge the centuries of discrimination suffered by the disability community, and a fundamental change to how they live their lives.​​”  — Celebrating National Disability Independence Day, Inclusion Hub. 

To honor the ADA and the incredible grassroots organizing that went into its fruition we’ve created a book list of 33 books to celebrate 33 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act! 


Disability Visibility edited by Alice Wong

One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent — but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act,

From Harriet McBryde Johnson’s account of her debate with Peter Singer over her own personhood to original pieces by authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma; from blog posts, manifestos, and eulogies to Congressional testimonies, and beyond: this anthology gives a glimpse into the rich complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and the past with hope and love.

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

In this collection of essays, Lambda Literary Award-winning writer and longtime activist and performance artist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha explores the politics and realities of disability justice, a movement that centers the lives and leadership of sick and disabled queer, trans, Black, and brown people, with knowledge and gifts for all.

Care Work is a mapping of access as radical love, a celebration of the work that sick and disabled queer/people of color are doing to find each other and to build power and community, and a tool kit for everyone who wants to build radically resilient, sustainable communities of liberation where no one is left behind. Powerful and passionate, Care Work is a crucial and necessary call to arms.

Stim: An Autistic Anthology edited by Lizzie Huxley-Jones

Around 1 in 100 hundred people in the U.K. are autistic, and the saying goes that if you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person. Autistic people’s personalities, differences and experiences outweigh the diagnostic criteria that link them, yet stereotypes persist and continue to inform a fundamental misunderstanding of what it is to be autistic.

Rarely do autistic people get a chance to speak for themselves, but this insightful and eye-opening collection of essays, fiction and visual art showcases the immense talents of eighteen of the world’s most exciting autistic writers and artists.

Stim invites the reader into the lives and minds of the contributors, and asks them to recognise the challenges of being autistic in a non-autistic world. Inspired by a desire to place the conversation around autism back into autistic hands, editor Lizzie Huxley-Jones has brought together humorous, honest and hopeful pieces that explore the many facets of being autistic.

Crip Kinship: The Disability Justice & Art Activism of Sins Invalid by Shayda Kafai

In recent years, disability activism has come into its own as a vital and necessary means to acknowledge the power and resilience of the disabled community, and to call out ableist culture wherever it appears.

Crip Kinship explores the art-activism of Sins Invalid, a San Francisco Bay Area-based performance project, and its radical imaginings of what disabled, queer, trans, and gender nonconforming bodyminds of color can do: how they can rewrite oppression, and how they can gift us with transformational lessons for our collective survival.

Grounded in their Disability Justice framework, Crip Kinship investigates the revolutionary survival teachings that the disabled, queer of color community offers to all our bodyminds. From their focus on crip beauty and sexuality to manifesting digital kinship networks and crip-centric liberated zones, Sins Invalid empowers and moves us toward generating our collective liberation from our bodyminds outward.

In Between Spaces: An anthology of disabled writers edited by Rebecca Burke

In Between Spaces centers the experiences of thirty-three disabled poets, short-story writers, and essayists as they navigate the physical and emotional complexities of disability, chronic illness, neurodivergence, and mental illness. Compiled by an editorial team of disabled writers, this timely collection of often-overlooked voices celebrates joy, freedom, and the power of agency, while at the same time confronting and challenging the stigmas and barriers, visible and invisible, that too often come to define life with a disability.

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays by Samantha Irby

Whether Samantha Irby is talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets; explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette (she’s “35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something”); detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes; sharing awkward sexual encounters; or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms (hang in there for the Costco loot!); she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.

The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang

An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang’s analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.

Pain Woman Takes Your Keys, and Other Essays from a Nervous System by Sonya Huber

Rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. What about on a scale of spicy to citrus? Is it more like a lava lamp or a mosaic? Pain, though a universal element of human experience, is dimly understood and sometimes barely managed. Pain Woman Takes Your Keys, and Other Essays from a Nervous System is a collection of literary and experimental essays about living with chronic pain. Sonya Huber moves away from a linear narrative to step through the doorway into pain itself, into that strange, unbounded reality. Although the essays are personal in nature, this collection is not a record of the author’s specific condition but an exploration that transcends pain’s airless and constraining world and focuses on its edges from wild and widely ranging angles.

Huber addresses the nature and experience of invisible disability, including the challenges of gender bias in our healthcare system, the search for effective treatment options, and the difficulty of articulating chronic pain. She makes pain a lens of inquiry and lyricism, finds its humor and complexity, describes its irascible character, and explores its temperature, taste, and even its beauty.


Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life by Alice Wong

In Chinese culture, the tiger is deeply revered for its confidence, passion, ambition, and ferocity. That same fighting spirit resides in Alice Wong. Drawing on a collection of original essays, previously published work, conversations, graphics, photos, commissioned art by disabled and Asian American artists, and more, Alice uses her unique talent to share an impressionistic scrapbook of her life as an Asian American disabled activist, community organizer, media maker, and dreamer. From her love of food and pop culture to her unwavering commitment to dismantling systemic ableism, Alice shares her thoughts on creativity, access, power, care, the pandemic, mortality, and the future. As a self-described disabled oracle, Alice traces her origins, tells her story, and creates a space for disabled people to be in conversation with one another and the world. Filled with incisive wit, joy, and rage, Wong’s Year of the Tiger will galvanize readers with big cat energy.

Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig

Growing up as a paralyzed girl during the 90s and early 2000s, Rebekah Taussig only saw disability depicted as something monstrous (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). None of this felt right; and as she got older, she longed for more stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling.

Writing about the rhythms and textures of what it means to live in a body that doesn’t fit, Rebekah reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and how the pervasiveness of ableism in our everyday media directly translates to everyday life.

Disability affects all of us, directly or indirectly, at one point or another. By exploring this truth in poignant and lyrical essays, Taussig illustrates the need for more stories and more voices to understand the diversity of humanity. Sitting Pretty challenges us as a society to be patient and vigilant, practical and imaginative, kind and relentless, as we set to work to write an entirely different story.

The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me by Keah Brown

From the disability rights advocate and creator of the #DisabledAndCute viral campaign, a thoughtful, inspiring, and charming collection of essays exploring what it means to be black and disabled in a mostly able-bodied white America. Keah Brown loves herself, but that hadn’t always been the case. Born with cerebral palsy, her greatest desire used to be normalcy and refuge from the steady stream of self-hate society strengthened inside her. But after years of introspection and reaching out to others in her community, she has reclaimed herself and changed her perspective. In The Pretty One, Brown gives a contemporary and relatable voice to the disabled — so often portrayed as mute, weak, or isolated. With clear, fresh, and light-hearted prose, these essays explore everything from her relationship with her able-bodied identical twin (called “the pretty one” by friends) to navigating romance; her deep affinity for all things pop culture — and her disappointment with the media’s distorted view of disability; and her declaration of self-love with the viral hashtag #DisabledAndCute. By “smashing stigmas, empowering her community, and celebrating herself” (Teen Vogue), Brown and The Pretty One aims to expand the conversation about disability and inspire self-love for people of all backgrounds.

Access Your Drive and Enjoy the Ride: A Guide to Achieving Your Dreams from a Person with a Disability (Life Fulfilling Tools for Disabled People) by Lauren Spencer

Lauren “Lolo” Jones provides a candid and real inside look into the life of being a person with a disability. This disability advocate embarks on the importance of visibility for the disabled community because representation matters!

Deaf Utopia: A Memoir — And a Love Letter to a Way of Life by Nyle DiMarco & Robert Siebert

Before becoming the actor, producer, advocate, and model that people know today, Nyle DiMarco was half of a pair of Deaf twins born to a multigenerational Deaf family in Queens, New York. At the hospital one day after he was born, Nyle “failed” his first test — a hearing test — to the joy and excitement of his parents.

In this engrossing memoir, Nyle shares stories, both heartbreaking and humorous, of what it means to navigate a world built for hearing people. From growing up in a rough-and-tumble childhood in Queens with his big and loving Italian-American family to where he is now, Nyle has always been driven to explore beyond the boundaries given him. A college math major and athlete at Gallaudet — the famed university for the Deaf in Washington, D.C. — Nyle was drawn as a young man to acting, and dove headfirst into the reality show competitions America’s Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars — ultimately winning both competitions.

Deaf Utopia is more than a memoir, it is a cultural anthem — a proud and defiant song of Deaf culture and a love letter to American Sign Language, Nyle’s primary language. Through his stories and those of his Deaf brothers, parents, and grandparents, Nyle opens many windows into the Deaf experience.

Deaf Utopia is intimate, suspenseful, hilarious, eye-opening, and smart–both a memoir and a celebration of what makes Deaf culture unique and beautiful.

What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma by Stephanie Foo

By age 30, Stephanie Foo was successful on paper: She had her dream job as an award-winning radio producer at This American Life and a loving boyfriend. But behind her office door, she was having panic attacks and sobbing at her desk every morning. After years of questioning what was wrong with herself, she was diagnosed with complex PTSD — a condition that occurs when trauma happens continuously, over the course of years.

Both of Foo’s parents abandoned her when she was a teenager, after years of physical and verbal abuse and neglect. She thought she’d moved on, but her new diagnosis illuminated the way her past continued to threaten her health, relationships, and career. She found limited resources to help her, so Foo set out to heal herself, and to map her experiences onto the scarce literature about C-PTSD.

In this deeply personal and thoroughly researched account, Foo interviews scientists and psychologists and tries a variety of innovative therapies. She returns to her hometown of San Jose, California, to investigate the effects of immigrant trauma on the community, and she uncovers family secrets in the country of her birth, Malaysia, to learn how trauma can be inherited through generations. Ultimately, she discovers that you don’t move on from trauma — but you can learn to move with it.

Powerful, enlightening, and hopeful, What My Bones Know is a brave narrative that reckons with the hold of the past over the present, the mind over the body — and examines one woman’s ability to reclaim agency from her trauma.

Easy Beauty: A Memoir by Chloé Cooper Jones

So begins Chloé Cooper Jones’ bold, revealing account of moving through the world in a body that looks different than most. Jones learned early on to factor “pain calculations” into every plan, every situation. Born with a rare congenital condition called sacral agenesis which affects both her stature and gait, her pain is physical. But there is also the pain of being judged and pitied for her appearance, of being dismissed as “less than.” The way she has been seen — or not seen — has informed her lens on the world her entire life. She resisted this reality by excelling academically and retreating to “the neutral room in her mind” until it passed. But after unexpectedly becoming a mother (in violation of unspoken social taboos about the disabled body), something in her shifts, and Jones sets off on a journey across the globe, reclaiming the spaces she’d been denied, and denied herself.

From the bars and domestic spaces of her life in Brooklyn to sculpture gardens in Rome; from film festivals in Utah to a Beyoncé concert in Milan; from a tennis tournament in California to the Killing Fields of Phnom Penh, Jones weaves memory, observation, experience, and aesthetic philosophy to probe the myths underlying our standards of beauty and desirability and interrogates her own complicity in upholding those myths.

Easy Beauty is the rare memoir that has the power to make you see the world, and your place in it, with new eyes.

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder, Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father — an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist — who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.

Mailhot trusts the reader to understand that memory isn’t exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.

Sick: A Memoir by Porochista Khakpour

A powerful, beautifully rendered memoir of chronic illness, misdiagnosis, addiction, and the myth of full recovery. For as long as author Porochista Khakpour can remember, she has been sick. For most of that time, she didn’t know why. Several drug addictions, some major hospitalizations, and over $100,000 later, she finally had a diagnosis: late-stage Lyme disease.

Sick is Khakpour’s grueling, emotional journey — as a woman, an Iranian-American, a writer, and a lifelong sufferer of undiagnosed health problems — in which she examines her subsequent struggles with mental illness and her addiction to doctor prescribed benzodiazepines, that both aided and eroded her ever-deteriorating physical health. Divided by settings, Khakpour guides the reader through her illness by way of the locations that changed her course— New York, LA, Santa Fe, and a college town in Germany — as she meditates on the physiological and psychological impacts of uncertainty, and the eventual challenge of accepting the diagnosis she had searched for over the course of her adult life.

A story of survival, pain, and transformation, Sick candidly examines the colossal impact of illness on one woman’s life by not just highlighting the failures of a broken medical system but by also boldly challenging our concept of illness narratives.


Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost — but not quite — dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life,” and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items? Enjoy a drunken night out. Ride a motorcycle. Go camping. Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex. Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage. And … do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job. Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by by Talia Hibbert

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong. So she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself — even though she’s not entirely sure how…

Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car — supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.

Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen — and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore … and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.

Always Only You by Chloe Liese


The moment I met her, I knew Frankie Zeferino was someone worth waiting for. Deadpan delivery, secret heart of gold, and a rare one-dimpled smile that makes my knees weak, Frankie has been forbidden since the day she and I became coworkers, meaning waiting has been the name of my game — besides, hockey, that is.

I’m a player on the team, she’s on staff, and as long as we work together, dating is off-limits. But patience has always been my virtue. Frankie won’t be here forever — she’s headed for bigger, better things. I just hope that when she leaves the team and I tell her how I feel, she won’t want to leave me behind, too.


I’ve had a problem at work since the day Ren Bergman joined the team: a six foot three hunk of happy with a sunshine smile. I’m a grumbly grump and his ridiculously good nature drives me nuts, but even I can’t entirely ignore that hot tamale of a ginger with icy eyes, the perfect playoff beard, and a body built for sin that he’s annoyingly modest about.

Before I got wise, I would have tripped over myself to get a guy like Ren, but with my diagnosis, I’ve learned what I am to most people in my life — a problem, not a person. Now, opening my heart to anyone, no matter how sweet, is the last thing I’m prepared to do.

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

Padma Venkatraman’s inspiring story of a young girl’s struggle to regain her passion and find a new peace is told lyrically through verse that captures the beauty and mystery of India and the ancient bharatanatyam dance form. This is a stunning novel about spiritual awakening, the power of art, and above all, the courage and resilience of the human spirit.

Veda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance — so when an accident leaves her a below-knee amputee, her dreams are shattered. For a girl who’s grown used to receiving applause for her dance prowess and flexibility, adjusting to a prosthetic leg is painful and humbling. But Veda refuses to let her disability rob her of her dreams, and she starts all over again, taking beginner classes with the youngest dancers. Then Veda meets Govinda, a young man who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As their relationship deepens, Veda reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her.

Love from A to Z by S. K. Ali

A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes — because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together. An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are. But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.

When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break.

Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her. Then her path crosses with Adam’s. Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister.

Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father.

Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.

Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…

Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz

Isabel has one rule: no dating. It’s easier. It’s safer. It’s better — for the other person. She’s got issues. She’s got secrets. She’s got rheumatoid arthritis. But then she meets another sick kid.

He’s got a chronic illness Isabel’s never heard of, something she can’t even pronounce. He understands what it means to be sick. He understands her more than her healthy friends. He understands her more than her own father who’s a doctor.

He’s gorgeous, fun, and foul-mouthed. And totally into her.

Isabel has one rule: no dating. It’s complicated. It’s dangerous. It’s never felt better — to consider breaking that rule for him.

Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen

The moment Spencer meets Hope the summer before seventh grade, it’s … something at first sight. He knows she’s special, possibly even magical. The pair become fast friends, climbing trees and planning world travels. After years of being outshone by his older brother and teased because of his Tourette syndrome, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. But as Hope and Spencer get older and life gets messier, the clear label of “friend” gets messier, too.

Through sibling feuds and family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts, the two grow together and apart, and Spencer, an aspiring scientist, tries to map it all out using his trusty system of taxonomy. He wants to identify and classify their relationship, but in the end, he finds that life doesn’t always fit into easy-to-manage boxes, and it’s this messy complexity that makes life so rich and beautiful.


Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general — also known as her tough-as-talons mother — has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter — like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise. Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda — because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price — and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone… A convict with a thirst for revenge; a sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager; a runaway with a privileged past; a spy known as the Wraith; a Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums; a thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction — if they don’t kill each other first.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo returns to the breathtaking world of the Grishaverse in this unforgettable tale about the opportunity— and the adventure — of a lifetime.

The Unbroken by C. L. Clark

Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought. Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne. Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid

In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline — her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.

But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman — he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.

As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope. Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, D.C., she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall … and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


True Biz by Sara Novic

True biz? The students at the River Valley School for the Deaf just want to hook up, pass their history finals, and have politicians, doctors, and their parents stop telling them what to do with their bodies. This revelatory novel plunges readers into the halls of a residential school for the deaf, where they’ll meet Charlie, a rebellious transfer student who’s never met another deaf person before; Austin, the school’s golden boy, whose world is rocked when his baby sister is born hearing; and February, the hearing headmistress, a child of deaf adult(s) who is fighting to keep her school open and her marriage intact, but might not be able to do both. As a series of crises both personal and political threaten to unravel each of them, Charlie, Austin, and February find their lives inextricable from one another — and changed forever.

This is a story of sign language and lip-reading, disability and civil rights, isolation and injustice, first love and loss, and, above all, great persistence, daring, and joy. Absorbing and assured, idiosyncratic and relatable, this is an unforgettable journey into the Deaf community and a universal celebration of human connection.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even 25 years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.

Spanning 30 years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love.

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ‘burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off — and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia’s graffiti tags, You’re Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens by Marieke Nijkamp

This anthology explores disability in fictional tales told from the viewpoint of disabled characters, written by disabled creators. With stories in various genres about first loves, friendship, war, travel, and more, Unbroken will offer today’s teen readers a glimpse into the lives of disabled people in the past, present, and future.

The contributing authors are award winners, bestsellers, and newcomers including Kody Keplinger, Kristine Wyllys, Francisco X. Stork, William Alexander, Corinne Duyvis, Marieke Nijkamp, Dhonielle Clayton, Heidi Heilig, Katherine Locke, Karuna Riazi, Kayla Whaley, Keah Brown, and Fox Benwell. Each author identifies as disabled along a physical, mental, or neurodiverse axis — and their characters reflect this diversity.


Did you know that July is Disability Pride Month? July was chosen because the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed on July 26, 1990. This year we will celebrate 33 years of the ADA which gives countless folks in America access to resources and accommodations. We reached out to some disabled book influencers and asked them to share a book recommendation by their favorite disabled author! 

For more disability lit recs, watch for our upcoming blog post: 33 books to celebrate 33 years of the ADA! 

Haley, they/ she | @spoonie.reads

Haley (they/she) is a queer and disabled educator, activist, and life-long book lover. They live with a variety of chronic pain and fatigue disorders, and they also identify as neurodivergent (pure-O OCD, ADHD, anxiety, and depression). They recently graduated with their Master of Arts degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies after writing a thesis on pregnancy, possession, and patriarchy within the paranormal setting of the 1999-2004 television series Angel. Though they spend most of their time reading and journaling, they can also be found scream-singing to Taylor Swift or Marianas Trench songs in their car; head on over to their Instagram page, @spoonie.reads, to check out some of their top book recommendations or chat about their recent reads!

The book I’m recommending this month not only features a disabled main character— it’s also written by a disabled author who used her lived experiences to craft a compelling and creative narrative! It’s Where You See Yourself by Claire Forrest, which I read back in April 2023 as part of an Instagram book tour for Hear Our Voices; it’s a new release YA contemporary story that follows Effie Galanos, a high-school senior and wheelchair user with cerebral palsy, as she navigates her college selection journey and confronts ableism in academia. As someone who, like Effie, struggled a lot with institutionalized ableism throughout my collegiate experiences, and as I am now preparing to move to a new city and start my career, the story really spoke to me— it’s not just about the systemic barriers of the world around me, but how people treat me as different and lesser because of my needs. Reading this book, and getting to know the author Claire Forrest as well, reminded me that I’m not obnoxious by fighting for my inclusion— I’m being brave in ways I never thought I could be.

Juliana, she/her | @heyjulianahey 

Juliana was born and raised in Brazil, and now lives in the United States. She has been living with multiple chronic illnesses for 26 years, and recently started sharing more of her journey with disability to raise awareness. She is an avid reader of translated fiction and obsessed with Formula 1. 

“Breathe and Count Back from Ten” by Natalia Sylvester is a fun YA summer read that is also a raw and powerful coming of age story exploring disability and bodily agency, immigration, first love, friendship, and family dynamics. As a disabled person who was also a disabled teen, this story felt deeply personal to me. I wish I could go back in time to the weeks following my diagnosis, and give teenage me this book. I wish that girl could read this story and feel seen, feel safe. 

Britanie, she/her | @britbehindabook

My name is Britanie. My pronouns are she/her. I am a happily married mother of two living with Friedreich’s Ataxia or FA. FA is a rare genetic neuromuscular disease that affects my balance, coordination, and heart. 

A book recommendation from me is also my favorite read of the year so far. Where You See Yourself by Claire Forrest. This book is a coming of age young adult novel. I am a wheelchair user, like the main character, so I found this book very relatable. It gives the reader so much to reflect on and enjoy. The main character has cerebral palsy and so does the wonderfully talented author, Claire Forrest.

Autumn, they/she  | @autumnintheoaks 

Born & raised in the Midwest & currently living in Minnesota, I’m a queer disabled book lover & advocate with a soft spot for cane using characters, sad girl lit fic, & nature! I’ve found pride & solidarity through embracing disability as an identity, & I love sharing my personal experiences & building community online. I can be found on Instagram @autumnintheoaks where I’m often publicly crying, rambling about my favorite books & TV shows (slide into my DMs to chat The Last of Us please), & being just as sappy as my favorite trees. 

Though it’s hard to recommend just one book by a disabled author, Crip Kinship by Shayda Kafai is a nonfiction book about Disability Justice & the art activism of Sins Invalid that I often find myself returning to. Written with the care & love that is found within the pages of so many Disability Justice narratives, Crip Kinship reminded me of the importance of operating from a love ethic within social justice movements. Additionally, there are chapters dedicated to the importance of crip art & storytelling, community, pleasure, beauty, & more. It’s a wonderful follow up to Disability Visibility edited by Alice Wong & Care Work by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, two formative works.

Andrea, no pronouns | @readandyread

Hi there, Andrea here (no pronouns)! I’m a 26-year-old queer and disabled Spanish bookstagrammer. I’m a voracious reader who reads across all genres, but I’ll always have a soft spot for fantasy and romance. Poetry will always be my first love, Animal Crossing has saved me countless times, and sunsets by the sea are my happy place. I also love all things fantasy, dancing, listening to the saddest sad songs (making good decisions is not exactly my forte, oops), doggies, going on hikes, learning about nail art, and spending way too many hours on Pinterest. I must admit that my special interests change from time to time, though, so who knows what I might love doing or learning about tomorrow!

“Breathe and Count Back from Ten,” by Natalia Sylvester became an instant all-time favourite. This is one of the most honest, relatable and rawest portrayals of disability I’ve ever encountered and as a disabled person, I felt so safe reading this book: this story felt like the most comforting hug in the entire world, a hug that gave me a place to rest, to be myself and to thrive. Sylvester created a safe space that I find myself coming back to so often. I truly cannot recommend it highly enough!

Sydney, she/her | @sydneyblondellauthor 

Sydney Blondell is a disabled indie author most commonly known for her YA trilogy (The Stars in My Heart) featuring chronic illnesses. Sydney has POTS, fibromyalgia, and bipolar disorder. She is a dog mom to 9 year old Jeter and 7 month old Frankie who are often featured on her bookstagram. 

I would recommend “Sick Kids Love” by Hannah Moskowitz which has RA and Gaucher Disease representation. I recommend this book because the representation is authentic and it shows that disabled people are still deserving of love. I also love that the front cover tells the reader that no one dies in the end because that is often the outcome of disability rep books. 

Sophie, she/they | @sick.stories

Sophie (she/they) has a passion for ensuring everyone has an opportunity to tell the stories within them. Growing up an ambulatory wheelchair user, Sophie now lives with an invisible disability and mental health illnesses. An avid reader their whole life, Sophie has turned their advocacy into a bookish and writing community, Sick Stories. She is currently working on her debut novel, featuring a protagonist with the same diagnosis as Sophie.

A book by a disabled author I’m recommending is BREATHE AND COUNT BACK FROM TEN by Natalia Sylvester. This story hits on so many points I’d never seen represented this well before: bodily autonomy, finding balance between cultures and identity, so many subtle and overt forms of ableism, the trauma and challenges that come with growing into a young person with a congenital disability, and the passions we still have despite it all. Natalia kept Verónica’s voice so strong and authentic throughout and boldly showed there’s nothing about having a disability that people should be shamed into hiding.

Gwen, she/her | @gwen.reads.most.ardently

Gwen (she/her) is a disabled teacher in Central Indiana. She started her bookstagram while recovering from her spinal fusion (at the old age of 27) so that she could build connection during recovery. Gwen’s diagnosis list is never ending and always changing, but ultimately she is learning to be confident with her illnesses, disabilities, and mobility aids. When not resting, icing, or advocating for herself, Gwen loves reading romance, snuggling with her puppies, and watching baseball with her husband.

My book recommendation is “Always Only You” by Chloe Liese because it contains Frankie Zeferino, my disabled icon. Chloe believes that “everyone deserves a love story” and that sentiment is felt in every one of her books. Always Only You begins with Frankie proudly brandishing her cane and explores her journey to inviting someone else (a hunky, cinnamon-roll hockey player!) into her independent, disabled, bubble.

Syd, she/her | @bookswithsyd

I think my [Instagram] bio describes me perfectly. I’m a big ball of queer, autistic, & spicy energy and people either love or hate me… But most love me because of my gnarly arsenal of dad jokes 😂

A book I’d recommend is Act Your Age Eve Brown or the Brown Sisters series in general by Talia Hibbert. She writes disabled characters with grace and compassion 




LGBTQ+ reads to celebrate this Pride Month 

It’s Pride Month and we reached out to some of our favorite queer influencers to give us some recommendations written by LGBTQ+ authors! Read and support queer authors this June and beyond to celebrate the beautiful, unique myriad experiences of all queer people. 

As a queer woman myself, I also wanted to throw in a recommendation: Trans Power: Own Your Gender by Juno Roche. Now, more than ever, uplifting and protecting trans people is necessary and urgently integral to the safety of our community. Trans Power is a beautiful collection of essays, interviews and musings from Juno that expanded my personal perspective of the trans experience and I would highly recommend it. 

Megan, she/her | @booksnblazers 

Megan is a queer bookstagrammer and young publishing professional, living in New York with her partner and her cat and literally thousands of books crammed into one small Manhattan apartment. She enjoys reading all things gay, including YA, adult, literary, graphic novels, horror and romance. 

“I cannot recommend Man O’ War by Cory McCarthy enough. It’s a coming-of-age story about a trans teen athlete where you really see the changes in the main character’s views and feelings in such a genuine and heartfelt way. It’s one of those rare books that I think would hit home with all kinds of readers, cis or trans, queer or straight. It has a message for everyone and no matter who you are, you’ll feel it deeply.”

Cheyanne, they/them | @queer_bookwyrm

Cheyenne has been a bookstagrammer since 2020, and reads mostly YA, fantasy, science-fiction, and queer books. They are Agender and bisexual, and is a self-described Trekkie. “Books are an escape for me. The more dragons and aliens the better!” 

“I recommend The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon because Edgmon is trans and nonbinary, and they are excellent at writing messy queer characters. Edgmon allows his characters to make mistakes, be unlikable, and angsty. I think it’s important for queer teens to see that they don’t have to have it all figured out. There is also a ton of great rep, and well-done discussions around oppression, mental health, and trauma.”

Milly, she/they | @itsabookishworld_

“My name is Jimalion but most people on the internet call me Milly or JP for short. My pronouns are she/they and I identify as a lesbian. I live in North Carolina with my beautiful wife and I work in Clinical Research. When I am not working you can catch me reading, shopping for more books I don’t need, working on my first book, or trying a new restaurant. My favorite genres are thriller/mystery, romance and fantasy. Fun fact about me, I love jingles — if there is a jingle….you can probably bet your last dollar that I know it. 

“My book recommendation would be The Black Flamingo. This book will forever hold a special place in my heart. As someone who was born and raised in the South, I did not encounter people who identified as queer, so it was an isolating time. I went to my first drag show a few years after I graduated high school and it saved my life. To be embraced by a community that is oftentimes misunderstood, made me feel seen, made me feel less alone. And this book had the same effect; after reading it, it felt like the warmest hug, and I wish I had more of that when I was going through the journey of coming out.”

Sam, he/ they | @sam_youngs_books

“Hi, I’m Sam and I love books. More? Okay, I am a small content creator who wishes to share my love of reading as well as my love of photography through Instagram and YouTube. I spend a lot of my time reading either curled up in bed or on my commute to uni, where I indeed spend more of my life studying books. However, I never expected just how much books could bond a community until I began sharing my bookish opinions online and met a myriad of the most wonderful humans.

“If I was to recommend just one (hard as it is from the countless amazing queer authors) I would have to say, Simon Vs the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. It’s a book that really helped me out and just a perfect introduction to queer literature. It inspired not only my name on social media but me personally and I would love for it to reach others. It was pretty popular and I’d love to see it come back — also check Albertalli’s other works out as well as her socials where she advocates for queer spaces.”

Adri, they/them | @_perpetualpages_

“I am a queer and trans nonbinary Mexican-American book reviewer, reader, writer and content creator. When it comes to my taste in books, I read widely across all genres, mediums and age ranges, with the goal of connecting people with the stories that are truly going to matter to them!

The Beautiful Something Else by Ash Van Otterloo. This incredibly tender story of self-discovery has already solidified itself as one of my favorite books of the year. Yes, it’s about Sparrow coming into their nonbinary identity, but it’s also about working through trauma and learning to move towards the kinds of beauty and safety that prevail beyond its confines. This is very much a story about the transition between surviving and living, and how growing into exactly who you are will always be a journey worth taking.”

Greg, they/he | @gregslibrary

“Hey! My name is Greg, I’m 27, I’m from the beautiful island of Curaçao and I love to read!

I am a big hopeless romantic so my shelf is full of contemporary romance, if not that than something Percy Jackson or Greek mythology-related because those three things pretty much some up the bulk of my personality. I love sharing queer books that I find because I know how hard it was/is to find books that make you feel seen, which is the main reason I’m on TikTok so much, but also because I like making people happy.

“Nonfiction is not usually my thing, but if I had to recommend one book that everyone should read it is definitely All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson because it made me feel so seen in a way I’ve never felt before, and I need everyone to know its brilliance.”

Tre, she/they | @treofpaperbacks

“Hi! I’m Tre and I love cozy games, kpop and of course books! Some of my favorite genres include monster romance, fantasy and horror. You can catch me on TikTok making silly videos about my favorite books or updating my kpop collection (BTS ARMY). I started a book club last year on the Fable app titled: Paperback Besties, feel free to stop by and join us on our reading adventures!

The Creature Cafe Series by Clio Evans! I cannot rave about the cozy,yet spicy, brilliance that Clio Evans has graced us with. This series covers a vast range of identities and backgrounds and monsters. I would consider this series to be cozy fantasy. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in monster romance.”

Alex, she/her | @thebookadvocate 

“My name is Alex and I live in Florida with my fiancé and our basset hound Penelope! During the week, I work as a therapist providing queer and gender-affirming care to youth and adults. Weeknights and weekends you can find me drinking coffee and reading any LGBTQ+ book I can get my hands on!

“I also have to recommend How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (and every other book she writes). As someone who came out later on in life, this book and the stories that Blake writes resonate with me and provided such a safe place to explore my identity and what it means to me. For this book in particular — think “coming of age with tough topics” meets “sweet first romance.” One of her earlier books that still packs a punch and holds up to her recent releases!”

JG, they/them | @theroguerecommender

JG is a midwesterner by birth and New Yorker by trade. They’re an indie bookseller who loves talking about the last great book they read, the collective they live in, the Great Lakes and the wonders of the Trader Joe’s frozen food aisle. Please ask them to wax poetic about any of the above! Some of their favorite genres include fantasy, romance, YA and social science nonfiction.

“My current queer rec is Horse Barbie, which I will definitely be shoving at everyone I know until they all read it! Horse Barbie is a memoir by Geena Rocero and it chronicles her childhood in the Philippines, where Rocero rose to stardom in the trans pageant scene, and her subsequent move to the United States and her life and modeling career there. I loved Rocero’s storytelling, as she takes us through the many versions of herself she’s inhabited, and I think in particular this book stands out to me because of its portrayal of how the trans experience changes within and is informed by different cultures/societies. A groundbreaking memoir and a must read for all!”

Caro, they/she | @sanjariti

Caro is a Mexican-American nonbinary bookworm living in Chicago. They have spent over four years in the book community as an inclusive book influencer, focusing on Latinx and BIPOC authors and literature. They are a huge fan of iced coffee, anime, Squishmallows, and pretty flowers. When they’re not busy reading, you can find Caro watching their favorite anime, My Hero Academia, or jamming out to early 2000s hits.

“I highly recommend Something Wild & Wonderful by Anita Kelly. Not only is it a love letter to hiking and nature, but it’s a beautiful reminder to embrace who you truly are, from head to toe, and that kindness will persist amongst the hate in the world. Alexei and Ben are two wonderful individuals that, while struggling through some deeply painful things in their own lives, come together and find joy in the world around them. This story resonates deeply with me, and I am so grateful that it exists!”

Cristina, she/her | @2bookornot2book

Cristina is an archivist and librarian living in NYC. She’s proud of being bisexual and Puerto Rican and enjoys prioritizing books by queer authors of color. Her favorite kind of queer stories are the ones where being queer is an intrinsic part of the characters but the plot doesn’t revolve around it. When she’s not reading, she’s fostering cats, cooking and watching TV (she recommends Black Sails for pride month watching). 

“I recommend Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez. If you want a sweeping and lyrical science fiction novel with multiple queer characters of color, family by choice, critiques on capitalism, and music as a plot device, then this book is for you. I cried my eyes out reading the last chapter and consider this one of my favorite books of all time. And Jimenez has a more recent fantasy novel out called The Spear Cuts Through The Water that is just as good as well!

Book recommendations for AAPI Heritage Month and beyond 

May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month and we’ve reached out to some of our favorite AAPI bookish influencers to ask for book recs written by AAPI authors. Check out some of these amazing recommendations, give our friends a follow, and don’t forget to read and celebrate AAPI folks and their amazing stories all year long! 

Danielle | @dogmombookworm

“I’m a Korean adoptee living in Philly with my pup Maxi. If you live in Philly, you might see me around the city holding up books against murals trying to get bookstagram photos 🙂 I love literary fiction and memoir with a focus on women authors of color. 

One book that is going down as one of the best books I’ve read this year and best of all times is the latest memoir by Nicole Chung, A Living Remedy. It is so deeply moving and emotional and Chung’s writing always feels so clear and precise, but raw with emotion. An absolute must read.”

Maya | @maya.reads, @mnmbooks

“Hi!! My name is Maya (she/her) and I am a booktoker (@maya.reads) and bookstagrammer (@mnmbooks) from Atlanta, Georgia that loves promoting South Asian books! Since I was a kid, I’ve loved going to my local library and searching the stacks for a good book (or 20) to take home. Some of my favorite genres are romance and fantasy. Outside of reading, I love to swim, go on walks, and attend concerts.

To anyone looking for an incredible coming of age story, I highly recommend TJ Powar Has Something to Prove by Jesmeen Kaur Deo. This is such an amazing book with a great balance of laugh out loud hilarious scenes and serious conversations about beauty standards. Not to mention the academic rivals to lovers romance! Once you start this, it’ll be impossible to put down.”

Cal | @low_keybookish

“Hi my name is Cal, and I’m a Korean American bookstagrammer. Born in the U.S., I’ve lived on both coasts, the Midwest, and in the South! I love exploring and supporting indie bookstores, public libraries, and Little Free Libraries. I predominantly read and review BIPOC and/or queer authors and translated books.  

I’d recommend Which Side Are You On by Ryan Lee Wong because I have a lot of connections to the story, and I think reading is personal! The book is a love story to Los Angeles Koreatown, where I spent many years of my life. It also honors activists who have and continue to build interracial coalitions, which can be absolutely messy, contradictory, but necessary for racial justice work”

Seema | @diversifyyourshelf

“I’m Seema! I’m an Indian-American literary influencer and disability advocate! My goal is to foster a love of reading and encourage folks to seek out more books by women, BIPOC, disabled/chronically ill writers, and authors from the LGBTQIA+ community. I also freely share my experiences as a chronically ill woman, offering advice, support, and solidarity. If you follow me, you’ll also see some origami, tap dancing, accessible fitness, thrifted fashion, and plenty of reminders to hydrate!

The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff is a new favorite! It follows an Indian woman who did not kill her husband, despite what everyone thinks. Everything is fine until the other women in her community ask for help killing their no-good spouses as well. Shroff manages to take kind of a silly concept and completely ground it in reality. It’s sharp and witty and fun but also delves into a lot of serious issues, exploring friendship and patriarchy and romance and abuse and independence and trauma and loyalty and poverty and commitment and caste and colorism and race and religious discrimination and community and corruption and tradition. It’s a really fun one that will still make you think.”

Hannah | @yoon.reads

“I’m a Korean Canadian American freelance photographer living in Philadelphia that has been on bookstagram for 2.5 years. I’m a big mood reader that loves to do buddy reads with friends I’ve met through bookstagram. I love historical fiction, books about mental health and motherhood, and anything related to immigrant diasporic experiences. I also love graphic novels. Books are a way for me to build connections to people around me, just like my photography.

A book I’d recommend is The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui. This is a graphic novel of Bui exploring her family’s story as refugees from Viet Nam. Bui guides readers through the history of Viet Nam, as she tells the deeply personal stories of her parents. It was enough for me to feel and experience the struggle and pain of what people went through during each event.”

Taylor | @taylormadespines

“Hey, y’all! I’m a mixed Japanese-American reader and MLIS (Master of Information Science) grad student currently working on becoming a full-fledged librarian. Although, I thoroughly enjoy a good memoir or YA novel, I make it my mission to read widely across genres, frequently promoting authors and stories from marginalized communities that have been underserved by the publishing industry. Banned books have a particularly special place in this future librarian’s heart and shelves!

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner covers some pretty heavy topics like growing up mixed-race, cultural isolation, and the death of a parent. While  a challenging read at times, Zauner’s raw depiction of grief, identity crisis, and enduring love will resonate long after finishing. Note: ugly-crying may or may not occur when reading this book.”

Anna | @anna.andthebooks

“Hi! I’m Anna, a first generation Korean-American living in sunny Phoenix. I’m a social worker for a non-profit health plan. Consistent with my background, I’m drawn to novels and memoirs exploring identity, cultural commentary, immigration, sociology and mental health. I enjoy most genres though, with the exception of fantasy. 😅 I’m slower these days on account of my two young kids, but I’ll still pop up on the ‘gram.

I’ve read more novels by AAPI authors since joining Bookstagram 4 years ago. My recent favorite is Severance by Ling Ma. I love the dark atmosphere of the book, and Ling Ma’s satire is Sharp. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I read it a couple months ago.”

Cindy | @cindyheartsbooks

“Born in South Korea, I was adopted at 7 months and grew up in the Midwest. I was always very resistant of the millennial stereotypes, but I have come to terms that I am a geriatric millennial through and through. I love reading all genres but literary fiction is my favorite. Other than reading, I love to consume all things Bravo, early 2000s hip hop, and a good California cab. 

If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim: There are some books you read where it feels like someone is squeezing your heart throughout the story. Set in Korea during the 50s and 60s, If You Leave Me explores a shift in Korean history most people are unaware of, and also the limitations of being a woman. It shows how the decisions we make in our past, can vastly change the course of our future.”

Ceci | @winstonandbooks

“I’m Ceci, a high school history teacher from Portland, OR. I love reading, cheese, mangoes, sarcasm, and my cat, Winston. I am a multiracial — Chinese, Lebanese, and British. I am the first Chinese-American in my family.

A book by an AAPI author I recommend is, hands down, Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou. I recommend this sharp, hilarious satire because it authentically encapsulates the experience of being an Asian American woman. This book inspires me to be unapologetically me!”

Krithi | @krithiques

“Hello! My name is Krithi and I am an Indian-American bookstagrammer, who loves to read all types of books. I love highlighting stories by LGBTQ+ and BIPOC authors from all genres on my page. I consider myself a lifelong learner and a lifelong lover of literature, and I hope to inspire others to read widely and discover new authors and stories. Aside from reading, I love writing, dancing, and learning languages. And most recently, I’ve developed an affinity for collecting as many houseplants as I can.

I highly recommend American Betiya by Anuradha Rajurkar. American Betiya is a book that I wished I had when I was in high school. I loved the experience of reading a coming-of-age story featuring an Indian-American protagonist. I especially appreciated the nuanced representation of family and the conversations around interracial relationships, friendship, and self-love in this book.”

RA | @definitelyra

“I’m RuthAnn (RA for short), and I live outside Philadelphia in the very cute town of Kennett Square, PA, with my husband and our dog, a Westie named Ted. Since 2014, I’ve had the privilege to advocate with Dressember, a nonprofit that empowers everyday advocates to raise awareness and funds to fight human trafficking. Aside from reading multiple books at a time, my favorite things to do are take long walks, learn about birds, and hear about whatever you’re really into.

The Making of Asian America by Erika Lee is an excellent work of history about how Asian immigrants and citizens have shaped America and American history. One of my favorite aspects is that it was written by a female Asian American historian, and she wove elements of her own family’s immigrant history without drifting into memoir territory. Perhaps the highest compliment for this book is that I bought it as a birthday gift for my mom, a huge history buff and research nut who loves Asian history.”

Saga | @sagarific

I’m Saga (they/she), and I am the face behind (and sometimes on) the bookstagram @sagarific. I read across genres and demographics, and my account reflects that, though I’m partial to stories with intergenerational narratives and coming-of-age themes. 

Unwieldy Creatures by Addie Tsai is an endlessly fascinating spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This book has some of the best prose I have ever read, and I loved the exploration of queerness and transness at the intersections of Asian identities and the ethical and moral questions around scientific advancements in human fertility. And for something more wholesome and personally special to me, I must recommend Shakti by SJ Sindu (illustrated by Nabi H Ali), a lovely graphic novel featuring an Indian American witch and Hindu mythology.

Books to read this April for Autism Acceptance month

It’s April, which means it’s Autism Acceptance Month! We’ve compiled a list of great reads featuring autistic characters and books by autistic authors. Please make sure to add a few of these to your TBR and celebrate the vibrant, creative and innovating autistic community all year long!


Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought. Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie — no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong. So she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself–even though she’s not entirely sure how… Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car–supposedly by accident. Yeah, right. Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen–and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore… and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.

Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese

Opposites become allies to fool their matchmaking friends in this swoony reimagining of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. Jamie Westenberg and Bea Wilmot have nothing in common except a meet-disaster and the mutual understanding that they couldn’t be more wrong for each other. But when the people closest to them play Cupid and trick them into going on a date, Jamie and Bea realize they have something else in common after all–an undeniable need for revenge. Soon their plan is in place: Fake date obnoxiously and convince the meddlers they’re madly in love. Then, break up spectacularly and dash everyone’s hopes, putting an end to the matchmaking madness once and for all. To convince everyone that they’ve fallen for each other, Jamie and Bea will have to nail the performance of their lives. But as their final act nears and playing lovers becomes easier than not, they begin to wonder: What if Cupid’s arrow wasn’t so off the mark? And what if two wrongs do make a right?

Middle Grade

Dragon Pearl (a Thousand Worlds Novel Book 1) by Yoon Ha Lee

But you’d never know it by looking at her. To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.

When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name. Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.

Young Adult

The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester by Maya MacGregor

In this queer contemporary YA mystery, a nonbinary autistic teen realizes they must not only solve a 30-year-old mystery but also face the demons lurking in their past in order to live a satisfying life. Sam Sylvester has long collected stories of half-lived lives — of kids who died before they turned nineteen. Sam was almost one of those kids. Now, as Sam’s own nineteenth birthday approaches, their recent near-death experience haunts them. They’re certain they don’t have much time left… But Sam’s life seems to be on the upswing after meeting several new friends and a potential love interest in Shep, their next-door neighbor. Yet the past keeps roaring back — in Sam’s memories and in the form of a thirty-year-old suspicious death that took place in Sam’s new home. Sam can’t resist trying to find out more about the kid who died and who now seems to guide their investigation. When Sam starts receiving threatening notes, they know they’re on the path to uncovering a murderer. But are they digging through the past or digging their own future grave?

Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White

Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him — the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with. But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all. Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own. Perfect for fans of Gideon the Ninth and Annihilation.

Social Queue by Kay Kerr

Zoe Kelly is starting a new phase of her life. High school was a mess of bullying and autistic masking that left her burnt out and shut down. Now, with an internship at an online media company—the first step on the road to her dream writing career—she is ready to reinvent herself. But she didn’t count on returning to her awkward and all-too-recent high-school experiences for her first writing assignment. When her piece, about her non-existent dating life, goes viral, eighteen-year-old Zoe is overwhelmed and more than a little surprised by the response. But, with a deadline and a list of romantic contenders from the past to reconnect with for her piece on dating, she is hoping one of her old sparks will turn into a new flame.

Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp

Five friends take a trip to a cabin. It’s supposed to be one last getaway before going their separate ways—a chance to say goodbye to each other, and to the game they’ve been playing for the past three years. But they’re all dealing with their own demons, and they’re all hiding secrets. And as they start to play the murder mystery game that brought them together in the first place, the lines between the game and reality blend, with deadly consequences. Someone knows their secrets. Someone wants to make them pay. Soon, it’s a race against time before it’s game over—forever. Are you ready to play?


Science Fiction 

Rebel Nation by Shaunta Grimes 

Sixteen years ago, a plague wiped out nearly all of humanity. The Company’s vaccine stopped the virus’s spread, but society was irrevocably changed. Those remaining live behind impenetrable city walls, taking daily doses of virus suppressant and relying on The Company for continued protection. They don’t realize that everything they’ve been told is a lie… Clover Donovan didn’t set out to start a revolution–quiet, autistic, and brilliant, she’s always followed the rules. But that was before they forced her into service for the Time Mariners. Before they condemned her brother to death, compelling him to flee the city to survive. Before she discovered terrifying secrets about The Company. Clover and the Freaks, her ragtag resistance group, are doing their best to spread the rebellion and stay under The Company’s radar. But when their hideout is discovered, they are forced, once again, to run. Only this time, The Company has special plans for Clover, plans that could risk her life and stop the uprising in its tracks…

The Outside by Ada Hoffmann

Autistic scientist Yasira Shien has developed a radical new energy drive that could change the future of humanity. But when she activates it, reality warps, destroying the space station and everyone aboard. The AI Gods who rule the galaxy declare her work heretical, and Yasira is abducted by their agents. Instead of simply executing her, they offer mercy — if she’ll help them hunt down a bigger target: her own mysterious, vanished mentor. With her homeworld’s fate in the balance, Yasira must choose who to trust: the gods and their ruthless post-human angels, or the rebel scientist whose unorthodox mathematics could turn her world inside out.

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

January 29, 2035: That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit–the big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter outside their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time. A last-minute meeting leads them to something better than a temporary shelter–a generation ship, scheduled to leave Earth behind to colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But everyone on the ship has been chosen because of their usefulness. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister? When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.



Stim: An Autism Anthology edited by Lizzie Huxley-Jones

Around 1 in 100 people in the UK are autistic, but rarely do autistic people have a voice. They are the ones on the daytime tv sofas, in parliament, or writing about their experiences with us. While these voices are important, the balance is tipped, and rarely do we get to use our own voices to talk about our experiences or to show how creative, smart and funny we are, how different from the stereotype most people have. This anthology represents an important step in reclaiming that power, of using our own voices. This book will bring together some of the best autistic writers, showcasing the immense talents of people who just happen to be on the spectrum. It won’t just feature essays about what it is to be autistic, but also stories, illustrations and art. So this isn’t just a book for autistic people or those who work or live with us; Stim will be an enjoyable, insightful collection for people around the world, who want to discover and champion unheard voices.

Spectrums: Autistic Transgender People in Their Own Words edited by Maxfield Sparrow

Written by autistic trans people from around the world, this vital and intimate collection of personal essays reveals the struggles and joys of living at the intersection of neurodivergence and gender diversity. Weaving memories, poems and first-person narratives together, these stories showcase experiences of coming out, college and university life, accessing healthcare, physical transition, friendships and relationships, sexuality, pregnancy, parenting, and late life self-discovery, to reveal a rich and varied tapestry of life lived on the spectrums. With humour and personal insight, this anthology is essential reading for autistic trans people, and the professionals supporting them, as well as anyone interested in the nuances of autism and gender identity.

Unmasking Autism: Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity by Dr. Devon Price

For every visibly Autistic person you meet, there are countless “masked” Autistic people who pass as neurotypical. Masking is a common coping mechanism in which Autistic people hide their identifiably Autistic traits in order to fit in with societal norms, adopting a superficial personality at the expense of their mental health. This can include suppressing harmless stims, papering over communication challenges by presenting as unassuming and mild-mannered, and forcing themselves into situations that cause severe anxiety, all so they aren’t seen as needy or “odd.”

In Unmasking Autism, Dr. Devon Price shares his personal experience with masking and blends history, social science research, prescriptions, and personal profiles to tell a story of neurodivergence that has thus far been dominated by those on the outside looking in. For Dr. Price and many others, Autism is a deep source of uniqueness and beauty. Unfortunately, living in a neurotypical world means it can also be a source of incredible alienation and pain. Most masked Autistic individuals struggle for decades before discovering who they truly are. They are also more likely to be marginalized in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, and other factors, which contributes to their suffering and invisibility. It’s time to honor the needs, diversity, and unique strengths of Autistic people so that they no longer have to mask–and it’s time for greater public acceptance and accommodation of difference. In embracing neurodiversity, we can all reap the rewards of nonconformity and learn to live authentically, Autistic and neurotypical people alike.

But you don’t look autistic at all by Bianca Toeps (Author),  Fay Maccorquodale-Smith (Translator)

Autism — that’s being able to count matches really fast and knowing that 7 August 1984 was a Tuesday, right? Well, no. In this book, Bianca Toeps explains in great detail what life is like when you’re autistic. She does this by looking at what science says about autism (and why some theories can go straight in the bin), but also by telling her own story and interviewing other people with autism. Bianca talks in a refreshing and sometimes hilarious way about different situations autistic people encounter in daily life. She has some useful tips for non-autistic people too: what you should do if someone prefers not to look you in the eye, why it is sometimes better to communicate by email, and, most important of all, why it is not a compliment if you say: “But you don’t look autistic at all!”

How to Be Autistic by Charlotte Amelia Poe

How To Be Autistic charts Charlotte Amelia Poe’s journey through schooldays and young adulthood, with chapters on food, fandom, depression, body piercing, comic conventions, and technology. Poe writes about her memoir: ‘The best way to describe it is to imagine a road trip. If a neurotypical person wants to get from A to B, then they will most often find their way unobstructed, without road works or diversions. For an autistic person, they will find that they are having to use back roads and cut across fields and explore places neurotypicals would never even imagine visiting’. How To Be Autistic challenges narratives of autism as something to be ‘fixed’, as Poe believes her autism is a fundamental aspect of her work. She writes: ‘I wanted to show the side of autism that I have lived through, the side you don’t find in books and on Facebook groups. My piece is a story about survival, fear and, finally, hope. It is an open letter to every autistic person who has suffered verbal, mental or physical abuse and come out snarling and alive. ‘If I can change just one person’s perceptions, if I can help one person with autism feel like they’re less alone, then this will all be worth it. So please, turn the page. Our worlds are about to collide.’

Supporting Transgender Autistic Youth and Adults: A Guide for Professionals and Families by Finn V. Gratton

Providing advice on how professionals working with autistic trans youth and adults can tailor their practice to best serve their clients and how parents can support their trans autistic children, this book increases awareness of the large overlap between trans identities and autism. By including chapters on gender diversity basics, neuroqueer trauma and how to support neuroqueer individuals, this book sets out strategies for creating more effective support that takes into account the unique experiences of trans people on the spectrum. Written by a therapist who identifies as neuroqueer, this book is the perfect companion for professionals who want to increase their knowledge of the experiences and needs of their trans autistic clients.