October Book Bingo

October is upon us, which means Halloween is just around the corner! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, so I wanted to try something different this year – Book Bingo!

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Ultimate Pride Month Reading List 2017

Nina LaCour We Are Okay

Nina LaCour is the bestselling author of the young adult novels Hold Still and Everything Leads to You. Her latest work is We Are Okay. In honor of June’s Pride Month, Goodreads asked LaCour to share some of her favorite LGBT reading and why these books are important to her:

We Are OkayOriginally posted on Goodreads.

I fell in love with another girl when I was nineteen. Before that, I had only dated boys, so for the first time I had trouble finding stories that reflected my newfound identity. Falling in love is falling in love. It makes you soar; it makes you hurt. Sometimes it’s unrequited and sometimes you get lucky, and the person you love loves you in return. But in spite of love’s universality, when I found myself rather unexpectedly in love with a girl, I wanted to see that specific experience reflected back at me.

Finally, I found a book—Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson—and I read it voraciously. It wasn’t categorized as YA, but it was about a teenage girl who had to deal with her parents and her sexuality. It was everything I wanted to find in a book. Oranges felt like a gift, and I’m happy to say that in our current era of great YA literature, the gifts are abundant.

So in honor of Pride month, whether you’re queer or straight, cis or trans, young or old, here are some gifts for you.

If you like some magic in your stories, try When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore and Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova.


Sci-fi more your thing? Check out Proxy by Alex London and Adaptation by Malinda Lo.


Searching for portrayals where queer teens and religion intersect? Get yourself a copy of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown; The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth; and The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg; and Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley.


Want something to make you sob? Try History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera—and then cheer yourself up with David Levithan’s Boy Meets Boy or Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler.


How about first love and coming out? So many great ones to choose from! Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash; Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan; Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali; Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Bejanmin Alire Saenz; I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson; If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo…(As I said—so many. I could go on and on!)


Looking for something brand new and buzzy? Check out Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy and Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee. Looking for something so new it isn’t even released yet? Then preorder Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert and Vanilla by Billy Merrell.

Happy Pride, everyone!

Nina LaCour‘s We Are Okay is out now. Add it to your Want to Read shelf here.

Have a great LGBT novel to recommend? Share it in the comments!

Dystopian Novels for Modern Times


Since the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States, George Orwell’s 1984 has shot up the bestseller charts. While I can understand some of the allure of 1984 due to modern events, it is also a book about a particular kind of dystopian state: an authoritarian Stalinist future-Britain, based on the fears Orwell felt most pressing in 1948. Maybe it’s time to find better dystopias? If reality isn’t scary enough for you, dive into one of these books for a more modern twist on the dystopian genre.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood


Summary (from Goodreads): Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WidePurchase your copy here.

Not only is this a great book, but it was made into a movie by the same name in 1990 and it is returning as a television show on April 26, 2017 on Hulu.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley


Summary (from Goodreads): Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress…

Huxley’s ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WidePurchase your copy here.

“We were keeping our eye on 1984. But it’s Brave New World we should have feared instead.” The Guardian

Virtual Light by William Gibson (Bridge, #1)

virtual-lightSummary (from Goodreads): The Bridge trilogy is a series of novels by William Gibson, his second after the successful Sprawl trilogy. The trilogy comprises the novels Virtual Light (1993), Idoru, (1996) and All Tomorrow’s Parties (1999). A short story, “Skinner’s Room”, was originally composed for Visionary San Francisco, a 1990 museum exhibition exploring the future of San Francisco.

Berry Rydell, an ex-cop, signs on with IntenSecure Armed Response in Los Angeles. He finds himself on a collision course that results in a desperate romance, and a journey into the ecstasy and dread that mirror each other at the heart of the postmodern experience.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WidePurchase your copy here.

The Private Eye by Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin

private-eyeSummary (from Goodreads): The year is 2076 and the nation that celebrates it’s tri-centennial is very different from the one we know today. In this future, the most cherished thing is privacy. Everyone has a secret identity, an inner self, that they hid with anything from simple masks to high-tech body suits and holograms.

Enter a man who is known to his customers as Patrick Immelmann, an illegal private detective by trade. He can dig into the personal lives of anyone and find their most hidden secrets, if you can pay his price, of course. His newest customer is a young lady that wants him to dig into her own life. She’s attempting to stay one step ahead of a new, potential, employer that might be able to discover something less than desirable about her past.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WidePurchase your copy here.

The Children of Men by P.D. James

children-of-menSummary (from Goodreads): Told with P. D. James’s trademark suspense, insightful characterization, and riveting storytelling, The Children of Men is a story of a world with no children and no future. The human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult. Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide and despair become commonplace. Oxford historian Theodore Faron, apathetic toward a future without a future, spends most of his time reminiscing. Then he is approached by Julian, a bright, attractive woman who wants him to help get her an audience with his cousin, the powerful Warden of England. She and her band of unlikely revolutionaries may just awaken his desire to live . . . and they may also hold the key to survival for the human race.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WidePurchase your copy here.

This book was also made into a movie in 2006, starring Clive Owen and directed by Alfonso Cuarón.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

snow-crashSummary (from Goodreads): In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WidePurchase your copy here.

This book was assigned to me in a class in college – Fictional Anthropology. The class was a hybrid between an English Literature/Science Fiction class and an anthropology course; it was the greatest class I ever took.

Fall 2016 Reads


Happy First Day of Fall! Here in Seattle, it’s felt like Fall for the last few weeks. We’ve had crisp and cool days, which makes me yearn for cozy afternoons spent on the couch reading a book. In addition to this list of 10 must-read books for Fall 2016, I also created my own Dogwood Books Fall 2016 Bookmark, which you can download for free here. Enjoy!

“But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since he last saw you.”
– Stephen King, ‘Salem’s Lot

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon


Summary (from Goodreads):

Joe Kavalier, a young Jewish artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just smuggled himself out of Nazi-invaded Prague and landed in New York City. His Brooklyn cousin Sammy Clay is looking for a partner to create heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit America – the comic book. Drawing on their own fears and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapist, the Monitor, and Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men. With exhilarating style and grace, Michael Chabon tells an unforgettable story about American romance and possibility.

Purchase your copy here.

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