Lou is an artist and bookseller who lives in an over-decorated houseboat on Lake Union. They like books about messy friend groups, oral histories, and all the other ways stories are collectively misremembered.
The creeping dread of a 1AM screen time notification taken to its logical and horrific end. The very best of the "cautionary tale" subset of internet novels.
YOUR LOVE IS NOT GOOD will not answer your questions. It won't tell you what the right stance to take on identity is, what the best way to navigate being a working artist is. Instead, Hevda has crafted a meditation on seeing, being seen, and the absolute exhaustion of living in the space between them. Their prose curls in on itself like an oil-slicked rag, pulling you into the rabbit hole of creation. A triumph.
A collection of beautifully structured essays, Working Girl exposes the gaps in our discussions about sex, art and work. So many of us (artists, sex workers, and a myriad of others operating around the edges of traditional 'work') are in the business of selling fantasy; Giovannitti dreams of a world where we can do it while keeping our whole selves intact. Her writing about how her (anti-)work pays for her life, facilitating the world she dreams of, is nothing short of revolutionary.
"We try again and again to escape humiliation. And then we are thrust, with a shudder, back into our bodies, a place where the script never changes: the script says fail."
A book of psalms for the shameful.
A hymnal for fairies in love, girlprophets, collectors and hermits. Aurora Mattia has created a new world of language and insisted upon its arrival. I want to run my fingers across every word.
Beautifully drawn comics about a post-capitalist planet of bird archivists--what's not to love?
Zine history, like punk history, has been whitewashed beyond belief. Thank god for this collection of Shotgun Seamstress, Osa Atoe's pantheon of Black punk stories, interviews, collages, arguments and community documents. Buy it for your cool niece, that friend you grew up going to shows with, or to explore this incredible piece of history for yourself (and when you're done, check out the POC Zine Project!)
I devoured Cat Fitzpatrick’s trans novel of manners in verse in a single, glorious afternoon. Fitzpatrick captures a world without totalizing it, and writes arguments better than anyone I've read in recent memory. Don’t let the high concept put you off–this book is funny and heartbreaking, breezy and brilliant.
“This is just fucking sonnets, Cat”—Imogen Binnie, author of Nevada
People forget that to be a successful provacateur, you have to actually have beliefs/brains/wit. Kathy Acker had all three of these in spades. Wrestling with her language (which is often the language of an uncredited chorus of others), getting angry at things that haven't held up, finding perfect jewels of sentences in between--reading this book is a full-contact sport.
My favorite Unions 101 book I've ever read! Clear-eyed, historical, hopeful, and beautifully illustrated. This is the place to start your union study and/or a great gift for a lefty in your life.
If you're a kid who likes to stare at pictures and make up worlds, this book is for you. If you're an adult who has a folder on their computer titled "drawings of houses in trees for animals" (like me) this book is also for you. I could spend all day with these lush illustrations. PLUS there's animal facts!
I have read many art novels, and many school novels; this is the very best of them both. Angress is tapped into the subtleties of these worlds, and the ways they flow into and out of each other, to an uncanny degree. Her vivid prose and use of real-world art makes this novel positively hypnotic.
There are things that Gerard Way's face does to my brain that I can only describe as "activating a sleeper agent switch." My mother has been following Belle and Sebastian on tour for almost 20 years. Kaitlyn Tiffany flew cross-country to see a shrine to Harry Styles' vomit. What draws us to this deep, obsessive love? How has finding people who share it shaped both our worlds and the world at large? In Everything I Need I Get From You, I found not just answers but companionship.
It can be hard to find writing about fan culture that doesn't devolve into petty gossip, but Tiffany gives her subjects deep complexity and context; everyone is a full person, fan and object of their affection alike. This book has given me a tool to explain a part of my life, and it's given me a pages-long exploration of the time Niall Horan said "chonce". What more could I need?
Sure, The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For (DTWOF) is the best chronicle of Lesbian life at the turn of the 21st century, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the story of leftist politics, of changing definitions, of independent bookstores and liberal arts schools and marriage and friendships that–despite all odds–carry on for a quarter-century. There’s someone for everyone to relate to in the DTWOF universe, whether you’re a passionate Clarice or a hapless Stuart. If you haven’t read DTWOF since its original run, or you’re happening upon it for the first time, I can’t urge you enough to spend a little time with Mo and friends, and enjoy the ways the world has changed and stayed exactly the same.
An Ocean’s Eleven for the age of museum repatriation! Portrait of a Thief asks us to consider what justice looks like and the complicity of cultural institutions, as well as the mechanics of Paris drag races and disabling security alarms. It’s the sharpest heist novel I’ve read in years,with great chemistry and incredibly satisfying twists. A perfect summer beach read.