Page Two Pride Month reads
Happy Pride from all of us at Page Two!
Pride celebrations look different for many this year, so we’re honoring the occasion the best way we know how: with a curated list of reading and viewing recommendations.
Read on for some tender, hard-hitting, and revolutionary books (and a TV show!) beloved by the Page Two team.
Amanda Lewis, Editorial Director
Blood, Marriage, Wine and Glitter by S. Bear Bergman
When I first read this book, I emailed Bear a fan letter, which led to coffee, then friendship. Blood, Marriage, Wine and Glitter is a funny, tender exploration of family bonds.
Feel Good on Netflix
I love this series by Canadian comedian Mae Martin and Joe Hampson. Season 2 just dropped (do people say “dropped” when referring to TV shows?) and I devoured it. Sexy and funny, it also digs deep on gender, family, and trauma. Phil can be my flatmate anytime.
Adrineh Der-Boghossian, Project Manager and Editorial Associate
Bent on Writing: Contemporary Queer Tales (edited by Elizabeth Ruth)
This book is an anthology featuring work by 55 (!) writers, all of whom performed at a monthly queer literary series called Clit Lit, which sadly is no longer. Clit Lit was a unique space within Toronto’s queer community that will forever hold a special place in my heart. Bent on Writing includes writing by both new and established writers, many of whom I know personally (so my recommendation may be a little biased).
My two other contenders are In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado and We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir by Samra Habib, which was the 2020 Canada Reads winner.
I also wanted to give a special mention to a forthcoming queer coming-of-age YA novel: The Queen of Junk Island by debut author Alexandra Mae Jones, to be published by Annick Press in 2022. It doesn’t yet have a listing on Annick’s website, but the author has mentioned it on her website and Twitter page. The novel’s main character is an Indigenous young woman who is coming to terms with her sexuality.
Jesse Finkelstein, Co-Founder
Beyond the Pale by Elana Dykewoman
Beyond the Pale tells the story of two Jewish women who escape Russia during the pogroms of the early 20th Century. It’s a riveting love story with historical events as a fascinating backdrop, including the devastating Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York. The book is especially dear to me because it was originally published by a feminist press I admire and then championed by some of my beloved mentors in the early part of my career: Michelle Benjamin and Allan MacDougall.
Madison Taylor, Publicity and Content Marketing Associate
My Autobiography of Carson McCullers by Jenn Shapland
Summing up a favorite book must simultaneously be every bibliophile’s greatest joy and greatest agony. At the risk of over-exaggerating, I’ll say that this book completely changed the way I think about biographies. It is all at once a coming out narrative, a critique of the role of the biographer, and an intimate summary of the life of a writer whose queerness was ignored (and often gaslit) by both historians and those close to her.
A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt
If you’re an underliner, annotator, sticky-noter, or otherwise reckless reader (guilty), I guarantee you won’t be able to finish this book without leaving something of yourself behind in its pages. Belcourt’s writing is tender and transcendent, weaving memory and poetry into a timely reflection on what it means to be queer and Indigenous in “Canada.”
Meghan O’Neill, Marketing Strategist
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
This is one of my all-time favorite books! There’s a sequel coming out this fall as well.