Our bisexual bookshelf. Books we’ve read – and sometimes even recommend!
First up though: you might like to read about the Bold Strokes Book festival in 2013, and the winners of the Third Annual Bisexual Book Awards (2014 books, awards presented in 2015) and the shortlist for the Fourth Annual Bisexual Book Awards (2015 publications, awards in 2016)
So, down to bookness…
NON-FICTION: BI HELP
Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World – Edited by Robyn Ochs and Sarah E Rowley (2013). Reviewed here.
We said: “The second edition of this groundbreaking book really does go around the globe to recount bisexual experiences of the contributors, with over four-hundred submissions covering forty-two countries.”
The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips, and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways. By Nicole Kristal & Mike Szymanski. Reviewed here:
We said: “here to save us from the rigorous academic approach to sorting your head out as bisexual, with the fluffy, frank and smutty handbook to reassuring yourself that there are lots of bisexuals out there and you need not be like any of them”
The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out is Good for Business – John Browne. Reviewed here.
We said: “While the book is overwhelmingly written from the perspective of a gay man (John is after all a gay man) he has been careful to include interviews and experiences from out lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. He’s also been careful to highlight bad stories as well as success.”
Bi & Poly: “Plural Loves” edited by Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio. Reviewed here.
We said: “There really are some excellent chapters in this collection, and I’d particularly recommend those by Mint and Rambukkana, but overall Plural Loves makes for a frustrating read.”
Dare… to Try Bisexuality – By Pierre Des Esseintes. Reviewed here.
We said: “Essientes is brilliant at the grand sweep: hold off the “but that doesn’t apply to everyone” for a moment and enjoy a rollercoaster of a book – fun, informative, saucy and frank.”
NON FICTION: OTHER
Bisexuality and Trangenderism: Intersexions of the Others edited by Jonathan Alexander and Karen Yescavage. Reviewed here.
We said: “most contributors tend to duck the question of whether there is some shared philosophical connection between a positive, pleasurable ambivalence about the gender one desires, and a positive, pleasurable ambivalence about the sex one is”
We said: “If you’re a fan there will be a lot you can relate to, but that can get quite tedious and repetitive by the time you reach the end.”
A Queer History of the United States, by Michael Bronski. Reviewed here.
We said: “Bronski suggests, when talking of pioneers and westward expansion in the nineteenth century, this sort of ‘home on the range’ could have been particularly attractive to people who didn’t fit cultural norms of gender or sexuality.”
Queers In History by Keith Stern. Reviewed here.
We said: “I was a bit miffed not to hear more in the space allowed and while bisexuality was mentioned clearly it wasn’t always taken seriously as a stage in someone’s life or long term”
What Makes a Baby by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth. Reviewed here.
We said: “What is special about this book is that is says that some bodies have sperm, some do not – illustrated with brightly coloured human figures, and the same for eggs and the same for a uterus. It makes no assumptions of what gender such a body might be or what sort of relationship the people who make a baby might be in.”
FICTION: SHORT STORIES
Best Bi Short Stories – Edited by Sheela Lambert. Reviewed here.
We said: “As well as showcasing bisexual characters, this book also covers diversity in a lot of its other forms. There’s a great racial and cultural mix, as well as a number of stories dealing with gender beyond the binary.”
BiOlogy by Claire Louisa Thomas. Reviewed here.
We said: “A great strength of the book is the wide range of protagonists in the stories – young and old, men and women, soldiers and kids, from historical eras as well as modern ones.”
Fausterella and Other Stories by Kate Harrad. Reviewed here.
We said: “Some of the stories I’d read before, some were new. All were bite-size and twisted just the right amount: clever but not pretentious, unsettling but not gory.”
You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It, by Kieron Blake. Reviewed here.
We said: “it was refreshing to be presented with a character who was not portrayed as ‘just having a dabble’, or who was ‘gay really’”
The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst. Reviewed here.
We said: “gives a sideways picture of how the experience of male homosexuality and/or bisexuality has changed over the last century”
All Lies and Jest by Kate Harrad. Reviewed here.
We said: “Sexuality is understood as part of an adult world rather than distracting from, or comprising, the story and bisexuality is hardly remarkable”
FICTION: GRAPHIC NOVELS / COMICS
Anything that Loves, a bi graphic novel compendium. Reviewed here.
We said: “a delightful bisexual comic compendium. Ideal for the coffee table of your favourite coffee-table-owning bisexual”
(Liliane Bi-Dyke in) Don’t Be A Crotte, By Leanne Franson. Reviewed here.
We said: “I spent a lot of time nodding knowingly and suspect a lot of BCN’s readers will too”
The Best Of Both Worlds: Bisexual Erotica – Sage Vivant (Editor), M. Christian (Editor), reviewed here.
We said: “This collection is hot. Amusing, arousing and, I discover, not to be read on the bus.”
Best Bisexual Women’s Erotica – Editor: Cara Bruce. Reviewed here.
We said: “This anthology gets to stay on my bookshelf thanks to some novel plots and involving situations. I’ll just have to remember not to be fooled by the word ‘erotica’ on the spine when wanting some”
Transgender Erotica: Transfigures – Edited by M. Christian, reviewed here.
We said: “This book made me smile, laugh, cry, and yes, it did turn me on (quite a lot), but it was also just plain interesting”