My Favourite Bi+ Books of 2016 (So Far)

Happy #BiVisibilityDay! Yeah, yeah, 2016 isn’t over yet but I’m pretty sure these books are still gonna be some of my favourites at the end of the year. These book are all either written by bi/pan authors and/or have bi/pan main characters. Tell me about any bi+ books you’ve read this year and loved in the comments!

not-my-fathers-sonNot My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming
I just finished listening to the audiobook version of this memoir, read by the author. The narrating was just as amazing as I’d expected, given that Cumming is a seasoned actor AND has a Scottish accent. What more could you ask for from a narrator, really? It’s a fascinating and sometimes brutal book about Cumming’s relationship with his abusive father and how being asked to appear on a celebrity genealogy show opened up more than one can of worms in his family history. Throughout it’s lovely to hear a bisexual person talk about his life (his ex-wife, his current husband) as if it’s just all normal and no big deal. He even refers to himself using the “b word.” Swoon!

All-Inclusive-high-resAll Inclusive by Farzana Doctor
This is a character-driven novel about Ameera, a woman in her late twenties who’s been living in Mexico and working in the tourist / travel industry for years. Since Ameera arrived, she’s discovered she’s bisexual and enjoys having sex with (mostly man-woman, but sometimes woman-woman) couples, many of whom identify as swingers. She’s from Hamilton, ON and was raised by a single (white) mother, having had an absent (Indian) father. All the good things in her life aside, she is totally lost. It’s such a joy to watch her slowly reconnect with herself and her history as the novel progresses. It’s also remarkable to watch Doctor tackle issues like all-inclusive resorts, bisexuality, swinging and polyamory, spirituality, death, and terrorism, somehow making it all work in the same book.

bushra-rehman-coronaCorona by Bushra Rehman
Corona—referencing the neighbourhood in Queens, NY, not the Mexican beer—is a “novel” that to me feels more like a collection of inter-related short stories about Razia, a young bisexual Pakistani-American Muslim woman, at different stages in her life. It’s beautifully written, for one thing: “Ravi was sitting in a corner, apart from the crowd. He was going back to India in less than a year, so everything he observed was for the warehouse of his mind. He’d seal the box, label it ‘My Time in America,’ and draw stories from it now and then to entertain the literary crowd in Delhi. That was the night I fell into the box.” There’s a great sense of place, character, and emotion in the book, and damn is it also really funny sometimes, even amidst sadness.

longredhairLong Red Hair by Meags Fitzgerald
A graphic memoir about growing up in the late 80s and 90s, Long Red Hair should incite lots of nostalgia for queer girls of that generation: it’s full of pop culture references of the time, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Meags is a kid interested in spooky stuff, so there are also sleepover games like Bloody Mary, séances, and dressing up as witches featured throughout. Coming out is another focus, and young Meags describes the process in perfect teenage agony: “I just want to be gay or straight. Being bisexual is way too confusing … If I’m bi that means I don’t have a soulmate and I’ll never be satisfied loving just one person for the rest of my life. It’d be like … a curse.” The memoir is also a meditation on relationships and the potentials of celibacy. Bonus!: the sepia-toned art is gorgeous.

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About CaseytheCanadianLesbrarian

Known in some internet circles as Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, Casey Stepaniuk is a writer and future librarian who holds an MA in English literature and is currently studying for an MLIS in the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, BC). Topics and activities dear to her heart include cats, bisexuality, libraries, queer (Canadian) literature, running, and drinking tea. She runs the website Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, where you can find reviews of LGBTQ2IA+ Canadian books, archives of the book advice column Ask Your Friendly Neighbourhood Lesbrarian, and some other queer, bookish stuff. She also writes for Autostraddle, Book Riot and Inside Vancouver. Find her on Twitter: @canlesbrarian. Some of her old reviews, especially the non-Canadian variety, can be found at the Lesbrary.
This entry was posted in Bisexual, Farzana Doctor, Fiction, Graphic, memoir, Non-Fiction, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to My Favourite Bi+ Books of 2016 (So Far)

  1. whatthelog says:

    Ooh, checking all of these out! Thanks very much!

  2. What a great list, and I haven’t read any of these. Thanks for sharing them!

  3. Pingback: Queer Witches, Comics for Orlando, and Visible Bisexuals: Link Round Up September 4 – 24 | The Lesbrary

  4. Zahra says:

    I love Corona and am delighted to see it get more attention–it was a runner-up for the Best Bi Book of the Year (Novel) a few years ago. And while I’d heard great things about the Cummings, I haven’t heard of either Meags Fitzgerald or Farzana Doctor’s latest, so thank you much for both! Onto the list they go!

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