June Book of the Month – Fiction

You made a Fool of Death with your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

Feyi Adekola wants to learn how to live again. It’s been five years since the accident which killed the love of her life and she’s almost a new person now — an artist with her own studio and sharing a brownstone apartment with her ride-or-die best friend, Joy, who insists it’s time for Feyi to ease back into the dating scene.

Feyi isn’t ready for anything serious, but a steamy encounter at a rooftop party cascades into a whirlwind summer she could have never imagined: a luxury trip to a tropical island, decadent meals in the glamorous home of a celebrity chef, and a major curator who wants to launch her art career. Until she begins to feel an attraction to the one person she absolutely must not.

“Sizzling and sexy, I adored this devastating, messy and tender read – inhaled at breakneck speed, I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

Mistakenly I think, romance as a genre can be seen as insubstantial. This has heft, depth, and power. A story about the darkness, rage, and bite of grief; about living recklessly, recognising our frailty, and grasping life despite everything.

Looking at creativity and sexuality – with brilliant bi-representation – ‘You made a Fool of Death with your Beauty’ is a grounded & earthy hymn to art, the process of creation, to tactile, sensory pleasure, to joy, sex and living in the moment. Raw and beautiful, I loved it.” – Ruth, Bookshop Manager

  • Akwaeke Emezi is a multidisciplinary artist/storyteller. Emezi identifies as non-binary transgender. They experience multiplicity and consider themselves an ogbanje – a traditional Igbo (Nigerian) term that describes a type of trickster spirit born into a human body.
  • Their work is deeply rooted in the metaphysics of Black spirit, using the lens of indigenous ontologies to focus on embodiment, ritual, and rememory.
  • Emezi’s writing has won the Stonewall Book Award for Nonfiction (2022) • The Otherwise Award (formerly the Tiptree Award) • Ilube Nommo Award • Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa

June Book of the Month – Non-Fiction

100 Queer Poems – edited by Mary Jean Chan and Andrew McMillan

100 Queer Poems is a luminous anthology and celebration of thrilling contemporary voices and visionary poets of the past.

Encompassing both the flowering of queer poetry over the past few decades and the poets who came before and broke new ground, 100 Queer Poems presents an electrifying range of writing from the twentieth century to the present day.

Questioning and redefining what we mean by a ‘queer’ poem, you’ll find inside classics by Elizabeth Bishop, Langston Hughes, Wilfred Owen, Charlotte Mew and June Jordan, central contemporary figures such as Mark Doty, Jericho Brown, Carol Ann Duffy, Kei Miller, Kae Tempest, Natalie Diaz and Ocean Vuong, alongside thrilling new voices including Chen Chen, Richard Scott, Harry Josephine Giles, Verity Spott and Jay Bernard.

Curated by two widely acclaimed poets, Mary Jean Chan and Andrew McMillan, 100 Queer Poems explores:

  • childhood and adolescence
  • forging new homes
  • relationships with our chosen families
  • from urban life to the natural world
  • from explorations of the past to how we find and create our future selves.

This fantastic book deserves a place on the shelf of every reader keen to discover and rediscover how queer poets speak to one another across the generations.

  • Ruth