Tag Archives: What Belongs to You

Backlist Book of the Month: What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell

It’s the start of a new year, and with that comes resolutions. One of mine? To read more adult fiction. So it’s probably a good thing I’ve been stocking up on it for the last couple of years. One of the first books I purchased toward that end was Garth Greenwell’s debut, What Belongs to You, about an American teacher who begins an illicit affair with a Bulgarian hustler he meets and pays for sex in the well-hidden bathrooms under Sofia’s National Palace of Culture. Those who actually read my intros to these posts know I vastly prefer to have read a book before featuring it, but Greenwell’s sophomore, Cleanness, releases on the 14th of this month, so what better time to draw attention? (Plus it was lauded by pretty much every reviewer on the planet, so do you really need to take my word for it?) Come join me in reading it this month!

On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture. There he meets Mitko, a charismatic young hustler, and pays him for sex. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, drawn by hunger and loneliness and risk, and finds himself ensnared in a relationship in which lust leads to mutual predation, and tenderness can transform into violence. As he struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates, he’s forced to grapple with his own fraught history, the world of his southern childhood where to be queer was to be a pariah. There are unnerving similarities between his past and the foreign country he finds himself in, a country whose geography and griefs he discovers as he learns more of Mitko’s own narrative, his private history of illness, exploitation, and disease.

Amazon | B&N | IndieBound

Good News Roundup of LGBTQ Reads

After so many years of LGBTQIAP+ lit struggling for recognition, it’s been pretty killer to watch literary news this year. Whereas a starred review for an LGBTQIAP+ YA book used to be a needle in a haystack, this fall was absolutely rife with them. Whereas coverage of queer Romance novels used to be relegated pretty entirely to queer publications, now it’s been everywhere from Bustle to Washington Post (*tips hat to Sarah Maclean*). And since I think at any given time, we could all use some good news about the progress of LGBTQIAP+ books in publishing, here’s to highlighting some of this year’s biggest successes in mainstream media:

Picture Books

Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian, illustrated by Mike Curato, was named one of the Best Picture Books of 2016 by Kirkus and one of the Best Books for Kids of 2016 by New York Public Library

Middle Grade

Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart was named one of the Best Books of 2016 by NPR and one of the Best Books For Kids of 2016 by New York Public Library

Young Adult

Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard was nominated for a Morris Award and named one of the Best Teen Books of 2016 by Kirkus.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo is the only YA novel named among the Best Books of 2016 by iBooks, among the Best Teen Fiction of 2016 by Chicago Public Library, and among the best YAs of 2016 by Amazon, the B&N Teen Blog, Bustle, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and New York Public Library.

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore was longlisted for the National Book Award and named one of the Best YAs of 2016 by Bustle and Kirkus.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth’s movie news was announced.

Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli’s movie news was announced, and it was named one of the 30 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time by Paste.

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp spent 29 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and was named among 19 of the Best YA Books of 2016 by Buzzfeed and one of the best YAs of the year by Paste.

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova was named one of the Best Books of 2016 by NPR, among the Best Teen Fiction of 2016 by Chicago Public Library, and one of the Best YAs of 2016 by Bustle, Paste, and New York Public Library.

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley was named one of the Best Books of 2016 by NPR, among the Best Teen Fiction of 2016 by Chicago Public Library, and one of the Best YAs of 2016 by Bustle, Paste, and SLJ.

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown was named one of the Best YAs of 2016 by Bustle and Kirkus, among the Best Teen Fiction of 2016 by Chicago Public Library, and one of the Best YA Rom-Coms of the Year by the B&N Teen Blog.

Beast by Brie Spangler was named one of the Best YAs of 2016 by the B&N Teen Blog, Kirkus, Bustle, and Publishers Weekly.

And I Darken by Kiersten White was named one of the Best YAs of 2016 by the B&N Teen Blog, Bustle, and NPR, and hit the NYT bestseller list.

Unbecoming by Jenny Downham was named one of the Best YAs of 2016 by the B&N Teen Blog, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly.

Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings was named one of the Best Books for Teens of 2016 by New York Public Library.

Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace was named one one of the Best Books for Teens of 2016 by New York Public Library.

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson was named one of the Best Books for Teens of 2016 by New York Public Library and one of SLJ‘s Best YAs of 2016.

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley was named one of the 30 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time by Paste and hit the New York Times bestseller list.

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig was named among 19 of the Best YA Books of 2016 by Buzzfeed and Kirkus, and the Best YA Novel of the Year by Paste.

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle was named one of SLJ‘s Best YAs of 2016 and among the Best Teen Books of 2016 by Kirkus.

As I Descended by Robin Talley was named among the Best Teen Fiction of 2016 by Chicago Public Library and Paste.

Radical by E.M. Kokie was named among the Best Teen Fiction of 2016 by Chicago Public Library.

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin was named among the Best Teen Fiction of 2016 by Chicago Public Library.

True Letters From a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan was named one of the Best Teen Books of 2016 by Kirkus.

Bleeding Earth by Kaitlin Ward was named one of the Best Teen Books of 2016 by Kirkus.

Without Annette by Jane B. Mason was named among 19 of the Best YA Books of 2016 by Buzzfeed.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz was named one of the 30 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time by Paste.

Ash by Malinda Lo was named one of the 30 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time by Paste.

Adam Silvera’s New York Times bestselling More Happy Than Not was named one of the 30 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time by Paste.

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie was named one of the Best YAs of 2016 by Paste.

Timekeeper by Tara Sim was named one of the Best YAs of 2016 by Paste.

Romance

Fast Connection by Santino Hassell and Megan Erickson was named one of the Best Romance Novels of 2016 by The Washington Post.

Luchador by Erin Finnegan was named one of the Best Romances of 2016 by Publishers Weekly.

24/7 by J.A. Rock was named among the Best Fiction of 2016 by Kirkus.

Idlewild by Jude Sierra was named among the Best Fiction of 2016 by Kirkus.

Strong Signal by Santino Hassell and Megan Erickson was named among 17 of the Best Romance Novels of 2016 by Bustle.

General Fiction

Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett was longlisted for the National Book Award, a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, named one of the Best Books of 2016 by NPR and Popsugar, one of the 24 Best Fiction Books of 2016 by Buzzfeed, and one of the 18 Best Fiction Books of 2016 by The Huffington Post.

What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell was longlisted for the National Book Award, named one of the Best Books of 2016 by NPR and Publishers Weekly, one of the 24 Best Fiction Books of 2016 by Buzzfeed, one of the 25 Best Books to Read in 2016 by Esquire, and one of the 10 Best Books of 2016 by Vulture.

Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn was named among the Best Fiction of 2016 by Kirkus and one of the 24 Best Fiction Books of 2016 by Buzzfeed.

SFF

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan Mcguire was named among the Best Genre Fiction (SF/Fantasy) of 2016 by Library Journal.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers was named among the Best Genre Fiction (SF/Fantasy) of 2016 by Library Journal.