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The Book Guy

If your TBR pile is looking a little depleted after Christmas, worry not – there are plenty of fantastic LGBT+ reads coming your way in the next 12 months to keep you engaged, enraged, entertained, and engrossed.

Fiction-wise, the year gets off to a good start with Andrea Lawlor’s Paul Takes The Form Of A Mortal Girl. A speculative fiction set in the 1990’s, the book centres on bartender Paul Polydoris who possesses the ability to change shape. He transforms his body as and when he wishes in a series of adventures that take him across the US to San Francisco.

Marlon James, winner of the Booker Prize in 2015 for A Brief History Of Seven Killings, returns with Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the first book in his Dark Star trilogy. An adventure-filled fantasy novel set in Africa, the book has already received high praise from Neil Gaiman and is sure to appeal to fans of Black Panther.

Ali Smith will follow her novels Autumn and Winter with *drumroll* Spring. The plot is still under wraps, but if it’s even half as good as its sister novels, it’s sure to be one of the year’s highlights.

The always interesting, if decidedly inconsistent, Ian McEwan makes scientist Alan Turing the focus of Machines Like Me, an alternate history which imagines what would have happened if Britain had lost the Falklands War and if Turing had survived to become an Artificial Intelligence pioneer.

In non-fiction, Hannah Gadsby follows up the incredible viral success of her stand-up special Nanette with Ten Steps To Nanette, a memoir that catalogues the events of her life leading up to her resolution to quit comedy; the book is slated for release in the autumn.

Gadsby isn’t the only Netflix star looking to capitalise on a strong 2018. The Queer Eye boys are also making hay: Antoni Porowski will publish his debut cookbook, provisionally titled Antoni In The Kitchen, in October, while style guru Tan France’s memoir Naturally Tan hits the shelves in May. Rumours also abound that Jonathan Van Ness has signed with Simon and Schuster for a book called, wait for it, Can You Believe?, but nothing has been officialy confirmed on that just yet.

Elsewhere, bestselling juggernaut Adam Kay, who recently sold out the National Concert Hall with his This Is Going To Hurt tour, will return next winter with Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas. Containing shocking and darkly comic incidents faced by hospital staff in the run-up to the most wonderful time of the year, the book will be welcomed by the legions of fans who have kept Kay at the top of the Sunday Times bestseller list for over six months.

Finally, if like me you can’t get quite enough of teen/YA fiction, there’s plenty to come in 2019. First up is LC Rosen’s superb Jack Of Hearts (And Other Parts), a hugely charming book about a popular, sex-positive teenager who is stalked by a creepy well-wisher when he starts an agony uncle column. Full of wise advice and a couple of eyebrow-raising sex scenes, this is the book your parents warned you about.

Prolific author John Boyne will return with a book for 9-12 yearolds called My Brother’s Name Is Jessica. The book focuses on Sam Waver, a young boy whose family is thrown into disarray when his older brother Jason, who he idolises, lets his family into a secret he’s been struggling with for a long time.

Finally, debut author Helen Corcoran’s fantasy epic The Queen Of Coin And Whispers, in which a young queen and a spymaster wrestle with feelings for one another amidst a crumbling kingdom, will be published later in the year by O’Brien Press.

This article appears in the 350 Issue of GCN

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This article appears in the 350 Issue of GCN