As we move into July, the excitement of summer starts to wear off. An air-conditioned apartment suddenly seems more exciting than soaking in the sun, and a book on the couch much more compelling than a Twitter scroll in a sweaty subway car. Fortunately, I’m here to deliver you from your summertime sadness with some great reads from different university presses—whether you’re sitting on that nice cool couch or crammed in that sweaty subway.
For all class-conscious animal lovers, Marx for Cats may just be the perfect read. Author Leigh Claire La Berge folds our furry feline friends into the history of capitalism and anticapitalist struggle, ultimately arguing for an eco-socialist approach in a time of intertwined ecological and economic crises of deep inequality. This book is not only a great look into Marxism, it’s also completely inventive and original.
In this podcast from Princeton University Press, Tawanda Mulalu discusses his book Please make me pretty, I don’t want to die—including the fact that he chose the title because a classmate said it would make a good t-shirt slogan (I personally approve of this strategy for choosing a book title). Please make me pretty is a collection of poems about desire, alienation, and poetry itself. Check out this podcast episode to hear not only about Mulalu’s book but also about his current favorite anime.
In the wake of attacks against our trans brothers, sisters, and friends, it has become increasingly urgent to celebrate the beauty of transness and fight for the protection of trans folks. University of Michigan Press’s Pride Month reading list provides some great reads pertaining to trans topics, including Translocas by Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, Butch Queens Up in Pumps by Marlon M. Bailey, and Transgender Rights and Politics by Jami K. Taylor and Donald P. Haider-Markel.
In this Edinburgh University Press blog post, Dr. Laura Minor tells all about the best comedy shows by working-class women from across the pond. With the Writers Guild of America strike going on here in the United States, it’s important to remember how much of our culture is owed to TV writers—especially working-class, queer, and nonwhite female writers who break boundaries and start conversations. These comedy shows provide not only a laugh but also a reminder of the talent and hard work that go into television writing.
Turning it over to our fellow NYC UP-ers, New York University Press’s blog post about the controversial group of queer nuns, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, is a Pride Month must-read. The post contains a wildly interesting excerpt from Melissa M. Wilcox’s Queer Nuns, a book about the group that is equal parts parody of the Catholic church and activist organization.
FINAL THOUGHTS . . .
I hope this list helps you find something great to read, watch, or listen to. Happy Juneteenth, enjoy Pride Month while it lasts, and get in some sun before you’re sick of it!