2022 Bestsellers & Collective Picks

From escalating conflicts between nuclear states, to accelerating attacks by christofascists in schools, libraries, public spaces, and private homes, it felt like 2022 foreshadowed a grim next chapter. But it was also a year abuzz with new and creative patterns of resistance. Community members poured into our store looking for information on workplace organizing, resources for queer and trans youth, and books about community health and bodily autonomy. When the news cycle was too heavy we reached for fiction, and found ourselves gravitating towards novels and short story collections whose characters faced threats similar to our own.

Presented here is a list of a dozen new fiction and nonfiction titles that resonated with members of our collective, and the regulars who kept us busy through a third pandemic year!

Showing 13 - 24 of 24 items

An impassioned and accessible contribution to the radical catalog, this book invites readers to view the world in a whole new way. Drawing from queer theory, feminism, and abolitionism, Branson has produced an enormously valuable introduction to anarchy and an argument for the relevance of anarchist ethics in daily life. Along the way, they answer the big questions, like "would anything get done if we weren't made to work?," "isn't art just a waste of time?," and "do I have to be polyamorous?"
Libertie, The Firestorm Collective

[A] bouquet of compelling arguments for queer beastliness and depravity, as well as desire and connection, as imagined by queers themselves… The ultimate gift of this collection is to illuminate our own monstrous qualities and temptations, to bring us closer to what’s uncomfortable, disgusting, disobedient and vicious within us, but also to what’s exciting, ecstatic, pleasureful and liberatory.
—H Felix Chau Bradley, author of Personal Attention Roleplay

Sherronda continues to introduce us all to a new and/or deeper perspective on (a)sexuality, queerness, and desire with razor-sharp racial analysis, limpid prose, and incredible research… Sherronda proves with Refusing Compulsory Sexuality that they are a leading thinker in asexuality scholarship; gender and sexuality studies will never be the same.
—Da'Shaun L. Harrison, author of Belly of the Beast

Lyrical, visionary, and transcendent, Rehearsals for Living creates a literary maroon space deeply rooted in unique and overlapping histories and presents in which to dream abolition, home, love, land, liberatory forms of governance, life itself. While chronicling the continuing unfolding calamities of settler colonialism and racial capitalism with care and razor sharp clarity, Simpson and Maynard point readers to portals to different futures through the infinite possibilities of Black-Indigenous resistance.
—Andrea J. Ritchie, co-author of No More Police: A Case for Abolition

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The stories in RUIN contemplate our various dystopias, worlds riven by the slow-motion chaos of climate collapse or political unraveling, by the late-term effects of a series of communal failures. But it is not the chaos or loss that is Hoffman’s subject… Hoffman shows us that it is the relationships and alliances we form, and the love we defiantly put back into the world, that are the best, perhaps the only, path to building a better world.
—Ranbir Sidhu, author of Deep Singh Blue

Drawing on staples of traditional fantasy such as reluctant, mismatched heroes on a quest, The Spear Cuts Through Water subverts expectations with its language, point of view, and narrative choices. Readers looking for self-aware fantasy with folkloric overtones and the sensibilities of an epic poem—look no further. Jimenez’s novel is an intricate, multilayered story speaking in multiple tongues at once. Fans of diverse, nuanced epics like Black Sun and the Broken Earth series will find this worth their while.
—Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of Son of the Storm

[A]n instant classic. Yes, that sounds hyperbolic. Yes, I fit into the target demographic as an educator and (relatively new) parent. But that doesn't really matter, at the end of the day, because Trust Kids is written to every single person who has ever been a kid. Which, after all, is each and every single one of us. The essays, art, and poetry contained within this collection made me weep with joy on countless occasions.
—Pearson Bolt, Coffee with Comrades

Margaret has a singularly principled approach that comes through every story: read this collection to help orient yourself in quiet forests and in near-future battlegrounds alike. We Won’t Be Here Tomorrow is the rare book that is both knife-sharp and empathetic, that shows you how to fight and also makes you consider why. Read it, tell your friends—your enemies will scramble to catch up.
—Bogi Takács, editor of Transcendent 3

A deeply vulnerable work, Róisín interweaves her personal experiences growing up as a Muslim queer Bangladeshi in Australia and the US with meditations on what healing can look like—not just for individuals, but the collective as a whole, and how working with the land is a necessary part of that healing. This book is for anyone who is interested in trauma-informed practices with a survivor memoir perspective, and for anyone who understands that healing is non-linear, and cannot be done alone.
Glenda, The Firestorm Collective

Rebecca Beyer gives readers ways to come to know the spirit of a place, forming deep, intimate relationships with its plants, animals, minerals and history… The detailed information about botanicals, and methods of growing and gathering them, will be a handbook for beginners and inspire those who have already begun walking the path of the bioregionalism witch.
—Lynn Woike, paganpages.org

I am so thankful that trans activist and scholar Z. Zane McNeill brought together fifteen scholars, artists, and activists to share their nuanced, vibrant take on all things Appalachian and queer. Readers will appreciate the honest, raw call-outs of racism, gendered violence, and environmental injustices that simultaneously reclaim indigeneity, Blackness, non-binary genders, and queerness as local in origin and equipped to build new queer archives that push and gather us together.
—Mary L. Gray, co-editor of Queering the Countryside

[A]n unabashed ode to living with, and despite, pain and mortality. I love this book’s understanding of how tightly grief can tangle itself with elation, and how loss might elicit possession. It is also riotously, delightfully queer, featuring, hallelujah, so many characters who weren’t straight that I had trouble remembering if anyone even was heterosexual.
—R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries