Books / Culture

VQ Picks: Books


You can’t go wrong gifting books to friends and family. Sure, some devout users of e-readers will consider a book to be a quaint reminder of yesteryear, but even Kindle users need something to display on the Billy Bookshelves they bought ten years ago at IKEA or at least something to use if a coaster is not handy. And some of these are for the kiddies who may prefer a book to an e-reader.

Here are some of the books our contributors recommended for you. I’ve described them in topline formation. For reviews and purchasing, please select our Amazon affiliate link so that we can benefit from your purchases and continue to maintain the site. Of course, if your family member owns a bookstore, we understand that you may have to shop elsewhere. But for all your other needs, the link will be right where you left it.

Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, written by Louise Erdrich

Native Americans. North Dakota. Cross-dressing. Mystery. Subtle humor. Sexy seniors.

Louise Erdrich

Everywhere Babies, written by Susan Meyers & illustrated by Marla Frazee

Board book for preschoolers. Beautiful water-colors. Sweet rhymes. Babies getting loved up. All kinds of families.

Everywhere Babies

Redefining Realness, written by Janet Mock

Janet Mock, journalist and advocate. To be released in February 2014. Memoir. Transgender. Multiracial. Economically challenged. Advocate for trans girls. Trans-sisterhood. Being true to yourself.

Redefining Realness

 What Makes a Baby, written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth

Birds and bees for Y2K. For 3-7 year-olds. Inclusive for all kinds of families and appropriate for all kinds of children.

What Makes A Baby

The Different Dragon, written by Jennifer Bryan and illustrated by Danamarle Hosler

Ages 3-8. Jackie Paper has two moms and meets Ferdinand the Bull if Ferdinand were a dragon. Beautiful illustrations.

Different Dragon

The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, written by S. Bear Bergman

Author of Butch is a Noun. Collection of essays. Honest words about gender and identity to entertain and enlighten. Lambda Literary Award finalist.

The Nearest Exit

The World Unseen, written by Shamim Sarif

The Color Purple meets apartheid South Africa in the 1950s. Won the Pendleton May First Novel Award and a Betty Trask award. The author and her partner produced and directed the film version.

 The World Unseen

Better Nate Than Ever, written by Tim Federle

YA novel for 4th – 8th graders. Semiautobiographical. Sibling rivalry. Bullying. Gay and questioning teens. Humor. 13-year-od Nate runs away from home to audition for a musical in New York City and discovers a world very different to his small town hometown.

 Better Nate Than Ever


Jack, written by Shannon LC Cate

Post Civil War United States. Girl living as a boy runs away from orphans’ home thieving and gambling to get by. Finds love, but that love must survive many obstacles.


And Baby Makes More, Edited by Susan Goldberg and Chloe Brushwood Rose

Collection of essays about making families. Known donors. Non-bio parents. Creating rules and role models.

 And Baby Makes More

Love Song for Baby X: How I Stayed (Almost) Sane on the Rocky Road to Parenthood, written by Cheryl Dumesnil

Infertility, high-tech fertility business, pregnancy and loss against a backdrop of the marriage equality movement. Failure wrapped in humor. Spoiler alert: happy ending.

 Love Song

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