Book vs television

Today’s strip from Baldo (pictured below for reference, credit entirely to the creator) made me think… what was the last book you turned to when “there’s nothing on TV” came to mind?

Baldo, 08-31-2022, by Hector Cantu and Carlos Castellanos

As a member of the LGBTQ community, I’m hungry for representation. With there being so many streaming services, you’d think I could find something that matches my need for good rep (complex integral characters) and good story. But I am not rich as Croesus and only have access to Netflix, Hulu and Paramount+. I hear about series on other streaming services (A League of Their Own, Motherland: Fort Salem, etc.) that would totally interest me, but unless there’s a free trial period I can use to binge, there’s just not space in my budget to watch those any time soon.

I watched The 100, and struggled with the way the Clexa (Clark/Lexa) arc ended, then didn’t, and then the show’s plotline went off the rails. So I had to abandon it. I watched First Kill – cancelled after season 1. Yes, I found it a little uneven, but the “forbidden romance” trope was at least not about the same-sex part of the relationship dynamic. Instead it used the “different houses” variety a la Romeo and Juliet, with one being a vampire and the other a vampire hunter. I watched Batwoman – cancelled after season 3, and while I loved Ruby Rose as Kate Kane/Batwoman, I really thought that Javicia Leslie was brilliant and the backstory given to her character Ryan Wilder really showcased the “city protector” aspect of Batwoman’s mission in a new and powerful way.

But elsewhere on network television, LGBTQ is still largely presented for ratings, brief arcs where being gay is part of the problem or conflict the characters deal with. It’s seldom done as thoughtful, or thought-provoking representation of a whole person.

Grey’s Anatomy notwithstanding. (Happy birthday today, btw, to Sara Ramirez, the incomparable Dr. Callie Torres from that series.)

So I found myself flipping through the show listings on my various options and coming up empty on what I could spend an hour watching…

Finally, I turned instead to reading, and looked through my collection of books and ebooks.

The availability of quality LGBTQ (particularly sapphic) rep in books has been going up for a couple decades now, but in the last 10 years or so, that increase has been exponential. There’s a lot of good/deep and good/light reading. Often perfectly fit to any mood.

In the good/light category, I found When Life Gives You Oranges (Arizona Tape) and I’m in the middle of Match to Love (Johana Gavez). Full disclosure, Johana is a client of LZEdits, but I did not edit this book.

In the good/deep category, I found Of Trust and Heart (Charlotte Anne Hamilton), a 1920s Prohibition Era F/F romance.

So, tell me, when your streaming binges are over, or there’s nothing on TV you’re in the mood for, what’s the most recent book you turned to? Let me know in the comments.

~ Lara

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