I sound like a broken record, but I am trying to recover from this bout of hopelessness. Forever my ray of sunshine, Inge has tagged me in the Queer Eye Book Tag. Listen, I love Queer Eye. And, not to sound like a hipster, but I also loved the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Let’s do this.
How it works: the Queer Eye Book Tag consists of five categories, one for each of the Fab Five – Food & Wine, Fashion, Grooming, Design, and Culture. For each category, pick a book that comes to mind. Finally, there’s a category inspired by the #QEHipTips, which we’ll call #QEBookTip. This is where you recommend your favorite queer books. When you’re done, tag your friends!
Listen, I am nerd. I like research, and I also geek out over things wile overanalyzing data. So. Let me begin with this article that ranks the Queer Eye peeps. In the comments, let me know if you agree with this article.
Queer Eye Expert #1: Antoni~ Food and Wine:
Books with good food in them are hard to come by because not many of them involve cooking with others. If there’s anything I love about food it’s probably the communal aspect of it. Whether it is the preparation of food or consuming it, I am all about people gathering around food.
Naturally, I am going to go with The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. It dives into enjoying food and not being stick-thin. The main character bonds with a certain someone by going to the grocery store, predicting music playlists, and just talking frankly about food. There’s a lot to be said about the implications of people with bigger bodies openly enjoying food. I liked how Albertalli handled this tension in this book.
Plus, how awesome is it that the main character is known for being a good cook/baker! It’s nice.
Oh, I guess also The Hobbit has some serious food that I just envy Bilbo for having such a feast.
By the way: There’s been talk about Antoni. Here, check this out. Then, tell me what you think. Is Antoni dumbing things down for the guests on the show? What constitutes good food and wine?
Queer Eye Expert #2 Tan (Aka “The French Tuck Enthusiast”) ~ Fashion
I know the natural progression here would have to be The Selection by Keira Cass, but I also want to throw out there that Vin from Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn experiences similar fashion-heavy influences. I do like that she is a rebel in terms of female fashion in the society she lives in. Plus, I adore the way she evades gender-related cultural norms. She is the one protecting Elend. It’s not the other way around.
Jonathan (Aka “Yas Queen”)~Grooming
Two books come to mind. I’ll start with the one I don’t remember very well: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. It emphasized the need for extreme grooming–you know, the kind that involves surgeries. From what I remember, the story involves someone who somehow goes against this tradition.
Another really powerful book that includes grooming is The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead. It showcases women who are trying to get married into a high-class society in a colonized country. It is really good. I love these books.
Queer Expert #4 Bobby (AKA You Forgot Me Again)~ Design
There are quite a few fantastical worlds with excellent design. Here are my favorite societies designed in a book. First, listen, I am curious about the way society works in Born Wicked (The Cahill Sisters trilogy) by Jessica Spotswood. In particular, it’s fascinating how the patriarchy versus the feminine sphere of the community function. There is certainly a power-play going on in that world. Gosh dang it, I need to get a copy of that third and final book.
I actually don’t dislike Bobby. I feel like this article can be a good way to ease into a discussion around trauma, rejection, and isolation within a religious community.
Queer Expert #5 Karamo (AKA “Let’s Talk about our Feelings, bro”)~Culture
It’s hard to really pinpoint a novel that has a strong bit of culture. I think An Ember in the Ashes has a bit of a clash between various sub-cultures. Another view of two warring cultures is in the Winner’s Curse and its subsequent books. I still think of Kestrel and how clever she is, the amount deceit she has to use to balance between the people she loves.
Before I tag people, I’ll end this post with another article that definitely got me thinking about queerness and how straight people communicate with that on the show.
People I tag: