The Pacific Northwest loves to read, and what better way to get book suggestions than to ask around? In this monthly feature, we ask prominent North West residents which books they read, re-read and recommend – and why.

June is Pride Month, so who better to ask for than the manager of Seattle Pride? In addition to being a mother of four children and former municipal councilor of Burien, Kristal Marx is a writer herself – and she could “talk about books all day”. Between getting ready for the Pride Parade and Pride in the Park events, Marx shared what she reads and recommends with us.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I am currently reading “Leah on the Offbeat” by Becky Albertalli. Is it a young adult fiction? Yes…but it’s one of the few books that has a body-positive heroine who also happens to be bisexual. Reading this book feels like an act of kindness to myself at 17, as I remember the feeling of exploring my own bisexuality amid the general adolescent angst and contemplation of the future. . I loved Albertalli’s other bestselling book, “Love, Simon” [and the resulting movie], and how these two books show us a world where parents show love and acceptance to their LGBTQIA+ children. As a stepmother to a transgender teenager, I love every page!

Which book have you read the most?

I’ve read and re-read Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series more times than I can remember. It’s an urban fantasy set in San Francisco that plays with traditional fairy mythology, which I love, a heroine with the odds against her, political machinations and consequences as realistic as you’d expect in a work of fiction . What I love most, however, is how concrete the queer relationships are in these stories; no fanfare or huge “coming out” moments, just relationships established the same way, regardless of gender or gender identity or expression. These books are what I turn to when I need a break, and McGuire’s world-building is so all-encompassing that I haven’t found anything better.

What book do you recommend others read and why?

With everything going on in our society and to our rights, our bodies, and even our times, I think everyone, especially millennial women, should read “Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger” by Soraya Chemaly. I had a gut reaction reading page after page as I came to accept how acceptable anger is, and that it can be a valuable tool to lean on in a world where women are often meant to swallow that particular emotion in favor of more pleasing ones. When so many things are happening at us instead of by For us, Chemaly’s book provides insight into why we feel the way we feel and, more importantly, what we can do about it.

— compiled by Scott Greenstone

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