The holidays are here! For many, it’s one of the most magical times of the year, perfect to snuggle up next to a fire or into your favourite reading chair and get lost in the ups and downs of the new and hottest page turners. With weeks (and months) of winter ahead, I compiled a list of the 7  most scandalous, hilarious, groundbreaking and buzzworthy book titles of the season.


  • The Boy Who Brought Down A Bathhouse
    By Rolyn Chambers (Toronto, Canada)

The first book on the list is also the first book written by it’s author – Toronto gossip columnist & socialite, Rolyn Chambers. This harrowing debut is a juicy tell-all of the time Chambers spent as the last manager of the infamous gay bathhouse, St. Marc Spa, on Yonge Street. Chronicling the final two-and-a-half years of one of the city’s largest and most troubled bathhouses, the true tales of the men who worked and played in this environment are combined with Chambers’ difficult journey maintaining a monogamous relationship.

In a valiant attempt to reinvent its image, Chambers and the bathhouse owners created the country’s first licensed stand-alone entertainment space (inspired by New York’s legendary Continental Baths), which led to some of the most memorable events to ever take place in a bathhouse. Through 32 chapters of text and pictures, readers will get an inside look into some of the bygone venue’s most eclectic spaces and events, including redesigned rooms by some of the city’s most celebrated LGBTQ+ icons, and live sex shows featuring international gay adult film stars.

The Boy Who Brought Down A Bathhouse will keep you invested from cover to cover; you may even know someone in the book as there’s an entire appendix listing people and businesses mentioned. When I said it was juicy, I meant it!

“Grab a towel, your adventure awaits.”

[Available in-store at Glad Day Bookshop or online.]



  • Call Me By My Name
    By André Aciman (Egypt/USA)

This book may not be a new release but the buzz surrounding it is at an all time high. Originally published in 2008 by the Egyptian/American author of Out of Egypt, André Aciman, this fiery fiction title is now a major motion picture directed by Luca Guadagnino, an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), named “The Best Film of 2017” by The Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and nominated for three Golden Golden Awards, including Best Motion Picture, Actor (Timothée Chalamet), and Supporting Actor (Armie Hammer) in a Drama.

Described as “an instant classic” and “one of the great love stories of our time,” Call Me By Your Name is about a homosexual romance between an adolescent teen and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. The book was awarded with multiple accolades, including the Lambda Literary Award for Fiction, New York Times “Notable Book of the Year,” Publishers Weekly and The Washington Post’s selection for “Best Book of the Year,” and Chicago Tribune and Seattle Times selection for “Favorite Book of the Year.”

Call Me By Your Name is a memorable story that transcends LGBTQ+ visibility, humanity, sex, and above all else, love.

[Available wherever in-store and online wherever books are sold.]



  • The Great Gas Bag: An A-to-Z Study Guide to Surviving Trump World
    By Joy Behar (NYC, USA)

Who doesn’t loveJoy Behar? Stand-up comedian, long-time co-host of The View, and NY Times bestselling author, takes a stab at Donald Trump (almost literally) in her new political satire, The Great Gas Bag: An A-to-Z Guide to Surviving Trump World. A clever play on the title of the literary classic, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a tale of a man who built himself an illusion to live by… Sound familiar?

So have no fear! The beloved Joy V. Behar is here! She’s going to walk you through the next four years of Trump World as she has ba powerful voice in the opposition against the Orange House both on ABC’s The View and on social media with an audience in the millions. She’s unleashed the ferocious Italian woman within penning a no holds barred response to the insanity unfolding in Washington; nothing is off limits!

The Great Gas Bag reads like an A-Z guide (G is for Gold . . . en shower; P is for Pence and Pussy-grabbing; T is for Tweets; Twits, and Twats, etc.), and Joy, joined by New York Times bestselling humor author Larry Amoros, offers this ravenous takedown as a much-needed dose of “levity and humor for everyone determined to #resist.”

[Available in-store and online wherever books are sold.]



  • The Hate U Give
    By Angie Thomas (Jackson, MS, USA)

One of the biggest most impactful breakout books of the year was February’s The Hate U Give by author Angie Thomas, a Creative Writing graduate from Jackson, Mississippi. The book is Angie’s debut, a Young Adult novel which soared to the top of the New York Times bestseller list (for an astounding 38 consecutive weeks) and reviewed by The Globe & Mail as “the book everyone should read this year.” It is currently being made into a motion picture starring Amandla Stenberg, and Angie is getting ready to release the sequel, On the Come Up, in May 2018.

In early December 2017, however, Angie’s powerful and popular story was banned from an Independent District School Board in Katy, Texas, after superintendent Lance Hindt ignored policies and had it pulled from shelves regardless. Angie took to Twitter to comment on the nonsensical ban of her book with poise: “Instead of responding, I will continue to spotlight the positive stories from teachers, librarians, and educators around the WORLD about how #TheHateUGive has impacted their students. Thank you for the support.” Mic drop.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Thomas’s debut novel is a searing tale about sixteen-year-old Starr Carter, an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances, who addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty.

[Available in-store and online wherever books are sold.]



  • If The Fates Allow: A Holiday Anthology
    By Various LGBTQ Authors of Interlude Press (NYC, USA)

Interlude Press is an award winning American publishing company based out of New York City. Founded in 2014, they’ve published multiple books written by LGBTQ+ authors, offering promotions for their work and a professionally developed reader-author community. 

Their latest is a collection of warm-hearted holiday stories by Interlude Press authors Killian B. Brewer, Erin Finnegan, Lilah Suzanne, Lynne Charles, Pene Henson, and edited by Annie Harper. It includes serendipitous short stories like True North, where small town girl Shay Allen returns to her home in Montana only to get snowed in with an old crush named Milla, and Last Call at the Casa Blanca Bar & Grille, where the somber Jack Volarde mourns the death of his lover but a suave bartender helps brighten his holiday spirit.

If The Fates Allow is a holiday anthology that speaks to queer folk’s memories and experiences over the holidays, something that isn’t projected in any avenue of society. Especially over the holidays. Each story acts like a rainbow coloured ornament on a Christmas Tree, ready to stand out and be seen from a cozy chair by a warm fire.

[Available in selected bookstores and online.]



  • The Last Black Unicorn
    By Tiffany Haddish ( Los Angeles, CA, USA)

From stand-up comedian (the first black female comedian to host SNL) and breakout star of 2017’s summer hit, Girls Trip, comes The Last Black Unicorn by the one and only Miss Tiffany Haddish. When hosting SNL, the funny woman starred in a sketch of the same name as her debut book, where she literally and gloriously portrayed a black unicorn in a slapstick fantasy world. Now she’s here to tell us the real-life story behind her glitz and glamour.

Growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, Tiffany learned to survive by making people laugh. On her promotional book tour – from The View to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah – Tiffany couldn’t say it enough: comedy saved her life. Whether she’s plotting shocking revenge on an ex-boyfriend or navigating the avenues of her newfound fame (despite still having a broke person’s mindset), this rising star of  the year’s approach to writing is hysterical, heart-felt, and brutally honest. After years of struggling, Tiffany Haddish is now a household name, and her rags-to-riches success story proves to be as filthy as it is hilarious! She opens all the way up, putting herself out there for people to truly see and understand. She’s humble, grateful, down-to-earth and of course, funny as all hell.

The Last Black Unicorn will keep you laughing from chapter to chapter – you’ll want to share the stories with friends and family – propelling Haddish’s mission statement, to make an audience laugh. 

[Available in-store and online wherever books are sold.]


  • Who Are You? The Kid’s Guide To Gender Identity
    By Brook Pressin-Whedbee (Berkeley, CA, USA)
    Illustrated by Naomi Bardoff (San Francisco, CA, USA)

“What do you like? How do you feel? Who are you?“

These are the questions some adults may want to ask themselves moving into 2018, not just children. Written by Brook Pessin-Whedbee – mother of three gender-bending little ones, elementary Reading Specialist, supervisor of the Developmental Teacher Education program, and founder of the Gender Inclusive Schools alliance at UC Berkeley – she is a celebrated educator and advocate in every sense.

In her brightly illustrated children’s book, Brook provides a to-the-point introduction to gender for anyone aged four and up. The book presents clear and direct language for understanding and talking about how we experience gender: our bodies, our expression, and our identity. An interactive three-layered wheel included in the book is a simple – yet powerful – tool to clearly demonstrate the difference between our body, how we express ourselves through our clothes and hobbies, and our gender identity.

Ideal for use in the classroom or at home, a short page-by-page guide for adults at the back of the book further explains the key concepts and identifies useful discussion points. This is a one-of-a-kind resource for understanding and celebrating the gender diversity that surrounds us.


[Available in-store at Glad Day Bookshop or online.]

About the Author

Joey Viola is the Co-Founder of MoJo Toronto and an LGBTQ community leader who utilizes his passion and flair for the art of writing by bringing a fresh perspective in reviewing entertainment and advocating for equality, tolerance, and social/political justice.