Welcome to Books & Bakes!

Books & Bakes is a weekly newsletter celebrating queer lit and home baking. Every week I get loudly excited about queer books, tasty cakes, the woods, my pup, indie presses, and many other wonders. Newsletters alternate between themed book recommendations and recipes (like this) and longform essays, often a deep dive into a particular book from a personal angle (like this).

Queer book recs in my inbox, please!

The Books

Each week I recommend three books on a specific theme. I like exploring themes from many different angles and perspectives, so each newsletter includes books across a wide variety of genres. You can look forward to a mix of fiction and nonfiction, genre and non-genre fiction, challenging books and fluffy ones. A few examples of past themes: What Fuels Us, Bodies of Language, Coming Home, and Queer Grief.

I have a wide and eclectic taste in books, but I love queer lit most of all. I don’t exclusively feature queer books, but 90% of what I read and recommend is queer. I especially love shouting about small press books and under-the-radar gems you probably haven’t heard of.

The Bake

Every newsletter includes a recipe for a tasty treat, sweet or savory. These are a combo of my own recipes and recipes I’ve adapted from cookbooks, blogs, and chefs I love. A few examples: Lemon Curd Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream, Spiced Chocolate Pear Cake, and Chickpea, Onion & Potato Tart.

The Bowl & The Beat

The Bowl: A no-recipe recipe for something delicious I’ve made for dinner recently. These are usually one bowl/one pan meals, seasonal to where I live, quick, and adaptable—stuff like Pork & Broccoli Lo Mein-Ish, Summer Rice & Black Bean Salad, and Lemony Shrimp & Chickpea Stew.

The Beat: Brief thoughts on my current audiobook.

The Bookshelf

A look into my reading life: answers to reader questions, upcoming queer releases I’m excited about, links to my writing around the internet, bonus recs on the week’s theme, and more!

The Boost

A beautiful picture and a (small) collection of links—organizations and organizers to support, mutual aid opportunities, articles, fun nerdy stuff, and more. I also host giveaways! I have a huge stash of amazing books; each week, I select 3-5 to send to subscribers in exchange for donations to the week’s featured mutual aid fund or social justice organization.

Longform Essays

Every other week, paid subscribers receive a longform essay. What I write varies depending on what I’m pondering, but you can expect in-depth book reviews, personal writing about my reading life, and explorations of several books on a (usually queer) theme.

Bookish Teatime

Paid subscribers get access to my Bookish Teatime videos. These are short videos where I talk about my reading life while sipping on a variety of teas. I usually talk about what I’m reading and what I’ve just finished, but sometimes I answer reader questions or explore a particular topic in depth. They don’t come out every week—I make them when I feel inspired or have something I want to talk about in depth.

The Books & Bakes Subscriber Hub

In addition to weekly emails, paying subscribers get access to a folder of unique resources I’ve created for readers and bakers:

  • Review Index: A complete index of all the books I’ve recommended in the newsletter. It includes:

    • 250+ books (and growing!), sorted by genre.

    • One sentence reviews of every book.

    • Links to my reviews, and other reviews I love.

    • Major content warnings.

    • Additional notes (such as whether I loved the audiobook).

  • Audiobook Index: An easily searchable document containing all my short audiobook reviews.

  • All the Bowls: An easily searchable compilation of all the no-recipe recipes I share in the newsletter.

Becoming a paying subscriber

Queer You Year

In 2023, I’m hosting a yearlong reading challenge celebrating queer lit! It’s not about reading as many books as possible. There’s no finish line. It’s about discovering new queer books and authors, stretching outside of our comfort zones, making space for queer joy, and celebrating queer brilliance. There are a bunch of prompts, as well as fun monthly raffles for amazing prizes. I’ll be giving tons of recs throughout the year, and I hope you’ll join the conversation and get loud about your favorite queer books, too. I can’t wait to read with you!

You can find all the details and download the game card here.

About the Writer

Laura Sackton is a queer writer and professional book nerd based in rural Massachusetts. She writes about (mostly) queer lit for Book Riot, BookPage, Audiofile, and elsewhere on the internet.

She was a farmer for 12+ years, and still loves spending time outside, tending to her garden, and indulging in ambitious seasonal coking projects. She’s been an avid reader since she was small, and is currently at work on her first novel. In December, she turns into a cookie monster.

You can find her on Instagram and Goodreads, and get in touch via email at queerbooksandbakes@gmail.com.

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themed book recs + recipes for tasty treats

People

Laura Sackton

Queer writer, baker & book nerd (she/her) queerbooksandbakes@gmail.com