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Queer Icons and Their Cats

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These cat lovers are out and purr-oud! Freddie Mercury, Sylvia Rivera, Alison Bechdel, Dusty Springfield. This book is a celebration of queer icons of the past and present and their furry feline friends. From images of lost legends such as Josephine Baker and James Baldwin, to snapshots of contemporary trailblazers like comedian Tig Notaro and fashion designer Jason Wu—thes These cat lovers are out and purr-oud! Freddie Mercury, Sylvia Rivera, Alison Bechdel, Dusty Springfield. This book is a celebration of queer icons of the past and present and their furry feline friends. From images of lost legends such as Josephine Baker and James Baldwin, to snapshots of contemporary trailblazers like comedian Tig Notaro and fashion designer Jason Wu—these charming and eccentric photographs capture what it truly means to be a cat purr-son. • PURR-FECT FOR CAT LOVERS: This book celebrates the love between human and cat. What better gift could you get the feline fancier in your life? • AMEWSING ANECDOTES AND IMPAWTENT MOMENTS: Learn about the lives of the queer heroes who came before us and those who are still fighting for equality and inclusion. We're not kitten around—with watershed moments like the Stonewall riots and sweet stories of domestic bliss, this book will both entertain and inspire you. • PHOTOS WITH CATITUDE: In these purr-ecious photographs, you'll get to see your heroes in unguarded moments expressing love for their pets. This collection of images will bring joy to any cat lover's heart. Perfect for: • LGBTQIA+ cat lovers and the people who shop for them • Anyone interested in learning more about influential queer figures—and their pets!


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These cat lovers are out and purr-oud! Freddie Mercury, Sylvia Rivera, Alison Bechdel, Dusty Springfield. This book is a celebration of queer icons of the past and present and their furry feline friends. From images of lost legends such as Josephine Baker and James Baldwin, to snapshots of contemporary trailblazers like comedian Tig Notaro and fashion designer Jason Wu—thes These cat lovers are out and purr-oud! Freddie Mercury, Sylvia Rivera, Alison Bechdel, Dusty Springfield. This book is a celebration of queer icons of the past and present and their furry feline friends. From images of lost legends such as Josephine Baker and James Baldwin, to snapshots of contemporary trailblazers like comedian Tig Notaro and fashion designer Jason Wu—these charming and eccentric photographs capture what it truly means to be a cat purr-son. • PURR-FECT FOR CAT LOVERS: This book celebrates the love between human and cat. What better gift could you get the feline fancier in your life? • AMEWSING ANECDOTES AND IMPAWTENT MOMENTS: Learn about the lives of the queer heroes who came before us and those who are still fighting for equality and inclusion. We're not kitten around—with watershed moments like the Stonewall riots and sweet stories of domestic bliss, this book will both entertain and inspire you. • PHOTOS WITH CATITUDE: In these purr-ecious photographs, you'll get to see your heroes in unguarded moments expressing love for their pets. This collection of images will bring joy to any cat lover's heart. Perfect for: • LGBTQIA+ cat lovers and the people who shop for them • Anyone interested in learning more about influential queer figures—and their pets!

30 review for Queer Icons and Their Cats

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tonya

    Aaamaazing!!!!!!! With icons like Freddie Mercury, Elton John, George Michael, Josephine Baker and Janis Joplin, just to name a few, how could you resist? This is a work of art full of breathtaking images of celebrated and infamous notable individuals of our time, with their beloved felines. I was captivated by the memorable photographs depicting these notorious cat lovers. Being a cat lover myself, I could not get enough. I loved learning about the lives of these influencers and their furry com Aaamaazing!!!!!!! With icons like Freddie Mercury, Elton John, George Michael, Josephine Baker and Janis Joplin, just to name a few, how could you resist? This is a work of art full of breathtaking images of celebrated and infamous notable individuals of our time, with their beloved felines. I was captivated by the memorable photographs depicting these notorious cat lovers. Being a cat lover myself, I could not get enough. I loved learning about the lives of these influencers and their furry companions. I was fortunate to receive an ARC, but still anxiously anticipating a physical copy so I can savor all of the beautiful and stunning pictures. Thank you NetGalley and Chronicle Books for this treasure. 5 purrfect 😻⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gerhard

    Jujubee and her beloved cat Priss look absolutely radiant in the cover photograph of this book. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to capture a shot like this, but if on point as it is here, it reveals a lot of the personality of both feline and owner. In fact, a lot of the celebrity cat owners featured here (a lot of whom I had never heard of before) seem more relaxed in the presence of their furry friends, which adds a wonderfully disarming quality to many of the portraits. Some are rea Jujubee and her beloved cat Priss look absolutely radiant in the cover photograph of this book. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to capture a shot like this, but if on point as it is here, it reveals a lot of the personality of both feline and owner. In fact, a lot of the celebrity cat owners featured here (a lot of whom I had never heard of before) seem more relaxed in the presence of their furry friends, which adds a wonderfully disarming quality to many of the portraits. Some are really old photographs, such as the sepia shot of Clifton Webb, while others are old in the sense that they show the cat owners at an impossibly young age (Elton John and George Michael spring to mind.) Others stretch the definition of ‘cat’, such as Ahohni at the Bronx Zoo with an orphaned big cat. One of the cleverest pics is that of Sharon Needles and her careful positioning of a cat statue (there is a real pussy as well, no need to raise an eyebrow), while the severest shot is of Judith Butler, looking stern against a white staircase, with a cat positioned a few steps behind her – and looking even sterner, if that is possible. My only complaint is that some of the portraits are clearly ‘snaps’, in the sense that there is little professionalism involved (where the poor cat has ‘green’ eye and appears to be a blob held rather gamely by their human, as if they will make a bolt for it at the slightest relaxation of the hold – which of course they will do. They are cats, after all.) Plus the fact that one can never have enough cat pics, so the limit of one per celebrity is a tad parsimonious. Each photograph is accompanied by a brief essay elaborating on the human’s claim to fame and their connection to the feline world. The collection is certainly eclectic, ranging from trailblazing trans porn star and producer Buck Angel (love that name!) to Matthew Mitcham, Chaz Bono and Marlene Dietrich. Despite the assertion in the introduction that the emergence of ‘cat men’ is challenging toxic masculinity, the majority of these photographs are of women. Not that this is any issue, of course, as the authors note: Ultimately, the nonhuman animal world is not as binary as our human society’s gatekeepers would have us believe. Animals don’t about human social constructs like gender, and they don’t discriminate based on sexuality. Cats, in particular, expect to be revered and adored by all humans …

  3. 4 out of 5

    CYIReadBooks (Claire)

    I just loved the cover photo of Jujubee! And I expected a lot more photos of that same caliber. Unfortunately, it turned out not to be the case. I was somewhat disappointed. As for the queer icons, there were what I considered only a handful such as Freddy Mercury, George Michael, Chaz Bono, and Elton John. I did like the bio's that were provided for all of the people featured in the book as I got to learn more about them and their love of cats. Not much else to say except that I would have loved I just loved the cover photo of Jujubee! And I expected a lot more photos of that same caliber. Unfortunately, it turned out not to be the case. I was somewhat disappointed. As for the queer icons, there were what I considered only a handful such as Freddy Mercury, George Michael, Chaz Bono, and Elton John. I did like the bio's that were provided for all of the people featured in the book as I got to learn more about them and their love of cats. Not much else to say except that I would have loved more cat photos. Two stars. It was okay. I received a digital ARC of the book. The review herein is completely my own and contains my honest thoughts and opinions.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Bayer

    I loved this. I loved the photos, the biographies, the diversity, all of it. Famous LGBTQ folks from all walks of life are profiled, from scientists to actors to activists -- Elton John to Rachel Carson to Marlene Dietrich to Sharon Needles to Anthony Perkins and so many more. Each bio takes up one page and is accompanied by a photo of the person with their cat (or a cat). A couple of reviewers griped that lots of the photos were of the people with "random" cats but that was only the case in a c I loved this. I loved the photos, the biographies, the diversity, all of it. Famous LGBTQ folks from all walks of life are profiled, from scientists to actors to activists -- Elton John to Rachel Carson to Marlene Dietrich to Sharon Needles to Anthony Perkins and so many more. Each bio takes up one page and is accompanied by a photo of the person with their cat (or a cat). A couple of reviewers griped that lots of the photos were of the people with "random" cats but that was only the case in a couple of photos and the people were still known to be cat lovers. One person is pictured with a big cat in a zoo, but the bio noted that she spent significant time visiting animals at the zoo on a regular basis and you can see she's clearly comfortable hanging out with the animal. The photo of Josephine Baker is with a leopard but the bio said it was hers. Some of these photos are decades old so you can't really blame them for not having a perfectly posed picture with one particular cat. Do note that most of the photos aren't the professional, posed types like the cover. The modern ones tend towards that type but many of the others just show the people relaxing at home with their cat or something like that. I like that better, but don't expect all artistic cat-and-icon images. All three of my oldest kids would love this book. I highly enjoyed it myself. This is another book that I'd probably give as a Christmas present if it were going to be released in time. I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    Wonderful book, that gives you exactly what it says on the cover. It contains photographs of wide range of people (and their cats) who have influenced the LGBTQ community, accompanied by a short bio of each person, what they mean to the community and how felines played a part in their lives: Great job on fitting so much info in such a short space, and still have it be comprehensive and to the point. Kudos to the writer/editor.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anwen Hayward

    Uncorrected proof received via Netgalley - bear that in mind! A small bugbear, first of all; this book would really be better called 'Queer Icons and Cats', because only about half of the cats in here actually belong to (or perhaps own, depending on your view of feline/human relationships) the aforementioned queer icons. That's not a criticism, just an observation! This book is an interesting volume, with a photo of a famous queer person and a cat on one page and a brief description of the person Uncorrected proof received via Netgalley - bear that in mind! A small bugbear, first of all; this book would really be better called 'Queer Icons and Cats', because only about half of the cats in here actually belong to (or perhaps own, depending on your view of feline/human relationships) the aforementioned queer icons. That's not a criticism, just an observation! This book is an interesting volume, with a photo of a famous queer person and a cat on one page and a brief description of the person (and sometimes the cat) on the other. It's really at its best when it's delving into the personalities of the cats involved; it's a sad fact that cats outshine humans in terms of beauty, interest, personality and talent in absolutely all cases, and although I'm a big fan of many of the people included in this book, the cats were definitely the best bit. Special mention to the trash-eating cat of a Michelin-starred chef. The audacity of that kitty is truly inspiring. All jokes aside, I genuinely enjoyed learning about the nuances of these people's personalities as conveyed through the lens of their interaction with our feline overlords; I think a lot can be said about a person by how they treat cats. I also really appreciated the broad spectrum of people included here, from James Baldwin to Rachel Carson, Elton John to Bobbi Salvor Menuez - it was a great representation of how variegated the term 'queer icon' really is and should be. I think we often limit our perception of queer icons to people like Lady Gaga, Madonna and David Bowie, and don't really include the often doubly marginalised activists who actually do the work for queer liberation. This book did, and I think that's really to its credit. The one thing that irked me somewhat was how so many of the bios in this book read a bit like resumés or advertisements. The biographies of historical figures, particularly James Baldwin, were nuanced, insightful and informative; I felt like they gave the reader both an overview of the individuals' contributions to queer culture and their personality in general. However, many of the bios of current queer people, particularly that of Frenchie Davis, were more like press releases than anything else, The writing in these ones came across like marketing copy, and it chafed a little; I don't need to be advertised to when I'm reading a book purportedly for edification or entertainment. That said, it was an enjoyable little read, and I can absolutely see why they picked that photo of Jujubee for the cover. I kind of want it as a poster to decorate all my good rooms (the rooms my cat favours.)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Madelon North

    Thank you to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for the early digital copy of this in exchange for a review. I loved reading about all the icons and the subsequent cats. There were so many people included that I hadn’t heard of and now am glad I know a little sliver of their life and work. The prospect of cat photos is what drew me to the book and it didn’t disappoint. This would make a beautiful coffee table book to dip in and out of! The only thing that is a bit misleading is that not all the cats Thank you to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for the early digital copy of this in exchange for a review. I loved reading about all the icons and the subsequent cats. There were so many people included that I hadn’t heard of and now am glad I know a little sliver of their life and work. The prospect of cat photos is what drew me to the book and it didn’t disappoint. This would make a beautiful coffee table book to dip in and out of! The only thing that is a bit misleading is that not all the cats are owned by the people highlighted, that doesn’t bother me, but it may for some others.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dmitry

    To clear my head, I'm flipping through an album of photos of queer icons with their cats, kindly provided by the publisher, as they say in such cases. The personalities range from E.M. Forster and Marlena Dietrich to drag queens and porn stars. Each photo is accompanied by a page of text about the role cats have played in their lives. The most powerful photo is of Judith Butler with her cat Pluto. And the cutest one is of Anthony Perkins in a barrel. To clear my head, I'm flipping through an album of photos of queer icons with their cats, kindly provided by the publisher, as they say in such cases. The personalities range from E.M. Forster and Marlena Dietrich to drag queens and porn stars. Each photo is accompanied by a page of text about the role cats have played in their lives. The most powerful photo is of Judith Butler with her cat Pluto. And the cutest one is of Anthony Perkins in a barrel.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is a coffee table book of famous queers, past and present, with their cats. Some are posed, as the cover is, some are from historical documents. Anthony Perkins is shown with his cat, as is Elton John. The modern icons, the ones who I have never heard of because I guess I am not keeping up with the current queer icons, look more posed, perhaps having been shot for this book. It is interesting reading the little one page blurbs about each icon, and how they are important to queer history. And This is a coffee table book of famous queers, past and present, with their cats. Some are posed, as the cover is, some are from historical documents. Anthony Perkins is shown with his cat, as is Elton John. The modern icons, the ones who I have never heard of because I guess I am not keeping up with the current queer icons, look more posed, perhaps having been shot for this book. It is interesting reading the little one page blurbs about each icon, and how they are important to queer history. And it is fun to go through history and see how cats were favorite pets of people like Freddy Mercury, who would call his cats when he was on tour. It is rather fun that queer culture has a coffee table book, now, with LGBTQ people and their cats. Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gillian

    What I thought would be simply a humorous compilation of pictures ended up being an informative book on queer history and the connection between LGBTQ+ folks and our cats. I learned about so many different icons who I never realized were LGBTQ+. I also learned there are statistics to somewhat backup the stereotype of queers and cats. Overall this is was such an enjoyable read with photos and stories that brought the biggest smiles to my cat-loving lesbian face.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mandy Hazen

    So stinking cute. First I love cats so I was mesmerized but also it was so cool to read about some famous influential backgrounds while seeing a personal side to them. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kaeli

    I received an uncorrected proof of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The nature of this book lends itself to a short review, but I really enjoyed reading this book, and can definitely see it as being a great coffee table book. I'm excited to pick up a physical copy when it is published. It's an adorable set of short artist biographies paired with photos of the artists and their feline friends. I received an uncorrected proof of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The nature of this book lends itself to a short review, but I really enjoyed reading this book, and can definitely see it as being a great coffee table book. I'm excited to pick up a physical copy when it is published. It's an adorable set of short artist biographies paired with photos of the artists and their feline friends.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Geha

    Queer Icons and their Cats by Alison Nastasi & PJ Nastasi Snapshots and brief biographical sketches of new and well known queer icons…with their furry feline friends. This book has forty or more personalities with even more cats photographed with them. I met authors, musicians, artists, actors, poets, philosophers, film critics, models, directors…and more and all love and adore their pets just as their cats love their humans. Great for a coffee table, as a gift for a cat loving queer friend, or f Queer Icons and their Cats by Alison Nastasi & PJ Nastasi Snapshots and brief biographical sketches of new and well known queer icons…with their furry feline friends. This book has forty or more personalities with even more cats photographed with them. I met authors, musicians, artists, actors, poets, philosophers, film critics, models, directors…and more and all love and adore their pets just as their cats love their humans. Great for a coffee table, as a gift for a cat loving queer friend, or for anyone interested in a glimpse into the lives of any or all of the people in this book. Thank you to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4-5 Stars

  14. 5 out of 5

    melissa

    Absolutely stunning photographs with interesting dialogues about each icon. *Digital review copy provided by the publisher & NetGalley.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mehsi

    I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. I just couldn’t resist this book. I love cats (despite being allergic to them), I love LGBT books, I love photography books. So this seemed a match made in heaven and I was eager to start reading it. In this one we meet various LGBT icons and their cats. Along with a photograph we also get some information on the icon, what they did in life, family, their cats, and other things. It was quite interesting to read especially since I I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. I just couldn’t resist this book. I love cats (despite being allergic to them), I love LGBT books, I love photography books. So this seemed a match made in heaven and I was eager to start reading it. In this one we meet various LGBT icons and their cats. Along with a photograph we also get some information on the icon, what they did in life, family, their cats, and other things. It was quite interesting to read especially since I don’t know a lot of the people mentioned. Some truly famous people I recognised, but others, not really. So I liked finding out about these people, discover all about them. I loved that the cats aren’t just house cats. We also see leopards and other cats that one may not want as a pet. I loved the diversity and it made seeing each photograph even more fun. What kind of cat would be on there? A house cat? Which one? A not-so-house cat? Which one? I loved that this book isn’t just about people who live now/are alive now. It also features LGBT icons who died. Like Freddie Mercury. All in all a good book to read and very interesting. I love the photographs and learned about people. Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

  16. 5 out of 5

    kel

    I love cats and this was a fun look into the lifes of celebrities and their cats. Not the greatest thing I've ever read but definitely perfect for cat lovers. I love cats and this was a fun look into the lifes of celebrities and their cats. Not the greatest thing I've ever read but definitely perfect for cat lovers.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    2.5 stars This review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below. review I am absolutely the person who will squeal delightedly when strangers want to show me photos of their cats on their phones in shopping lines or waiting rooms, so I can be lured into just about any activity if cat pictures are promised. The opportunity to learn more about cat-loving queer figures also struck 2.5 stars This review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below. review I am absolutely the person who will squeal delightedly when strangers want to show me photos of their cats on their phones in shopping lines or waiting rooms, so I can be lured into just about any activity if cat pictures are promised. The opportunity to learn more about cat-loving queer figures also struck me as one not to be passed up. I am mostly pleased that I took advantage of this opportunity, because not only were there cat pictures (as promised!) but there were so many interesting queer icons profiled in this book. Each icon gets about a brief page of biographical information which also includes their relationship to folks of the feline persuasion (some of these biographies felt more like resumes, to be honest, and were pretty dry, but others were not). Natasi seems to have made an effort to put together a broad cross section of (often intersectional) LGBTQ folks, reaching back more than a century in some instances as well as highlighting contemporary figures. The photos do not always depict the human subject’s actual pet(s). That was kind of disappointing, actually. Surprisingly, the portraits are not necessarily flattering to human or cat, either, but it is nice to see folks in more candid moments than their official portraiture typically presents. I rather wonder how the photos were selected. (Yes, every image is credited in the back of the book, but I’m not curious enough to compare photographer and subject for each picture, though it is at least possible to do so.) There were, of course, professional photographs as well, or at least ones which were obviously more deliberately staged. These were more flattering, but I think less interesting. As many nice things as I have to say about the book, this is very much a book to be read over a long period of time, rather than all at once. Reading this all at once was a bit like reading a hagiography, which can be interesting and informative, but also a bit of a grind. It would be a great gift or addition to a library collection, and invites readers to do further research on their own due to the brevity of each icon’s entry (an impulse made easier by an extensive suggested reading section). This is an ideal coffee table book, or a bathroom book (this is not a snub, perfect bathroom books are very hard to find). rating scale 1 star - I was barely able to finish it. I didn't like it. 2 stars - It was okay. I didn't dislike it. 3 stars - It was interesting. I liked it. 4 stars - It was excellent. I really liked it. 5 stars - It was extraordinary. I really hope the author wrote more things.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Date reviewed/posted: December 7, 2020 Publication date: May 4, 2021 When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is once again closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from # Date reviewed/posted: December 7, 2020 Publication date: May 4, 2021 When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is once again closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Freddie Mercury, Sylvia Rivera, Alison Bechdel, Dusty Springfield. This book is a celebration of queer icons of the past and present and their furry feline friends. From images of lost legends such as Josephine Baker and James Baldwin to snapshots of contemporary trailblazers like comedian Tig Notaro and fashion designer Jason Wu—these charming and eccentric photographs capture what it truly means to be a cat purr-son. This is a nice book of pictures of cats and their owners...no, no one owns a cat....they are owned by a cat. Dogs have owners, cats have staff. The mini-essays are nicely written (and informative if you do not know the person) and the cats are adorable - a great book to show people that LGBTQIA is normal and nice and talented ... or to help those who identify as queer never, ever, ever feel guilty about it. you are who you were born to be!) perfect for libraries and people alike. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jenni V.

    **I received an electronic copy of this book via NetGalley and would like to thank the author and/of publisher for the opportunity to read and honestly review it** First Impressions/Judging a Book by Its Cover The title and cover photo of Jujubee (a drag queen I recognize from RuPaul's Drag Race) made this an immediate grab for me when I saw it on NetGalley (disclaimer for receiving a free copy below). Since I'm writing this before downloading it, my only concern is that books with pictures don't a **I received an electronic copy of this book via NetGalley and would like to thank the author and/of publisher for the opportunity to read and honestly review it** First Impressions/Judging a Book by Its Cover The title and cover photo of Jujubee (a drag queen I recognize from RuPaul's Drag Race) made this an immediate grab for me when I saw it on NetGalley (disclaimer for receiving a free copy below). Since I'm writing this before downloading it, my only concern is that books with pictures don't always translate well on e-readers. That wouldn't be the book's fault and I would note that in my review but I really hope that's not the case because I'm really looking forward to this book. My Opinion I enjoyed this book. It's very clear what to expect so it's always a little tough to review...if the book looks interesting to you, you won't be disappointed because the authors do a good job with the concept and material. There was an interesting statistic about pet ownership in LGBTQ households vs. straight households. A 2007 survey found that 71% of LGBTQ households owned pets compared to 63% of straight households, and that LGBTQ are more likely to own cats (63% vs. 52%). I don't want to draw too many conclusions from that stat alone but the theory that pets bring unconditional love and that's something that LGBTQ people may be less likely to receive from humans did make sense to me, unfortunately. The pictures were good and clear with a mix of color and black/white. The icons weren't all familiar to me, with a range from different ages and time periods, and the authors were respectful and gave lots of information about their accomplishments. The 'queerness' may have been the reason for their inclusion in the book but it wasn't exploited or told in a salacious way. The spin about the pets made it more than "Wikipedia" entries and it really showed the research by including quotes when possible. I will note that most interviews and photos were not specifically for this book so I can't speak on if 'experts' would feel the same as I do about the information being new and unique but I think the tradeoff of being able to include such a wide range of people is worth it. As a note since I mentioned it in my 'First Impressions', there were 2 mistakes with my copy that I'm not factoring into my rating but am noting. The photo of Clifton Webb was missing/omitted and the information about Ossie Clark was unfinished (it still had editing notes in the text). Find all my reviews at: https://readingatrandom.blogspot.com

  20. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Queer Icons and Their Cats is a stylish and affectionate look at beautiful kitties and their dedicated humans. Due out 1st June 2021 from Chronicle Books, it's 112 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. This is an illustrated collection of 40 LGBTQ+ icons and the kitties they adore. The chapters are arranged alphabetically and include an array of actors, musicians, artists, writers, and cultural icons alongside their beautiful Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Queer Icons and Their Cats is a stylish and affectionate look at beautiful kitties and their dedicated humans. Due out 1st June 2021 from Chronicle Books, it's 112 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. This is an illustrated collection of 40 LGBTQ+ icons and the kitties they adore. The chapters are arranged alphabetically and include an array of actors, musicians, artists, writers, and cultural icons alongside their beautiful animal companions (mostly cats, but there are a few canines who are included alongside their feline siblings). The pictures are accompanied by short and informal blurbs about the artists and what they're best known for. The accompanying photos are mostly taken from public archives and aren't "coffee table book" polished... in fact most are quite informal and a number of them appear to be from the subjects' personal collections. Each of the short biographies is accompanied by a photo of the subject and one or more cats. A number of the subjects are sadly departed; many are still with us. I loved that the authors made the salient and touching point that our cats are one of the most unacknowledged social support networks for LGBTQ+ people. Four stars. This would make a good selection for gift-giving for cat loving friends and acquaintances. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I read the digital edition of this book, so I'm not sure what the measurements of it are, but it would make a lovely coffee table book. I can definitely picture it at my salon among their magazines and books. If you are looking for a long, serious portrayals of LGBTQ+ icons, this isn't the right book. It's much more for fun and light reading. I say hooray for that! We need books about queer joy, and pictures of queer icons plus cats is a good start. A mini-bio accompanies each portrait, and thro I read the digital edition of this book, so I'm not sure what the measurements of it are, but it would make a lovely coffee table book. I can definitely picture it at my salon among their magazines and books. If you are looking for a long, serious portrayals of LGBTQ+ icons, this isn't the right book. It's much more for fun and light reading. I say hooray for that! We need books about queer joy, and pictures of queer icons plus cats is a good start. A mini-bio accompanies each portrait, and through this book I learned about some really intriguing icons I didn't know about before now, namely Mimi Simic, Lynn Conway, and Ophelia Pastrana. Several of my favorites appeared, as well, like Jes Tom, Freddie Mercury, and Tig Notaro. I do wish it was longer and included more of my favs, like Megan Rapinoe, Janelle Monae, Tove Jansson, and Gillian Anderson, but there's no way a book could ever really cover all the queer icons in the world, or their cats. This book would make a great gift for every cat lover and LGBTQ+ activist in your life, and there's probably a good amount of overlap there (as the book suggests). It'll be coming out right before pride month, so look for it at your local bookstore displays. I was provided a digital arc through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pat House

    I love Queers. I love Icons. I love Cats. I love this book! “Queer Icons and their Cats” is a wonderful collection of modern and vintage pictures of people with their cats. Sounds simple, right? On one level, it is. Get a bunch of celebrities pictured with their feline friends and voila: Coffee Table Book! Yet on a different level, collecting and curating these photographs had to have been laborious task. As cited in the Introduction, there is a great crossover between cat culture and queer cultu I love Queers. I love Icons. I love Cats. I love this book! “Queer Icons and their Cats” is a wonderful collection of modern and vintage pictures of people with their cats. Sounds simple, right? On one level, it is. Get a bunch of celebrities pictured with their feline friends and voila: Coffee Table Book! Yet on a different level, collecting and curating these photographs had to have been laborious task. As cited in the Introduction, there is a great crossover between cat culture and queer culture. The short biographies of the humans, as well as some of the cats, are informative as well as entertaining. I knew most of the icons, but there were several I did not. I was happy to increase my knowledge of the drag and trans scenes. There are many first-person quotes and accounts included, some by the subjects themselves, which is a harbinger of good research. Apart from Rachel Carson, all the icons included self-identified as queer during their lifetimes. I would like to have seen captions on the pictures but that is a quibble and not a critique. There are depictions of cheetahs included in this album which I find problematic, even though one is vintage and another purportedly taken at a zoo. Apart from that, all the felines included seem happy or at least consented to be photographed and become the centers of attention they are. If you love cats and queers, you will love this book too.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    [netgalley disclaimer] This book is certainly full of queer icons --as if the cover didn't give that away with our Queen Jujubee. There are some you'll expect like Freddie Mercury, well known for his love of cats; but there are also some that will be a surprise. A pleasant surprise for me was the inclusion of Josephine Baker as her sexuality was not as publicized when she was alive --oh yeah, and her "cat' was a CHEETAH! There are a few other big cats and I really appreciate them because they are [netgalley disclaimer] This book is certainly full of queer icons --as if the cover didn't give that away with our Queen Jujubee. There are some you'll expect like Freddie Mercury, well known for his love of cats; but there are also some that will be a surprise. A pleasant surprise for me was the inclusion of Josephine Baker as her sexuality was not as publicized when she was alive --oh yeah, and her "cat' was a CHEETAH! There are a few other big cats and I really appreciate them because they are so cute and really make the book so much more exciting. The snippets of biographical information about the people and their pets is nice. Some of the photographs feel like little intrusions into the lives of our favorite celebrities. Some of the photographs feel more like awkward candids that also happen to feature cats. Those certainly feel like stretches and that they were used simply to include notable queer icons like James Baldwin. I really like the inclusion of women in STEM in this series like Lynn Conway and Rachel Carson. I am a little hesitant to be too excited about Carson and some other not out in their lifetimes queer icons listed as I have mixed feelings on whether or not they would have self-identified in the way the book presents.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marie Raymond

    Boring Photos of People with Their Cats Based on the glamorous cover photo of the drag performer Jujubee, I thought the book would be filled with similar photos of various human beings, on some spectrum of the LGBTQ, dressed to the 9s (meow!) and with some kind of cat. So, what is actually in the book are some lighthearted short bios/stories about various people you might term "celebrity", who identify with the LGBTQ label, and who own a cat. The book seems to be an occasion to celebrate LGBTQ cele Boring Photos of People with Their Cats Based on the glamorous cover photo of the drag performer Jujubee, I thought the book would be filled with similar photos of various human beings, on some spectrum of the LGBTQ, dressed to the 9s (meow!) and with some kind of cat. So, what is actually in the book are some lighthearted short bios/stories about various people you might term "celebrity", who identify with the LGBTQ label, and who own a cat. The book seems to be an occasion to celebrate LGBTQ celebrities that own a cat. Hey, why not? So, if you are a person who will buy anything with cat pictures in it...This is your book. And if you are a person who will buy anything that has an LGBTQ theme...This is your book. If you are a person, like me, who likes looking at stunning fashion shots like the Cover Photo, this is NOT your book. Looking at the cover was the only gratification I got...oh...except for a profile in there of someone I knew a long time ago before they became famous. That was a nice bonus. The bios are quite nice, but as this is supposed to be a "coffee table photo book", if the photos are boring, and the stories are "nicey nicey stories about people and their cats"...it only gets 3 stars from me for "being nice" and boring.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Rideout

    I was granted complimentary access to an eARC of Queer Icons and Their Cats by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This was great! I wasn't sure if this was going to be just labelled pictures or what, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that every full-page photo is accompanied by a full-page mini bio about the icon (and cat) featured. In digital format, the order is photo, bio, bio, photo, which I assume means they're printing photos back-to-back on appropriate I was granted complimentary access to an eARC of Queer Icons and Their Cats by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This was great! I wasn't sure if this was going to be just labelled pictures or what, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that every full-page photo is accompanied by a full-page mini bio about the icon (and cat) featured. In digital format, the order is photo, bio, bio, photo, which I assume means they're printing photos back-to-back on appropriate paper and bios back to back on a lighter stock, but this added the fun element of "do I know who this one is?" on every second photo. Another fun game to play: spot the "cats" that aren't domestic house cats. I spotted 2 cheetahs, an ocelot and a chihuahua (who also had a feline friend.) Whether this ends up being your coffee table conversation starter or just a favourite pleasure read on the shelf, this is a great book to have around if anything about the LGBTQIA community speaks to you.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ben Ostrowsky

    Queer Icons and Their Cats does what it says on the tin, mostly: a page or two about a famous queer person and the beloved animals in their lives, with a photo filling the opposite page depicting them with a cat. Frequently it's their own companion; sometimes it's a cat who lives with someone else. But with one appalling exception, it's always adorable. Unfortunately, the copy I saw also included a certain self-proclaimed “man with a pussy” along with a glowing description of him. That guy isn’t Queer Icons and Their Cats does what it says on the tin, mostly: a page or two about a famous queer person and the beloved animals in their lives, with a photo filling the opposite page depicting them with a cat. Frequently it's their own companion; sometimes it's a cat who lives with someone else. But with one appalling exception, it's always adorable. Unfortunately, the copy I saw also included a certain self-proclaimed “man with a pussy” along with a glowing description of him. That guy isn’t a queer icon, he’s a jackass who was assigned jenny at birth. He said non-binary people like me don’t deserve access to hormones, and he said that when a trans woman is murdered by her date, it's her fault if she didn't disclose beforehand that she has a penis. I’ve explained to the publisher that he’s no angel, and my opinion of the book will be heavily influenced by his inclusion or removal. I am grateful to the authors, the publisher, and NetGalley for a free advance review copy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarah C

    Queer Icons and Their Cats is amazing. I enjoyed the little blurbs about each queer icon and how while it did focus on their queer contributions, focused more on their cats and their relationships with animals. So often, when you find a non-fiction book on the queer community, it focuses solely on what they mean to the community. This book focuses on that meaning while also allowing us to see something else: their relationship with that the most regal of beasts, the cat. I cannot wait to purchas Queer Icons and Their Cats is amazing. I enjoyed the little blurbs about each queer icon and how while it did focus on their queer contributions, focused more on their cats and their relationships with animals. So often, when you find a non-fiction book on the queer community, it focuses solely on what they mean to the community. This book focuses on that meaning while also allowing us to see something else: their relationship with that the most regal of beasts, the cat. I cannot wait to purchase this book for my bookshelf so that I can look at the beautiful pictures any time that I wish. I have a few friends I want to gift this book to as presents. The pictures are absolutely beautiful. The antecdotes on the relationships with cats - especially the ones from the page on Freddie Mercury - made me smile. This book is a purrfectly warm snuggle. ** ARC PROVIDED BY NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **

  28. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way. This is an absolutely beautiful book and it combined many of my favorite things: photography, queer history, and cats. The photos are gorgeous and the profiles are interesting. I learned about some people I had not heard of, and some I had but had not known were queer - and many I'd known were queer but didn't know were cat lovers! Many of the profiles have made me w I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way. This is an absolutely beautiful book and it combined many of my favorite things: photography, queer history, and cats. The photos are gorgeous and the profiles are interesting. I learned about some people I had not heard of, and some I had but had not known were queer - and many I'd known were queer but didn't know were cat lovers! Many of the profiles have made me want to learn more about their subjects, and I definitely want to purchase a physical copy of this book for myself when it comes out, as well as a couple for some friends. It is the perfect coffee table book, and a great jumping off point for learning about influential queer figures. Plus kitties!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Cunningham

    I didn’t really get what I expected with this book. I was prepared for a book that focused more on personal stories between known LGBT+ persons and their cats. This is more of a gift/ coffee table style book, that introduces you to some very cool gay icons, who also happen to like cats. You get a short bio about each person featured, and a nice picture of them with a cat (often but not always their own.) I don’t recommend this if you’re looking for that feline-friendly heart tug. However, I do re I didn’t really get what I expected with this book. I was prepared for a book that focused more on personal stories between known LGBT+ persons and their cats. This is more of a gift/ coffee table style book, that introduces you to some very cool gay icons, who also happen to like cats. You get a short bio about each person featured, and a nice picture of them with a cat (often but not always their own.) I don’t recommend this if you’re looking for that feline-friendly heart tug. However, I do really like the variety and diversity in the people featured. And I think it’s a really cool way to be introduced to some new personal heroes. I think if you either like viewing different portrait styles, or are looking to introduce/ be introduced to more LGBT+ personalities, this could be a good starting point.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    This was a fun and fast read that reminds me of a coffee table book. it gives a lot of information about various queer icons, and shows fun photos of them with cats. I learned about several people I didn't know before, have a few books to add to my reading list, and overall really enjoyed the book. It also includes some fun facts, books, films and achievements of queer people. One of my favorite facts was that Freddie Mercury liked to call his cats when he was away from home. They also didn't sh This was a fun and fast read that reminds me of a coffee table book. it gives a lot of information about various queer icons, and shows fun photos of them with cats. I learned about several people I didn't know before, have a few books to add to my reading list, and overall really enjoyed the book. It also includes some fun facts, books, films and achievements of queer people. One of my favorite facts was that Freddie Mercury liked to call his cats when he was away from home. They also didn't shy away from queer people who had sad histories, which I think is really important when discussing Queer Icons and history. Especially inclding HIV+ queer people. I will reccomend this book once it's released, and am thinking about buying a copy for one of my queer friends. Overall a short, informative, fun Queer book.

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