Cover Image: The Book of Non-Binary Joy

The Book of Non-Binary Joy

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Member Reviews

This was quite frankly a joy to read. As someone who came out as non-binary late in their life, this is the kind of book I wish I could have found while in my questioning stage. Not only does this book focus on finding joy in being non-binary, but all of the information given can be used in many life situations. From how to handle emotional labor to setting boundaries. I didn't find a single bit of information to be unhelpful. This book is perfect to give to someone who is just starting their non-binary journey or an ally who wishes to learn more.

The only thing I caution, is it felt especially geared towards femme presenting non-binary individuals. And I wish there had been an equal focus on the masculine.
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I gave this a five stars! I love how it resources and people to follow on social media. It had word searches and cross words. That will be fun in the finished copy. This book is great for people who think they are non binary, ally’s, or people wanting to learn more about non binary people.
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This truly was a book of pure joy. When I read on my Kindle, I like to use different colors to categorize things as best as possible. I used yellow to highlight quotes that resonated deeply with me. Out of my 89 highlights, 21 of them were yellow.

As part of my educator's union, members can sometimes hold book studies. I think this could be an amazing book study to hold for other educators. 

When reading this book, I tried to look at it through the eyes of my younger self, who I think would have needed this book quite deeply. Ben themself mentions throughout the book that some pieces of the book are not for everyone, and this is certainly true. While I perhaps didn't need makeup recommendations, I did need reminders that I do not carry the weight of responsibility of education on my shoulders.

"We are not a trend. We are finally getting the visibility we deserve." This phrase outlines itself the importance of a book like this. Since coming out as nonbinary (agender, to be specific), I have struggled with visibility and understanding. Books like [book:I Wish You All the Best|41473872] have been so encouraging. That was the first book I'd ever read with a main character who used my pronouns! Since then, I have been realizing that the literature is out there... it simply wasn't made *visible* to me. 

This book was far from perfect, of course, because quite simply not everybody's viewpoints on how to approach activisism will perfectly align. That being said, I felt the way Ben approaches educating allies in the book to be that gentle yet informative way that I find to be the most amicable way of doing so that allows for sense and understanding. 

I definitely want to give this book to anyone with questions about being nonbinary. Whether that be someone questioning their identity or a new ally. Perhaps the next time I get invasive questions, I'll just shove this book at them instead of carrying the burden myself, as the author suggests. This book was a pleasant reminder that I do not have to feel exhausted perpetually defending my gender expression and who I am.

My last note! I would recommend a physical copy of this book. There are segments of it that are interactive and using my Kindle did decrease my enjoyment of those parts a bit. Which is not the book or the authors fault, of course!
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Thank you to NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. 

This book feels like a hug to my younger self. I was not familiar with Ben Pechey before reading this book, but their voice comes through instantly and it was so warm and inviting, and an integral part of the reading experience. Covering a broad range of topics surrounding the non-binary experience, this book provides an easy to absorb, introductory guide into all things non-binary. Paired with beautiful illustrations, fun activities, and bulleted takeaways to wrap up each chapter, I believe that any reader of this book can take away something from reading it, whether or not they are non-binary. It is so refreshing to see a book specifically about being non-binary, something I never had when I was younger and struggling with my identity, and that was part of what drew me to read it. While a lot of the content was things I already knew for myself, I enjoyed getting some of my experiences affirmed and I know that this book will be a valuable resource for many people.
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This book was a wonderful, comforting experience for me as a non-binary individual. Ben Pechey put words to so many different things I've felt over the years as I tried to understand my own gender identity and tried to explain that to others around me. This is definitely one that I want to keep on hand just as something to turn back to, to read through again, to use as a reference when someone tries to invalidate my existence. Just to have it on the shelf and know those words are there if I need them. I'd also recommend this to anyone who's trying to understand their non-binary loved one's experience. This isn't a book for allies, it's not a guide on how to wrap your mind around something you haven't experienced, but it is a peek into what it's like. There's one section specifically for allies, but the rest holds something you could use, too. It holds experience and discussion of trauma and things that your loved one might not be able to put into words or might be too afraid to. And for non-binary folks, there were some parts in here that hit home. I don't know if that'd be a universal experience, but I'd say it's worth it.
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Super cute and affirming! I would definitely recommend this for middle school and high school ages. The illustrations are great, and the key takeaways at the end made the book very digestible.
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Thank you to Jessica Kingsley Publishers for this ARC copy!
Firstly, I'm really glad that books that centre queer joy are starting to come into existence. This is a friendly, optimistic guide to embracing your identity and all of the beauty and pain that can come with that. I don't think it's necessarily something I personally need at this point in my journey with my identity, but there's definitely a space for books like this to exist for young (and older) questioning people. There's a lot of space for pain in the community, as unfortunately a lot of pain exists, but there's so much joy and freedom too and it's a beautiful thing to see explored. It's a book with good intentions. It's quite basic, and fairly non-political, but well-meaning.
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Welp - here it is. My first five star of the year and already in my top reads of the year.

As I mentioned in my 2022 in review, I wanted to read books with more queer representation, as well as more non-fiction reading. However, I would have read this book if that wasn't one of my goals. It's phenomenal. I have been following Ben Pechey on Instagram for years and when I found out they were writing a book, I could not have been more excited.

When I tell you how much I cried during this book, it was because of all of the truths I didn't realize that I needed to hear. Ben did a beautiful job writing this book, and I can't wait for it to come out so I can not only buy myself three copies, but I can give a copy to my mom, my partner, my tattoo artist, and just about everyone I know.

Each chapter is wrapped up beautifully, listing takeaways, and the book is sprinkled with illustrations as well as activities to keep you engaged. I would have read this book in an entire sitting if I could have, but sleep was not my friend.

It is an immense privilege to have been able to read this book before its release. Thank you so so much to Ben Pechey, Net Galley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for the e-ARC. I cannot wait for its release so I can see everyone else read it.
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I want to praise this book for making joy the focus. We can all use more joy and having a positive perspective can change everything. In terms of content I found there wasn't anything groundbreaking in this book (it felt more like a blog or a collection of bite size posts) but that makes it accessible to everyone, particularly to the younger readers. I'd say its target audience could be young adults aged 12-18. It covers a bit of everything without delving too deeply (perhaps to keep the content light). It is full of good resources though and they suggest people to follow on Instagram, movies to watch, fashion brands that offer gender neutral clothing, etc. Some suggestions were really random, and just things the author enjoyed rather than being specifically nonbinary focused, but if it brings joy I'm all for it!
There is also a chapter at the end full of links to therapy and lgbtq organisations for those who need it. Kudos for that.

There were some opinions I didn't always agree with, but Pechey is very aware that everyone's experience is different and
acknowledges this at the end of the book. They even list other books to check out if theirs missed the mark.

Overall, I'd say it's an entry book for those newly aware of their nonbinaryness or those who aren't frequent googlers (although I feel like that is a rite of passage where you're trying to figure out your identity? 🤣). It's nice to have the joy in one neat little book and to remind people that they are awesome and they are valid. 😊
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A good, basic starter for anyone wondering if they don't fit the binary. Full of examples and definitions and resources. Will be a great book for teens, young adults, and parents/loved ones of non-binary folk.
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a delight to read, told me some things I really needed to hear, too.
I am nonbinary. I have been pretty secure in that fact for about 5 years now. but sometimes the inner critic is really mean. but Ben is really kind. and it really helped.
At the start, I feel like the book was still trying to find it's footing, to get everything together, and nail the audience it is aiming for, but it blossoms eventually. I would predominently recommend it for trans people (both enby and binary) people who are still new to this world of self discovery. 
There is a lot of information here, and not everything is relevant for everyone. (being on the masculine side of things, I have kindly skipped the advice on makeup, for example), but the well meaning outstretched hand of "let me show you what helped for me" is a very powerful tool.
Thank you, Ben, for writing this one. 


just...please stop calling me darling?
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This truly was a delight. Like a slow-burn romance, or satisfying session of self-indulgence and self-care. There were times that I was worried that it might fall short, that it might leave me wishing it was more, but as I sat with it and let its content seep in I realised how much it was already doing. I accepted the book for what it was already doing and allowed myself to see that magic that it already contained. 

There was a lot in this that a cisgendered person (such as myself) can take on board as good life advice; but I'm really glad that this book caters specifically to non-binary people. My main takeaway and one of the books' very well made points: is to be absolutely in awe of non-binary and trans people for already being several steps ahead of cisgendered people on the journey of self-understanding. 

Ben's voice is crucial to this book. Both in terms of how they come across as a character but also to help understand intonation occasionally. Their voice just bounces off the page. So much so that I imagined I could hear them talking to me. 

And - while not wishing to give them more work! - if they could read this as an audiobook it would be just *chef's kiss!" (not to mention more accessible for the visually impaired or those whose neuro-divergence is more receptive to audio than visual). However, having said that - I recognise the puzzles would present difficulties.

I would also suggest (if I may) that the book cover is changed to feature Ben. Fashion and visual representation is obviously important to Ben as a person, to their journey as a non-binary person and as a theme of the book itself. I'm not a marketing exec, but as a consumer I felt more connected to Ben as the author after I looked them up online and saw photos of them on their agency's page. 

I wish Ben the very best as the next chapters of their life are written - can't wait to hear/see what they do next. 
Thank you to Jessica Kingsley Publishers for an ARC via NetGalley
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This book would be great for those nonbinary folks and their allies struggling to find a place.  The author does a nice job of creating a safe space within the book. The prose gets a bit sugary for me in places, but others might find it welcoming. It is a warm book that is open, validating, and welcoming throughout, and if you or someone you know is struggling with being comfortable with their identity, I would definitely recommend this book.
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As someone who has, within the last year or so, started that journey into my gender identity and everything that surrounds it, i loved this book. It was reassuring and helpful while refraining from simply telling you everything will be okay. It would be great for a high school book club or those Allie’s just beginning to learn about the gender identity side of the LGBTQ+ spectrum as the author helpfully provides important terms and definitions without seeming pedantic. It’s also great for those like me who have already been on their journey and want the reassurance that they’re “doing it right”. The author’s voice really shines through with a pervasive sense of style that I enjoyed.
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