Final Bibliographies

Over the Rainbow Press Release ALAMW 2019

SEATTLE – The Over the Rainbow Booklist committee of the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (ALA-GLBTRT) considered 469 books this year, 284 fiction and 185 nonfiction titles.  After careful reading, wide-ranging discussion, and due deliberation, the final Booklist consists of 50 fiction titles in 5 categories (Short Stories, Poetry, Literary and General Interest (combined), Graphic, and Genre (all genres)) and 54 nonfiction titles in 4 categories (Academic, Memoirs/Biographies, History, and General Interest).  

With the expansion of queer publishing across the rainbow, we read an incredibly diverse collection of titles from major, independent, and self-publishers.  Themes running through books this year include: the pros and cons of visibility; the resilience of individuals telling complex stories in their own voices that blurred lines between queerness and disability, class, ethnicity, race, religion and age; a ‘second phase’ of publishing, past the introduction of issues, that addressed law and medical practices; resilience in the face of oppression and violence; and the effects of history on both individuals and culture, envisioning a future outside current circumstances.


The top ten fiction and nonfiction titles for the 2018 Over the Rainbow Booklist are:

 

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, Image Comics

David Bowie Made Me Gay by Darryl W. Bullock, Overlook Press

Harvey Milk by Lillian Faderman, Yale University Press

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, Graywolf Press

House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara, Ecco/Harper/Collins

Living Out Loud, Michael Murphy, editor, Routledge

Mean by Myriam Gurba, Coffeehouse Books

Othered by Randi M. Romo, Sibling Rivalry Press

So Lucky by Nicola Griffith, Macmillan

Trap Door, Reina Gossett, editor, MIT Press

 

 

 

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2019 Nonfiction Titles

2019 Over the Rainbow Nonfiction Titles

Academic Works
(Download PDF) Over the Rainbow – Academic Works

Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left. Malik Gaines. NYU Press, 2017. An academic look at black embodiment and its expression, from the silver screen to the political theater. Gaines observes how radical black performers from W.E.B Du Bois to Sylvester communicate resistance to (and transcendence from) hegemonic understandings of gender, race, and sexuality.

Children of Harvey Milk: How LGBTQ Politicians Changed the World. Andrew Reynolds. Oxford University Press, 2018. A unique look at how politics affect the LGBTQ community and the LGBTQ politicians that help bring about the changes needed for the community. Reynolds does an excellent job at not only looking at past politicians but current game changers as well.

Circulating Queerness: Before the Gay and Lesbian Novel. Natasha Hurley. University of Minnesota Press, 2018. A look at the emergence of homosexuality as a genre and the ways in which history and society influenced it prior to and after its exposure.

Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction: Essays on Power, Consent and the Body. Ashton Spacey. McFarland, 2018. Research exploring the ever-changing complexities of queer fan fiction as a genre and how marginalized voices are both heard and ignored in the fiction and among slash fan communities; delves into subjects including asexual, disabled, male pregnancy, violence between partners, and dubious consent, to a depth not usually plumbed.

For the Hard Ones: A Lesbian Phenomenology. tatiana de la tierra. A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2018. This provocative, compelling, straight forward Colombian Lesbian perspective is an excellent addition to any academic library. tatiana de la tierra shares her insight into lesbian relationships and the intersectionality with culture with no regrets and no apologies, and we can always use more of that perspective.

Gay Priori: A Queer Critical Legal Studies Approach to Law Reform. Libby Adler. Duke University Press, 2018. A densely-packed and penetrating study on the reasons behind the priorities of the queer law reform movement and the continuing neglect of those marginalized populations who are most in need (formal equality versus redistribution or equity).

Gay, Inc.: The Nonprofitization of Queer Politics. Myrl Beam. University of Minnesota Press, 2018. Beam presents case studies arguing that the mainstreaming of queer activism is tied to a nonprofit system that actually reinforces institutionalized inequality.

Gender Ambiguity in the Workplace: Transgender and Gender-Diverse Discrimination. Alison Ash Fogarty, Lily Zheng. Praeger, 2018. This work addresses what it is like to be a trans-identifying individual in San Francisco. This informational piece allows a reader to understand potential issues that could arise, but focuses more on ways for employers and workplaces to be inclusive to transgender employees.

Growing Up Queer. Mary Robertson. NYU Press, 2018. Explores a groundbreaking time where children and adolescents are able to identify and explore themselves as the new ‘normal’. This informative work investigates how growing up with this open-mindset has intertwined with other parts of development and culture.

LGBTQ Divorce and Relationship Dissolution. Abbie E. Goldberg, Adam P. Romero, eds. Oxford University Press, 2018. There is a lack in LGBTQ academic study for a basic textbook specifically geared toward covering LGBTQ relationships terminating. This book changes that and covers patterns amongst LGBTQ relationship dissolution giving insight into ways LGBTQ families may handle a variety of issues that may arise during separation. It pulls its information from a variety of essays written by leading experts and is broken into four easy to read segments making it suitable for a classroom text or a single situation reference manual.

Life and Death of Latisha King: A Critical Phenomenology of Transphobia. Gayle Salamon. NYU Press, 2018. An unflinching look at the 2008 murder of 15-year old Latisha King by her classmate. Salamon thoroughly covers reportage and court documents surrounding the event as she peels apart language and even gesture to expose the inner workings of the “transphobic imaginary” at the heart of violence against the gender-transgressing.

Living Out Loud: An Introduction to LGBTQ History, Society, and Culture. Michael Murphy, ed. Routledge, 2018. Excellent beginner textbook for any university LGBT centered course. It covers a variety of topics and is well laid out. The freedom they give to contributors to use whichever acronym fits the situation they are discussing is also unique. You can even find sexual identities not typically discussed like those found in the BDSM and Kink community.

Other, Please Specify. D’Lane Compton, Tey Meadow, Kristen Schilt, eds. University of California Press, 2018. This text is targeted to those in the field of sociology, but offers important guidance for any researcher. Created by those practicing in the field, the book gives insight on how to work with and research within an often-targeted community.

Post-Borderlandia: Chicana Literature and Gender Variant Critique. T. Jackie Cuevas. Rutgers University Press, 2018. Running with the theme of intersectionality this year Post-Borderlandia covers gender identity, race, power dynamics and Trans issues and their effects on current Chicana and Chicanx narratives. It’s a powerful addition to feminist, LGBTQ, and Latinx/a/o studies.

Punishing Disease : HIV and the Criminalization of Sickness. Trevor Hoppe. University of California Press, 2018. This study examines the rise and application of criminal laws, and the public health system support of coercive and punitive responses, to the HIV/AIDS crisis, and gives an overview of how others suffering diseases have been punished historically.

Queering Autoethnography. Stacy Holman Jones, Anne M. Harris. Routledge, 2018. This work illuminates how autoethnography is a hybridizing of the personal and the theoretical – this short, powerful book connects personal queer experience to oppressive places, institutions, and cultural norms of power to advocate a collective fight for justice.

Semi Queer: Inside the World of Gay, Trans, and Black Truck Drivers. Anne Balay. University of North Carolina Press, 2018. Offers a look into the world of long-haul trucking. Through oral history interviews, queer and minority trucker drivers share their stories of their daily lives, as well as prejudice and exploitation they have faced in their line of work. It is also an examination of why long-haul trucking holds appeal for some people from these same communities.

Struggling for Ordinary: Media and Transgender Belonging in Everyday Life. Andre Cavalcante. NYU Press, 2018. Solid research from historical and media rhetoric lenses alongside interviews of people from different eras and age groups in the midwestern United States. He looks at the “tipping point” of transgender identity, the tension between acceptance and queerness, and various solutions for belonging lived by transgender individuals.

Theater of the Ridiculous: A Critical History. Kelly I. Aliano. McFarland, 2018. A scholarly survey of the movement that highlights the radical possibilities of camp, from the development of the genre to the contemporary theatre scene, with special attention paid to Charles Ludlam, Maria Montez, Jack Smith, and Ethyl Eichelberger.

Trans Kids: Being Gendered in the Twenty-First Century. Tey Meadow. University of California Press, 2018 This survey gathers firsthand accounts as to what it’s like growing up as the first-generation with affirming families who have gender nonconforming kids.

Transgender Sex Work and Society. Larry Nuttbrock. Harrington Park Press/Columbia University Press, 2018. Scholarly examinations of topics related to transgender sex workers, in the United States and abroad. Substance use, mental and physical health, crime and violence are some of the topics of study, and several areas needing more research are mentioned.

Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility. Reina Gossett, ed. MIT Press, 2017. Visibility and its discontents drive this volume of essays on trans life and culture. Art criticism, queer history, political theory, and personal narrative are woven together, often in a single chapter. A multiplicity of voices means that chapters vary in quality, but Trap Door is more than a sum of its parts. The collection contextualizes queer past and envisions radical futures even as its inhabitants struggle with the darkness of the present.

Turning the Page: Storytelling as Activism in Queer Film and Media. David R. Coon. Rutgers University Press, 2018. Introduces three organizations trying to change how queer media is represented in Hollywood and how it is presented to the general public, in order to strengthen every community and motivate for social justice.


Biographies and Memoirs
(Download PDF) Over the Rainbow – Biographies and Memoirs

Andy Warhol, Publisher. Lucy Mulroney. University of Chicago Press, 2018. This work fuses art theory, queer history, and personal poetics as it explores some of Warhol’s lesser-known work. Mulroney focuses both on the artistic ingenuity and social impact of the collaborative publishing projects facilitated by Warhol. Warhol’s work, often seen in a vacuum, is placed at the intersections of scene, sexuality, and social artmaking.

Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death. Lillian Faderman. Yale University Press, 2018. Harvey Milk and his legacy has been covered extensively, but this new biography stands out from the crowd. Faderman doesn’t lean into hagiography, instead giving a comprehensive and intersectional account of Milk’s life and his relevance in the current political moment.

House of Nutter: The rebel tailor of Savile Row. Lance Richardson. Crown Archetype/Penguin Random House, 2018. An interesting look at a brothers’ relationship with each other, their careers, and their own sexuality. The photographs scattered throughout where an excellent addition and it gives a neat peek into how mental health was viewed through the lenses of the 50’s and 60’s.

Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry. Imani Perry. Beacon Press, 2018. The book takes its name from Looking for Langston, Isaac Julien’s impressionistic film in memorial of Langston Hughes and black queer history. Perry’s newest more than lives up to the legacy she has placed it in. This “third-person memoir” illuminates the life and legacy of groundbreaking black lesbian playwright Lorraine Hansberry. Perry combines a wealth of research with poetics and personal experience in this gorgeous and necessary biography.

Lost Autobiography of Samuel Steward: Recollections of an Extraordinary Twentieth-Century Gay Life. Samuel Steward , Jeremy Mulderig, ed. University of Chicago Press, 2018. An absorbing, funny, and astonishing memoir of a man with many talents and many identities: Samuel Steward, university professor; Phil Sparrow, tattoo artist; Ward Stames, John McAndrews, and Donald Bishop, writing ground-breaking essays in the first European gay magazines; Phil Andros, explicit novelist; and a man who lived life to its fullest.

Mean. Myriam Gurba. Coffee House Books, 2017. Michelle Tea meets Helene Cixous in this surrealistic exploration of the spaces between trauma and eros. At turns caustic and vulnerable, Gurba’s experimental memoir is a queer Chicana coming-of-age story told from outside time and inside her body. Intense, darkly humorous, and very readable.

My Butch Career: A Memoir. Esther Newton. Duke University Press, 2018. The compelling story of a ‘gender outlaw in the making’, a ground-breaking figure in LGBT history, and her struggle to find her identity as an openly queer academic in a particularly intense time of homophobic persecution.

No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America. Darnell L. Moore. Nation Books, 2018. Intersectionality is a hot topic in the LGBTQ community but few could understand all the many intersections one may possibly encounter in a life. Darnell L. Moore’s “No Ashes in the Fire” is a memoir that covers many intersections, being a Black man, queer, and growing up in poverty. It is an inspiring work that covers struggles, triumphs and a path not often traveled and even less often talked about.

Out of Step: A Memoir. Anthony Moll. Ohio State University Press, 2018. A well-crafted story that explores the unexpected parallels between life in the military during the years of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and the quest for identity as a bisexual man, in this unwavering, sometimes painful, sometimes funny memoir.

Sinner in Mecca. Parvez Sharma. BenBella Books, 2017. This work shares the journey of a gay Muslim man traveling to Mecca to perform the hajj in 2010, made even more dangerous since he is also a closeted Sunni Muslim. The author documented the journey on a film of the same name.

Sister Love: The Letters of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker 1974-1989. Julie R. Enszer. A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2018.   This work reveals a friendship between two important African American lesbian poets through their letters. The text offers insight into what it is to be a woman of color during this same time period and the micro and regular aggressions endured within the literary community.

To my Trans Sisters. Charles Craggs, ed. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017. A book by trans women and for trans women – a rare and needed perspective in a world of coming-out-stories framed for cis audiences. This series of letters is full of advice, empathy, strength and hope from trans women speaking to their younger selves and to their larger communities. An uplifting and powerful collection centering the experiences of a community all-too-often made invisible.

Tomorrow will be different: Love, loss, and the fight for Trans Equality. Sarah McBride. Crown Archetype / Penguin Random House, 2018. Sarah is a well-known figure in Washington, D.C and to the Democratic Party. She is an activist and an advocate for Trans rights and visibility. Her memoir shares her experience, looking beyond the privilege she was born with and those she was not, to help others fighting for equality.

Unpunished Vice: A Life of Reading. Edmund White. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018. A memoir and book of books wrapped up into one, from one of America’s best known “gay novelists,” a phrase he also explores in this book. He digs deep into books that have influenced him, stayed with him, or held meaning for him in various parts of his life. He also shares a lot about his life, friends, other writers and lovers (and ex-lovers!), and talks about how much being a gay man in America has changed since his childhood (born in 1940) and how his reading has changed since a recent health scare left him unconscious for three days.

Wild Mares. Dianna Hunter. University of Minnesota Press, 2018. A memoir about what the author calls the “lesbian land movement” of the 1970s, and her participation in attempts contributing to farm-based “utopian” societies of women only in the rural Midwest. Side commentary on clothing, haircuts, music, depression, and so on bring the reader into the era directly.

 

General Interest
(Download PDF) Over the Rainbow – General Interest Nonfiction

After Silence. Avram Finkelstein. University of California Press, 2017. Finkelstein’s latest is billed as “a history of AIDS and its images”. More than that, it is a personal history of the minds and bodies behind the groundbreaking visual protest strategies that accompanied 80’s AIDS activism. Love for collaborators and the movement drives this book even as we are reminded, in the words of activist art collective Gran Fury, “ART IS NOT ENOUGH”.

Calypso. David Sedaris. Little, Brown and Co., 2018. Fans of David Sedaris will be no stranger to the dark camp sensibilities at play in Calypso. What’s surprising, though, is a somber tone at play even in his moments of irreverence. Sedaris’ reflections on mortality, middle age, and familial loss are delivered with characteristic heart. His wit is still present, if muted, making this volume feel all the more intimate. An unexpended and welcome addition to his oeuvre.

Clinician’s Guide to Gender-Affirming Care. Sand C. Chang, Anneliese A. Singh, lore m. dickey. Context Press, 2018. A practical handbook for medical practitioners, including mental health providers. It goes beyond basic definitions to ask clinicians to examine their own biases and misconceptions about transgender and nonconforming clients, and provides example scenarios where care providers handled a medical situation inadequately. Case studies come with suggestions for scripts to navigate similar situations, and reaffirms the importance of the client’s needs and desires coming first.

David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music. Darryl W. Bullock. Overlook Press, 2017. Well-researched overview of queer musicians who have had a major impact on popular music, bringing to light hidden stories and closely examining queer performative movements, making this a compelling and important work.

Gender: Your Guide. Lee Airton. Adams Media/Simon & Schuster, 2018. Many things amazing in life are constantly evolving; including language and gender. In today’s world a book like Gender: Your Guide is an excellent resource for allies looking to understand that evolution. Easily broken into three parts with very clear sections this book is an easy, quick read for anyone trying to learn about gender in today’s world.

Little in Love with Everyone: Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. Genevieve Hudson. Advocate, 2018. The newest in Fiction Advocate’s series of books investigating “essential readings of the new canon”. This work explores Fun Home’s themes of openness and repression. Hudson illuminates Bechdel’s highly personal text by placing it in historical and literary context. The author also explores her own personal connection to Fun Home and its impact as her roadmap to the world of lesbian literature.

Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity. Arlene Stein. Pantheon, 2018. This work provides a wide range of experiences from personal accounts of transgender men. The author has also included interviews with friends and family members, making the book useful for family members learning to be supportive. The book maintains a narrow focus – patients from one office, all from the United States, making the medical information (insurance strategies, etc) only useful to those in the states.


History
(Download PDF) Over the Rainbow – History

Boys of Fairy Town. Jim Elledge. Chicago Review Press, 2018. This work uses patterns of history and individual biography to illuminate the queer history of Chicago from the founding of the city through World War II; aimed at general readers and anyone interested in queer history brought vividly to life.

Ike’s Mystery Man: The Secret Lives of Robert Cutler. Peter Shinkle. Steerford Press, 2018. The searing true story of Robert Cutler, America’s first National Security Advisory under President Eisenhower, who helped create the executive order that banned gay people from working in or being a contractor for the federal government while he, himself, was a closeted gay man.

No Sanctuary: Teachers and the School Reform That Brought Gay Rights to the Masses. Stephen Lane. ForeEdge, 2018. a detailed history of grassroots efforts by teachers and students to reform schools into safe places for queer youth.

Pride: The Unlikely Story of the True Heroes of the Miner’s Strike. Tim Tate. John Blake, 2018. This oral history of the foundation of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) which helped the families of Welsh miners survive a painful strike in Thatcher’s UK, shows the disparate groups overcoming prejudices to show solidarity in the face of aggressive governmental persecution.

Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation. Robert W. Fieseler. Liveright, 2018. This book brings to light a historical event that has long been closeted and pushed to the side that deeply affected the LGBTQ community. Fieseler writes in a journalistic style that does due diligence to bringing the facts of the case to a world that may not of heard of the event before.

Berlin’s Third Sex. Magnus Hirschfeld. Rixdorf Editions, 2017. The work provides views into a German sub-culture during 1904. Well-written and full of inspiring views and a positive look at the culture, this work offers insight into a time LGBT stories are often cast in negative light. This is the first translation into English of this classic work.

Out for Queer Blood. Clayton Delery. Exposit Books/McFarland, 2017. This history addresses the murder of Fernando Rios, the trial, and the aftermath. Delery touches on a variety of topics including homophobia, the genealogy of the “gay panic defense,” and hate crimes law.

Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day. Peter Ackroyd. Abrams Press, 2018. An historic look into two thousand years’ worth of queer London history that explores the link between urbanity and non-heterosexuality.

Lesbian South. Jaime Harker. University of North Carolina Press, 2018. A chronicle of the Women in Print movement through its participants and their connections to liberation movements and the American south. Harker links celebrated authors, underground publishers, feminist figures, and readers both in and out of the closet. Well-researched, illuminating and enjoyable.

 

 

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2019 Fiction Titles

2019 Over The Rainbow Fiction Titles

Genre Fiction
(Download PDF) 2019 Over The Rainbow – Genre Fiction

Alice Isn’t Dead. Joseph Fink. Harper Perennial, 2018. Keisha lives happily with her wife Alice until the day Alice disappears, presumed dead. After months of grieving, Keisha sees Alice in the background of a news report and takes matters into her own hands, becoming a long-haul truck driver, searching for her missing wife. Along the way, she stumbles across a secret American history, an inhuman serial killer, and a supernatural war being waged along the interstate highway system. This novel based on Fink’s podcast of the same name takes a haunting look at the liminal spaces along the open road, affirming the power of love in every mile.

Cabin at the End of the World. Paul Tremblay. William Morrow, 2018. Creepy and violent, Tremblay’s apocalyptic horror story features Eric and Andrew and their daughter Wen in a terrifying home invasion that forces the couple to make some horrific decisions in order to survive.

God Game: A Dan Sharp Mystery. Jeffrey Round. Dundurn, 2018. Private detective Dan Sharp has been hired to find the gambling-addicted husband of an aide in the Ontario legislature in Round’s fifth Dan Sharp mystery. Braving political intrigue and scandal, Sharp finds he has gone too deep into the seedy underbelly of Ontario’s political deal-making and government shenanigans. During the course of the investigation, Sharp’s life is further complicated by planning a graduation trip for his son to the West Coast and his own wedding to Nick, a Toronto cop. Round’s writing transforms Canadian politics into a fast-paced, thrilling page-turner.

Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion. Margaret Killjoy. Tor, 2017. While the apocalypse seems to draw close, Killjoy has already explored how an anarchist utopian might thrive, a group of marginalized outsiders with different races, genders, and sexual identities. When their protective demon familiar begins to destroy them, they band together even more tightly to try and survive. This is a quick and delightfully creepy read for sci-fi fans.

Sodom Road Exit. Amber Dawn. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018. Haunted by the 90’s? Starla returning home to live with her mother after incurring significant university debt. That’s not the only thing haunting her though – as she finds herself drawn to the Crystal Beach amusement park, rediscovering a high school friend who becomes her girlfriend, and a ghost with a need to be seen.

Trick Roller. Cordelia Kingsbridge. Riptide, 2018. The second book in the Seven of Spades series, Trick Roller is a gripping mystery that explores the new relationship between Levi and Dominic and the thrilling exploits of a serial killer who is not yet done with them.

Unkindness of Ghosts. River Solomon. Akashic Books, 2017. This Lambda Literary Award finalist crafts a challenging, oppressive world on a spaceship carrying the last of humanity into space. Dark-skinned and hyper-intelligent Aster, a resident of the lower decks, works as a healer under her upper deck friend Theo (the Surgeon of the ship), until she notices a mysterious illness suffered by the Sovereign of the ship. Then Aster and Theo (indeed, the whole ship) are plunged into a sinister mystery that they could never have imagined. This antebellum space opera is told with a queer, neuro-atypical slant: Aster and Theo are both gender-variant and neurodivergent and utterly brilliant.

Whisper of Bones: A Jane Lawless Mystery. Ellen Hart. Minotaur Books/Macmillan, 2018. Minneapolis PI Jane Lawless goes on a journey to discover a family secret in this twenty-fifth entry in the series. Britt Ickles, visiting genomics professor, remembers playing with her cousin Timmy the last time she visited her mom’s family; however, as an adult when she visits her aunts, they tell her that there was no Timmy. Naturally, Jane is intrigued. She rents a room at the aunts’ home and begins investigating all the inhabitants. Mysterious things begin to happen. With an interesting plot, nice misdirection, and unique characters, Hart writes an enthralling cozy mystery to entertain readers.

Witchmark. C.L. Polk. Tor.com/Macmillan, 2018. The first book in The Kingston Cycle is an Edwardian fantasy in which we are introduced to a class based magical network filled with political machinations that our main character Miles Singer has done his best to try to escape. But you can’t run away from fate or angels. This story is filled with mystery, romance, magic, fantasy, and a touch of science.


Graphic Narrative
(Download PDF) 2019 Over The Rainbow – Graphic Narrative

Bingo Love. Tee Franklin. Image Comics, 2018. Hazel and Mari are teenagers when they first meet in the early 1960s. When their friendship blossoms into something more, they are forced apart by their families and society. Decades later at a bingo hall, the two find each other again and finally embark on the life of which they had been robbed. A graphic novel that will warm your heart.

Gumballs. Erin Nations. Top Shelf Productions, 2018. Nations created an autobiographical graphic novel with his unique square headed style of characters, exploring what it meant to grow up as an identical twin in a set of triplets, and how his life and body shifted when he started his gender confirmation journey. This collection is really fun and accessible, a great overview of one man’s trans experience.

Lie and How We Told It. Tommi Parrish. Fantagraphics, 2018. In this beautifully-rendered graphic novel, old friends Cleary and Tim run into each other at the grocery store one day and reconnect. Over the course of a night, they discuss the choices that they made and the paths each has traveled since they parted. With subtlety and dexterity, Parrish weaves an honest tale, brimming with struggle and self-realization over one’s sexuality and being true to one’s self.

My Brother’s Husband Volume 2. Genoroh Tagame. Pantheon, 2018. At its heart, this is the story of a man coming to terms with the unquestioned cultural assumptions about sexuality he’s harbored all his life and rediscovering the meaning of family, for his own and his daughter’s sake. The genius of Tagame’s art lies in its ability to suggest without insistence that Yaichi’s real journey of discovery has just begun. A joyous and hopeful work.

Sugar Town. Hazel Newlevant. Newlevant Comix, 2018. This fun and colorful graphic novel jubilantly celebrates bisexuality, queer love, and polyamorous relationships. There’s good information about how to make polyamory successful but the story doesn’t get pedantic or weighed down. Topics like sex work, jealousy, and domination add to a sweetly romantic story.


Literary and General Interest
(Download PDF) Over the Rainbow – Literary and General Interest

Bastarda. Trifonia Melibea Obono. Feminist Press, 2018. Seventeen-year-old Okomo lives in the tribal town of Ayá Esang in Equatorial Guinea with her grandparents. From the beginning, we learn that Okomo’s mother is dead, that her father is a scoundrel, and that she is illegitimate because her father did not pay a dowry before sleeping with her mother. She deals with cultural and familial strictures and personal abuse but fights for her life and love. Obono is the first woman writer from Equatorial Guinea to be translated into English. Her novel brings a refreshing take on the coming-of-age story and on feminist and queer culture in Central Africa.

Book of Hats. Dov Zeller. Tiny Golem Press, 2018. In this mystical epic, Ida is a trans boy coming of age during the early to mid-20th century surrounded by her family’s hat-making business. (Although it’s obvious Ida is trans, the pronoun used throughout is she.) When the truth about Ida begins to unravel, she escapes to New York where she falls in with fellow queers who help create the community and family she is seeking.

Boy at the Edge of the World. David K. Yeh. Guernica Editions, 2018. In this dramedy we follow the romantic adventures of Daniel from coming out to his best friend Karen in high school to university in Toronto and the city’s queer culture. Filled with diverse characters on the universal pursuit of love and intimacy.

The Daddies. Kimberly Dark. Brill, 2018. A multi-faceted rich exploration of masculinity, patriarchy, and domination from a lesbian perspective. This work is part novel, part memoir, and part social analysis all combined–a surprising and challenging read.

Drapetomania: or, the narrative of Cyrus Tyler and Abednego Tyler, lovers. John R. Gordon. Team Angelica Publishing, 2018. When Abednego, a house-servant, is sold away, his lover Cyrus, a field-hand, realizes that he must go after him in this thrilling tale of the love between gay slaves in captivity set in the 1860’s. Drapetomania is a groundbreaking tale of black freedom and devotion.

Great Believers. Rebecca Makkai. Viking, 2018. A saga that begins in 1980s Chicago with Yale, a young gay man about to discover the art find of the century while all his friends around him die of AIDS, including his friend Nico. Reaching forward into present day Paris, Nico’s younger sister Fiona desperately tries to rescue her estranged daughter from a cult, and winds up meeting a photographer who documented the AIDS crisis in Chicago. Two spectacular stories intertwine to teach the lessons of love, friendship, community, and family.

Heart’s Invisible Furies. John Boyne. Hogarth/Penguin Random House, 2018. A tour de force about one man’s struggle to accept his sexuality in Ireland’s homophobic society throughout much of the modern era. The story begins in 1945. Cyril Avery is adopted by an eccentric Dublin couple, who always told him that he was not a real Avery. Cyril’s life is told in seven-year intervals. With equal parts sadness and humor, Boyne conveys to the reader the hardship and toll that repression can bring when a people are not able to be true to themselves.

House of Impossible Beauties. Joseph Cassara. Ecco/HarperCollins, 2018. For fans of the FX show Pose or the documentary Paris Is Burning, Cassara lovingly documents the NYC ball scene of the 1980s when queer people of color were able to compete in a vicious and loving environment of fierce queens with even fiercer support. Tough issues like AIDS and racism are addressed head on as the vivid characters navigate love, life, and loss with their wigs tightly secured and their lipstick unsmudged.

Into?: A Novel. North Morgan. Flatiron Books, 2018. Morgan paints an insipid and shallow portrait of a sex, drug, and alcohol-addicted subculture of young gay musclemen. Obsessed with image and social media, each chapter is a groundhog’s day of hook-ups and gym selfies with a side of delusion and childish narcissistic temper tantrums. A wonderfully satirical portrayal of a privileged and selfish – but very visible – segment of the gay community.

Jonny Appleseed. Joshua Whitehead. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018. Finalist: Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction. Longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Jonny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, must return to the reservation that he grew up on to attend his stepfather’s funeral. The resulting narrative is a soaring, chaotic, stream of consciousness spanning Jonny’s memories of growing up gay on the rez, remembrances of his kokum (grandmother), his work webcamming, falling in love with one of his best friends, and struggling to build a life in Winnipeg. Whitehead’s vivid, startling prose paints a picture of Jonny’s struggles to reconcile the pieces of his life in this startling debut novel.

Less. Andrew Sean Greer. Lee Boudreaux Books/Little Brown/Hachette, 2017. How should you go about avoiding your problems? Arthur Less, a middle-aged writer who receives an invitation to the wedding of his young ex-boyfriend runs away from them. He has accepted every award and invitation to speak, no matter how obscure the destination. He’ll do anything to make himself unavailable for the next year. He travels from San Francisco to New York, Mexico, Italy, Germany, Morocco, India, and Japan. Naturally, things don’t go according to plan and hilarity ensues. Figuring out who is actually telling the story is one of the most fun parts of this 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

My Ex-Life. Stephen McCauley. Flatiron Books/McMillan, 2018. Gay fifty-something David Hedges is suffering a mid-life crisis of sorts. He has a successful career in San Francisco but he was recently dumped by his boyfriend and his rent-controlled apartment is up for sale. When he receives an unexpected email from his ex-wife describing her high school daughter Mandy’s poor decisions, David decides to head east to New England to help them. During this process, the pair rediscover a strong friendship. Witty and topical, McCauley’s prose is fun and light-hearted. “All couples start off as Romeo and Juliet and end up as Laurel and Hardy.”

So Lucky. Nicola Griffith. Macmillan, 2018. Mara Tagarelli’s life is seemingly perfect until in the space of a week, her wife leaves her, she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and she loses her job. At first, when everything begins to feel threatening and terrifying and Mara feels utterly helpless, she assumes it is simply the vulnerability of the new illness. When other MS survivors begin to turn up on the news, murdered in their own homes, she realizes that the threats are unshakably real. How does anyone defend themselves when their own body can’t be trusted? Griffith’s work is equal parts mystery, horror, and disability narrative.

Sparsholt Affair. Alan Hollinghurst. Knopf, 2018. A tale of honesty and being true to oneself, this novel tackles themes of lust, sex, and societal expectations in post-WWII Great Britain. In 1940, David Sparsholt, a dashing, first-year engineering student at Oxford, has an affair with a man, causing a scandal. David’s son, Johnny, lives with the aftermath of his father’s sordid past. Johnny is an artist and trying to live honestly as a gay man in the homophobic Britain of the 1960s. The consequences of his choices affect all parties involved and expose the cultural and sexual revolutions that have happened in the twentieth century in Britain.

Speak No Evil. Uzodinma Iweala. Harper, 2018. The story focuses upon two privileged teenagers from different backgrounds and experiences. A gay African American, Niru and his friendship with a white heterosexual female, Meredith. We see how shame and silence lead to a tragic event with devastating consequences that change lives forever.

Stray City. Chelsey Johnson. Custom House/William Morrow, 2018. Andrea Morales is a dedicated member of Portland’s thriving 1990s queer scene whose life is utterly changed when she sleeps with a man, gets pregnant, and decides to keep the baby. This warm and heartfelt debut goes back and forth in time between the late 1990s and 2009, showcasing the evolving queer community in Portland as well as the ways in which Andrea grows and builds a life with her chosen family and young daughter.

Tin Man. Sarah Winman. Penguin Random House/GP Putnam’s Sons, 2018. Ellis and Michael are childhood friends who eventually become lovers. As adults, Ellis marries Annie and the three share an unbreakable bond, until Michael vanishes from their lives. This beautifully written tale of friendship and love will break your heart into a million pieces.

White Houses. Amy Bloom. Penguin Random House, 2018. Bloom’s latest novel recreates the clandestine romance between Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena “Hick” Hickock. Told in reminiscences after their relationship has ended shortly after FDR died, Hick’s bittersweet narrative conveys to the reader the depth of her continued feelings for Eleanor. Poignant tales of the two together will tug at the heartstrings. The juxtaposition of the relationship between Eleanor and Hick and the world-changing events happening around them are very well-played, driving the narrative forward, but ultimately cause the women’s relationship to end. It’s all about the journey, not the destination.


Poetry
(Download PDF) Over the Rainbow – Poetry

Black Queer Hoe. Britteney Black Rose Kapri. Haymarket, 2018. Sit up and pay attention to this in-your-face no-apologies collection of poetry from a proud Black woman. Based out of Chicago, Kapri is a teacher, an award-winning writer, and an outspoken activist for the Black, Queer, and sex-positive communities. This fiery debut trumpets the arrival of an electric new voice.

Carnival of Affection. Philip F. Clark. Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018. In this collection of poetry, everyday experiences in the life of a gay man are elevated in lyrical exploration. Clark makes the ordinary trials of a life something utterly new.

Full-Metal Indigiqueer. Joshua Whitehead. Talonbooks, 2017. This collection of queer poetry borrows from myriad influences from the past and present, ranging from Shakespeare to Lana Del Rey. Whitehead deconstructs to decolonize, bringing the lives of two-spirit/indigiqueer youth into sharp focus and giving them a new space.

Junk. Tommy Pico. Tin House Books, 2018. A full-length love poem/break-up poem about stuff: the detritus of a relationship; of consumerism and pop culture; of loss of identity as an indigenous person; even of Chili Cheese Fritos in a constantly shifting barrage of enjambed couplets. Pico uses Junk as a collective term, similar to a junk shop of old things awaiting their next purpose. It’s transgressive, fast-paced, and a constant blending of the somber and the flippant.

Lord of the Butterflies. Andrea Gibson. Buttonpoetry, 2018. Gibson’s fifth collection takes a nuanced look at gender, grief, love, and the personal as political. Gibson tackles every subject (a wide litany: Lyme disease, a family member’s drug addiction, gun violence, mental illness, falling in love, and figuring out their identity as genderqueer just to name a few) with love. Lord of the Butterflies is a celebration of queer community and indefatigable hope. Though the poems are best read aloud (Gibson is a performance poet), they come through clearly on the page.

Not Everything Thrown Starts a Revolution. Stephen S. Mills. Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018. Collection of queer poetry explores parallels through time through interwoven haunting narratives from the 18th and 21st centuries. Mills brings the current life and struggles of a 21st century gay man in parallel with the struggles of agrarian life and incarceration.

Not Here. Hieu Minh Nguyen. Coffee House Press, 2018. There are aching confrontations of family, trauma, and history in this collection of poetry from a queer Vietnamese American exploring desire and loneliness. Nguyen imagines himself a monster in his concise even prose that is at once shocking and clear.

On My Way to Liberation. H. Melt. Haymarket Books, 2018. This chapbook of poetry follows the realities of a gender-nonconforming body moving through the world. Melt, a proud and openly trans writer, writes about being misgendered in queer spaces and their family’s home, creating conscious spaces for trans people, and their grandfather’s liberation from Dachau. Melt’s simple, matter-of-fact poems advocate for a larger world of trans literature and shed light on their experiences.

Othered. Randi M. Romo. Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018. Romo shares her history of growing up a Mexican American girl with special mention of growing up in the South and the idiosyncratic use of language in that region. She celebrates the lives of lost friends and in her poem “I Am” explains both who she is and how she is labeled by others.

Prayers for My 17th Chromosome. Amir Rabiyah. Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017. Rabiyah’s prose poems are easy to read as they describe their journey from being a young girl into non-binary adulthood and self. Their rhapsodic explanation of the experience of chronic illness and living with pain invites understanding and empathy.

Rummage – poems. Ife-Chudeni A Oputa. Little A/Amazon Publishing, 2017. Read Oputa’s poems aloud for the full resonance. She writes loving paeans to the ordinary that require a pause between each, to let her words roll through your mind. Her collection has 4 sections, each taking you through a different cycle of girlhood.

Subject to Change: Trans Poetry & Conversation. H. Melt, ed. Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018. An anthology of the work of five unapologetically trans poets: Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, Christopher Soto, Beyza Ozer, Cameron Awkward-Rich, and Kay Ulanday Barrett. A selection of poems by each poet is paired with an interview with editor H. Melt discussing their work, identities, and lives. This collection encompasses a wide variety of themes and poetics: a selection of clear, talented voices examining what it means to be trans.

Touched. Luther Hughes. Sibling Rivalry Press. 2018. This collection of poetry takes an unflinching look at the black body, exploring both tenderness and bruising. Hughes uplifts the body, examining it with detailed care.


Short Stories
(Download PDF) Over the Rainbow – Short Stories

Her Body and Other Parties. Carmen Maria Machado. Graywolf Press, 2017. Machado’s 8 short stories weave between the ordinary and the surreal, exploring disgust, delight, and all varieties of queerness. Her characters are both flawed and fantastic, impossible to forget. Her retelling of a classic ghost story is insidious, the reader both knows what will happen and is shocked by it.

London: Skin and Bones. Ian Young. Squares and Rebels, 2017. Collection of colorful short stories featuring gay skinheads and scoundrels of the Finsbury Park blue collar area of North London in the 1980’s.

Merry Spinster. Mallory Ortberg. Holt, 2018. Delightfully dark collection of fairy tales retold, swapping genders, changing roles, and playing irreverently with the classic stories. Both feminist and witty, Ortberg subverts and shifts tales like “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast” for adults-only.

Night Beast. Ruth Joffre. Grove Press/Black Cat, 2018. Debut collection exploring the lives of queer women in a variety of fantasy, speculative, and realistic settings. A filmmaker waits for her soulmate as a timer counts down, until one day, suddenly, it begins to speed up. Actors in an avant-garde television show wake up together every weekend to begin their show, confusing television with real life. These doomed and unsettling stories are haunting in their simplicity.

Two Moons: Stories. Krystal A. Smith. BLF Press, 2018. Speculative fiction collection of stories. They are ethereal, transcend time, space, and being in whimsical journeys.

 

 

 

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Over The Rainbow Press Release ALAMW 2018

DENVER – The Over the Rainbow committee of ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) considered 223 books, with a wide range of diversity among topics and coming from both first-time and established authors.  From these we carefully examined all of the titles; 122 in the catergory of literature and 101 in nonfiction. After much reading and deliberation, we chose 39 titles in the category of literature and 42 in non-fiction to be included in the complete 2018 Over the Rainbow list.  This year, due to the increase in GLBT publishing, we are presenting two top ten lists one for non-fiction, and one for literature.

This year, the titles were more varied in terms of cultural diversity, and genres such as mystery and romance. The stories told were a mix of histories, memoir, academic, and popular books, presenting viewpoints across the gender spectrum – gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, and trans lives. Themes were wide and varied, from current issues, such as practice in teaching, coming out, hidden history, civil rights, HIV/AIDS, grief, and research that uncovered and reclaimed history from the nineteenth century until the twenty-first century.

 

The top 12 titles in the category of literature are:

 

The Angel of History. Rabih Alameddine. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2016.

 

Christadora. Tim Murphy. Grove, 2017

 

Everything is Awful and You’re a Terrible Person.  Daniel Zomparelli. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017.

 

Long Black Veil.  Jennifer Finney Boylan. Crown Publishing (Penguin Random House), 2017.

 

Marriage of a Thousand Lies. Sindu, SJ. Soho, 2017.

 

My Cat Yugoslavia. Statovci, Pajtim, translated by David Hackston.Pantheon, 2017.

 

No One Can Pronounce My Name.  Rakesh Satyal. Picador, 2017.

 

Notes of a Crocodile. Qiu Miaojin. New York Review Books, 2017.

 

Ruin of a Rake. Cat Sebastian. Avon Impulse, 2017.

 

Seven Suspects. Renee James. Oceanview, 2017.

 

This Is How It Always Is. Laurie Frankel. Flatiron Books, 2017.

 

When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities.  Chen Chen. BOA Editions Ltd., 2017.

 

The top 11 titles in non-fiction are:

 

The Case of Alan Turing: The Extraordinary and Tragic Story of the Legendary Codebreaker with drawings by Éric Liberge and text by Arnaud Delalande. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016.  

 

Doll Parts.  Amanda Lepore and Thomas Flannery. Regan Arts, 2017.

 

Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York.  Donald Albrecht. Skira Rizzoli, 2016.

 

Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me. Bill Hayes. Bloomsbury USA, 2017.

 

Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray. Rosalind Rosenberg. Oxford University Press, 2017.

 

Logical Family: A Memoir. Armistead Maupin. Harper, 2017.

 

Making My Pitch: A Woman’s Baseball Odyssey. Ila Jane Borders & Jean Hastings Ardell. Univ of Nebraska Press, 2017.

 

The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir.  Ariel Levy. Random House, 2017.

 

Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me. Janet Mock. Atria Books, 2017.

 

Tomboy Survival Guide. Ivan E. Coyote. Arsenal Pulp, 2016.

 

When We Rise: My Life in the Movement. Cleve Jones. Hachette Books, 2016.

 

 

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2018 Literature Titles

2018 Over the Rainbow Literature Titles

 

The Angel of History. Rabih Alameddine. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2016.
Jacob is hallucinating in the waiting room of a mental health clinic. He looks back on the events of his life and imagines it reviewed by Death and Satan. We are taken on a journey from the Middle East to San Francisco at the height of the AIDs crisis.  Jacob survives while too many of his loved ones succumb to the disease.

 

Bestiary: Poems. Donika Kelly. Introduction by Nikky Finney. Graywolf Press, 2016.

A bestiary can be either a fighter of beasts in ancient Rome or a medieval book of natural history. Donika Kelly’s fantastical collection fits both definitions. Battles with and descriptions of mythical beasts; minotaurs, griffins, mingle with dogs, hawks, and barrow birds in these intensely personal, tender, and sometimes, violent poems. Kelly’s first collection was the winner of the prestigious Cave Canem Poetry Prize.

 

Bitter Legacy. Dal Maclean. One Block Empire, 2016.

2017 Finalist Lambda Literary Awards: Mystery. Dal Maclean’s debut is an engaging police procedural set in London’s Metropolitan Police. It involves Detective Sergeant James Henderson, an up-and-coming detective on the fast track to become an inspector, in his first murder investigation of barrister Maria Curzon-Whyte. During the course of the investigation, James comes across a group of men who intrigue and tempt him to join their circle. One man, in particular, photographer Ben Morgan dares him to embrace a carefree, promiscuous lifestyle. In spite of his best efforts, the investigation balloons into a spate of cruelty and wickedness. As the body count rises and disturbing secrets are revealed, James finds his personal and professional lives threatened by a bitter legacy from the past.

 

Cakewalk. Rita Mae Brown. Bantam, 2016.

Part of a series of novels set in the fictional town of Runnymede this latest story of nostalgic fun is set at the end of World War I.  Celeste prepares for her pregnant lover’s marriage to her brother while her housekeeper Dora’s teenage daughters Louise and Julia adjust to growing up in a small town while fighting expectations and rivalries. This multigenerational tale is filled with eccentric characters and demonstrates the lengths we will go to protect those we consider family.

 

Christodora. Tim Murphy. Grove, 2017.

An epic tale revolving around residents of the iconic Christodora building in New York’s Lower East Side. Spanning decades, we witness the intertwining stories of these characters as they battle depression, drug abuse, the AIDS crisis, and heartbreak. From ACT UP meetings to the disco to the art scene and all the way to a California halfway home, Murphy’s novel is an instant classic.

 

Club Arcana: Operation Janus. Jon Wilson.  Bold Strokes, 2017.  

Magic is afoot, and no one is who they seem to be, when librarian Angus McAslan secretly writes a book that echoes a twisted reality.  Creatures of dream and nightmare come to life, relatives turn out to be witches and life-stealers, unexpected romance and peril confront him at every turn… in the end, nothing is as he thought it was, as he fights for his life and his love against the treachery of trusted ones and the summoning of an ancient god.

 

Death Goes Overboard. David S. Pederson. Bold Stroke Books, 2017.

Death Goes Overboard is the second in a mystery series set in 1947 Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Detective Heath Barrington is getting prepared to go on a “fishing trip” with his partner, police officer Alan Keyes. Alas, duty calls, and Detective Barrington has to go on a lake cruise to tail gangster Gregor Slavinsky. During the course of the cruise, Slavinsky goes missing, presumed murdered. But was he? Pederson takes a lot of the tropes of mysteries and utilizes them to the fullest, giving the story a knowable form. However, the unique characters and accurate portrayal of the struggles of gay relationships in 1940s America make this an enjoyable, thought-provoking read.

 

Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems.   Danez Smith. Graywolf Press, 2017.

A heartbreaking and beautiful collection of poetry dealing with the intersection of being gay, black, and HIV+.

 

Don’t Feed the Trolls. Erica Kudisch.  Riptide Pub, 2017.  

Daphne has won a gaming novelization contest that should be a highlight of her life… then the trolls attack, filling her inbox with torrents of hateful abuse.  In real life, she’s ‘too masculine’ for the dance parts she auditions for, and in her online life, other players are attacking because she’s ‘a girl.’ Trying to survive the stress, sie comes to realizations about hir own gender identity, the new girl online sie’s falling hard for, and the convulsions of hatred and revolt in hir gaming life.  Hir friends, from hir drag queen roommate to the knight sie would rather didn’t defend hir, lend hir strength and help hir find hirself.  The happily-ever-after is as satisfying as it is unconventional.

Note:

HE/SHE HIM/HER HIS/HER HIS/HERS HIMSELF/HERSELF
sie sie hir hirs hirself

From http://uwm.edu/lgbtrc/support/gender-pronouns/


Drowned: a Mermaid’s Manifesto. Theresa Davis. Sibling Rivalry Press, 2016.

A poetry collection to savor from an openly queer black woman. Her explorations of race and sexuality, feminism and love, are eloquent and leave a lasting impression. She opens by invoking her muses – Frida, Medusa, and Eve – and closes with the death of her father, with a stunning array of experiences in between.

 

The End of Eddy.   Édouard Louis. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.

Louis’ novel begins in the late 1990s and is loosely based on his life experience. The story investigates what it is like to grow up in a small working class town in France where Eddy is challenged with conforming to traditional concepts of masculinity and finds hope in an opportunity to attend boarding school.

 

Enigma Variations.  André Aciman. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.

The novel follows Paolo’s desires as a youth in Italy to his relationships as an adult who goes by Paul. Aciman explores the fluid sexuality of his main character and develops a rich interior life for him in a way that does not always fall into sync with the other characters.

 

Everything is Awful and You’re a Terrible Person.  Daniel Zomparelli. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017.

A hilarious and tongue-in-cheek collection of highly original stories about gay men searching for love at any cost. From dating a ghost to breaking up on YouTube, the stories are fused with neuroses and humour while shining a light on the shallow and self-centered.

 

Fever in the Dark. Ellen Hart. Minotaur Books, 2017.

A clever, compelling mystery following a lesbian couple turned media sensations and their friend, Jane Lawless, private investigator and Hart’s serial protagonist. Hart’s writing is rich and heavy on character, lending a delightful humanity to the subjects of her world.Clever, both playful, and riveting, to be enjoyed by fans of Rita Mae Brown and those already immersed in the world of gay mysteries.

 

Forget Me Not. Kris Bryant. Bold Strokes Books, 2016.
Grace inherits a flower shop in Ireland from a Great Aunt she barely knew.  This contemporary romance finds its protagonist eager to return to her life in Dallas but falling in love with both the Emerald Isle and the woman trying to help her sell the shop.

 

Hearts in Ireland. J. C. Long. Dreamspinner, 2017.

Long’s latest novella begins with grief but leads to a satisfactory resolution. Ronan Walker’s beloved Irish mother dies and, deeply grieving and depressed and over his loss and the state of his life, he is persuaded to leave America to visit Ireland and his mother’s family. Once there, Ronan stays with his relatives and eventually meets Fergal Walsh, who works at his aunt’s bookstore. Sparks fly. Will Ronan finally be led by his heart rather than his head?  The loving, supportive interactions between Ronan and his family are inspiring. The humor of the book make for an enjoyable read.

 

Here Comes the Sun.  Nicole Dennis-Benn. Liveright, 2017.

Three strong women in Jamaica deal with life the best way they know how. The mother haggles and bargains her way through, while pinning all hopes and dreams on her youngest daughter, who is obsessed with lightening her skin. The eldest daughter embraces both the sex trade and a lesbian lover, in the hopes of getting out of the Jamaican slums in which they live. A family saga with twists and turns at every corner.

 

Kill Game. Cordelia Kingsbridge.  Riptide Pub, 2017.  

Detective Levi Abrams is on shaky ground, at work and in his love life.  It just gets worse when a serial killer is loose on the streets of Las Vegas.  On top of that, he has to deal with bounty hunter Dominic Russo, who gets under his skin, professionally and personally. The unlikely duo have sizzling chemistry, the plot is twisty and compelling, and the ending is a cliffhanger that sets up strong expectations for the next book.  It’s a police procedural, a thriller, and a romance… a great beginning to what will be a multi-book series.

 

Large Animals.  Jess Arndt. Catapult, 2017.

At turns hallucinatory and thoroughly grounded, Arndt’s debut short story collection crackles with dark humor, body horror and astute observations on identity. Equal parts Maggie Nelson and William Burroughs, Arndt’s work is a must-have for fans of short fiction and transgressive literature.

 

Lay Your Sleeping Head. Michael Nava.  Korima Pr, 2016.  

This is much more than a rewrite of Nava’s The Little Death.  True, the sex is new, but the writing is deeper as well.  Henry Rios is a lawyer burnt by the system, on his way to alcoholism, in love with a white boy with big problems.  When his lover dies of an overdose, Henry finds a new purpose, determined to prove it was murder.  1980s America was a place of racism, homophobia, and the powerful protecting themselves at the cost of everyone else, and Nava brings the reader right into the middle of it. This story is as timely now as when it was originally written decades ago.

 

Long Black Veil.  Jennifer Finney Boylan. Crown Publishing (Penguin Random House), 2017.

An intriguing mystery that evolves from a fateful night when a group of college friends become locked in an abandoned prison. The event results in a murder that becomes a cold case reopened years later. Judith Carrigan is the key to the main suspect’s innocence, but she must be willing to give up some deeply guarded secrets that could destroy her family in order to serve as an alibi.

 

Marriage of a Thousand Lies. Sindu, SJ. Soho, 2017.

Hoping to placate their traditional South Asian immigrant parents, two college friends, Lucky (Lakshmi), a lesbian, and Kris, a gay man, enter into a marriage of convenience. Lucky’s family life becomes complicated when she returns home to care for her grandmother. SJ Sindu’s novel is a study of love lost, understanding, and family that is both sensitive and dryly humorous.

 

My Cat Yugoslavia. Statovci, Pajtim, translated by David Hackston.Pantheon, 2017.

Statovici’s novel is really two stories entwined by family. His protagonist, Bekim, a gay man who immigrated with his family to Helsinki from Kosovo as a child, and the story of Bekim’s mother, Emine, a Muslim woman in an arranged marriage. Bekim inhabits a fantasy world of bigoted talking cats, while his mother’s story of abuse and war is told more conventionally. Both mother and son are outcasts in a difficult family in a changing world.

 

No One Can Pronounce My Name.  Rakesh Satyal. Picador, 2017.

Three Indian immigrants, Harit, a lonely gay man, Ranjana, a receptionist whose dream is to be an author of vampire fiction, and her son, Prashant, who tries to be anything but the Indian college kid who is good at math are the three intersecting characters in this sensitive novel of outsiders looking for a place to belong in their families and in their new country.

 

No Other World. Rahul Mehta. Harper, 2017.

Twelve year old, Kiran Shah, born in suburban Massachusetts to Indian immigrant parents finds himself drawn to the typically white American, and incidentally handsome father of a school friend. As he struggles with these nameless feelings, an older sister is betrayed, his parents cope with their arranged marriage, immigrant life, and family at home in India. The novel is lyrical, the characters beautifully drawn so realistic you will miss them when you’ve finished reading the novel.

 

Notes of a Crocodile. Qiu Miaojin. New York Review Books, 2017.

Beautifully written novel about a lesbian university student, her entertainingly diverse social circle, and her failed loves. Set in the 1990s in Taipei, she imagines herself a crocodile in a human suit as she navigates the relationships that create her story. Recently translated from Chinese.

 

Rainbow Gap. Lee Lynch. Bold Strokes Books, 2016.
Jaudon and Berry have been together since they were childhood best friends in backcountry Florida swamps. This book follows the two women on their journey through the 1960s as teenagers through the 1970s and how the changing world and its conflicts, including the Vietnam War and feminism, impacts their lives. Their love is illegal and dangerous but their bond is strong.


Rank. Richard Compson Sater. Bold Strokes Books, 2016.
A military romance set just after the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Second Lieutenant Harris Mitchell is out and proud but not everyone is ready to step out of the closet. Though the military’s stance has officially changed, the transition is rocky and there are still barriers to overcome.

 

The Ruin of a Rake. Cat Sebastian. Avon Impulse, 2017.

A new take in the Regency Romance genre, Sebastian’s third in a series offers readers a fun, fast, erudite read. With a reputation ruined by rumors and salacious talk, Lord Courtenay did not take much stock by his label as a libertine. However, when a new publication comes out, reportedly detailing his amorous pursuits of the past, Courtenay is shunned from all society and he is barred from seeing his beloved nephew. On the other hand, Julian Medlock has spent a lifetime cultivating an image of perfect decorum and taste. When Julian’s sister enlists his help to improve Courtenay’s reputation, Julian is beside himself. Julian has mixed emotions about Courtenay. He loathes him, but longs for him. Cat Sebastian plays with perceptions and the opposites-attract trope in this romance.

 

Seven Suspects. Renee James. Oceanview Publishing, 2017.

James’ third novel in her Bobbi Logan series, a hard-boiled thriller with an unapologetic yet empathetic trans protagonist in a genre where trans women’s bodies are still all too often used as evidence or plot device. A solidly compelling suspense novel for fans of the genre and a fun, if brutal, read for those who crave trans-centered narratives beyond “coming out”.

 

Since I Laid My Burden Down. Brontez Purnell. Amethyst Editions, 2017.
Queer zinester Purnell’s hilarious, affectionate punk pseudo-memoir style has been a highlight of rock magazines and basement performances for over a decade. His latest is no different, following unabashedly gay protagonist DeShawn returning to his Alabama hometown for a funeral with both razor wit and poignant reflections on masculinity, blackness and love. This slim little novel is a gem in its own right, and it’s a delight to have his work accessible to a larger audience.

 

Summer Stock. Vanessa North. Riptide, 2017.

A visiting television star and a local handyman hook up for one drunken night. Vanessa North’s Summer Stock begins with that basic romance story trope and goes forth from there. Driven away by tabloid scandals, Ryan Hertzog, tv star, returns to North Carolina’s Outer Banks to do summer stock for his cousin. One tequila-filled night, he hooks up with local handyman Trey Donovan and while extricating himself from the fling, he ends up being photographed stark naked. The development of the relationship between these two is passionate and heartfelt. Equally important, the discussion about abusive relationships and the complex nature of the friendships make for an interesting read.

 

Things to Do When You Are Goth in the Country. Chavisa Woods. Seven Stories Press, 2017.

A collection of 8 stories about queer folks, both in the LGBTQIA sense and in the strange and unusual sense. Rural America is made bizarre and hilarious by Woods, her magical realist style, and the well developed characters she has created. Darkly comedic and plausible, even when the plots veer off into the impossible – glowing green gas alien orbs?

 

This Is How It Always Is. Laurie Frankel. Flatiron Books, 2017.

Detailed exploration of what it means to have a gender non-conforming child sharing a story of a couple deeply in love and with a series of 5 sons, though Claude, their youngest, doesn’t see herself that way. Through loving family relationships and ordinary challenges of growing up, Claude is able to develop into the person they are.

 

This is How it Begins. Joan Dempsey. She Writes Press, 2017.
A timely novel of a family with secrets.  Ludka hid Jews from Nazis in Poland and is still traumatized by her past. Settled in Massachusetts as an art history teacher with her husband Izaak, she is horrified to find her gay son Tommy accused of discriminating against his Christian high school students.

 

When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities.  Chen Chen. BOA Editions Ltd., 2017.

Chen’s book of poetry explores his life as a queer Chinese immigrant to the United States. His poems investigate relationships, sexuality, and family using wonderful imagery that invokes various feelings that are sometimes funny, romantic, and sad.

 

Witches for Hire. Sam Argent. DSP Publications, 2017.

This cross genre book of love, power, and desire takes angst-ridden characters, world-building, and magic and sticks in a pot and lets it brew for awhile. A difficult, but enjoyable read with changing narrators throughout and feeling like one is starting in the middle of a series, this book leaves one hungry for more.  Jeremy Ragsdale, recovering drug addict and witch, wants to get on to the next job without any further debacles. Alas, his temp agency assigns him to work with a motley group of misfits.  Jeremy dodges his co-workers as best as he can, until the crew find a conspiracy to kill the magic superstar Desmond the Great.  Jeremy has lots of secrets. Eventually, everything has to come out into the open, but will Jeremy survive the ramifications of his actions?

 

Working it: A Ringside Romance. Christine D’Abo. Riptide, 2017.

A contemporary, M/M office romance set in Toronto, Working it is the first in a new series. Nolan Carmichael is trying to start anew after a terrible car accident scarred him mentally and physically. Zack Anderson, his new boss and the CTO at the company, has an ability to run away all four of his previous assistants.  With office politics and personal shortcomings to overcome, both find that they are mutually attracted to each other. The  story that captures the intensity of a forbidden romance and the sensitivity of having to work through one’s personal issues to find a satisfactory resolution.

 

You’re The Most Beautiful Thing That Happened. Arisa White. Augury Books, 2016.

A gorgeous, intelligent poetry collection from Lambda Literary Award-nominated White. These poems burst with emotion, soaring to ecstatically loving highs and capturing the sorrows of longing and black lesbian life in a vicious world. A beautifully realized and joyful read that deserves a place in poetry collections and the canon of lesbian literature.

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2018 Nonfiction Titles

2018 Over the Rainbow Nonfiction Titles

 

Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE. Pat Patterson. ECW Press, 2016.
A no holds barred memoir about being gay in the world of professional wrestling, as told by veteran superstar wrestler Pat Patterson. He chronicles his humble beginnings working in the wrestling circuits of the 1960s all the way up to becoming a World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Famer, all while dealing with his sexuality, coming out, and finding love.

 

Balls: It Takes Some To Get Some. Chris Edwards. Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2016.
A witty and refreshing memoir about transitioning, as told by Chris Edwards who corrects his gender from female to male. With a voice that is brave and bold, Edwards details his journey as a trans man living in a time before the term “transgender” even existed. He uses his marketing background to rebrand himself and in doing so, finds support from coworkers, friends, and family alike. This is an encouraging, entertaining, brazen, and moving memoir of someone who chooses to live as his true self.

 

Before Pictures. Douglas Crimp. Dancing Foxes and University of Chicago Press, 2016.
Art Historian and critic, Douglas Crimp has written more than a memoir. It is a chronology of the author’s life lived in a variety of New York addresses, a collection of art and anecdotes from his experiences on the burgeoning Gay Liberation years of New York gay scene, as well as a book of art criticism spanning 1967-1977. These 10 years are his life before Pictures, an influential exhibition he curated in 1977. Crimp seamlessly moves from memoir to criticism. The book is beautifully designed. It is a remarkable work.

 

The Black Penguin. Andrew Evans. University of Wisconsin Press, 2017.
Andrew Evans pitches an idea for an article for National Geographic to travel primarily by bus from Washington, D.C. to Antarctica and live tweet his experience along the way. He meets various characters and has a few nail-biting travel experiences. Evans alternates between telling us about his bus journey and the challenges of accepting himself despite his experiences growing up as a gay Mormon.

 

The Boys in the Band: Flashpoints of Cinema, History, and Queer Politics. Edited by Matt Bell. Wayne State University Press, 2016.
In this collection of academic essays, the groundbreaking 1970 film The Boys in The Band (based on Matt Crowley’s off-Broadway play) is thoroughly examined. Fans of the film and students of queer cinema will rejoice at the multitude of issues explored, including gender, race, film theory, queer theory, alcoholism, politics, New York City, and gay love. It’s a perfect companion piece to the film, initiating debate, inviting sociological perspectives, and providing intellectual discussion.

 

The Case of Alan Turing: The Extraordinary and Tragic Story of the Legendary Codebreaker with drawings by Éric Liberge and text by Arnaud Delalande. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016.
A moving look into the life of Alan Turing who is famous for creating a machine capable of decrypting German messages during World War II. The graphic novel flashes between Turing’s struggle with his sexuality, workplace challenges, and visualizes his thought processes in a captivating way.

 

The Disappearing L: Erasure of Lesbian Spaces and Cultures. Bonnie J Morris. SUNY University Press, 2017.
Morris chronicles three decades of women-only concerns, festivals, bookstores, and support spaces, as a backstory to the culture lost to mainstreaming and assimilation. This insider story is an important piece of the cultural history of the lesbian-feminist era. As a veteran participant of women’s music festivals, Morris uses her own experience and interviews with older activists to document this history.

 

Doll Parts: A Memoir. Amanda Lepore and Thomas Flannery. Regan Arts, 2017.
This coffee table book is almost as gorgeous as its subject. Amanda Lepore is one of the most famous transgender women in the world, having modelled for famous photographers and becoming a staple of the New York City’s Club Kids scene in the 80s & 90s. Acting, singing, and just being seen, Lepore is instantly recognizable with her numerous plastic surgery procedures to look like a living doll. This book flaunts her fabulousness with beautiful photographs, unbelievable tales, and choice words of wisdom on how to live life to the fullest.

 

The Ethics of Opting Out: Queer Theory’s Defiant Subjects. Mari Ruti. Columbia University Press, 2017.
Ruti uses some queer theorists’ rejection of gay marriage as a building block to explore “opting out” of normative narratives. She uses the influences of Jacques Lacan, a French psychoanalyst, to explore contemporary queer theory and its underpinnings.

 

Everywhere Home: A Life in Essays. Fenton Johnson. Sarabande Books, 2017.
Harper’s Magazine contributor, Fenton Johnson’s collection spans the years 1989-2016. His roots are in the Kentucky mountains, but his home is writing as evident in this eclectic selection with themes ranging from boyhood, his sexuality, loss of his partner to AIDS, and politics to name a few. The writing is erudite and graceful, peppered with literary allusions and history. It will leave the reader searching back issues of Harper’s for more.

 

Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York. Donald Albrecht. Skira Rizzoli, 2016.
An accessible look into the history of queer art culture in New York City with beautiful photographs and artwork that ranges from 1910-1992. Albrecht provides a unique look into how New York artists have struggled with oppression, asserted their identities, and employed art to find strength.

 

Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation, 2nd ed. Simon LeVay. Oxford University Press, 2017.
LeVay is a neuroscientist who breaks down the science of sexuality into layman’s terms. In this edition, LeVay covers various studies on sexuality and includes chapters on traits during childhood, genes, and the body. The book is a solid introduction and collection of research on sexual orientation that acknowledges the limitations of research in this area.

 

Gay-Straight Alliances and Associations Among Youth in Schools. Cris Mayo. Palgrave MacMillan, 2017.
In this series of studies, Mayo examines the creation of school-sanctioned and informal Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). GSAs provide examples and case studies of intersectionality, opportunity, new ways of approaching political action, new ways of knowing and new subjectivities. Such alliances generally focus on a single facet of identity, neglecting others, but still give young people ways to reach out for connection across sexualities, genders, races, and other differences. The book examines the youths’ experiences as a process of “negotiation across and within differences in a particular institutional context,” showing the fractures in the process and the creative and individual ways they find commonality within division, form connection despite barriers, and express the desire to change what is for what can be.

 

Gender Bending Detective Fiction: A Critical Analysis of Selected Works. Heather Duerre Humann. McFarland & Co Inc Pub, 2017.
Literary criticism of the American mystery genre has become richer with the addition of Humann’s thoughtful, readable, layered analyses. She highlights books from Spillane’s I, the Jury to James’ Transition to Murder and beyond, over seventy years of cultural change and shifting attitudes toward gender and sexuality. By focusing on how gender is shown, concealed, transformed, criminalized, punished or rewarded since World War II, she traces threads of social transgression, personal loss, and struggle via close examination of specific scenes and overall themes. An outstanding contribution to the critical interpretation of the genre.

Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me. Bill Hayes. Bloomsbury USA, 2017.
Grieving the death of his lover, Hayes uproots his life and moves to New York City where he finds healing through street photography and an unexpected romance. Entering into a second act of his life, Hayes falls in love with renowned neurologist and author Oliver Sacks, who ends up battling and losing his fight with cancer. This is an homage to Sacks – a celebration of his life, and the love that he and Hayes shared together.

 

Into the Light: Photographs of the NYC Gay Pride Day from the 70’s till today. Stanley Stellar. Bruno Gmünder, 2017.
Stanley Stellar is one of the seminal photographers who documented the early days of Gay Liberation in New York. This collection of black and white and color photographs of the parades and street scenes captures the mood of each decade: the hedonistic 70s, the AIDS crisis, to the era of marriage equality. His book is a worthy document of GLBTQ history.

 

Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray. Rosalind Rosenberg. Oxford University Press, 2017.
This thorough and deeply researched investigation of African American lawyer and activist Pauli Murray, documents the way in which Murray pursued an intersectional activism. Born in 1910 in the JIm Crow south, Murray fought the interconnection of race, gender and economic inequality throughout her life and ultimately altered the course of civil rights and women’s rights.

 

Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes about LGBT Rights. Brian F. Harrison & Melissa R. Michelson. Oxford University Press, 2017.
This book examines the acceptance of LGBTQIA+ rights by individuals within social groups, and how the attitudes of perceived leaders of the group influence individual attitudes. The authors posit a Theory of Dissonant Identity Priming which they tested in four social groups (sports fans, members of religious groups, persons by self-identified racial groups, and political partisanship. Findings indicate individuals are more apt to support queer rights if leaders of their social group do, particularly if such support is unexpected. The take-away is that “political communication that primes a social identity can change attitudes” in unexpected, substantive, and positive ways.

 

Living a Feminist Life. Sara Ahmed. Duke University Press, 2017.
An accessible primer on feminism that explores what it means on a practical level. Ahmed intersperses her views about what it means to be feminist with anecdotes from her personal and academic life. In addition to having two conclusions, Ahmed’s text features three sections: Becoming Feminist, Diversity Work, Living the Consequences.

 

Logical Family: A Memoir. Armistead Maupin. Harper, 2017.
This is a long overdue memoir by the acclaimed author of the modern-day classic series Tales of the City. Armistead Maupin invites us into his childhood in the American South during the mid-century, then takes us onto a wild ride through his adventures serving in the Vietnam War, and finally lands in 1970s San Francisco, where gay liberation would shape this young man into being one of the biggest influences on gay culture and literature today.

 

Making My Pitch: A Woman’s Baseball Odyssey. Ila Jane Borders and Jean Hastings Ardell. Univ of Nebraska Press, 2017.
This memoir is the story of the first woman to win a men’s college baseball game. A pioneer for women in professional baseball, Jane Borders endured stalkers and death threats in an isolating environment as she also struggled with her sexual orientation while playing with a minor league team. This inspiring account is an important sports and LGBTQ memoir.

 

Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression. David Leite. Dey Street Books, 2017.
An entertaining memoir that details Leite’s life growing up in a Portuguese family and his struggle with mental health, career, and coming to terms with his sexuality. Leite takes an unexpected path as his study of acting eventually gives way to his very successful career as a food writer.

 

One Of These Things First. Steven Gaines. Delphinium, 2016.
Gaines’ memoir of growing up gay and Jewish in midcentury New York is brimming with both wit and compassion even in its grittiest moments. From his family’s girdle store on the streets of Brooklyn to the Manhattan psychiatric hospital where he was hospitalized for a suicide attempt, Gaines’ narration is textural and effusive, capturing both love and pain without veering into seediness.

 

One Man Show: The Life and Art of Bernard Perlin. Michael Schreiber. Bruno Gmünder, 2016.
One Man Show is an oral history as well as a retrospective of the life and work of a 20th century American artist who lived his life as an out gay man in the years before and after WWII. The author transcribes interviews made in the last years of Perlin’s life. Perlin’s career began in 1942 with Office of War Information drawing posters that are famous today. His style used elements of magical realism. Schreiber’s work is compelling and will make more people aware of the work of this talented artist.

 

A Pornographer: A Memoir. Arch Brown. Chelsea Station, 2017.
Arch Brown’s memoir was found in a desk after his death in 2012. In 1967, he was an out gay man in New York with a 16mm camera who discovered men and some women were eager to pose and perform on film. What began as a hobby became a career when Brown began working in the 1970’s hardcore scene. This is a fascinating story of an insightful filmmaker and a history of the pornographic film industry in the 1960s and 70s.

 

Queer Game Studies. Bonnie Ruberg. University of Minnesota Press, 2017.
This anthology centers on “exploring difference in games and exploring games as different”. Essays explore the intersection of gaming and queerness far beyond only representation and inclusion, challenging the stereotype both within and outside game studies and queer theory. Gender play, hybridity, mythology, policing, empathy games, technical and cultural systemic bias, role play, hostility faced by female gamers, the ‘bendiness’ of genre, the queerness in game design, play, and community, and more all covered in this extensive beginning of an expansion in how the queer in gaming, and the game in queerness, may be explored.

 

A Queer Love Story: The Letters of Jane Rule and Rick Bébout. Edited by Marilyn Schuster. University of British Columbia Press, 2017.
This rich compilation of fifteen years of correspondence between the older lesbian public figure, Rule, and the gay male AIDS activist columnist, Bébout, chronicles the pressing queer social and political issues of the time; pornography, bath house raids, censorship, youth sexuality, public sex, and AIDS. Beyond the issues, the letters document a love of writing and a deep friendship.

 

Queering Families. Carla A. Pfeffer. Oxford University Press, 2016.
A nuanced and well-researched study of the common and sometimes controversial phenomenon of relationships and family-building between cisgender women and transgender men. Pfeffer traces the connections between butch and femme, cis and trans, lesbian identification and identity “border wars” with compassion and thorough methodology. A substantial close read on expanding concepts of family and identity. Excellent for academic and queer theory collections.

 

The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir. Ariel Levy. Random House, 2017.
Levy’s deeply personal memoir invites us to understand how she charts her own path, found her way into a marriage with an alcoholic wife and struggles to make her relationship work. In addition, Levy gives insight to her miscarriage that causes those around her to question her choices and forces her to find the strength to move forward.

 

Seeing Straight: An Introduction to Gender and Sexual Privilege. Jean Halley, Amy Eshleman. Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.
An accessible and optimistic primer on concepts of sexuality, gender, privilege and power written as an entry point for those who may not be familiar with intra-community language. Without defensiveness and using real life examples, Halley and Eshleman have written a necessary text comparable to “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”. Highly recommended for general collections.

 

So Famous and So Gay: the Fabulous Potency of Truman Capote and Gertrude Stein. Jeff Solomon. University of Minnesota Press, 2017.
A dense analysis of the careers of authors Gertrude Stein and Truman Capote, two queer icons in literature. Solomon compares and contrasts their careers as contemporaries, albeit in different countries and entirely opposing styles. The focus is on their works and how they, as authors and public figures, navigated the social mores and prevailing homophobia of their era.

 

Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me. Janet Mock. Atria Books, 2017.
This is the inspiring account of a young trans woman of color who reflects back on the trials and tribulations of her twenties and the lessons learned. Attending school by day and stripping by night, Mock winds up falling for one of her customers and discovering that she is worthy of love and more. Like any new adult, Mock navigates her 20s holding on to her secret, learning whom she can trust, and breaking hearts (including her own) along the way.

 

Teaching Queer: Radical Possibilities for Writing and Knowing. Stacey Waite. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017.
In this text, Waite, “…explore(s) the terrain where queer theory, writing, and pedagogy overlap, intersect, and move into one another.” In addition to employing queer theory, Waite shares practical experiences teaching a first-year writing course and includes insightful responses from her students.

 

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977 – 2002). David Sedaris. Little, Brown and Company, 2017.
In Part One of two volumes, this collection of diary entries traces back the musings and observations of funnyman David Sedaris, who uses his entries as fodder for future writings that would eventually establish him as a comedic literary giant. Dating back to his youth, we witness his journey from high school dropout to drug user to the start of his literary career. Not the usual Sedaris book, but not an outright autobiography either. Some entries will depress you, shock you, and even offend you. It’s David Sedaris on display, the good, bad, and the ugly, but entertaining all the way through.

 

Tomboy Survival Guide. Ivan E. Coyote. Arsenal Pulp, 2016.
Prolific writer, storyteller, and performer, Ivan E. Coyote’s memoir of a childhood in the Canadian Yukon is both joyous and bittersweet. They invite the reader into a personal, yet often uncomfortable place by recounting daily stresses of not fitting in their body or community while simultaneously dispensing sage advice for teens coming out. The book is illustrated with drawings of machines and tools and their instructions, as would be included in a conventional survival guide.

 

Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout. Laura Jane Grace with Dan Ozzi. Hachette Books, 2016.
Laura Jane Grace is the lead singer of the punk band, Against Me!, which came together in the mid 1990s. Grace describes her experience struggling to make her band successful and trying to reconcile her gender dysphoria. The memoir takes us through two marriages and band conflicts before Grace finds some peace by transitioning to live as a woman.

 

Transitioning Together: One Couple’s Journey of Gender and Identity Discovery. Wenn B. Lawson and Beatrice M. Lawson. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017.
Autism researcher and writer Wenn Lawson is joined by his wife Beatrice in this conversational, loving memoir about their relationship. The two explore aging, changing sexuality, gender transition and living with autism with both joy and honesty. An illuminating view into the lives of queer people on the autism spectrum from a standpoint of clarity and autonomy.

 

Truth to Power: The New York Native 1980-1997. Charles Ortleb. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016.
An engaging read revolving around the small independent gay newspaper The New York Native and its role during the AIDS crisis during the early 80s. Publisher Charles Ortleb helped to sound the alarm about AIDS and its relationship to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with ruthless research and reporting. While trying to fight the good fight, he also dealt with the medical community trying to shut his paper down in order to quiet him. This is a riveting and important read that adds to the legacy of resistance and survival of the LGBTQ+ community and their history.

 

Understanding and Teaching US Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History. 2nd ed. Edited by Leila J. Rupp and Susan K Freeman. Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2017.
A volume of superb essays, tying LGBT content to the broader goals of teaching history, social sciences, and LGBT studies. Over twenty-five scholars offer classroom strategies and experiences.This second edition updates essays on the Supreme Court, samesex marriage, the Right, and trans history, with new material and references.

 

What the Mouth Wants: a Memoir of Food, Love, and Belonging. Monica Meneghetti. Caitlin Press, 2017.
Growing up in an Italian-Catholic immigrant family as the baby, Meneghetti explores sensuality in all aspects of her life, diving into meals and romances with equal gusto. This memoir is a series of vignettes strung together to create a whole picture of her experience growing up and coming out, her bisexuality and polyamory. A delightful quick read that will stoke the appetite.

 

When We Rise: My Life in the Movement. Cleve Jones. Hachette Books, 2016.
Mandatory reading for anyone who is LGBTQ+ is what this book should be. It is the personal account of major gay rights pioneer, Cleve Jones. Not only does he describe his fight for the queer movement, but he also shares memories of his time working alongside another community icon, Harvey Milk. San Francisco in the 70s serves as the backdrop for this important history lesson, and Jones finds himself in the middle of it all. When the AIDS crisis arrives in the 80s, the call to action continues to certify Jones as one of the leading gay activists of our time.

 

Women and Gay Men in The Postwar Period. John Portmann. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016.
This study of the historical affinity between woman and gay men explores an oft-misunderstood phenomenon in public and private spheres with clarity and affection. Portmann makes it clear his work is “suggestive, not inclusive, and allusive, rather than empirical”. Despite his disclaimer, Portmann delivers an illuminating and accessible reflection on intimacies and solidarities throughout the mid-to-late 20th century. Highly recommended.

 

“You’re In The Wrong Bathroom!” And 20 Other Myths and Misconceptions About Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming People. Laura Erickson-Schroth, MD and Laura A. Jacobs, LCSW-R. Beacon Press, 2017.
In a well-researched and annotated compilation, 21 common misunderstandings about transgender or gender non-conforming individuals are explored and debunked. A solid introduction for folks about different aspects of the experience of transgender people.

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2017 Over the Rainbow Top 10 Titles

The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Struggle for Social Justice by Patricia Bell-Scott. Knopf, 2016. A chronicle of the friendship between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Pauli Murray: granddaughter of a mixed-race slave, lawyer, civil rights activist, minister, and co-founder of the National Organization of Women. The book explores the professional and social cost of Murray’s race and gender, in the context of her correspondence with Roosevelt, mentions issues of her gender fluidity and same-sex relationships, and Roosevelt’s use of Murray’s advocacy for racial equality in her public writings.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson. HarperCollins, 2016. For August, friendship was everything. It was the 1970s in Brooklyn. She and her three best girlfriends lived confident of their talents, dreaming of the future. But their Brooklyn was a dangerous place, where dreams were fleeting, and growing up female was not easy.  Woodson’s latest novel is an epic poem, honoring memories of girlhood, fragile community, and fate.

In the Dark Room by Susan Faludi. Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, 2016. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist tries to find the truth when her father shocks her with the news of her sex-change surgery. Questions of identity, rage, and history haunt her story: Hungarian or American, Magyar or Jew, victim or victimizer, man or woman? In the end, “in the universe, there is only one true divide, one real binary: life or death.” Everything else is open to interpretation, acceptance, or denial.

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera. Riverdale Avenue Books, 2016. The coming-of-age story of a young woman learning what it is to be who she is.  Lesbian, Puerto Rican, New Yorker Juliet is running to something that isn’t what she expected and running from problems that follow along with her. A great story for anyone who has ever felt that love can’t replace understanding, that understanding comes in ways you never expected, and that heroes are what you make of them.

Bettyville: A Memoir by George Hodgeman. Viking, 2015. A richly crafted memoir about a gay son and his aging octogenarian mother. As her health declines, the son returns to the small Missouri town and the house he grew up in, from New York City, to care for her. Despite the passage of time and the decline of both Betty’s and the town’s health, not much has changed in their relationship.

A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain by Christina Crosby. NYU Press, 2016. One month after her fiftieth birthday, the author becomes a quadriplegic after breaking her neck in a bicycle accident. In this memoir, she writes about her changing feelings toward her body, her relationship, and her own sense of self.

Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation by Jim Downs. Basic Books, 2016. Downs has written an essential historical text on gay life during the “forgotten” time between 1969 and the beginnings of the AIDS crisis. Using documents from large metropolitan LGBT centers, he explores communities like the Metropolitan Community Church and those formed in book stores, proving the ‘70s were more than pride marches, sex, and discos.

Ask a Queer Chick: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life For Girls Who Dig Girls by Lindsay King-Miller, Plume, 2016. A series of essays about lesbian life based on the advice column of the same name. Topics are written to address both queer and straight readers and include dating, sexual relationships, being out at work, and finding allies.

Boy, Erased: A Memoir by Garrard Conley, Riverhead, 2016. Conley, a son of a pastor, tells how his struggle with his sexuality brought him to checking into an ex-gay conversion therapy program during his late teens in 2004. He gives a stark look into how he survives the abusive program, struggles with his faith, and comes to terms with his sexuality.

The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded by Jim Ottaviani, illustrated by Leland Purvis, Abrams ComicArts, 2016. A realistic, imaginative, well-drawn graphic novel exploring the life and death of the great mathematician and pioneer of artificial intelligence and computer science,  Alan Turing. His incredible feats during and after WWII were overshadowed by prosecution for being homosexual. As Ottaviani notes, “I wish I lived in a world that benefited from decades more of Alan Turing alive and well, thinking and discovering.”

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2016 Over the Rainbow List: 68 LGBT Books for Adult Readers

 The 2016 Over the Rainbow Project book list, sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA), was decided  at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston.

The bibliography features quality fiction and non-fiction books for adults that are recognized by the Over the Rainbow Project, an ad hoc committee of GLBTRT, for their authentic expression of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experiences.  Each year, the Over the Rainbow Project releases its annotated bibliography to aid librarians and patrons in selecting quality books released over the past 18 months.

This year’s list includes 68 titles published between July 1, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2015.

The 2016 Over the Rainbow committee includes Rebecca (Butler) Mendelson, Chair; Nicholae Cline, Amy Greschaw, Kate Hampton, Derek Marshall, Andrea Perez, Stephanie Saintful, and Matthew Windsor. The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association is committed to serving the information needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender professional library community and the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender information and access needs of individuals at large. GLBTRT is committed to encouraging and supporting the free and necessary access to all information, as reflected by the missions of the American Library Association and democratic institutions.

Our Top Ten Favorites

Mislaid by Nell Zink. HarperCollins, 2015. 242 pp. $19 (978-0-06-236477) A winding, intricate tale of a non-traditional family fighting for survival in the 1960’s. Fiction.

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. Graywolf Press, 2015. 143pp. $15 (978-1-55597-707-8) “A genre-bending memoir, a work of ‘autotheory’ offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author’s relationship with the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes the author’s account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, is an intimate portrayal of the complexities and joys of (queer) family-making”–Dust jacket flap. Biography

Arresting dress: cross-dressing, law, and fascination in nineteenth-century San Francisco by Clare Sears. Duke University Press, 2015. 202 pp. $79.95 (978-0-8223-5754-4) An in depth examination of cross-dressing laws in San Francisco in the 19th Century.  Adopted as part of a broader anti-indecency campaign, the cross-dressing law became a flexible tool for policing multiple gender transgressions, facilitating over one hundred arrests before the century’s end. Includes archival material, pictures, and detailed stories. Non-Fiction.

Dirty river : a queer femme of color dreaming her way home by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015. 237 pp. $18.95 (978-1-55152-600-3) A poet’s memoir that reveals how a disabled queer woman of color and abuse survivor navigates her past and her future. Biography.

How to grow up: a memoir by Michelle Tea. Plume, 2015. 287pp. $12.66 (978-0-14-218119-5) A memoir told in multiple essays that tells the story of a woman awkwardly coming to grips with being a “grown up.” Biography.

No house to call my home: love, family, and other transgressions by Ryan Berg. Nation Books, 2015. 294pp. $25.99 (978-1-56858-509-3) A heart wrenching account of disowned and homeless LGBTQ teens and the man who tried to help them. These stories are complex, sad, and moving. Non-Fiction.

Visions and revisions: coming of age in the age of Aids by Dale Peck Soho Press, 2015. 212pp. $19.29 (978-1-61695-441-3) Peck tells his story of life during the AIDS epidemic through personal essays, critical theory, history, eriotica and poetry. Biography.

The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys. Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. 212pp. $12.28 (978-0-544-34869-1) WWII pilot James Hunter is shot down and sent to a German POW camp on his very first mission. While other prisoners play games and plot escape, James observes and records the development of a nest of restarts near the camp. James wife, Rose, finds freedom she never knew before, left behind in their English cottage. This freedom is threatened when James’ sister Enid comes to stay, having lost both her home and her lover in the Blitz. Fiction,.

The gay revolution: the story of the struggle by Lillian Faderman. Simon & Schuster, 2015. 794pp. $25.73 (978-1-4516-9412-3) The sweeping story of the modern struggle for gay, lesbian, and trans rights—from the 1950s to the present—based on amazing interviews with politicians, military figures, legal activists, and members of the entire LGBT community who face these challenges every day. Non-Fiction.

Girl Sex 101. Allison Moon and Katie Diamond.  Lunaticink, 2015. 388pp. $24.99 (978-0-9838309-5-5) A sex-ed book told with humor and illustrations geared toward women. Graphic Novel.

 

Art/Photography

Bordered lives: transgender portraits from Mexico by Kike Arnal, The New Press, 2014. 183pp. $21.95 (978-1-62097-024-9) “A richly evocative collection of photographs by internationally renowned photographer Kike Arnal, Bordered Lives seeks to push back against the transphobic caricatures that have perpetuated discrimination against the transgender community in Mexico. Despite some important advances in recognizing and protecting the rights of its transgender community, including legislation against hate crimes targeting transgender people, discrimination still persists, and the majority of the often appallingly violent attacks against the LGBT community are against transgender women. In the highly personal profiles that make up Bordered Lives, including the first transgender couple to be married in Mexico and one of the country’s most high-profile transgender entertainers, Arnal looks at seven individuals in and around Mexico City. He shows them going about their day-to-day lives: getting ready in the morning, interacting with family and friends, and devoting their lives to helping others in the transgender community. Moving in its honesty, Bordered Lives challenges society’s preconceived notions of sexuality, gender, and beauty not only in Mexico but across the globe. “– Jacket

Lyudmila and Natasha: Russian lives by Misha Friedman.  The New Press, 2015. 141pp. $19.81 (978-1-62097-023-2) A year in photographs depicting the lives of a gay couple living in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

 

Fiction

After the Parade: A Novel by Lori Ostlund. Scribner, 2015. 340pp $18.40 (978-1-4767-9010-7) After leaving his partner in New Mexico to start a new life in San Francisco, ESL teacher Aaron Englund seeks closure from a rejection-marked childhood and his own questionable choices by exploring his relationships with fellow misfits in his youth.

A useless man: selected stories by Faik Sait, Maureen Freely, and Alexander Dawe. Archipelago Books, 2014. 240pp. $14.37 (978-0-914671-07-7) Sait Faik Abasiyanik was born in Adapazari in 1906 and died of cirrhosis in Istanbul in 1954. He wrote twelve books of short stories, two novels, and a book of poetry. His stories celebrate the natural world and trace the plight of iconic characters in society: ancient coffeehouse proprietors and priests, dream-addled fishermen and poets of the Princes’ Isles, lovers and wandering minstrels of another time.

Breathing lessons: a novel by Andy Sinclair.  Esplanade Books, 2015. 146pp. $18.95 (978-1-55065-397-7) The story of Henry Moss, a homosexual everyman whose life knows none of the limitations or abuses his predecessors experienced.

Foucault, in winter, in the Linnaeus garden: a novel by Michael Joyce. Starcherone Books, 2015. 185pp. $16 (978-1-938603-23-5) A fictional account of Focault’s 1956 stay in Sweden told through imagined letters in multiple languages.

Jam on the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett. Publishers Group West, 2015. 323pp. $20.43 (978-0-8021-2334-3) A historical novel set in the age of Jim Crow and the Great Migration. Ivoe Williams, the daughter of a Muslim cook and a metalsmith struggles for equality and triumphs against all odds. Ivoe falls in love with a woman and they build a life together in Missouri in the wake of social change.

Lost boi by Sassafras Lowrey. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015. 233pp. $13.43 (978-1-55152-581-5) A queer punk reimagining of the classic Peter Pan story, told from the point of view of Tootles, Pan’s best boi.

Sphinx by Anne F Garreta. Deep Vellum Pub, 2015. 120pp. $12.21 (978-1-941920-08-4) A romance set in Paris that mixes sexes and blurs genders. This is the first English translation of Garreta’s debut novel.

The Green Road by Anne Enright. First W. W. Norton & Company, 2015. 309pp. $18.61 (978-0-393-24821-0) Follows the lives of Arleen Madigan and her children, a family from County Clare, Ireland, beginning in 1980 and continuing to the present day. Over the 30 years, the children spread across three different continents before reuniting at the family home on Christmas day.

The Listener by Rachel Brasch. Pegasus, 2015. 336pp. $17.76 (978-1-60598-688-3) The story of a student and his professor/psychologist and the way their lives are intertwined through issues of gender and difference. Explores issues of self-definition, trans* identity, and relationships.

Under the Udala trees by Chinelo Okparanta. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. 328pp. $25 (978-0-544-00344-6) A young Nigerian girl, displaced during their civil war, begins a powerful love affair with another refugee girl from a different ethnic community until the pair are discovered and must learn the cost of living a lie amidst taboos and prejudices.

When everything feels like the movies by Raziel Reid. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2014. 171pp. $11.41 (978-1-55152-574-7) A gay teen who fantasizes about being a movie teen reimagines his world as a movie set. He tells his own story of the need for acceptance and love.

 

Graphic Narrative

Dash #1 An Engaging Blend of Noir and Queer by Dave Ebersole. Northwest Press, 2015. 24pp. $3.99 Private investigator Dash Malone can’t shake the feeling his lover, Johnny, is hiding something. Strange deaths start occurring throughout the city while a mysterious woman named Zita Makara begs Dash to take her case. When a grisly murder connects all three, a terrifying mystery unfolds

 

Non-Fiction

A view from the bottom: Asian American masculinity and sexual representation by Tan Hoang Nguyen.  Duke University Press, 2014. 287pp. $82 (978-0-8223-5672-1) An in-depth look at  Asian American male sexual representation that uses the concept of bottomhood rather than masculinity to  help portray gay Asian American men.

Fat gay men: girth, mirth, and the politics of stigma by Jason Whitesel. University Press, 2014. 177pp. $22 (978-0-8147-0838-5) “To be fat in a thin-obsessed gay culture can be difficult. Despite affectionate in-group monikers for big gay men-chubs, bears, cubs-the anti-fat stigma that persists in American culture at large still haunts these individuals who often exist at the margins of gay communities. In Fat Gay Men, Jason Whitesel delves into the world of Girth & Mirth, a nationally known social club dedicated to big gay men, illuminating the ways in which these men form identities and community in the face of adversity.”– Jacket

Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture by Adrienne Shaw. University of Minnesota Press, 2014. 317pp. $25 (978-0-8166-9315-3) A discussion of gamer culture, specifically sexuality and gender through a feminist, queer, postcolonial lens.

Gay directors, gay films?: Pedro Almodóvar, Terence Davies, Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, John Waters. Emanuel Levy. Columbia University Press, 2015. 317pp. $35 (978-0-231-15276-1) An in depth look at five contemporary gay male film directors that sets up a framework for what it means to make a gay film or adopt a gay point of view.

Geisha of a different kind: race and sexuality in gaysian America by C. Winter Han. New York University Press, 2015. 235pp. $89 (978-1-4798-3195-1) Addresses Asian American gay men in the American gay mainstream. The author travels from West Coast Asian drag shows to the internationally sought-after Thai kathoey, or “ladyboy,” to construct a theory of queerness that is inclusive of the race and gender particularities of the gay Asian male experience in the United States.

Massive: gay Japanese manga and the men who make it edited by Anne Ishii, Chip Kidd, and Graham Kolbeins. Fantagraphics Books, 2014. 280pp. $31.64 (978-1-60699-785-7) An introdution to comic artists making work for a gay male audience in Japan. Addresses the hyper-masculine world fo Japanese gay manga.

Not gay: sex between straight white men by Elizabeth Jane Ward. New York University Press, 2015. 74pp. $14.95 (978-1-4798-2517-2) A frank and sometimes difficult discussion of sexual practices of men who identify as straight but have homosexual encounters.  The author argues that sexuality is complex and fluid and presents a new take the complexities of heterosexuality.

Paths to Recovery for Gay and Bisexual Drug Addicts: Healing Weary Heart by Paul Schulte. Rowman and Littlefiled Publishers, 2014. 194pp. $65 (978-1-4422-4998-6) Provides practical advice on the problems that confront counselors, friends, and family members in our efforts to help gay or bisexual men with drug and alcohol addiction.

Queer brown voices: personal narratives of Latina/o LGBT activism edited by Uriel Quesada, Letitia Gomez, and Salvador Vidal-Ortiz. University of Texas Press, 2015. 238pp. $24.95 (978-1-4773-0232-3) Personal narratives that share the experiences of lesbians, gay men, and trans activits from a variety of Latina/o communities.

Seeing sodomy in the Middle Ages by Robert Mills. The University of Chicago Press, 2015. 398 pp. $55 (978-0-226-16912-5) Explores the relationship between sodomy and motifs of vision and visibility in medieval culture, on the one hand, and those categories we today call gender and sexuality, on the other.

Story/Time: the life of an idea by Bill T. Jones. Princeton University Press, 2014. 107 pp. $24.95 (978-0-691-16270-6) Acclaimed African American dancer, choreographer, and director Bill T. Jones reflects on his art and life as he describes the genesis of Story/Time, a recent dance work produced by his company and inspired by the modernist composer and performer John Cage.

The Bible’s yes to same-sex marriage: an evangelical’s change of heart by Mark Achtemeier. Westminster John Knox Press, 2014. 137pp. $13.40 (978-0-664-23990-9) In the early 2000’s, Mark Achtemeier embarked on a personal journey with the Bible that led him from being a conservative, evangelical opponent of gay rights to an outspoken activist for gay marriage and a fully inclusive church. In “The Bible’s Yes to Same-Sex Marriage,” Achtemeier shares what led to his change of heart.

The invisible orientation: an introduction to asexuality by Julie Sondra Decker. Carrel Books, an imprint of Skyhorse Pub, 2014. 216pp. $34.95 (978-1-63144-002-1) Julie Sondra Decker outlines what asexuality is, counters misconceptions, provides resources, and puts asexual people’s experiences in context as they move through a very sexualized world. It includes information for asexual people to help understand their orientation and what it means for their relationships, as well as tips and facts for those who want to underhand their asexual friends and loved ones.”–Jacket

The queerness of Native American literature by Lisa Tatonetti. University of Minnesota Press, 2014. 278pp. $75 (978-0-8166-9278-1) Tatonetti carefully describes the ties between queerness and Native American literature while showing how they critique understandings of indigeneity and sexuality.

This book is gay. James Dawson and Spike Gerrell. Sourebooks Fire, 2015. 264pp. $13.81 (978-1-4926-1782-2) “Lesbian. Bisexual. Queer. Transgender. Striaght. Curious. This book is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual preference. This book is for anyone who’s ever dared to wonder”–Back cover.

Transgender persons and the law 2nd Edition. Ally Windsor Howell. American Bar Association, Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, 2015. 343pp. $129.95 (978-1-63425-036-8) An updated version that takes into account recent changes in the law. Intended to educate and inform practitioners on the various laws and landmark court cases involving transgendered individuals in a number of legal situations, including housing, veterans benefits, family law, health care, employment, criminal justice, and more.

Untangling the knot: queer voices on marriage, relationships & identity edited by Carter Sickels. Ooligan Press, 2015. 227pp. $16.95 (978-1-932010-75-6) Anthology of essays and non-fiction discussing marriage equality and LGBTQ rights.

 

Non-Fiction/Biography/Memoir

Bowie on Bowie: interviews and encounters with David Bowie edited by Sean Egan and David Bowie. Chicago Review Press, 2015. 434pp. $27.95  (978-1-56976-977-5)   Bowie on Bowie presents some of the best interviews Bowie has granted in his near five-decade career. It includes well known news outlets as well as smaller sources and provides a wealth of material about the entertainer.

Course correction: a story of rowing and resilience in the wake of Title IX by Ginny Gilder. Beacon Press, 2015. $252 pp. $20.66 (978-0-8070-7477-0) Gilder recounts the physical and psychological barriers she overcame as she transformed into an elite athlete who reached the highest echelon of her sport. Set against the backdrop of unprecedented cultural change, Gilder’s story personalizes the impact of Title IX, illustrating the life-changing lessons learned in sports but felt far beyond the athletic arena.

Gay Berlin: birthplace of a modern identity by Robert Beachy. Knopf, 2014. 305pp. $23.46 (978-0-307-27210-2) An exploration of the lives of “warm brothers” in Berlin. A detailed historical look at the ways these lives influenced modern understandings of sexual orientation and gay identity.

I’m special: and other lies we tell ourselves by Ryan O’Connell. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2015. 195pp. $15 (978-1-4767-0040-3) A funny, yet poignant view of life and accomplishment through the eyes of the Millennial generation. The author focuses on becoming an adult in the midst of insecurity and doubt.

Irrepressible: the Jazz Age life of Henrietta Bingham by Emily Bingham. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015. 369pp. $21.75 (978-0-8090-9464-6)The biography of a nearly forgotten member of one of Louisville, Kentucky’s most notable families. Deeply researched and beautifully written by her great niece, the book tells a story that is intriguing and heartbreaking.

Living large: Wilna Hervey and Nan Mason by Joseph P. Eckhardt. WoodstockArts, 2015. 200 pp. $37 (978-0-9679268-8-9) The biography of silent film actress and visual artist Wilna Hervey and her lifelong partner, fellow artist Nan Mason. Includes family photos, stills from several of Hervey’s films and images of the couple’s art work.

Snapshots of a Girl by Beldan Sezen. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015. 176pp. $17.65 (978-1-55152-598-4)In this autobiographical graphic novel, Beldan Sezen revisits the various instances of her coming of age, and her coming out as lesbian, in both western and Islamic cultures.

Non-Fiction- Essays

I will say this exactly one time : essays by D. Gilsen.  Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015. 140 pp. $18 (978-1-937420-99-4) A set of essays that explores what it means to be a poet and cultural theorist in the world. These essays are deeply personal and address the concept of “queer” as an identification.

What color is your hoodie? by Jarrett Neal.  Chelsea Station Editions, 2015. 176 pp. $18 (978-1-937627-22-5) Essays detailing the status of black gay men in the new millennium, examining classism among black gay men, racism within the gay community, representations of the black male body within gay pornography, and patriarchal threats to the survival of both black men and gay men.

Poetry

The cafe of our departure by Priscilla Atkins. Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015. 77pp. $10.83 (978-1-937420-87-1) This collection of lyric poems is a fugue of friendship: a straight girl and a gay boy coming of age in early 1970s America. Interwoven with a lifetime of intimacies shared, the narrative tracks a second life of grief, when a soul-mate dies.

City of starlings by Daniel Nathan Terry. Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015. 86pp. $14.95 (978-1-937420-86-4) Poetry that delves into the author’s loss and life and challenges readers to find beauty in the ordinary.

 The Devastation by Melissa Buzzeo.  Nightboat, 2015. 88pp. $14.98 (978- 1-937658-25-2) A book length poem that imagines two lovers surviving a shipwreck and lying together at the bottom of the ocean. A complex exploration of language and the power of the sea.

Erebus by Jane Summer. Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015. 185pp $24.95 (978-1-937420-90-1) A poetic expose of a plane crash that took the life of the author’s friend.

Fanny says: poems by Nickole Brown. BOA Editions, 2015. 148pp, $13.52 (978-1-938160-57-8) A biography of a fiesty, bawdy, grandmother told through the poetry of her granddaughter. Funny, powerful, and steeped in truth and love.

Girlie Calendar (The Lillian Trilogy) by Mary Meriam.  Headmistress Press, 2014. 108pp. $10 (0-692-21672-3) A book of poetry in the Lillian Trilogy.

Hook by Peter Laberge. Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015.  36pp. $12 (978- 1-937420-97-3) A book of poetry seeking beauty in nature and in our bodies, despite the threat of violence. Powerful and beautiful.

The new testament by Jericho Brown.  Copper Canyon Press, 2014. 73pp. $14.40 (978-1-55659-457-1) A deep and provocative story told through poetry revealing memories and trauma that continue through generations. Deeply haunting and beautifully written.

Pelvis with distance by Jessica Jacobs. White Pine Press, 2015. 135pp. $13.70 (978-1-935210-66-5) A biography of Georgia O’Keefe written in poetry that reads like a beautiful, subtle novel.

Teaching a man to unstick his tail by Ralph Hamilton. Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015. 114pp. $16.95 (978-1-937420-88-8) A collection of poetry about relationships, emotions and love lost and found.

The following books were awarded honors by the Stonewall Book Awards and are therefore also included in the Over The Rainbow list:

Apocalypse baby by Virginie Despentes and Sian Reynolds.  The Feminist Press at CUNY, 2015. 310pp. $19.63 (978-0-87071-595-2) Lesbian Mari Equi’s move from New Jerseyu to Oregon at the turn of the 20th century begins her activist life that frequently lands her in a number of relationships and often in jail.

Becoming Nicole: the transformation of an American family by Amy  Ellis Nutt. Random House, 2015. 279pp $17.87 (978-0-8129-9541-1) The Maines family is transformed when they discover that one of their adopted identical twins is transgender, and they learn to provide heightened emotional an legal safeguards to fulfill her potential.

For your own good by Luke Horlick. Caitlin Press, 2015. 95pp. $18 (978-1-927575-67-3) A hauntingly powerful collection of poems takes the reader through the excruciating twists and turns of being a queer, sexual assault survivor.

The gay revolution: the story of the struggle by Lillian Faderman. Simon & Schuster, 2015. 794pp. $25.73 (978-1-4516-9412-3) The sweeping story of the modern struggle for gay, lesbian, and trans rights—from the 1950s to the present—based on amazing interviews with politicians, military figures, legal activists, and members of the entire LGBT community who face these challenges every day. Non-Fiction.

The gods of tango by Carolina De Robertis.  Knopf, 2015. 367pp. $20.61 (978-1-101-87449-3) A complete and intricate story of how one inhabits otherness in a structured society begins in 1913 after Leta trabels from Italy to Buenos Ares seeking her husband witth gender identitry, migration, and tango.

Jam on the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett. Publishers Group West, 2015. 323pp. $20.43 (978-0-8021-2334-3) A historical novel set in the age of Jim Crow and the Great Migration. Ivoe Williams, the daughter of a Muslim cook and a metalsmith struggles for equality and triumphs against all odds. Ivoe falls in love with a woman and they build a life together in Missouri in the wake of social change.

Lum, A Novel  by Libby Ware. She Writes Press, 2015. 215pp. $13.93 (978-1-63152-003-7) For intersex Lum, depended on her parasitic family members for three decades, the development of the Blue Ridge Parkway brings new financial and social opportunities in 1930’s Appalachia.

Marie Equi: radical politics and outlaw passions by Michael Helquist. Oregon State University Press, 2015. 310 pp. $19.63 (978-0-87071-595-2) Lesbian Mari Equi’s move from New Jerseyu to Oregon at the turn of the 20th century begins her activist life that frequently lands her in a number of relationships and often in jail.

Speak now: marriage equality on trial: the story of Hollingsworth v. Perry by Kenji Yoshino. Crown Publishers, 2015. 373pp. $23.53 (978-0-385-34880-5) Kenji Yoshino provides a clear and accessible account of the background to the 2010 lawsuit against Proposition 8 in California and then the life-changing Supreme Court case of Hollingsworth v. Perry.

Violence against queer people: race, class, gender, and the persistence of anti-LGBT discrimination. Doug Meyer. Rutgers University Press, 2016. 194pp. $90 (978-0-8135-7316-8) Meyer’s scholarly work shows that atributing homophobia to certain groups (religious, social-economic status, Black and/or Latino communities) further marginalizes GLBTQ members of this group.

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2015 Over the Rainbow List: 78 LGBT Books for Adult Readers

The 2015 Over the Rainbow Project book list, sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA), has been decided at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.

This year’s list includes 78 titles published between July 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014.  The committee’s mission is to create a bibliography of books that exhibit commendable literary quality and significant authentic GLBT content and are recommended for adults over age 18. It is not meant to be all-inclusive but is intended as an annual core list for readers and librarians searching for recommendations for a cross-section of the year’s titles. Although the committee attempts to present titles for a variety of reading tastes and levels, no effort is made to balance this bibliography according to subject, area of interest, age, or genre.

The Over the Rainbow committee includes Kelly McElroy, Chair, Corvallis, OR; Rebecca Butler, Valparaiso, IN; David Combe, Ventura, CA; Annaliese Fidgeon, Northridge, CA.; Jessica Louise Jones, College Station, TX; Derek Marshall, West Point, MS; and Matthew Windsor, Conway AR.

 

Our top ten favorites

Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive. By Julia Serano. Seal Press. 2013. 327p. $17.00. (978-1-58005-504-8). An in-depth look at problematic elements of feminist and queer movements, with suggestions on how to address those issues.

Gender Failure. By Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon. Arsenal Pulp Press. 2014. 160p. $17.95. (978-1551525365). A collection of personal essays, song lyrics, and drawings recounting Coyote’s and Spoon’s lifelong experiences understanding and challenging gender.

Living Out Islam: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims. By Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle. NYU Press. 2013.275p. $27.00. (978-1479894673). A look at 15 ‘activist’ gay, lesbian, and transgender Muslims as they attempt to find ways to live out Islam with dignity and integrity, reconciling their sexuality and gender with their faith, and recreating and reclaiming Islam as their own.

Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness, and Becoming a Man. By Thomas Page McBee. City Lights Publishers. 2014. 172p. $15.95. (978-0872866249). In this thoughtful memoir, McBee recounts and confronts both childhood abuse and a more recent act of violence.

Mr. Loverman. By Bernadine Evaristo. Akashic. 2014. 307p. $24.95. (978-1617752896). 74-year-old Barrington Jedidiah Walker, a member of Britain’s Caribbean community, is still trying to decide how to leave his wife of 50 years and move in with the man he has loved since childhood.

The Paying Guests. By Sarah Waters. Riverhead Hardcover. 2014. 576p. $28.95. (978-1594633119). Waters’s characters (where even the house takes on a quality of character) are vividly portrayed in this novel of post-WWI England. The newly impoverished Francis Wray and her mother take in boarders whose presence leads to unforeseen moral dilemmas.

Prelude to Bruise.  By Saeed Jones.  Coffee House Press. 2014. 124p. $16.00. (978-1566893749).  These poems of Boy, growing up gay and African American in the South, are complicated, horrific, and metaphoric.

The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood. By Richard Blanco. Ecco. 2014. 272p. $25.99. (978-0062313768). A vivid recollection of growing up as the child of Cuban immigrants in mid-century Miami.

The Queer South: LGBTQ Writers on the American South.  Douglas Ray, Editor. Sibling Rivalry Press. 2014. 304 pages.  $28.00 (978-1-937420-80-2).  A poetry anthology exploring lesbian and gay experiences in the American South.

The Two Hotel Francforts. By David Leavitt. Bloomsbury USA. 2013. 272p. $25.00. (978-1596910423). After the fall of Paris to the Nazis, the expatriate couple Julia and Pete Winters join others in flight to Lisbon to flee Europe.  There they meet the Frelings, writers of mystery novels who are also fleeing Europe for the States.  Amid the chaos of the impeding war, this chance meeting changes their lives.

 

Art / Photography

100 Crushes. By Elisha Lim. Koyama Press. 2014. 100p. $18.00. (978-1927668061). Compilation of the works of queer comics artist Elisha Lim; part memoir and part biographies of friends.

dr.a.g. By Christopher Logan. Bookthefilm. 2014. 180p. $39.99. (978-0-9921529-0-1). A collection of color photographs of drag queens from all over the world. Photography.

The Invisibles: Vintage Portraits of Love and Pride. By Sebastien Lifshitz. Rizzoli. 2014. 144p. $27.50. (978-0847843060). This collection of photographs shows an unexpected glimpse of same-sex couples in the early 20th century.

TransCuba. By Mariette Pathy Allen. Daylight Books. 2014. 142p. $45. (978-0988983137). A collection of photographs and conversations with trans women in contemporary Cuba.

 

Fiction

All I Love and Know. By Judith Frank. William Morrow. 2014. 432p. $26.99. (978-0062302878). When his identical twin brother and sister-in-law are killed in Israel in a horrific terrorist attack, Daniel is left to fulfill their wishes and raise their two children in the States.  Besides grief, Daniel and his lover Matt must handle the Israel’s legal system, the media, the families, their relationship, as well as being thrust into the role of parents.

Bruceville. By Robyn Vinten. Tollington Press. 2013. 234p. $15. (978-1909347007). Three childhood friends reunite in rural New Zealand for a wedding and revisit haunting memories of growing up, after one of the friends has come out as trans.

The Days of Anna Madrigal: A Novel. By Armistead Maupin. Harper. 2014. 288p. $26.99. (978-0062196248). The final work in the Tales of the City series focuses on the life of Anna Madrigal, the legendary transgender landlady, now in her 90s, and brings back all the beloved characters of the series.

The Farm. By Tom Rob Smith. Grand Central Publishing. 2014. 368p. $26.00. (978-0446550734). When Daniel receives a call from his father telling him his mother had been committed to a mental hospital, he must come to terms with the hidden lives of his parents, the toxic effect of familial lies, and his own hidden life in order to solve the mystery these lies have created.

For Today I Am A Boy. By Kim Fu. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014. 242p. $23. (978-0544034723). Told from the perspective of Peter as he grows from a child into a young adult identifying as a girl, despite his Chinese immigrant family’s traditional gender expectations.

Frog Music. By Emma Donoghue. Little, Brown and Company. 2014. 416p. $27.00. (978-0316324687). When Jenny Bonnet, a secretive, pants-wearing woman, bikes down Blanche, a dancer of ill repute in 1870s San Francisco, she disrupts Blanche’s seemingly happy life, making her reevaluate it all.

Hild: A Novel. By Nicola Griffith. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. 2013. 560p. $27.00. (978-0374280871). A fictional account of the woman who would eventually become St. Hilda of Whitby; this book is full of descriptions of the daily life of women and the spectrum of their relationships with one another in 7th-century England.

Hysterical: Anna Freud’s Story. By Rebecca Coffey. She Writes Press. 2014. 360p. $16.95. (978-1938314421). A fictional memoir by the queer, youngest daughter of Sigmund Freud, who became a renowned psychoanalyst in her own right.

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932: A Novel. By Francine Prose. Harper. 2014. 448p. $26.99. (978-0061713781). Told through a series of letters and novels by her friends, lovers, biographer, and acquaintances, the life of Lou Villars, athlete, cross-dressing lesbian, race car driver, spy and more, comes to life against the backdrop of Paris from 1932 through the end of WWII. The literary construction plays with what is remembered and what is real.

Medici Boy. By John L’Heureux. Astor + Blue Editions, LLC. 2014. 346p. $ 24.95. (978-1938231506). Set against the backdrop of Florence in the 15th Century, Luca, writing from prison, tells the life of his half brother Agnolo, who is Donatello’s muse and lover and model for the famous David sculpture.

Mr. Loverman. By Bernadine Evaristo. Akashic. 2014. 307p. $24.95. (978-1617752896). 74-year-old Barrington Jedidiah Walker, a member of Britain’s Caribbean community, is still trying to decide how to leave his wife of 50 years and move in with the man he has loved since childhood.

Palmerino. By Melissa Pritchard. Bellevue Literary Press. 2014. 192p. $14.95. (978-1934137680). Writer Sylvia Case returns to Villa il Palmerino after her divorce to write a biography of Violet Paget, late 19th century writer, only to channel Violet’s spirit in her former home.

The Paying Guests. By Sarah Waters. Riverhead Hardcover. 2014. 576p. $28.95. (978-1594633119). Waters’s characters (where even the house takes on a quality of character) are vividly portrayed in this novel of post-WWI England. The newly impoverished Francis Wray and her mother take in boarders whose presence leads to unforeseen moral dilemmas.

Prairie Ostrich. By Tamai Kobayashi.  Goose Lane Editions. 2014. 200p. $19.95. (978-0864926807). When the death of her brother turns her family upside down, Egg tries to cope.  Being Japanese-Canadian in a rural community, she is isolated, bullied, and misunderstood, but her older lesbian sister is her strength and support.

The Two Hotel Francforts. By David Leavitt. Bloomsbury USA. 2013. 272p. $25.00. (978-1596910423). After the fall of Paris to the Nazis, the expatriate couple Julia and Pete Winters join others in flight to Lisbon to flee Europe.  There they meet the Frelings, writers of mystery novels who are also fleeing Europe for the States.  Amid the chaos of the impeding war, this chance meeting changes their lives.

Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City. By Choire Sicha. Harper. 2013. 256p. $24.99. (978-0061914300). Set in New York during the fallout of the financial crisis, this novel follows a group of gay men in work and life.

 

Fiction / Mystery

The Water Rat of Wanchai: An Ava Lee Novel. By Ian Hamilton. Picador. 2014. 400p. $16.00. (978-1250032270). Lesbian Ava Lee, forensic accountant and martial arts expert, tracks stolen money through Hong Kong, Bangkok, Guyana, and the British Islands, while engaging formidable foes.

 

Fiction / Short Stories

Fairytales for Lost Children. By Diriye Osman. Angelica Entertainment Ltd. 2013. 174p. $14.99. (978-0956971944). Short stories about immigrant queer Somalis written in a lively style.

 

Graphic Narrative

The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story. By Vivek J. Tiwary. Illustrated by Andrew C. Robinson. M Press. 2013. 144p. $19.99. (978-1616552565). Graphic telling of Brian Epstein’s life reveals his importance as the gay impresario who managed the Beatles from 1961-1967.

If This Be Sin. By Hazel Newlevant. Prism Comics. 2014. 42p. $10.00. (9781630687069). This brief collection of three short comics tells of queer women who express themselves through their music and dance.

On Loving Women. By Diane Obomsawin. Drawn and Quarterly. 2014. 88p. $16.95. (978-1770461406). Simple comics illustrate the moments when a series of young women realize that they also love women.

Qu33r. Ed. by Rob Kirby. Northwest Press. 2013. 264p. $9.99-39.99  (978-1938720376). A graphic anthology of 33 different contributors telling stories of first dates, rejection, dreams, passions and what “queer” means to them.

 

Non-Fiction

1960s Gay Pulp Fiction: The Misplaced Heritage. Ed. by Drewey Wayne Gunn and Jaime Harker. University of Massachusetts Press. 2013. 344p. $27.95. (978-1625340450). These thirteen well-documented essays outline the history of gay pulp fiction and the role it played in the lives of gay men through the 60’s, providing a look at authors and publishers and analyzing representative pulp fiction works.

Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis. By Alexis Coe. Pulp/Zest Books. 2014. 208p. $16.99. (978-1936976607). An engaging account of the shocking 1892 murder of a teenaged girl by her spurned lover, also a teenaged girl.

Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive. By Julia Serano. Seal Press. 2013. 327p. $17.00. (978-1-58005-504-8). An in-depth look at problematic elements of feminist and queer movements, with suggestions on how to address those issues.

The Homoerotics of Orientalism. By Joseph Allen Boone. Columbia University Press. 2014. 520p. $50.00. (978-0231151108). In this academic, yet accessible book, Boone reviews 400 years of Middle Eastern and the Western literature, travel writings, historical works, art, photography, and cinema to illuminate the degree that male homosexuality has been associated with and/or manufactured about Middle Eastern culture.

Law and the Gay Rights Story: The Long Search for Equal Justice in a Divided Democracy. By Walter Frank. Rutgers University Press. 2014. 248p. $29.95. (978-0813568713). In a highly readable and personable style, Frank chronicles the legal fights for gay rights over the last 50 years, highlighting the individuals involved and the social, cultural, and political issues surrounding them.

A Little Gay History: Desire and Diversity Across the World. By R.B. Parkinson. Columbia University Press. 2013. 128 p.  $19.95  (023116663X). Objects ranging from Ancient Egyptian papyri and the erotic scenes on the Roman Warren Cup to images by modern artists provide insight into the range, diversity and complexity of same-sex experiences.

Living Out Islam: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims. By Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle. NYU Press. 2013.275p. $27.00. (978-1479894673). A look at 15 ‘activist’ gay, lesbian, and transgender Muslims as they attempt to find ways to live out Islam with dignity and integrity, reconciling their sexuality and gender with their faith, and recreating and reclaiming Islam as their own.

A Queer History of Fashion. Ed. by Valerie Steel. Yale University Press. 2013. 248p. $50.  (978-0300196702). A look at LGB (and some T) history from the perspective of fashion, looking at how fashion contributes to movements and perceptions of groups of people.

The Queer South: LGBTQ Writers on the American South.  Douglas Ray, Editor. Sibling Rivalry Press. 2014. 304 pages.  $28.00 (978-1-937420-80-2).  A poetry anthology exploring lesbian and gay experiences in the American South.

Radical Relations: Lesbian Mothers, Gay Fathers, and Their Children in the United States since World War II. By Daniel W. Rivers. University of North Carolina Press. 2013. 312p. $29.95. (978-1469607184). Based on extensive archival research and 130 interviews conducted nationwide, this book documents the stories of lesbian mothers and gay fathers from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Sexual Discretion: Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing. By Jeffrey Q. McCune Jr.  University Of Chicago Press. 2014. 224p. $25.00. (978-0226096537). Academic yet accessible, McCune takes to task the media’s contemporary discourse on the “down low” by examining the issue through interviews and surveys of 60 DL men, the media’s fascination and handling of the subject, and a look at the subject in the context of the “passing” literature.

Sexual Diversity in Africa: Politics, Theory, and Citizenship. By S. N. Nyeck and Marc Epprecht. McGill-Queen’s University Press. 2013. 312p. $29.95. (978-0773541887). Well-documented and scholarly, these eleven essays shed light on the complex nature of sexuality, sexual practices and gender performance in Africa and dispute oversimplified tropes including homosexuality versus heterosexuality, modern versus traditional, and Africa versus the West.

There Goes the Gayborhood? By Amin Ghaziani. Princeton University Press. 2014. 360p. $35.00. (978-0691158792). Focusing on Chicago’s gayborhoods of Andersonville and Boystown, Ghaziani looks at the origins of these enclaves and the impact on the future prospects, character, and composition of these neighborhoods in this “post gay” era due to changes in political and societal acceptance of GLBT individuals.

The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions are Sabotaging Gay Equality. By Suzanna Danuta Walters. NYU Press. 2014. 343p. $29.95. (978-0814770573). By examining the marriage equality successes, religious approaches to changes in gay acceptance, scientific research of homosexuality, and other areas of social change, Walters argues for equality, deep integration and civil inclusion rather than just acceptance and tolerance that is contingent upon the heterosexual majority deeming it so.

 

Non-Fiction /  Biography / Memoir

Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival. By Sean Strub. Scribner. 2014. 432p. $30.00. (978-1451661958). The founder of POZ magazine and AIDS and LGBT activist, the author looks back on his life and career in the midst of the 1980s AIDS epidemic.

A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir. By Daisy Hernandez. Beacon Press. 2014. 200p. $24.95. (978-0807014486). The daughter of Cuban and Colombian immigrants, Hernandez recounts growing up bilingual and bisexual.

Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family. By Natalie Meissner. Fernwood Publishing. 2014. 181p. $20.95. (978-1552666012). Both Meissner and her wife get pregnant in quick succession in this beautifully written memoir about starting a family.

Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger. By Kelly J. Cogswell. University of Minnesota Press. 2014. 256p. $19.95. (978-0816691166). This behind-the-scenes look at the Lesbian Avengers speak to the activists’ efforts in making a difference and Cogswell’s persistent struggle to raise awareness and effect change outside of this organization.

The End of Eve: A Memoir. By Ariel Gore. Hawthorne Books. 2014. 237p. $16.95. (978-0986000799). Ariel finds it hard to live according to her values as she becomes a caretaker for a very challenging mother who is dying of cancer, moves to New Mexico, ends a relationship, and raises her son and daughter.

Falling into Place. By Catherine Reid.  Beacon Press. 2014. 184p. $24.95.  (978-0807009925). Essays on nature and place, blended with reflections on relationships and politics.

Fire Shut Up in My Bones. By Charles Blow. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014. 240p. $27.00. (978-0544228047). Blow’s coming of age memoir is his personal account of family, homophobia, racism, and poverty growing up in the Deep South.

Gender Failure. By Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon. Arsenal Pulp Press. 2014. 160p. $17.95. (978-1551525365). A collection of personal essays, song lyrics, and drawings recounting Coyote’s and Spoon’s lifelong experiences understanding and challenging gender.

Ham: Slices of a Life, Essays and Stories. By Sam Harris. Gallery Books. 2014. 304p. $26.00. (978-1476733418). Harris’s essays recount growing up gay in the Bible belt of Oklahoma, his search for fame on the music and Broadway stage, his battle with alcoholism, and his finding love and family are both laugh-out-loud hilarious and poignantly heartfelt.

Hold Tight Gently. By Martin Duberman. The New Press. 2014. 356p. $27.95. (978-1595589453). Using the lives of Michael Callen, gay activist and singer, and Essex Hemphill, Black gay activist and poet, Duberman traces the history of the AIDS crisis illuminating the struggle during this era and the injustices which occurred.

In My Skin: My Life On and Off the Basketball Court. By Brittney Griner. It Books. 2014. 224p. $25.99. (978-0062309334). WNBA player recounts a childhood and college basketball career in a homophobic environment.

Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness, and Becoming a Man. By Thomas Page McBee. City Lights Publishers. 2014. 172p. $15.95. (978-0872866249). In this thoughtful memoir, McBee recounts and confronts both childhood abuse and a more recent act of violence.

Pee-Shy. By Frank Spinelli. Kensington. 2013. 352p. $15.00. (978-0758291325). Abused as a child by his Scoutmaster, Frank, now a successful doctor, partner, and author, is determined to see some resolution to the horrors of his abuse by confronting his abuser.

Soldier of Change: From the Closet to the Forefront of the Gay Rights Movement. By Stephen Snyder-Hill. Potomac Books Inc. 2014. 192p. $22.95. (978-1612346977). Snyder-Hill’s conversational account of his days in the army under DADT, his continued fight for equality in the armed services, and the elimination of DOMA brings home the reality of the “closet” in the military.

Mommy Man. By Jerry Mahoney.  Taylor Trade Publishing.  2014.  296p.  $24.95 (978-1589799226).  Mahoney recounts the process of surrogacy and the obstacles facing gay parents with wit and humor.

The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood. By Richard Blanco. Ecco. 2014. 272p. $25.99. (978-0062313768). A vivid recollection of growing up as the child of Cuban immigrants in mid-century Miami.

Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders. By Diane Anderson-Minshall and Jacob Anderson-Minshall. Bold Strokes Books. 2014. 264p. $16.95. (978-1626390621). Told in dual narratives, the journey of committed queers Diane and Suzy as Suzy transitions to Jacob illustrates their difficulties, as well as the rewards of their loving and supportive relationship.

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. By Janet Mock. Atria Books. 2014. 288p. $24.99. (978-1476709123). Mock’s memoir describes her transition as a young, low-income, trans person of color.

Teaching the Cat to Sit: A Memoir. By Michelle Theall. Gallery Books. 2014. 288p. $24.99. (978-1451697292). Chapters in this memoir alternate between Theall’s memories of growing up queer and Catholic and her decisions about religion as she and her partner raise an adopted child together.

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh. By John Lahr. W. W. Norton & Company. 2014. 784p. $18.95. (978-0393351651). A detailed look at the life, family, work, and loves of renowned playwright Tennessee Williams.

 

Poetry

All the Heat We Could Carry. By Charlie Bondhus. Main Street Rag. 2013. 72p. $14.00. (978-1599484365). Written from the point of view of gay soldiers and their partners, these poems reveal the horror of the recent wars and the lasting effects on the men who participate in combat.

Amorcito Maricón. By Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano. Kórima Press. 2014. 104p. $15.00. (978-0988967359). With subject matter that is brimming with desire, love, romance unfulfilled, sex and pleasure, these poems are not romantic or sentimental.  Herrera y Lozano’s poems speak of brown-on-brown joto love in a unique queer Xicano voice.

Artificial Cherry. By Billeh Nickerson. Arsenal Pulp Press. 2014. 96p. $14.95. (978-1551525402). Poems and brief observations on life and places are funny and fresh.

Erotic Postulate.  By Matthew Hittinger.  Sibling Rivalry Press.  2014.  120 pages $13.00. (978-1937420765).  Poetry that explores historical and mathematical themes within a gay context.

Joy Exhaustible. Assaracus Presents the Publishers. Ed. by Bryan Borland and Seth Pennington. Sibling Rivalry Press. 2014. 196p. $19.95. (978-1937420703). Eighteen gay small press publishers and editors show how talented they are in these memoirs, poetry and fiction.

God of Longing. By Brent Calderwood. Sibling Rivalry Press. 2014. 82p. $14.95. (978-1937420819). Calderwood’s poems speak to the longing for the love of one’s life only to discover that it is a minefield filled with faults and fractures.

A History of the Unmarried. By Stephen S. Mills. Sibling rivalry Press. 2014. 86p. $14.95. (978-1937420796). Refreshing, brutally real poetry that is honest in its depiction of contemporary relationships and love.

Las Hociconas: Three Locas with Big Mouths and Even Bigger Brains. By Adelina Anthony. Kórima Press. 2013. 140p. $15.00. (978-0988967342). With great strength of the written and dramatic words, these three theatrical comedies of Xicana artist Adelina Anthony’s live work are outrageous and irreverent, honest and fearless portraits.

Like a Beggar. By Ellen Bass. Copper Canyon Press. 2014. 70p. $16.00. (978-1556594649). Bass makes the ordinary extraordinary with images of love and nature which illuminate what one sees differently.

Nefarious. By Emanuel Xavier. QueerMojo. 2013. 84p. $10.95. (978-1608640942). Using his life as the subject,  Xavier reflects on his past as well as his present state, looking at love, sex, family, writing, and life.

Prelude to Bruise.  By Saeed Jones.  Coffee House Press. 2014. 124p. $16.00. (978-1566893749).  These poems of Boy, growing up gay and African American in the South, are complicated, horrific, and metaphoric.

Prime: Poetry & Conversation. By L. Lamar Wilson, et al. Sibling Rivalry Press. 2014. 104p. $16.95 . (978-1937420734). Poems and conversations among gay, African-American poets reveal much about their work, mentoring, and their theories of poetry.  Prime features poems by and dialogue between poets Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Saeed Jones, Rickey Laurentiis, Phillip B. Williams, and L. Lamar Wilson.

Straight Razor: Poems. By Randall Mann. Persea. 2013. 80p. $15.95. (978-0892554300). Often using a formalized structure, Mann’s poetry delivers creative images of growing up gay in Florida, the San Francisco gay scene, sex, and longing.

This Life Now. By Michael Broder. A Midsummer Night’s Press. 2014. 53p. $13.95. (978-1938334092). Poetry on the relationships between men focus on loss, love, and lust.  The author draws the reader in with pop culture references and the demonstration of the universal desire for companionship in this gritty collection.

This Way to the Sugar. By Hieu Minh Nguyen. Write Bloody Publishing. 2014. 100p. $15.00. (978-1938912443). Nguyen’s poems illuminate growing up gay and Vietnamese in Minnesota, touching on family, sexual abuse, abandonment and death.

When I Was Straight. By Julie Marie Wade. A Midsummer Night’s Press. 2014. 42p. $10.95. (978-1938334085).  Hilarious and heart-breaking, the author shares her story of her life before she came out and the reactions of those around her on learning she is a lesbian.

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2014 Over the Rainbow List: 71 LGBT Books for Adult Readers

The 2014 Over the Rainbow Project book list, sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA), has been decided at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.

This year’s list includes 71 titles published between July 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013.  The committee’s mission is to create a bibliography of books that exhibit commendable literary quality and significant authentic GLBT content and are recommended for adults over age 18. It is not meant to be all-inclusive but is intended as an annual core list for readers and librarians searching for recommendations for a cross-section of the year’s titles. Although the committee attempts to present titles for a variety of reading tastes and levels, no effort is made to balance this bibliography according to subject, area of interest, age, or genre.

The Over the Rainbow committee includes Robert Graziano, Chair, Chicago, IL; Kelly McElroy, Chair-Elect, Iowa City, IA; David Combe, Ventura, CA; Annaliese Fidgeon, Northridge, CA.; Jessica Louise Jones, Santa Fe, NM; Louis Munoz, Jr., Brooklyn, NY; Robert Ridinger, DeKalb, IL; Nel Ward, Newport, OR.

Our Top Ten Favorites

Anything That Loves: Comics Beyond “Gay” and “Straight”. Ed. by Charles “Zan” Christensen and Carol Queen. Northwest Press. 2013. 216p. $29.99. (978-1938720321). A collection of comics covers the range and nuances of bisexuality, showcasing the discrimination bisexuals face from both the gay and straight communities.

Art and Queer Culture. Ed. by Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer. Phaidon Press. 2013. 412p. $75.00. (978-0714849355). Chronological and comprehensive in scope, the editors document the wide expanse of queer cultural expressions that oppose normative heterosexuality from 1885 through the present.

Body Geographic. By Barrie Jean Borich. University of Nebraska Press. 2013. 272p. $17.95. (978-0803239852). In this creative, non-linear narrative, Borich traces the real, imagined, future, and past “maps” of families, cities, and lovers which intersect in Borich’s life.

Coconut Milk. By Dan Taulapapa McMullin. University of Arizona Press. 2013. 80p. $15.95. (978-0816530526). The culturally-rich poems from a queer, Samoan American bring the Samoan culture to life and point out the dichotomy of Fa’a Fafine, third-gendered life in two cultures.

Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club. By Benjamin Alire Saenz. Cinco Puentos. 2012 (Oct.). 222p. $16.95. (978-1935955320). Seven short stories set in the famous watering hole just south of El Paso on Avenida Juarez reflect the connecting place for Saenz’s characters from different sides of physical and emotional borders.

Gay Press, Gay Power: The Growth of LGBT Community Newspapers in America. By Tracy Baim. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2012. 468p. $25. (978-1480080522). Comprehensive in scope and content, this history of GLBT print media incorporates interviews and essays by leaders in the field to trace the mainstream’s handling of gay content, the role of advertising in this media, and its future.

The Golden Boy. By Abigail Tarttelin. Atria Books. 2013. 346p. $24.99. (978-1476705804). A family’s carefully constructed facade intended to protect their intersex child falls apart when he is the victim of a violent crime.

Mundo Cruel: Stories. By Luis Negron. Trans. by Suzanne Jill Levine. Seven Stories Press. 2013. 96p. $13.95. (978-1609804183). Luis Negron transcribes Telemundo into print through witty, humorous, satirical stories that capture the Puerto Rican’s view of the world.

Red-Inked Retablos. By Rigoberto Gonzalez. University of Arizona Press. 2012. $19.95. 140p. (978-0816521357). In the tradition of framing devotional images, these 13 essays honor those people who influenced the gay author’s lifework and give hope to a future generation of Latino “mariposa” writers.

This Assignment is so Gay: LGBTIQ Poets on the Art of Teaching. Ed. by Megan Volpert. Sibling Rivalry Press. 2013. 226p. $24.95. (978-1937420420). An anthology of poems on the struggles and connections made in the classroom comes from the intersection of personal identity, teaching, and learning.

ART

Art and Queer Culture. Ed. by Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer. Phaidon Press. 2013. 412p. $75.00. (978-0714849355). Chronological and comprehensive in scope, the editors document the wide expanse of queer cultural expressions that oppose normative heterosexuality from 1885 through the present.

Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene. Photographs by Gerard H. Gaskin. Duke University Press. 2013. 120p. $45. (978-0822355823). Color and b/w photographs flaunt gay and transgender men and women, mostly Latino and black, as they express their electric, effervescent selves.

DRAMA

Tom at the Farm. By Michael Marc Bouchard. Trans. by Linda Gaboriau. Talonbooks. 2013. 80p. $16.95. (978-0889227590). Lust mixes with brutality when urban Tom attends the rural funeral of his lover and finds himself caught in the dysfunctional lives and expectations of the lover’s mother and brother.

FICTION

Cha-Ching! By Ali Liegegott. City Lights. 2013. 248p. $15.95. (978-0872865709). A young woman, Theo, tries to get a new start in New York City where a new relationship starts her on the right path, but old vices quickly reappear.

The Golden Boy. By Abigail Tarttelin. Atria Books. 2013. 346p. $24.99. (978-1476705804). A family’s carefully constructed facade intended to protect their intersex child falls apart when he is the victim of a violent crime.

An Honest Ghost. By Rick Whitaker. Jaded Ibis Press. 2013. 210p. $16.99. (978-1937543389). In a cut-and-paste novel, the author tells about his life, his boyfriend, his son, and his son’s mother through single sentences taken from over 500 other works.

Nevada. By Imogen Binnie. Topside Press. 2013. 242p. $17.95. (978-0983242239). Providing a powerful transgender voice throughout the novel, Maria Griffiths, a trans woman in New York who finds her life unraveling, steals a car and seeks escape via a cross-country road trip to Nevada.

These Things Happen. By Richard Kramer. Unbridled Books. 2012. 272p. $24.95. (978-1609530891). After 15-year-old Theo comes out at a school assembly, he asks his straight friend Wesley who is living with his gay father and lover to help him understand this “gay thing” during 24 hours of mayhem and soul-searching in Wesley’s extended family.

FICTION /MYSTERY

The Killer Wore Leather: A Mystery. By Laura Antoniou. Cleis Press. 2013. 402p. $16.95. (978-1-573449304). Chaos reigns amidst a myriad of characters as dyke Detective Rebecca Feldblum, with the help of her straight sidekick, navigates the kinky world of sex to find the murderer of reigning Mr. Global Leather during the current contest at a New York hotel.

FICTION/SHORT STORIES

Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club. By Benjamin Alire Saenz. Cinco Puentos. 2012.  222p. $16.95. (978-1935955320). Seven short stories set in the famous watering hole just south of El Paso on Avenida Juarez reflect the connecting place for Saenz’s characters from different sides of physical and emotional borders.

Canary: Stories. By Nancy Jo Cullen. Biblioasis. 2013. 189p. Biblioasis. $15.95.(978-1927428146). This often comic collection of short stories focuses on working class Canadian characters whose sexually is often fluid.

Mundo Cruel: Stories. By Luis Negron. Trans. by Suzanne Jill Levine. Seven Stories Press. 2013. 96p. $13.95. (978-1609804183). Luis Negron transcribes Telemundo into print through witty, humorous, satirical stories that capture the Puerto Rican’s view of the world.

GRAPHIC NARRATIVE

7 Miles A Second.  By David Wojnarowicz, Marguerite Van Cook and James Romberger. Fantagraphics. 2013. 68p. $19.99. (978-1606996140). This classic graphic read includes new material and the powerful, never-before-duplicated, realistic coloring of the artist.

Anything That Loves: Comics Beyond “Gay” and “Straight”. Ed. by Charles “Zan” Christensen and Carol Queen. Northwest Press. 2013. 216p. $29.99. (978-1938720321). A collection of comics covers the range and nuances of bisexuality, showcasing the discrimination bisexuals face from both the gay and straight communities.

Blue is the Warmest Color. By Julie Maroh. Trans. by Ivanka Hahnenberger. Arsenal Pulp Press. 2013. 160p. $19.95. (978-1551525143). Clementine, a high school junior, finds an expected love for a young woman, but the relationship is made difficult because of Clem’s homophobic family and new lover’s girlfriend.

Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir. By Nicole J. Georges. Houghton Mifflin. 2013. 260p. $16.95. (978-0547615592). Episodic vignettes describe the author’s pain-filled life between the age of two, when her mother told her that her father was dead, to the pursuit of truth when a palm reader tells Georges, 23, that the father is actually alive and Georges’ misery in finding acceptance as a lesbian.

Julio’s Day. By Gilbert Hernandez. Fantagraphics. 2013. 112p. $19.99. (978-1606996065). With minimal text, this graphic novel follows main character Julio from cradle to grave, illustrating how the gay experience has changed drastically over 100 years.

Spit and Passion. By Cristy C. Road. The Feminist Press. 2012. 157p. $15.95. (978-1558618077). The Cuban-American, Catholic-reared author reveals the angst of her youth in her combined text and art memoir that describes failure to fit into her culture, her search for help in punk rock, and her coming to terms with her queer identity.

NON-FICTION

Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution. By Shiri Eisner. Seal Press. 2013. 245p. $16.00. (978-1580054744). This examination of bisexual politics covers issues of biphobia/monosexism, feminism, and transgenderism including the problems of labeling this sexual orientation/gender identity.

Courthouse Democracy and Minority Rights: Same-Sex Marriage in the States. By Robert J. Hume. Oxford University Press. 2013. 217p. $85. (978-0199982172). Although much attention has been paid to marriage equality in the nation’s higher, state courts have been the catalyst that moved same-sex marriage forward, especially because many decisions went against the “tyranny of the majority.”

‘Don’t Be So Gay!’ Queers, Bullying, and Making School Safe. By Donn Short. UBC Press. 2013. 289p. $32.95. (978-0774823272). Conclusions from interviews with queer youth and their allies in the Toronto area show the faults of the Canadian safe-school legislation and recommend effective strategies to change the homophobic culture of schools.

From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage. By Michael J. Klarman. Oxford University Press. 2012. 276p. $27.95. (978-0199922109). Although LGBT rights suffered reversals during the last half of the 20th century and the first 11 years of this one, the progress has been amazing, particularly in the area of marriage equality.

Gay Press, Gay Power: The Growth of LGBT Community Newspapers in America. By Tracy Baim. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2012. 468p. $25. (978-1480080522). Comprehensive in scope and content, this history of GLBT print media incorporates interviews and essays by leaders in the field to trace the mainstream’s handling of gay content, the role of advertising in this media, and its future.

Girlfag: A Life Told in Sex and Musicals. By Janet W. Hardy. Beyond Binary Books. 2012. 175p. $13.95. (978-1938123009). A female-bodied person telling of her identification with gay men and exploring other girlfags in the past addresses the question, “Do you want to be that person, or do you want to have sex with them?”

Israel/Palestine and the Queer International. By Sarah Schulman. Duke University Press. 2012. 193p. $22.95. (978-0822353757). Invited to speak at Tel Aviv University, the activist/novelist discovered and joined the Palestinian academic and cultural boycott of Israel as she explored the reasons with queer Palestinians in both the United States and the West Bank in a perspective of Palestine that has both enraged and enlightened.

Land of 10,000 Loves: A History of Queer Minnesota. By Stewart Van Cleve. University of Minnesota Press. 2012. 323p. (978-0816676453). The rich vignettes about events and people of just one state, “queer … since the very beginning,” tie in people from around the world who visited Minnesota and represent the struggles of queer folk everywhere.

Lawfully Wedded Husband: How My Gay Marriage Will Save the American Family. By Joel Derfner. University of Wisconsin. 2013. 235p. (978-0299294908). With humor and poignant clarity, the author blends the rocky path of deciding marriage plans with his psychiatrist partner, Mike Combs, in 2010 with a pointed viewpoint on same-sex marriage partially based on the attitudes of his civil rights activist family.

Men in Eden: William Drummond Stewart and Same-Sex Desire in the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade. By William Benemann. University of Nebraska Press, 2012. 343p. $29.95.(978-0803237780). During the 19th century, Scottish nobleman Stewart traveled from Murthly Castle in Perthshire to a wild life with other hunters and explorers living in freedom on the edge of American society.

New Queer Cinema: The Director’s Cut. By B. Ruby Rich. Duke University Press Books. 2013. 360p. $25.95. (978-0822354284). This compilation of intelligent, thought-provoking essays by film essayist and critic place the new queer cinema movement in its cultural/historical context.

Oye Loca: From the Mariel Boatlift to Gay Cuban Miami. By Susana Pena. University of Minnesota Press. 2013. 280p. $25. (978-0816665549). Pena investigates the changes in the Cuban ethnic and sexual community of Miami since the arrival of the male homosexual “undesirables” of the 1980 Mariel boatlift.

Real Man Adventures. By T Cooper. McSweeney’s. 2012. 272p. $23.00. (978-1938073007). A transsexual man uses a variety of forms–letters, stories, interviews–to address different facets of his life.

Robert Duncan in San Francisco. By Michael Rumaker. City Lights Books. 2013. 143p. $12.95. (978-0872865907). Highly closeted during his friendship with the openly out gay poet, Rumaker reflects on the North Beach literary culture after the publication of Howl but before the more liberating post-Stonewall times.

Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: The Road to the Supreme Court. By Jason Pierceson. Rowman and Littlefield. 2013. 253p. (978-1442212046). The path of the legalization of federal marriage equality has been filled with political, legal, and culture issues.

Same-Sex Legal Kit for Dummies. By Carrie Stone and John G. Culhane. Wiley. 2013. 364p. $34.99. (978-1118395219). This highly accessible book with accompanying CD covers just about every legal facet for LGBT people—valuable for everyone in the community.

Same-Sex Marriage in Latin America: Promise and Resistance. Ed. by Jason Pierceson, Adriana Piatti-Crocker, and Shawn Schulenberg. Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield. 2013. 176p. $27.99. (978-0739167038). Nine authors explore the evolving supportive same-sex policies in Latin America through case studies set in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, and Central America.

Shanghai Lalas: Female Tongzhi Communities and Politics in Urban China. By Lucetta Hip Lo Kam. Hong Kong University Press. 2013. 213p. $25. (978-9882208452). Lesbians in China struggle between their same-sex desire and the need to conform to traditional family life in a country that restricts women’s rights.

We Do! American Leaders Who Believe in Marriage Equality. Ed. by Jennifer Baumgardner & Madeleine M. Kunin. Akashic. 2013. 204p. $15.95. (978-1617751875). A historical look at the growth of marriage equality acceptance through key speeches from Harvey Milk in 1977 to Bill Clinton’s March 2013 speech includes brief bios of the politicians.

NON-FICTION/ BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR

Allen Ginsberg. By Steve Finbow. Reaktion Books. 2013. 235p. $16.95. (978-1780230177). For over a half century, the author of the epic poem Howl fought conformity and capitalization in the world through his contacts with hundreds of the famous and infamous.

Army of Lovers: A Community History of Will Munro. By Sarah Liss. Coach House Books. 2013. 157p. $13.95. (978-1552452776). Various people in Munro’s life describe their relationships with the man who brought together the queer world of Toronto through his career as DJ, activist, impresario, and artist before he died of brain cancer at the age of 35.

The Beauty of Men Never Dies: An Autobiographical Novel. By David Leddick. Terrace Books/University of Wisconsin Press. 2013. 135p. $24.95. (978-0299292706). As a voice from both the past and the present, a man in his 70s shares his gay experiences and insights.

Becoming a Londoner: A Diary. By David Plante. Bloomsbury. 2013. 532p. $30. (978-1620401880). The author’s love affair with his partner Nikos Stangos for over 40 years provides the foundation of Plante’s revelations during the first 20 years as he relishes the many relationships with members of the artistic world.

Body Geographic. By Barrie Jean Borich. University of Nebraska Press. 2013. 272p. $17.95. (978-0803239852). In this creative, non-linear narrative, Borich traces the real, imagined, future, and past “maps” of families, cities, and lovers which intersect in Borich’s life.

Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay. By Paul Vitagliano. Quirk Books. 2012. 128p. $14.95 (978-1594745997). Photographs and text offer insight into the “gay” childhood of individuals across the globe.

Coal to Diamonds. By Beth Ditto with Michelle Tea. Spiegel & Grau.  2013. 153p. $22. (978-0385525916). From rural Arkansas to leader of the band Gossip, this feisty, fat, sexually-confused lesbian-to-be nerd fights her way through a mental breakdown with humor and grace.

Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter: Growing Up with a Gay Dad. By Alison Wearing. Knopf. 2013. 292p. $24. (978-0345807571). Two perspectives—one from a teenage girl and the other from her coming-out father—make this a rich view into the lives of gays and their families in the early 1980s.

Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns. By David Margolick. Other Press. 2013. 343p. $24.95. (978-1590515716). This unflatteringly portrayal of gay American author John Horne Burns (1916–1953) from his early prep school experiences through teaching at a boarding school and military intelligence work in Italy during World War II reads like a novel about a deeply flawed character.

The End of San Francisco. By Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. City Lights Publishing. 2013. 172p. $15.95. (978-0872865723). These memoirs illuminate the generation that came of age in the early 90’s, grew up with AIDS, sought change and created a radical queer community.

Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father. By Alysia Abbott. Norton. 2013. 326p. $25.95. (978-0393082524). After the death of her free-spirited mother, Alysia is brought up by her gay father, poet and activist Steven Abbott.

The Greek House: The Story of a Painter’s Love Affair with the Island of Sifnos. By Christian Brechneff with Tim Lovejoy. FSG. 2013. 284p. $27.00. (978-0374166717). Starting at the age of 21, the author celebrated three decades of summers on an isolated Greek island where he bloomed as an artist and discovered himself as a gay man.

My Almost Certainly Real Imaginary Jesus. By Kelly Barth. Artoi Books. 2012. 228p. $17.95. (978-0980040753). From her childhood in a strict Presbyterian home and her crush on another young girl to her rejection for being a lesbian, Barth searches for Christianity in this sometimes laugh-out-loud memoir.

The Other Man: 21 Writers Speak Candidly about Sex, Love, Infidelity, and Moving On. Ed. by Paul Alan Fahey. JMS Books. 2013. 230p. $14.50. (978-1483970967). As the editor wrote in his introduction, “the other man … comes, he sees, he conquers, and leaves behind something akin to a lingering, twenty-four hour flu or at worst, a really bad case of the Black Death.”

Prairie Silence. By Melanie Hoffert. Beacon Press. 2013. 238p. $24.95. (978-0807044735). Searching for her family roots, the author leaves her city life in Minneapolis during her thirties to return to the family farm in North Dakota where she discovers faith and loyalty among the people and to the land that they serve.

Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous Gender Creative Son. By Lori Duron. Broadway/Crown/Random House. 2013. 261p. $15. (978-0770437725). Blog entries by the author about rearing two sons–the younger gender nonconforming–and maintaining their self-esteem begins with Duron’s discovery that C.J. wants only girl things before the age of three and culminates in her confrontation with school officials to stop the other children bullying the child.

NON-FICTION/ESSAYS

American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics. By Dan Savage. Dutton Adult. 2013. 320p. (987-0525954101). Sex columnist Savage addresses a range of issues including same-sex marriage, monogamy, guns, health care, religion and even death in an often humorous and personal no-hold-barred style.

Among the Bloodpeople: Politics and Flesh. By Thomas Glave. Akashic Books. 2013. 224 p. $15.95. (978-1617751707). Essays on gay love, sex, suicide, writers and writing, the diaspora of Caribbean peoples, and the love of Jamaica (with all of its faults) are pointed and passionate.

Blood, Marriage, Wine and Glitter: Essays. By S. Bear Bergman. Arsenal Pulp. 2013. 232p. $18.95. (978-1551525112). A polyamorous transman married to another transman who delivered their love child writes about the fluidity of gender and relationships.

The Martin Duberman Reader: The Essential Historical, Biographical, and Autobiographical Writings. By Martin Duberman. New Press. 2013. 374p. $21.95. (978-1595586797). A half-century of writings showing the historian’s perspectives on the intersection of gender, sexuality, race, and economics includes part of his 1993 book, Stonewall.

Red-Inked Retablos. By Rigoberto Gonzalez. University of Arizona Press. 2012. $19.95. 140p. (978-0816521357). In the tradition of framing devotional images, these 13 essays honor those people who influenced the gay author’s lifework and give hope to a future generation of Latino “mariposa” writers.

POETRY

After This We Go Dark. By Theresa Davis. Sibling Rivalry Press. 2013. 112p. $14.95. (978-1937420383). Narrative and observational poems use a strong lesbian/feminist voice to dissect love and loss, relationships, race, religion, motherhood, gender, history, and everyday occurrences.

Appetite. By Aaron Smith. University of Pittsburgh Press. 2012. 72p. $15.95. (978-0810129153). Angry, witty, humorous poems use a gay voice to speak of everyday actions.

Autogeography: Poems. By Reginald Harris. Northwestern University Press. 2013. 84p. $16.95. (978-1937402488). Poetry highlights personal and revealing experiences of a gay man of color.

Begging for It. By Alex Dimitrov. Four Way. 2013. 96p. (978-1935536260). Sensual without being erotic, these works are youthful, fresh, and filled with a sense of place.

Coconut Milk. By Dan Taulapapa McMullin. University of Arizona Press. 2013. 80p. $15.95. (978-0816530526). The culturally-rich poems from a queer, Samoan American bring the Samoan culture to life and point out the dichotomy of Fa’a Fafine, third-gendered life in two cultures.

Deleted Names. By Lawrence Schimel. A Midsummer Night’s Press. 2013. 40p. $10.95. (978-1938334030). Young, smart poetry that begs to be spoken rather than read, shines a spotlight on everyday gay insecurities, desires, situations, pets, and sickness.

Fortunate Light. By David Bergman. A Midsummer Night’s Press. 2013. 40p. $10.95. (978-1938334023). A mature voice speaks to memory of the past loves, present feelings, and hopeful desires.

How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir. By Amber Dawn. Arsenal Pulp. 2013. 156p. $15.95. (978-1551525006). Feminist, survivor, queer identity, sex-worker—these are the pieces of Dawn’s life that guide her experiences on the streets of Vancouver and provide a lifeline that she describes through autobiographical poetry and prose.

Obscenely Yours. By Angelo Nikolopoulos. Alice James Books. 2013. 75p. $15.95. (978-1882295999). Poems celebrate the heart of gay sex in all its forms.

Render. By Collin Kelley. Sibling Rivalry Press. 2013. 78p. $14.95. (978-1937420345). This collection of poems takes the reader through the author’s experience as a gay child,  adolescent, and adult in the southern United States.

Running for Trap Doors. By Joanna Hoffman. Sibling Rivalry. 2013. 80. $14.95. (978-1937420475). Youth, angst, lesbian bars, emoticons, and lost girlfriends—these are a few of the issues that the poet navigates in this slim volume.

This Assignment is so Gay: LGBTIQ Poets on the Art of Teaching. Ed. by Megan Volpert. Sibling Rivalry Press. 2013. 226p. $24.95. (978-1937420420). An anthology of poems on the struggles and connections made in the classroom comes from the intersection of personal identity, teaching, and learning.

Viral. By Suzanne Parker. Alice James Books. 2013. 80p. $15.95. (978-1938584015). Inspired by and dedicated to Tyler Clementi, this poetry tells of LGBT bullying and suicide.

 

 

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