2011 Over the Rainbow Books

The Over the Rainbow readers  are VERY PROUD to announce their  inaugural list of 108  books.  We would also like to mention our top ten favorites, which turned into  eleven  titles because there were just  so many really excellent books published this year.

Download the 2011-Annotated-Bibliography here.

We hope you enjoy reading these books as much as we did–

2011’s Top Eleven:

Clark, Naomi. Silver Kiss: An Urban Wolf Novel. 2010. 218p. Queered Fiction, $14.99. (978-1-920441-12-8). Lesbian shapeshifter, Ayla Hammond, returns home to mend fences with her parents and solve a missing persons case while she debates whether she wants to rejoin the werewolf pack. [Speculative fiction]

Coyote, Ivan E. Missed Her: Stories. 2010. 142p. Arsenal Pulp Press, $16.95. (978-1-55152-371-2). From a master storyteller and performer come these funny, wistful tales about growing up in the Canadian north as a lesbian butch, examining others’ confusion in the face of her gender identity. [Essay]

Cunningham, Michael. By Nightfall: A Novel. 2010. 238p. FSG, $25.00. (978-0-374-29908-8). Peter’s “ideal” life with his wife, Rebecca, in Manhattan’s SoHo is turned upside down when Rebecca’s beautiful 23-year-old brother comes for a visit. [Fiction]

Donoghue, Emma. Inseparable: Desire between Women in Literature. 2010. 271p. Knopf, $27.95. (978-0-307-27094-8). Donoghue traces the history of lesbian literary passion from ancient times to the present, discussing “texts in which the attraction between women is undeniably there [and has] consequences for the story.” [Nonfiction]

Hodel, Page. Monday Hearts for Madalene. 2010. 112p. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $16.95. (978-1-58479-778-4). In preparing this collection of 100 photographs, Page Hodel, a San Francisco DJ used a diversity of objects, organic and otherwise, to create one heart each week for her partner, Madalene Rodriguez, who died of ovarian cancer less than a year after they met.  [Art]

Kicked Out. Ed. by Sassafras Lowrey; foreword by Judy Shepard. 2010. 222p. Homofactus Press, $19.95. (978-0-97859736-8). Voices of current homeless lgbtq youth (currently 40% of the homeless youth in the U.S.) blend with older people who also share their stories of survival and abuse after disclosing their gender identity with parents. [Nonfiction]

Luczak, Raymond. Mute. 2010. 62p. Midsummer Night’s Press, $11.95. (978-0-9794208-6-3). A deaf man uses these poems to tell about the frustrations of his silent world when trying to communicate with other men. [Poetry]

Plante, David. The Pure Lover. 2009. 114p. Beacon Press, $23. (978-0-8070-729-1). After the death of Nikos Stangos from cancer in 2004, the author, his partner for almost 40 years, created an intimate, insightful memoir of Nikos’s life from his childhood in a war-torn Greece to his commitment to Plante in their quiet, cultivated life among the London literarti. Simple, yet passionate, the narrative flows throughout the 68 years of Stangos’ life and the closeness of his relationship with Plante. [Memoir/Biography]

Rucka, Greg. Batwoman: Elegy. Art by J.H. Williams III; color by Dave Stewart; letters by Todd Klein. 2010.192p. DC Comics, $24.99. (978-1-4012-2692-3). After the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy forces Kate Kane out of West Point, she joins Batman and battles a crazed cult called the Religion of Crime led by an Alice-in-Wonderland-like pale porcelain Goth who may be Kate’s twin, long thought dead. [Graphic novel]

Schulman, Sarah. Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences. 2009 (Oct.).  171p. New Press, $23.95. (978-1-59558-480-9). Instead of a personal problem, “familial homophobia,” whether lgtbq people are in a straight or gay family/community, is a cultural crisis; the solution is for everyone to take the responsibility to intervene in this abusive treatment of homosexuals. [Nonfiction]

Wunnicke, Christine. Missouri. Trans. by David Miller. 2010. 134p. Arsenal Pulp Press, $12.95.  (978-1-55152-344-6). By turns comic and tragic, this gay love story follows two men, one a successful English poet fleeing a scandal and the other a feral outlaw who kidnapped the poet, in the nineteenth century Midwest as the poet’s brother tries to rescue a man who doesn’t want to be rescued. [Western]

2011 Over the Rainbow Annotated List:


Hodel, Page. Monday Hearts for Madalene. 2010. 112p. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $16.95. (978-1-58479-778-4). San Francisco DJ Page Hodel used a diversity of objects, organic and otherwise, to create one heart each week for her partner, Madalene Rodriguez, who died of ovarian cancer less than a year after they met. This collection of 100 photographs of the hearts created both before and after Madalene’s death commemorates their relationship. [A]

Shraya, Vivek. God Loves Hair: Stories. Il. by Juliana Newfeld. 2010. unp. Vivek Shraya (, $20.00. (978-0-9865512-0-8). In these short stories accompanied by poignant, sometimes abstract, illustrations, a young boy chronicles his confusion about sexuality, gender, race, religion, and belonging as he struggles with growing up brown, pretty, and soft. [A]


Byrne, Paula. Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead. 2010. 368p. Harper, $25.99. (978-0-06-088130-6). Rather than the snobbish misanthrope people believed Waugh to be, Byrne describes him as loving and complex, a nature that shaped his famous novel Brideshead Revisited. [MB]

Dobkin, Alix. My Red Blood: A Memoir of Growing up Communist, Coming onto the Greenwich Village Folk Scene, and Coming Out in the Feminist Movement. 2009 (Oct.). 300p. Alyson, $16.95. (978-1593501075). Singer-song writer and producer of the groundbreaking 1973 Lavender Jane Loves Women, Dobkin chronicles her life living as a child and an adult under FBI surveillance, hobnobbing with the folk music famous in Greenwich Village, and coming out as a lesbian in the second-wave feminist movement. [MB]

Evans, R. Tripp. Grant Wood: A Life. 2010. 402p. Knopf, $37.50. (978-0-307-26629-3). Known as a plain and simple Regionalist painter, most famously of the pitchfork-wielding farmer and his dour companion in American Gothic, Grant Wood is anything but, as shown by the secrets in his personal life, including the question of whether he was gay. [MB]

Griffin, Mark. A Hundred or More Hidden Things: The Life and Films of Vincente Minnelli. 2010.  346p. Da Capo Press, $15.95. (978-0-7867-2099-6). Was he gay or not?  No one told, not even his four wives, but he wore eye makeup, had “close” relationships with other men, and directed many films on alternative sexualities, including Tea and Sympathy. [MB]

Hastings, Selma. The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham: A Biography. 2010. 626p. Random House, $35.00. (978-1-4000-6141-9). During Somerset Maugham’s life, a blend of public accomplishment and privately whispered secrets, he produced literary masterpieces and wealth but ended in tragedy. [MB]

Kilmer-Purcell, Josh. The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers. 2010. 304p. Harper, $24.99. (978-0-06-133698-0). After a stint as a nightclub drag queen, the author, with his successful advertising career, and his partner Brent Ridge, an ex-medical doctor turned Martha Stewart media vice-president, fell in love—with a 200-year-old mansion near Sharon Springs, NY. [MB]

Lord, James. My Queer War. 2010. 344p. FSG, $27.00. (978-0-374-21748-8). At the age of 20, Lord served in the U.S. Army during World War II, witnessing combat and atrocities in France and Germany and learning to accept his gender identity. [MB]

Meade, Marion. Lonelyhearts: The Screwball World of Nathanael West and Eileen McKenney. 2010. 392p. Houghton Mifflin, $28.00. (978-0151011490). The lives of author Nathanael West and Eileen McKenney, best known as  the subject of Ruth McKenney’s My Sister Eileen, were short, but separately and together they moved among the rich and famous until their deaths in a 1940 car crash. [MB]

Miller, Amie Klempnauer. She Looks Just Like You: A Memoir of (Nonbiological Lesbian) Motherhood. 2010. 236p. Beacon Press, $24.95. (978-0-8070-0469-2). This memoir of nontraditional parenting covers a lesbian’s  journey through artificial insemination, pregnancy, delivery, and the beginning of a new family, with all of its ups and downs. [MB]

Moffat, Wendy. A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M. Forster. 2010. 404p. Farrar, $32.50. (978-0-374-16678-6). Frustration and secrecy marked the life of famous author E.M. Forster whose gay sexual orientation was not widely known until the 1970 posthumous publication of Maurice, a novel about a gay relationship with a happy ending. [MB]

Plante, David. The Pure Lover. 2009. 114p. Beacon Press, $23. (978-0-8070-729-1). After the death of Nikos Stangos from cancer in 2004, his partner of almost 40 years wrote this intimate, insightful memoir of Nikos’s life from his childhood in a war-torn Greece to his commitment to Plante and their quiet, cultivated life among the London literarti. [MB]

Raymond, Dwayne. Mornings with Mailer: A Recollection of Friendship. 2010. 342p. Harper Perennial, $13.99. (978-0-06-173359-8). For the last four years of Norman Mailer’s life in Provincetown, Raymond, a gay man, was his personal assistant, a job that covered researching, cooking, organizing papers, and much more. [MB]

Reyes, Guillermo. Madre and I: A Memoir of Our Immigrant Lives. 2010. 278p. University of Wisconsin Press, $18.95. (978-0-29923-624-3). This award-winning playwright tells the moving and funny story of his life as the secretly illegitimate son of a Chilean immigrant and his struggles as a young man with sexual repression, body image, and gay identity. [MB]

Sarfaty, Eddie. Mental: Funny in the Head. 2009. 256p. Kensington, $15.00. (978-0-7582-2255-8). Career lows, an adopted cat from hell, drag queens, a mother with wiseacre chutzpah, and coming out to Grandma are only a few of the autobiographical essays from a stand-up performer who weaves the ups and downs of his love life throughout his comic memoir. [MB]

Schenkar, Joan. The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith. 2009. 684p. St. Martins, $40. (978-1-312-30375-4). Best known for her novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith published 32 other books and wrote over 8000 pages of autobiography during her tormented life shared with a myriad of women lovers, much of it as an expatriate in Europe. [MB]

Shepard, Judy, with Jon Barrett. The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie and a World Transformed. 2009 (Sept.). 273p. Hudson/Penguin, $25.95. (978-1-59463-057-6). The day that Matthew Shepard, a young student at the University of Wyoming, was violently attacked and left for dead was a turning point for LGBT rights. Matthew’s mother provides a context for her son’s life and a compassionate account of the events surrounding Matthew’s murder. [MB]

Spring, Justin. Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade. 2010. 478p. FSG, $32.50. (978-0-374-28134-2). Steward—author of both literature and gay erotic books, confidante of Gertrude Stein and Thornton Wilder, gay witness for Alfred Kinsey, shy sadomasochist and adventurer, tattooist, and much more—kept extensive diaries and sexual records of his experiences until his death in 1993 at the age of 84. [MB]

White, Edmund. City Boy: My Life in New York during the 1960s and ‘70s  2009. 296p.  Bloomsbury, $26.00. (978-1-5991-402-5). The center of queer life over two tumultuous decades, White gossips about the rich and famous, artists, writers, and poets. [MB]


Bram, Christopher. Mapping the Territory: Selected Nonfiction. 2009. 258p. Alyson, $23.95.  (9781593501433). The author of nine novels, including Gods and Monsters, has selected 17 essays written over the past 30 years that he says “form an accidental autobiography.”  [E]

Breedlove, Lynnee. Lynnee Breedlove’s One Freak Show. 2009 (Sept.). 126p. Manic D, $14.95.  (978-1-933149-32-5). Gender-bending comedy pieces debate who owns a body—self, family, or community—and struggle with the age-old issue of gender categorization. [E]

Burroughs, Augusten. You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas. 2009. 206p. St. Martins, $21.99. (978-0-312-34191-6). From the author’s self-involved childhood ruled by wealthy self-centered parents through his relationship with an atheist dying of AIDS, Burroughs uses his wry wit to describe his attempts to make sense of the world around him, beginning with the relationship of Jesus and Santa Claus. [E]

Castle, Terry. The Professor and Other Writings. 2010. 340p. Harper, $25.99. (978-0061670909). Seven essays written between 2002 and 2009 move from a search for the grave of Castle’s great-uncle, who died in World War I, to a lengthy autobiographical account of her early female lovers. [E]

Coyote, Ivan E. Missed Her: Stories. 2010. 142p. Arsenal Pulp Press, $16.95. (978-1-55152-371-2). From a master storyteller and performer come these funny, wistful tales about growing up in the Canadian north as a butch, examining others’ confusion in the face of gender identity. [E]

Damski, Jon-Henri. Nothing Personal: Chronicles of Chicago’s LGBTQ Community 1977-1979. 2009 (Aug). 476p. Firetrap Press, $22.95. (978-1-891343-03-2). The lives of Chicago gays from street kids to the high-powered movers and shakers form the background to this collection of writings that addresses the place of Chicago’s LGBTQ community in American culture during two momentous decades in the movement from rejection to partial acceptance. [E]

Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. Ed. by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman. 2010. 302p. Seal Press, $16.95. (978-0-1-58005-308-2). A mélange of essays, commentary, comic art, and conversation reflects the diverse group of trans-spectrum transpeople, genderqueers, and other sex/gender radicals who follow barrier-breaking lives. [E]

Grahn, Judy and Lisa Maria Hogeland. The Judy Grahn Reader. 2009 (July). 317p. Aunt Lute Books, $19.95. (978-1-879960-80-0). Complexities of lesbian love, sex, and spirituality are highlighted in Grahn’s fiction, drama, poetry, and nonfiction in this assemblage that spans the past 45 years. [E]

Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio. Ed. by Ed Madden and Candace Hodge. 2010. 159p. Hub City Press, $14.95. (978-189188576-1). A radio program that began as a six-week experiment in Columbia (SC) is now a weekly half hour that has run continuously since October 9, 2005. Organized into three sections—listening, learning, and resisting—these broadcasts about being gay in the South make the reader laugh, cry, and want to fight back against the bigotry. [E]

Something to Declare: Good Lesbian Travel Writing. Ed. by Gillian Kendall. 2009 (Sept.). 230p.  Terrace/University of Wisconsin Press, $15.00. (978-0299233549). Twenty journeys, both fictional and actual, span the globe of the heart as often as through geography. [E]

Waters, John. Role Models. 2010. 304p. Farrar, $25.00. (978-0-374-25147-5). A gay icon best known for his cult films such as Pink Flamingos, Waters delivers a series of portraits of the people who are role models in his life, from Johnny Mathis to a lesbian stripper called Lady Zorro. [E]


Argo, Rhiannon. The Creamsickle. 2009 (August). 260p. Spinsters Ink, $14.95. (978-1-935226-07-9). Three skater bois live in The Creamsickle, a notorious run-down Victorian in the San Francisco’s Mission District, hopping from bed to bed in pursuit of love and thrills, family and identity. [F]

Barron, Stephanie. The White Garden: A Novel of Virginia Woolf. 2009. 326p. Bantam Books/Random House, $15. (9780553385779). In England on business, master gardener Jo Bellamy investigates her beloved grandfather’s recent suicide, discovering links to the Bloomsbury group, a World War II spy ring, and a new perspective on Virginia Woolf’s death. [F]

Beale, Elaine. Another Life Altogether. 402p. 2010. Spiegal & Grau, $26.00. (978-0-385-53004-0). After her mentally unstable mother attempts suicide, 13-year-old Jesse’s ineffectual father moves the family to a rural village in the North of England where she hides her love for a friend’s older sister. [F]

Bellatin, Mario. Beauty Salon. Trans. by Kurt Hollander. 2009 (August). 63p. City Lights Publisher, $10.95. (978-0-87286-473-3). Shunned by family and friends after succumbing to a mysterious plague, the afflicted spend their last days in a former beauty salon, tended by an aging transvestite, where exotic fish die in the aquariums lining the walls, providing an allegory of the events of the world at large. [F]

Bergman, S. Bear. The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You: Essays. 2009. 205p. Arsenal Pulp Press, $18.95. (978-1-55152-264-7). Gender identity and Jewish identity intersect in these poignant, humorous essays reflecting the transmutations of the author from butch and husband of a woman to a transmasculine person (Bergman’s word) and husband of a transman. [E]

Brite, Poppy Z. Second Line: Two Short Novels of Love & Cooking in New Orleans. 2009 (Oct.).  259p. Small Beer Press, $16.00. (978-193152060-7). In New Orleans, lovers Ricky and G-man overcome their families’ attempts to separate them, learn to cook, and find that the problems of running a restaurant together threaten to destroy their relationship. [F]

Conroy, Pat. South of Broad. 2009. 514p. Nan A. Talese, $29.95. (978-0-385-41305-3). Gossip columnist Leo Bloom, named by his mother after the character in Ulysses, straddles the divide in his friendships between aristocratic Charleston and the “other side” with its Appalachian orphans and African-Americans as he alternates his story between the high school years of 1969 and the 1989 disasters of AIDS and Hurricane Hugo, when all their lives disintegrate in personal storms. [F]

Cunningham, Michael. By Nightfall: A Novel. 2010. 238p. FSG, $25.00. (978-0-374-29908-8). Peter’s seemingly ideal life with his wife, Rebecca, in Manhattan’s SoHo is turned upside down when Rebecca’s beautiful 23-year-old brother comes for a visit. [F]

Dawson, Jill. The Great Lover: A Novel. 2009. 310p. Harper Perennial, $13.99. (978-0-06-192436-1). Before World War I, poet Rupert Brooke woos a variety of women, including housemaid Nell Golightly, and loses his virginity to a male friend. Distressed by his many affairs, reeling from the death of his brother, and insecure about his poetry, Brooke sets off for Tahiti, where he becomes increasingly mentally unstable. [F]

Ford, Michael Thomas. The Road Home. 2010. 248p. Kensington, $24.00. (978-0-758-1853-7). Recuperating at his father’s small-town Vermont home after a car accident, photographer Burke Crenshaw finds himself drawn into a mystery of a Civil War infantryman and his fiancé as well as his attraction to the 20-year-old son of his old high school crush. [F]

Gadol, Peter. Silver Lake. 2009. 290p. Tyrus Books, $24.95. (978-0-9825209-1-8). The 20-year relationship between Robbie and Carlo falls apart when a strange young man mysteriously comes into their lives and then dies. [F]

Hall, Catherine. Days of Grace. 2010. 294p. Viking, $25.95. (978-0-670-02176-5). At the end of her life, Nora Lynch has decided that she will die alone until she takes a young woman and her just-born daughter into her home, an act that causes her to relive her adolescent days as an World War II evacuee outside London when she suffered from a passion for another girl. [F]

Haslett, Adam. Union Atlantic: A Novel. 2010. 304p. Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, $26.00. (978-0-385-52447-6). Ambitious young banker Doug Fanning fights Charlotte Graves, a retired history teacher, for the right to build an ostentatious mansion on land that Graves’ grandfather had donated to the town. Nate Fuller, a troubled high-school senior, is drawn into the legal conflict.  [F]

Houck, Lee. Yield: A Novel. 2010. 278p. Kensington, $15.00. (978-0-7582-4265-5). Twenty-something part-time hustler, Simon, tells about his friends in contemporary Manhattan: boyfriend model Louis who becomes agoraphobic after a gay bashing, gorgeous Aiden who begins an affair with Simon, self-mutilating Jaron who finds his cutting becoming more frequent and severe, and level-headed Farmer who tries to keep the rest of them from their unhealthy impulses. [F]

Johnson, Barb. More of This World or Maybe Another. 2009 (Oct.). 185p. Harper Perennial, $13.99. (978-0-06-173227-0). Characters in these jewel-like short stories set in an impoverished section of New Orleans come together over a 20-year period as a teenager gives up her fiance after falling in love with a woman, a misguided young man’s actions to keep his wife turn into disaster, and a lesbian couple fighting to maintain their relationship provide the center of their community. [F]

Magruder, James. Sugarless. 2009 (Oct.). 274p. University of Wisconsin Press, $24.95. (978-0299233808). Shy Rick Lahrem, a high school sophomore just coming out, develops a sexual relationship with a speech coach from a rival high school, only to have his secret discovered. [F]

Malone, Jill. A Field Guide to Deception: A Novel. 2009. 266p. Bywater Books, $14.95. (978-1-932859-70-6). After Liv saves Claire’s son from drowning, the two women fall in love, but their relationship turns tumultuous as Claire grieves the death of her aunt and Liv struggles with commitment. [F]

Masson, Cynthea. The Elijah Tree. 2009 (July). 203p. Queer Mojo/Rebel Satori, $16.95. (978-1-60864-001-0). The child Elijah brings together his family who have been estranged by a series of disasters. [F]

McCauley, Stephen. Insignificant Others: A Novel. 2010. 243p. Simon & Schuster, $25.00. (978-0-7432-2475-8). Richard Rossi’s discovery of a text message revealing his partner Conrad’s affair leads Rossi into a world of confusion and pain despite his own affair with a closeted bisexual married father. [F]

Mendicino, Tom. Probation. 2010. 340p. Kensington, $15.00. (978-0-7582-3878-8). Middle-aged Andy Nocera didn’t expect to come out as a gay man during an anonymous tryst at an Interstate rest area, but his arrest led to divorce, a new job as a traveling salesman, and a home at his mother’s house. Court-ordered therapy with a Jesuit priest lets Andy track his life, both before his “indiscretion” and during the process of becoming openly gay and coping with his mother’s dying. [F]

Mochizuki, Aska. Spinning Tropics. Trans. by Wayne P. Lammers. 2009. 231p. Vintage/Random House, $15. (9780307473881). In Vietnam,  a twenty-something Japanese woman and teacher named Hiro falls in love with her student, Yun, in their first woman-to-woman love affair, but Yun becomes jealous when Hiro begins an affair with a Japanese man. [F]

Neofotis, Peter. Concord, Virginia: A Southern Town in Eleven Stories. 2009. 178p. St. Martins, $19.99. (978-0-312-53737-1). The Southern Gothic—and sometimes violent—plots of these gems trace the people of a fictional Shenandoah Valley town for 30 years beginning in the mid-twentieth century as they experience love, bigotry, and mental instability in tales that include Native American folklore, gay history, Thomas Jefferson, tragedy, and black humor. [F]

Nolan, Monica. Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher. 2010. 290p. Kensington, $15.00. (978-0-7582-3206-9). In this tongue-in-cheek novel of the 1950s, Roberta Blanchard, forced to leave the glamorous field of professional hockey, finds a job at a private high school where she struggles with her ignorance about literature and art and with her sexual desire for many of the women, including one of the students. [F]

Ostlund, Lori. The Bigness of the World: Stories. 2009. 214p. University of Georgia Press, $24.95. (978-0820334097). The author weaves her experiences of teaching English and living overseas into these eleven short stories, which subtly explore the complexity of romantic and familial relationships. [F]

Ruff, Shawn Stewart. Toss and Whirl and Pass. 2010. 194p. Quote Editions, $19.90. (978-0981942001). Ivy-educated, HIV-positive African-American poet Yale Battle tells about his New York life from the innocent 80s through the World Trade Center’s destruction as he is faced with AIDS killing his partner, a famed dancer and choreographer. [F]

Sims, Ruth. Counterpoint:  Dylan’s Story. 2010. 314p. Dreamspinner Press, $17.99. (978-1-161581533-3). Dylan Rutledge, 18, believes that he will be the greatest composer in the rapidly approaching twentieth century, but his love “that dare not speak its name” for Laurence Northcliff, a young history master, alienates him from his family as he looks for his future in England and Paris. [F]

Sledge, Michael. The More I Owe You. 2010. 328p. Counterpoint, $15.95. (978-1-58243-576-3). In this fictional account, American poet Elizabeth Bishop and her Brazilian lover, architect Lota de Macedo Soares, lead a tumultuous life against the uncertain political background of the 1950s and 1960s in Brazil, New York City, and Seattle. [F]

Smith, Kyle Thomas. 85A. 2010. 234p. Bascom Hill Publishing, $14.95. (978-1935098263). For Seamus O’Grady, only his friendship with Tressa and his dream of escaping to London to live like punk-rocker Johnny Rotten, keep his life from spiraling out of control in the face of his Irish Catholic parents’ abuse, his brother’s violence, and the daily bullying at his hated South Side Chicago Jesuit high school. [F]

Stuart, Sebastian. The Hour Between. 2009 (Sept.). 248p. Alyson, $14.95. (978-0-598350-126-6). After being expelled from a pretentious prep school, wealthy New York teen Arthur MacDougal finds himself attending a down-at-heels private school in the wilds of Connecticut. In his first day, Arthur is informed by quirky Katrina Felt that he is gay. During the following school year Arthur deals with the drugs, the war, sexual freedom, and the anti-establishment rebellion of the late 1960s as well as his attraction to the muscular townie, Lennie. [F]

Townsend, Johnny. Mormon Underwear. 2009. 278p. BookLocker, $15.95. (978-1-60910-044-5). Thirteen tales of Mormon men struggling with their gay desires range from a young LDS man stripping to his Mormon underwear in public to a virginal 70-year-old rationalizing giving in to temptation. [F]

Truong, Monique.  Bitter in the Mouth:  A Novel.  2010.  282p.  Random House, $25.00.  (978-1-4000-6908-8). Linda’s life in Boiling Springs (NC) and her relationship with her family and friends is affected by her synesthesia, a condition in which she experiences words as tastes. [F]

Graphic Narrative

Hernandez, Jaimie. Locas II: Maggie, Hopey and Ray (Love and Rocket). 2009 (Sept). 418p.  Fantagraphics, $39.99. (978-1-60699-156-5). Divorced Maggie pursues Vivian while both Hopey and Ray pursue Maggie. The focus of these graphic vignettes is a variety of colorful characters including Maggie’s Latino family and Vivian’s thug friends. [GN]

Rucka, Greg. Batwoman: Elegy. Art by J.H. Williams III; color by Dave Stewart; letters by Todd Klein. 2010.192p. DC Comics, $24.99. (978-1-4012-2692-3). After the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy forces Kate Kane out of West Point, she joins Batman and battles a crazed cult called the Religion of Crime led by an Alice-in-Wonderland look-alike porcelain-pale Goth who may be Kate’s twin, long thought dead. [GN]


Brownworth, Victoria A. Day of the Dead. 2009 (Sept.). 170p. Spinsters Ink, $14.95. (978-1-935226-05-5). Hot, steamy New Orleans nights bring out vampires, succubi, and other netherworld predators who connect with the–temporarily–living, in stories of love, death, and the ‘living dead.’  [H]

Cardamone, Tom. Pumpkin Teeth. 2009 (Oct.). 184p. Lethe Press, $15.00. (978-1590211328). In this wicked universe, a boy transforms into lightning and illuminates his emerging sexuality, a nurse finds herself working in a retirement home for vampires, a man questions his decision to live life as a manatee, and more. [H]

Files, Gemma. A Book of Tongues: Volume One of the Hexslinger Series. 2010. 274p. Chizine Publications, $16.95. (978-0-9812978-6-6). Following the Civil War, Pinkerton detective Ed Murrow infiltrates a renegade Confederate gang to investigate the hexslinging abilities of Rev. Asher Rook and his psychopathic lover Chess Pargeter, as the goddess Ixchel attempts to reinstate the Aztec gods by seducing Rook into a ritual marriage, forcing his Wild West gang into a journey through Hell. [H, W]


Bidulka, Anthony. Aloha, Candy Hearts: A Russell Quant Mystery. 2009 (Oct.). 244p. Insomniac Press, $15.95. (978-1-897178-76-8). Returning to Saskatoon from a vacation in Hawaii after becoming engaged to Alex, private investigator Russell Quant finds himself hunted while investigating a mysterious treasure map and the dark past of a famous author. [M]

Bidulka, Anthony. Date with a Sheesha. 2010. 262p. Insomniac Press, $16.95. (978-1-897178-90-4). Canadian PI Russell Quant goes undercover and explores the Middle East from Dubai glitz to the sand dunes of Saudi Arabia as he tries to rescue a gay man facing murder. [M]

Hart, Ellen. The Cruel Ever After. 2010. 320p. Minotaur, $25.99. (978-0-312-61476-8). The lives of lesbian restaurateur Jane Lawless and her niece are endangered by the return of Hart’s ex-husband—who turns out not to be an ex—and his involvement in smuggling ancient Iraqi artifacts. [M]

Lanyon, Josh. The Dark Tide: An Adrien English Mystery 2010. 294p. MLR, $14.99. (978-1-60820-123-5). A few weeks after open-heart surgery, Adrien English, who lives above his Cloak and Dagger Bookstore, hears someone trying to break into his apartment.  Then, the discovery of a 50-year-old skeleton in the floor of his renovation and the re-appearance of three ex-lovers leads Adrien to hire one ex–the handsome ex-cop and ex-straight–Jake Riordan as a private detective. [M]

Redmann, J.M. Water Mark. 2010. 281p. Bold Strokes Books, $16.95. (978-1-602821-79-8). Following Hurricane Katrina’s destruction of her beloved New Orleans, private investigator Micky Knight tries to put her life back in order, but at loose ends, with her lover missing and her friends focused on their own losses, Micky decides to investigate one of the many dead bodies in the city, a quixotic quest that leads her to a naive Midwestern teenager in danger of becoming the next unidentified dead body. [M]

Reynolds, Sean. Dying for a Change. 2009 (Sept.). 256p. Suspect Thoughts Press, $16.95.  (978-0-9789023-15). In the sweltering Chicago summer of 1965, lesbian Chan Parker–tall, handsome, and Black–decides to leave the mob and go legit as a private detective. With the help of best friend Henrietta Wild Cherry, Parker investigates the murder of famous drag queen Miss Dove, but finds that her former career isn’t so easy to shake off. [M]

Ryan, Garry. Smoked: A Detective Lane Mystery. 2010. 228p. NeWest, $18.95. (978-1-897126-62-2). When Jennifer Towers is found dead in a graffiti-tagged dumpster, Detectives Lane and Harper must decode the artwork and infiltrate the underground graffiti culture to solve the case. [M]


Badgett, M.V. Lee. When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. 2009 (Aug.). 285p. NYU Press, $35.00. (978-0-8147-9114-1). Explore the issues surrounding gender-neutral marriage, backed by analysis of data from several countries and the personal stories of couples from the Netherlands. [N]

Ball, Carlos A. From the Closet to the Courtroom: Five LGBT Rights Lawsuits that Have Changed Our Nation. 2010. 286p. Beacon Press, $27.95. (978-0-8070-0078-6). Among the many legal battles surrounding LGBT rights, five U.S. cases have changed history. [N]

Biegel, Stuart. The Right to Be Out: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in America’s Public Schools. 2010. 300p. University of Minnesota Press, $19.95. (978-0-8166-7458-9). A safe and supportive educational environment for all students is possible when people recognize the First Amendment right to express an identity and the Fourteenth Amendment right to be treated equally. [N]

Chapman, David and Brett Josef Grubisic. American Hunks. 2009 (Oct.). 352p. Arsenal Pulp Press, $29.95. (978-1-55152-256-2). Images of the muscular American male shown in popular culture from 1860 to 1970 demonstrate how masculine imagery has been used to sell everything from military involvement to laundry detergents. [N]

Donoghue, Emma. Inseparable: Desire between Women in Literature. 2010. 271p. Knopf, $27.95. (978-0-307-27094-8). Donoghue traces the history of lesbian literary passion from ancient times to the present, discussing “texts in which the attraction between women is undeniably there [and has] consequences for the story.” [N]

Duder, Cameron. Awfully Devoted Women: Lesbian Lives in Canada, 1900-65. 2010. 313p. University of British Columbia Press. (978-0-7748-1739-4). Through letters and interviews, the author explores the romantic lives of Canadian lesbians—upper-middle-class professionals from the first half of the twentieth century and lower-middle class women in the post-World War II period. [N]

Echols, Alice. Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture. 2010. 338p. Norton, $26.95. (978-0-393-0667503). More than a representation of a shallow decade, disco helped shape the culture of blacks, feminists, and gays in a time when they were searching for safe places. [N]

Fellows, Will and Helen P. Branson. Gay Bar: The Fabulous, True Story of a Daring Woman and Her Boys in the 1950s. 2010. 166p. University of Wisconsin Press, $26.95. (978-0-2992485-0-5). At a time when laws barred gays from meeting in bars, a straight woman in her 60s provided a gay haven in her Los Angeles tavern for nine years and published a supportive book about her “boys” in 1957; this book expands the original publication with a gay historical perspective on the 1950s. [N]

Gambone, Philip. Travels in a Gay Nation:  Portraits of LGBTQ Americans. 2010. 294p.  University of Wisconsin Press, $26.95. (978-0-29923684-7). From a gay teenager born with AIDS to an 85-year-old writer, the LGBTQ people in these 40 interviews come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and careers in the arts, entertainment, religion, politics, activism, etc. to provide a portrait of queer humanity. [N]

Golden Age of Gay Fiction. Ed. by Drewey Wayne Gunn. 2009 (Sept). 262p. MLR Press, $69.99.  (978-1-608200481). Nineteen authors introduce the reader to the great explosion of gay writing between the first Kinsey Report and the first collection of Tales of the City during the 1950s and into the 1970s. [N]

Herman, Joanne. Transgender Explained: For Those Who Are Not. 2009 (Sept.). 148p. AuthorHouse, $14.95. (978-1-4490-2966-1). The complex world of transgender is explored through the personal reflections of the author as she describes issues of employment, marriage, insurance, childhood, medical procedures, and more. [N]

Keep Your Wives Away from Them: Orthodox Women Unorthodox Desires. Ed. by Miryam Kabakov. 2010. 169p. North Atlantic Books, $16.95. (978-1-55643-897-0). First-person accounts of 14 lesbians living at the intersection of conflicting sexual and religious identities describe their experiences as individuals and community members, reconciling their commitment to Orthodox Judaism and living as out lesbians. [N]

Kicked Out. Ed. by Sassafras Lowrey; foreword by Judy Shepard. 2010. 222p. Homofactus Press, $19.95. (978-0-97859736-8). Interviews, poetry, and pictures show the resilience and courage of LGBT youth forced to leave their homes after coming out to their parents. [N]

Kinsman, Gary and Patrizia Gentile. The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation. 2010. 554p. University of British Columbia Press, $37.95. (978-0-7748-1628-1). Drawing on official security documents and interviews with the investigators and investigated, this book chronicles the campaigns of fear and lies that shattered the lives of gay and lesbian Canadians in the name of national security during the second half of the twentieth century. [N]

LeVay, Simon. Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation. 2010.  412p. Oxford University Press, $27.95. (978-0-19-973767-3). A child grows up gay or straight as the result of interaction among genes, sex hormones, and the cells of the developing body and brain, according to the wealth of scientific evidence provided by neuroscientist LeVay. [N]

Ramer, Andrew, Jay Michaelson, Rabbi Camille Shira Angel, and Rabbi Dev Noily. Queering the Text: Biblical, Medieval, and Modern Jewish Stories  2010. 278p. White Crane Books/Lethe Press, $20.00. (978-1590211830). Narratives inspired by the midrashim, homoerotic love poems, and present-day stories bring gay and lesbian narratives back into the 3000-year history of the Jewish people. [N]

Schulman, Sarah. Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences. 2009 (Oct.).  171p. New Press, $23.95. (978-1-59558-480-9). Schulman’s analysis of homophobia begins with the family and the resulting abuse and neglect of LGBTQ family members and community and clearly identifies inequalities in familial support as a cultural crisis. [N]

Serwatka, Thomas S. Queer Questions, Clear Answers: The Contemporary Debates on Sexual Orientation. 2010. 265p. Praeger, $44.95. (978-0-313-38612-1). In a conversational question and answer format, Serwatka explores issues of religion, history, “reparative therapy,” stereotypes, civil rights, and schooling in the ongoing cultural and political debates about lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.[N]

Sheng, Jeff. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, V. 1. 2010. Jeff Sheng Studios, $24.95. (978-0-9844474-1-1). The misery of enforced closeting of patriotic gays and lesbians by the U.S. military is powerfully illuminated in these 20 photographic portraits accompanied by selected anonymous emails courageously describing their silent war. [N]


Borland, Bryan. My Life as Adam. 2010. 121p. Sibling Rivalry Press, $14.00. (978-0-57805117-8). Seventy poems touching on religion, sexuality, Southern life, and self-acceptance reveal the poet’s growing up, coming out, and becoming an adult in all its joys and sorrows. [P]

Dumesnil, Cheryl. In Praise of Falling. 2009 (July). 78p. University of Pittsburgh Press, $14.95.  (978-0-8229-6041-6). The introductory Zen proverb, “Fall down seven times, get up eight,” reflects the spirit of Dumesnil’s passionate poems that celebrate life, past and present, in simple eloquence and celebration of the details that give us meaning. [P]

Enszer, Julie R. Handmade Love. 2010. 62p. Midsummer Night’s Press, $11.95. (978-0-9794208-5-6). Smart, sexy poems tell LGBT stories about the political and the sensuous from street demonstrations to bedroom romps. [P]

Luczak, Raymond. Mute. 2010. 62p. Midsummer Night’s Press, $11.95. (978-0-9794208-6-3). A deaf man uses these poems to tell about the frustrations of his silent world when trying to communicate with other men. [P]

Xavier, Emanuel. If Jesus Were Gay & Other Poems. 2010. 135p. Queer Mojo/Rebel Satori, $14.95. (978-1-60864-032-4). Love, lust, religion, race, sadness, and memory are the focus of these sometimes raw but always honest poems, both personal and universal, that make the ordinary extraordinary. [P]

Speculative Fiction

Carey, Jacqueline. Naamah’s Curse. 2010. 576p. Grand Central Publishing, $26.99. (978-0446198059). Bisexual Moirin, devoted servant of the goddess of desire, crosses Tatar territory to find Bao, who holds the missing half of her diadh-anam, the divine soul-spark of her mother’s people. Sequel to Naamah’s Kiss. [SF]

Clark, Naomi. Silver Kiss: An Urban Wolf Novel. 2010. 218p. Queered Fiction, $14.99. (978-1-920441-12-8). Lesbian shapeshifter Ayla Hammond returns home to mend fences with her parents and solve a missing persons case, while she debates whether she wants to rejoin the werewolf pack which might demand more than she is willing to sacrifice. [SF]

Dellamonica, A.M. Indigo Springs. 2009 (Oct.). 317p. Tor, $14.99. (978-0-7653-1947-0). As society teeters on the brink of magical ruin and revolution, government hostage negotiator Will Forest interrogates Astrid Lethewood, whose ability to enchant ordinary objects holds the keys to set the world right. [SF]

Lanyon, Josh. Strange Fortune. 2009 (Dec.). 311p. Blind Eye Books, $14.95. (978-1-03557-00-5). In an alternate universe reminiscent of India during its final days as a British colony, bisexual adventurer Valentine Strange and witch Aleister Grimshaw develop a mutual attraction and face traitors, wild animals, political monks, and a renegade spiritual force when they set out on a quest to a remote mountain monastery searching for a goddess’s lost diadem. [SF]

McDonald, Sandra. Diana Comet: And Other Improbable  Stories. 2010. 282p. Lethe Press, $15.00. (978-1-59021-094-9). Fifteen linked short stories set in an alternate Earth meld magic and the mundane through the exploits of heroic and complex characters, including the intrepid cross-dressing spy, Diana Comet. [SF]

Pitts, J.A. Black Blade Blues. 2010. 398p. Tor, $25.99. (978-0-7653-2467-2). Norse mythology meets the Pacific Northwest in this tale of dragons posing as investment bankers, as lesbian blacksmith Sarah Beauhall battles demons both without and within herself. [SF]

Schulman, Sarah. The Mere Future. 2009 (Sept.).183p. Arsenal Pulp Press, $22.95. (978-1-55152-257-9). In a near-future New York the charismatic mayor decrees that there will be no public advertising, no chain stores, and no homelessness. Citizens begin to wonder who is paying for the changes. [SF]


Files, Gemma. A Book of Tongues: Volume One of the Hexslinger Series. 2010. 274p. Chizine Publications, $16.95. (978-0-9812978-6-6). Following the Civil War, Pinkerton detective Ed Murrow infiltrates a renegade Confederate gang to investigate the hexslinging abilities of Rev. Asher Rook and his psychopathic lover Chess Pargeter, as the goddess Ixchel attempts to reinstate the Aztec gods by seducing Rook into a ritual marriage, forcing his Wild West gang into a journey through Hell. [H,W]

Perez, Emma. Forgetting the Alamo, or Blood Memory. 2009. 206p. University of Texas, $24.95.  (978-0-292-7218-9). The vows of Micaela Campos, a Chicana lesbian cowgirl, to avenge the murder of her father and her younger siblings in the aftermath of the Alamo lead her into a violent collision of culture and politics involving Mexicans, African-Americans, Anglos, and indigenous peoples. [W]

Wunnicke, Christine. Missouri. Trans. by David Miller. 2010. 134p. Arsenal Pulp Press, $12.95.  (978-1-55152-344-6). In this gay love story, by turns comic and tragic, a nineteenth-century feral outlaw kidnaps a successful English poet who doesn’t want to be rescued. [W]

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New List to Highlight Quality LGBT Books

by Dana RudolphJune 03, 2010

The American Library Association last week announced the official launch of its “Over the Rainbow” Committee, which will create an annual bibliography of “titles of interest to adult readers that reflect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) experiences.”

Oh, good. Because there are only so many times I can read Rubyfruit Jungle.

Joking aside, it is a positive and welcome sign that the ALA sees fit not only to publish a list of LGBT-inclusive books, but to prepare to do so every year.

The Committee is an outgrowth of the Rainbow List Committee that launched in 2008 with the aim of creating such a bibliography for readers under 18 years of age. Unlike the lists of LGBT-inclusive children’s books often compiled by LGBT-rights organizations, the Rainbow List is selective, not comprehensive, with the books chosen for quality as well as LGBT content. (As a long-time reviewer of LGBT children’s books, I can confirm there are many earnest LGBT-inclusive books whose literary — and sometimes mere grammatical — merit leaves much to be desired.)

Read the entire article…

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Birth Announcement of Over the Rainbow Books

GLBT Round Table announces new Over the Rainbow Committee

For Immediate Release

GLBTRT , Office for Literacy & Outreach (OLOS)

Fri, 05/28/2010

To read the complete press release please

visit the American Libraries website:


Hello World!

The Over the Rainbow Project is an an expansion of the highly successful ALA Rainbow Project. Over the Rainbow Project is an ad hoc committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA).

Members consist of librarians whose charge it is to select from the year’s publications, books that reflect lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered (lgbt) experience for adults and to annotate selected titles.

Each year, the Over the Rainbow Project will publish a bibliography of recommended books for general readership. The bibliography will include books published between July 1 and December 31 of the previous calendar year. The committee’s charge is to create a bibliography of books that exhibit commendable literary quality and significant authentic lgbt content and are recommended for adults over age 18.

Our bibliography is not meant to be all inclusive but is intended as an annual core list for readers and librarians searching for recommendations of 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 will be made to balance this bibliography according to subject, area of interest, age, or genre.