Fall for Fiction

Adult readers – Making its paperback debut in time for the autumn weather, Rebecca Makkai’s acclaimed third novel The Great Believers (Penguin, 2018/2019), a National Book Award finalist and a New York Times book review’s “Ten best books of 2018,” more than lives up to the hype in the way that it stunningly tells the story of a group of gay friends in Chicago and the impact that AIDS has on them during the 1980s and beyond. A few years before Rebecca Makkai wrote her loving portrait of the gay community, another straight female novelist, Ann Patchett, created the unforgettable […]

Fall into 2019 Prose & Poetry

Summer has come and gone, but don’t be sad. Autumn means a harvest of new books to read throughout the season. Non-fiction shelf – A memoir on par with Patti Smith’s Just Kids, I’ve Seen the Future and I’m Not Going: The Art Scene and Downtown New York in the 1980s (Pantheon, 2019) by gay visual artist Peter McGough, who writes about his long-term creative and troubled romantic partnership with David McDermott when they were “modern artists making a living performance about time.” Speaking of Smith, Year of the Monkey (Knopf, 2019), Patti Smith’s third memoir, finds the poet and […]

A Royal Gay Rom-Com

Beloved writer James Baldwin once said, “Everybody’s journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality.” Writer Casey McQuiston’s debut novel Red, White, and Royal Blue is a fabulous blend of American politics and the British royals, peppered with just the right amount of scandal while exploring the taboo relationship between the progenies of two world powers. The New York Times bestseller follows Texan-native Alex, a fictionalized First Son, who finds himself in […]

After Stonewall Reading List

Stonewall 50 celebrations may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an abundance of good LGBTQ reading to be found to take you through the summer and into the fall. All titles are out now unless otherwise indicated Poetry pages – According to gay poet Aaron Smith In The Book of Daniel (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), he needs his Frank O’Hara and Denise Duhamel (among other poets), and he certainly gets them in this 47 poem collection that merges pop culture references and sensibility with his own personal and political struggles for an intoxicating concoction. […]

Further Reading

Stonewall stories – Arriving just in time for the Stonewall 50 festivities, We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation (Ten Speed Press, 2019) by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown, tells a multitude of stories of the LGBTQ community in words and pictures, from 1868 to the present day. Updated and featuring a new introduction, Charles Kaiser’s landmark book The Gay Metropolis (Grove Press, 1997 / 2019), featuring the additional subtitle 50 Years After Stonewall, is even more essential reading than ever in light of the observance of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. […]

Creative Reading

Pride 2019 is taking on special meaning with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots being incorporated into celebrations across the country. With that in mind, it’s never too early to begin assembling a reading list for the celebration as well as for the summer of 2019. Visit your favorite independent bookseller or the love-it-or-hate-it Amazon.com to reserve and order copies of these forthcoming LGBTQ books for readers of all (rainbow) stripes. Poetic paths – It’s hard to believe that The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press, 2019) is only the third full-length collection by gay African-American poet Jericho Brown, because he’s […]

Dashing Don, Saucy Schoolboy

What happens when a teenage schoolboy at England’s storied Eton College grows enthralled with a dashing young teacher fresh out of Oxford? For the rest of the story, read Edmund Marlowe’s pot-boiling novel Alexander’s Choice (available on Amazon). Eton has produced 19 British prime ministers and writers such as Orwell, Shelly, and Huxley. With their privileged all-male inmates scaling adolescent hormonal peaks, the likes of Eton or Harrow – England’s great public schools (that would be “private schools” in Americanese) – have long been hothouses of homoerotics, tolerance of which has waned and waxed along the decades and centuries. Still, […]

LGBTQ Book Club Debuts at the Towson Library

Haruki Murakami once wrote, “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” If you’ve ever been to a branch of the Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL), you’ll know they encourage readers to explore different authors and perspectives not always seen on bestseller lists or celebrity book clubs. Their yearly Reading Challenges, events, and programs promote diversity and inclusion, and the Towson Library continues this with their new LGBTQ book club beginning March 26th. “BCPL as a system has a goal to cultivate a connected, inclusive community,” says Rhiannon […]

The Early Bird Gets the (Book)worm

With the new year upon us, it’s never too early to begin assembling a reading list for 2019. Visit your favorite independent bookseller or the love-it-or-hate-it Amazon.com to reserve and order copies of these forthcoming LGBTQ books for readers of all (rainbow) stripes. Owen Keehnen’s Dugan’s Bistro and The Legend of the Bearded Lady (Out Tales, 2018) came out at the end of 2018, but it still deserves to be read in 2019 and beyond. To Keehnen’s credit, he achieves something notable by creating a fond feeling of nostalgia for those who remember original club-kid the Bearded Lady and Chicago’s […]

Your Castle, Your Refuge

For Joanna Gaines, designing a home is less about style rules and more about telling a story. A home can be curated for perfection, but it can also be designed to tell the story of the people who inhabit it – their lives, travels, interests, personality, and more. That narrative is what turns a building into a place that people want to live in and love instead of being a modern version of the “nice room” at grandma’s house that was only for special company. Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave is tailored to help […]