2020 Pride all summer long reading list

Whether you’re sitting out the Pride season by keeping your observances at a social distance or you’re taking it to the streets in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march, having reading materials on hand to augment the celebration is always a good idea. The following books are some worthwhile suggestions. Young readers October may be a few months away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about Halloween (considered by some to be one of the gay national holidays). In Christopher Pumpkin (Little, Brown, 2020) by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet with illustrations by Nick […]

Your 2020 quarantine reading list

True stories In 1988, shortly before his death, disco legend Sylvester did an interview in which he talked about working with legendary record producer Tommy LiPuma. That record never came to be, but LiPuma did work with countless other music icons including  Barbra Streisand, Randy Newman, Patti Austin, Jennifer Holliday, Diana Krall, Brenda Russell and Paul McCartney and you can read all about LiPuma in The Ballad of Tommy LiPuma (Nardis, 2020) by Ben Sidran. Now available in paperback, Mama’s Boy: A Story from Our America (Vintage, 2019/2020) is the memoir by Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk, […]

National Poetry Month 2020 Reading List

April is National Poetry Month. In April 2020, readers are fortunate to have an exceptional selection of titles from which to choose. Read one or read them all, you wont be disappointed. Selected by Ocean Vuong as the winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry, Your New Feeling is the Artifact of a Bygone Era (Sarabande Books, 2020) is the stunning debut poetry collection by Chad Bennett, an associate professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. A 2020 Lannan Literary Selection, 13th Balloon (Copper Canyon Press, 2020) by Mark Bibbins is a moving and groundbreaking […]

2020 Winter Reading List

It doesn’t matter if you have perfect vision or if you need to slip on a pair of reading glasses, the following books, to be released in early 2020, all deserve to have your eyes on them. Fiction for adult readers Peter Kispert’s debut short story collection I Know You Know Who I Am (Penguin, 2020), is separated into three sections – “I Know”, “You Know,” and “Who I Am” (clever, right?) and focuses on lying liars and the lies they tell themselves and others, mixing the real (“Touch Pool”) with the fantastic (“How to Live Your Best Life”), in […]

Cuts Both Ways

In the interest of full disclosure, dear reader, it’s best that you know that Rick Karlin, author of the memoir Paper Cuts: My Life in Chicago’s Volatile LGBTQ Press (Rattling Good Yarns, 2019) is my husband. We are in our 28th year as a couple and have been officially married since 2014 (the 5,100th same-gender couple married in Illinois to do so). That said, even after all these years together, it doesn’t make it any easier to read a book in which you are one of the main characters. To his credit, Rick writes about us in the most respectful […]

The Gifts That Keep On Giving

Memoirs and memories – No other queer book published in 2019 fits in the “memoirs and memories” category than Tell Me About It 2: LGBTQ Secrets, Confessions, and Life Stories (Rattling Good Yarns Press, 2019), compiled by St. Sukie de la Croix and Owen Keehnen. A global assortment of participants submitted answers to 15 questions, ranging from “When was the first time you realized you were different?” to “How did your parents react when you came out to them?” and “Where is the wildest place you ever had sex?” A third edition of Tell Me About It is currently in […]

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. […]