To tell the truth: spring/summer 2018 non-fiction for LGBTQ readers

Now that most of the country has thawed out from one of the lengthiest winters on record, everyone is anxious to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. The following titles are suggestions for reading on a park bench, at the beach or anywhere the sun is warmly shining on you.    Thanks for the memoirs  Not only is Jake Shears a talented singer/songwriter and all- around magnetic performer who is, shall we say, easy on the eyes, but he’s also a marvelous writer as he proves with his first book, Boys Keep Swinging: A Memoir (Atria, 2018).  Following the extraordinary success of his […]

2018 National Poetry Month Reading list ’Cause a diet of mere prose makes Jack a boy dull as red is the rose

  Observed every April since its 1996 launch, National Poetry Month was created by the American Academy of poets as a means of celebrating and calling attention to poetry. Special events scheduled for National Poetry Month in 2018 include the continued airing of the star-studded PBS series Poetry in America, the Dear Poet project in the schools, as well as a multitude of events in public libraries, as well as the famous month-long “O, Miami” festival. If you prefer your poetry on a solitary, one-on-one basis, consider the recent titles below. Lesbian poet Julie Marie Wade calls Same-Sexy Marriage (A […]

Rainbow Relatives Author Visits Maryland Explaining ‘queer’ to nieces and nephews

For those who have, or may be, the rainbow sheep of their family, Sudi “Rick” Karatas’s new book, Rainbow Relatives, is a must-read. Marylanders will have the opportunity to meet the actor, writer, and producer on Saturday, May 5th at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Rockville (12089 Rockville Pike at Montrose Crossing; 301-881-0237). The author signing, taking place that afternoon, will give readers the chance to meet Karatas. Based upon a variety of stories from real families and advice from experts in the field, Rainbow Relatives employs warmth and humor to tackle the challenge of explaining LGBT issues to […]

A Queer Ghost Story in Sodom Road Exit

  Starla Martin is forced to move back to her small-town home of Crystal Beach after dropping out of college and drowning under crippling debt. Her story may seem to be a typical “20-something-who-can’t-hack-being-an-adult” plot, but Starla’s experience is far from normal. In Amber Dawn’s Sodom Road Exit, Starla is forced to deal with her own sexuality, demons from her past, and the lesbian ghost who keeps possessing her. Sodom Road Exit is a supernatural thriller that goes beyond the creepy and scary theme. Dawn uses her characters to explore relationships and how people can help (or fail) those around […]

Secrets from Heaven A near-death experience changes a life

  “[My story] was something that I always wanted to tell,” says Susanne Seymoure. “But when someone asks you to keep it a secret, you don’t feel like you fit in the world.” At 12 years old, Susanne Seymoure suffered a near-fatal skiing accident. While her family gathered around her seemingly lifeless body, Seymoure experienced something most people never live to tell. Seymoure is finally able to tell her story 43 years later in her book, My Secrets from Heaven – A Child’s Trip to Heaven and Back. Sharing this experience has been an emotional release for local author Seymoure. […]

A Love Letter to Portland and the Undergrownd Lesbian Mafia

  A book about a lesbian who has an affair with a straight man and gets pregnant may seem like a drama-fest. While there certainly are dramatic parts (I mean, how could there not be?), Stray City is a smart and clever debut novel that explores community, the family we create for ourselves, and how we evolve as we grow. The story follows 24-year-old artist, Andrea as she’s recovering from a terrible breakup and begins a secret relationship with her ex-girlfriend’s friend, Ryan. Author Chelsey Johnson said that Stray City began with a different angle. “I had been talking with […]

Drug Wars ‘Predux’: Chicago in Prohibition

  The Roaring 20s may conjure up visions of flapper girls, speakeasies, and All That Jazz, but David Mamet’s novel Chicago delves into the grittier aspects of the 1920s: mobsters and murder. In his first novel in two decades, Mamet follows World War I veteran and news reporter Mike Hodge through Prohibition-afflicted Chicago as he tries to solve the mystery of his girlfriend Annie Walsh’s murder. Mike learns, however, that keeping secrets can be just as dangerous as uncovering the truth. In Chicago, secrets are currency. No one gets answers – not even Mike – without paying. As the brothel […]

In Vogue

The 1980s immediately brings up thoughts of excellent music, bad hair, and the fantastic original movies that are being remade into modern garbage. In his debut novel, The House of Impossible Beauties, author Joseph Cassara wanted to explore a lesser represented community of the 1980s – the gay and transgender ballroom scene. Loosely based on the documentary Paris is Burning and the House of Xtravaganza (a Latino home in New York City), Cassara focuses on delving into the lives and relationships of the voguing divas and their struggle to survive in the world around them. “I was interested in writing […]

High Church, Higher Deception

“Pleased be forewarned: if you worry for the girl I was – the one you are about to meet – just know the woman I am is a fierce, mostly well-adjusted warrior, who cares for her well-being.” Tina Alexis Allen’s memoir, Hiding Out: A Memoir of Drugs, Deception, and Double Lives, starts out with this honest disclaimer for good reason – this is an astonishing life story. A compelling memoir should not only have a unique story to tell but connect the reader to the author as if they are experiencing the story with the author. Allen shares details of […]

Your 2018 Winter Reading List

Words and pictures – Readers should consider themselves lucky that, presently, gay writer and photographer Bill Hayes has two books for them to enjoy. The first is the paperback edition of his breathtaking 2017 memoir Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me (Bloomsbury, 2017), which interweaves essays with journal entries, photos and poetry to tell the story of the writer’s romantic relationship with the late writer and scientist Oliver Sacks. The second Hayes book, How New York Breaks Your Heart (Bloomsbury, 2018), focuses on his street photography through four-color and black & white images of his “chance encounters” with a […]