The 2019 Lambda Literary Awards Long List is here!

What good are awards? Do they really mean anything? Are the winners truly better than other books, or is it just a popularity contest? We’ve known readers who only read award winners, and others who actively avoid them, on the theory that award winning books might be more admirable than enjoyable. But there is definitely one aspect of book awards that is a big help to readers: the full lists of nominees – or long lists.

We regularly pore over the longlisted books for the Booker Prize, the Carnegie Medal, the Edgar Awards, the National Book Awards and others, looking for titles that both passed their judges’ muster and capture our own individual interest. One of the best – and longest – long lists each year is the LAMBDA Literary Awards (or Lammys), now entering its 31st year of recognizing excellence in LGBTQIA literature. Lammy winners will be announced on June 3, but you can enjoy their long list, spanning a vast array of categories, right now! It is hard to imagine a better way to get in touch with some of the most interesting LGBTQIA narratives and talented authors writing today. And for your convenience, we’ve posted extensive lists of the finalists for fiction & poetry, non-fiction and graphic novels, and books for youth, right there in our library catalog. Continue reading “The 2019 Lambda Literary Awards Long List is here!”

June Literary Holidays

Here are some interesting literary holidays to enjoy in June.

June is GLBT Book Month, which started as LGBT Book Month in the early 1990s. To quote the GLBT Book Month website: “[this is] a nationwide celebration of the authors and writings that reflect the lives and experiences of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.”

In honor of this month, let me point you Continue reading “June Literary Holidays”

Pride Month: Queer Cinema by Queer Directors

“There have never been lesbians or gay men in Hollywood. Only homosexuals.” With this final despairing statement, gay film historian and activist Vito Russo ends The Celluloid Closet, his landmark study of representations of LGBTQ people in film.

When Russo first published The Celluloid Closet in 1981, he could not imagine that over a decade later LGBTQ directors would make movies that depicted the complex and varied experiences of LGBTQ people with respect and pride, and that Hollywood would begin to finance and distribute these films. Nor could he foresee that 35 years later, Barry Jenkins, a black gay director, would win the Best Picture Academy Award for Moonlight, a sensitive, nuanced, and beautifully filmed story of a young gay black man’s coming of age.

Sadly, Russo died of AIDS-related complications in 1990 and did not live long enough to see the blossoming queer cinema that began to emerge shortly thereafter. In 2013, GLAAD created the Vito Russo Test in his honor. Mainstream Hollywood filmmakers still have a way to go in terms of positive portrayals of LGBTQIA characters, but queer filmmakers around the world have been producing excellent films that pass the Vito Russo Test and then some for decades. Here are a few of my favorites: Continue reading “Pride Month: Queer Cinema by Queer Directors”

LGBTQ memoirs

~posted by Frank

It’s Gay Pride month, and it’s time to take a look at some forthcoming and recently released memoirs celebrating the richness and diversity of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender lives.

For a good laugh, check out Bad Kid by David Crabb as he recounts growing up goth and gay in Texas in the 80s, and Intimacy Idiot by Isaac Oliver, a self-deprecating look at life as a single gay man in New York City. You can read about the personal and professional life of pioneering, caustic politician Barney Frank in Frank, and join George Hodgman as he cares for the mother who never accepted that her son is gay in BettyvilleStories of inspiration can be found in A Work in Progress by YouTube vlogger Connor Franta and in Coming Out to Play by professional soccer player Robbie Rogers. And discover the obstacles that Big Freedia, reality star and ambassador to Bounce music (New Orleans hip hop), faced in his eponymous memoir. Continue reading “LGBTQ memoirs”

Lust to love

If you’re looking for love (or lust!) this February, look no further than the library! And who knows? You may cross paths with the Perfectperson of your dreams as you reach for one of these sizzling reads.

The Super Bowl may be over, but you can still score in the game of love! Especially if you are single mother Tara Lincoln in Jaci Burton’s The Perfect Play. After a one-night stand with Mick, a pro football player, Tara vows to protect her heart from another rejection. Mick, however, is determined to win Tara’s heart. The Perfect Play is the first book of Burton’s Play by Play series. Continue reading “Lust to love”