Celebrate Gay Pride!

In honor of Gay Pride Month, as well as the wonderful news from New York state, here are a few gay-themed favorites picked by our staff. Enjoy!

A Queer History of the United States
by Michael Bronski (Beacon)

(Summer Booknotes Selection)

In the tradition of Howard Zinn and Gail Collins, Michael Bronski’s new history of the United States is an accessible, highly-readable exploration of our nation’s past. Bronski’s approach to writing history is integrative and inclusive, and provides a panoramic view of what was once just a snap-shot. Bronkski’s A Queer History of the United States is not just a history of famous Queer people, things they did, and events that shaped their lives—it’s a history of everyone, of our entire country. Bronski’s refusal to segregate Queer history from the history of all people is wonderfully refreshing and illuminating. –Candra

by Kathleen Winter (Grove Press)

They kept it a secret in the small remote coastal town in which they lived. Neither boy nor girl. Only three people knew. The parents, well-meaning, brought him up as a boy named Wayne, who struggled with the two genders within him. Not written with sensationalism, this debut novel is a beautiful and compelling story of societal labels, identity and our own place in the world. Highly recommended. -Seth

By Malinda Lo (Little, Brown and Company)

One of my favorite lesbian-themed novels from last year was Malinda Lo’s young adult novel, Ash, a retelling of Cinderella in which a young orphan girl trying to escape life with her wicked stepmother befriends and begins to love the King’s Huntress . Huntress is a prequel to Ash, and draws inspiration from the I Ching. In Huntress, two teenaged girls are chosen for a special mission to Tanlili, the Fairy Queen’s realm. Both novels transport readers into a world of fairies, magic and young love. -Karen

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
by John Green and David Levithan (Speak)

When two authors come together to write one book, one never knows how it’s going to turn out. In the case of Green and Levithan, two talented young adult authors, sharing a book seems to come naturally to them. In alternating chapters, each author takes a Will Grayson, two angst-ridden Chicago teenagers that share the same name and some of the same insecurities, and sets them on separate paths that inevitably intersect to hilarious consequences. Buoyed by a fantastic set of supporting characters and a treatment of teen issues that is at once thoughtful and humorous, Will Grayson is a superb entry into the YA pantheon. –Casey S.

It Gets Better
By Dan Savage and Terry Miller (Dutton)

Dan Savage and Terry Miller’s YouTube Project is now a book and it includes stories adapted from the many personal stories shared on the website and many new stories as well.  Some are Seattle stories–such as bookseller turned community leader Michael Wells’ and all of the stories reflect the tremendous diversity of our community. It does get better, thanks to the commitment and hard work of all of these contributors and many more. -Karen

Secret Historian
Justin Spring (Farrar, Straus, Giroux)

What a rare find! At a time in history when limitations were imposed on homosexuals by a repressive society, Samuel Steward’s life was on record – kept by a man who was record-obsessive. Justin Spring poured through Steward’s archive of “Stud Files” from 1924-1974. Steward was a true renegade. -Seth


Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life
By Kim Severson (Riverhead)

The New York Times writer Kim Severson’s memoir, Spoon Fed (now out in paperback), is as much a story of coming out, falling in love and getting sober as it is of her finding her voice as a food writer. She shares life lessons learned from Marcella Hazan, Marion Cunningham, Alice Waters and others, but I thought the most enlightening story was hers. Finding family acceptance and self-acceptance and making a life with her wife and family–that’s good news for those of us who thought we could expect much less for ourselves and our loved ones. -Karen