Author Archives: omnivorebibliosaur

2018 Audie Award Winners

 

On May 31st, the Audio Publishers Association revealed its selection of award-winning audiobook productions from the past year at its annual celebration. The 2018 Audie Award Winners span numerous categories, including Audiobook of the Year, individual and group performances, marketing, production, and various genres. 

Click HERE for a full list of finalists in each category.

 

 

AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Narrated by Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and a full cast
Random House Audio

AUDIO DRAMA
Brother Francis: The Barefoot Saint of Assisi by Paul McCusker
Read by Joseph Timms, Owen Teale, and Geoffrey Palmer, et al.
Augustine Institute

AUTOBIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Narrated by Bruce Springsteen
Simon & Schuster Audio

BEST FEMALE NARRATOR
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Narrated by Bahni Turpin
HarperAudio

BEST MALE NARRATOR
Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
Narrated by Trevor Noah
Audible Studios

BUSINESS/PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Peak Performance by Brad Stullberg and Steve Magness
Narrated by Christopher Lane
Brilliance Publishing

EROTICA
Claim & Protect by Rhenna Morgan
Narrated by John Lane
Harlequin Audio

EXCELLENCE IN DESIGN
In Death Limited Collector’s Edition by J.D. Robb
Design by Carissa Dreese
Brilliance Publishing

EXCELLENCE IN MARKETING
Transform Your Commute Campaign
Penguin Random House Audio

EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCTION
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle and Stephen Fry
Narrated by Stephen Fry
Audible Studios

FANTASY
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
Narrated by Kate Reading
Simon & Schuster Audio

FICTION
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Narrated by Cathleen McCarron
Penguin Audio

HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY
Loving Vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell
Narrated by Adenrele Ojo and MacLeod Andrews
Dreamscape Media

HUMOR
Carpet Diem: Or…How to Save the World by Accident by Justin Lee Anderson
Narrated by by Matthew Lloyd Davies, published by Tantor Audio, a division of Recorded Books

INSPIRATIONAL/FAITH-BASED FICTION
Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson
Narrated by Nancy Peterson
Two Words Publishing

INSPIRATIONAL/FAITH-BASED NON-FICTION
Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey Through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace by Kim Phuc Phan Thi
Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller
HighBridge Audio, a division of Recorded Books

LITERARY FICTION & CLASSICS
House of Names by Colm Toibin
Narrated by Juliet Stevenson, et al.
Simon & Schuster Audio

MIDDLE GRADE
See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng
Narrated by Kivlighan de Montebello, Brittany Pressley, Michael Crouch, et al.
Listening Library

MULTI-VOICED PERFORMANCE
Restart by Gordon Korman
Narrated by Jonathan Todd Ross, Laura Knight Keating, Ramon de Ocampo, et al.
Recorded Books

MYSTERY
The Girl Who Takes An Eye for An Eye by David Lagercrantz
Narrated by Simon Vance
Random House Audio

NARRATION BY THE AUTHOR OR AUTHORS
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Narrated by Neil Gaiman
HarperAudio

NON-FICTION
American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee
Narrated by Mark Bramhall
Random House Audio

ORIGINAL WORK
Romeo and Juliet: A Novel by David Hewson
Narrated by by Richard Armitage
Audible Studios

PARANORMAL
Curse on the Land: SoulWood, Book 2 by Faith Hunter
Narrated by Khristine Hvam
Audible Studios

ROMANCE
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Narrated by by Mary Jane Wells
HarperAudio

SCIENCE FICTION
Provenance by Ann Leckie
Narrated by Adjoa Andoh
Hachette Audio

SHORT STORIES/COLLECTIONS
The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo
Narrated by by Lauren Fortgang
Audible Studios

THRILLER/SUSPENSE
The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker
Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini and Graham Winton
Recorded Books

YOUNG ADULT
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Narrated by by Bahni Turpin
HarperAudio

YOUNG LISTENERS (UP TO AGE 8)
Trombone Shorty by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews
Narrated by Dion Graham
Live Oak Media

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Categories: audiobooks, awards | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lambda Literary 2018 Award Winners

Lambda Literary

Image via Lambda Literary

 

Lambda Literary announced award winners earlier this week at its 30th annual celebration of queer literature. As usual, I have a lot of reading to do after browsing Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Gay, and LGBTQ anthologies in fiction and nonfiction categories. Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado and Like Water Rebecca Podos, winners of Lesbian Fiction and LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult, respectively, are available as fantastic audiobook productions*. This list is drawn from Lambda Literary’s official list of winners. For an even greater swell to your TBR, check out the full list of category finalists.

*Note: I reviewed these audiobooks for AudioFile Magazine.

 

Lesbian Fiction
Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado, Graywolf Press

Gay Fiction
After the Blue Hour, John Rechy, Grove Press

Bisexual Fiction
The Gift, Barbara Browning, Coffee House Press

Bisexual Nonfiction
Hunger, Roxane Gay, HarperCollins

Transgender Fiction
Transcendent 2: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative FictionBogi Takács (ed), Lethe Press

LGBTQ Nonfiction
How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Haymarket Books

Transgender Nonfiction
Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity, C. Riley Snorton, University of Minnesota Press

Lesbian Poetry
Rock | Salt | Stone, Rosamond S. King, Nightboat Books

Gay Poetry
While Standing in Line for Death, CA Conrad, Wave Books

Transgender Poetry
recombinant, Ching-In Chen, Kelsey Street Press

Lesbian Mystery
Huntress, A.E. Radley, Heartsome Publishing

Gay Mystery
Night Drop, Marshall Thornton, Kenmore Books

Lesbian Memoir/Biography
The Fact of a BodyAlexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, Flatiron Books

Gay Memoir/Biography
Lives of Great Men: Living and Loving as an African Gay Man, Chike Frankie Edozien, Team Angelica Publishing

Lesbian Romance
Tailor-Made, Yolanda Wallace, Bold Strokes Books

Gay Romance
Love and Other Hot Beverages, Laurie Loft, Riptide Publishing

LGBTQ Erotica
His Seed, Steve Berman, Unzipped Books

LGBTQ Anthology
¡Cuéntamelo! Oral Histories by LGBT Latino Immigrants, Juliana Delgado Lopera, Aunt Lute Books

LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult
Like Water, Rebecca Podos, Balzer + Bray

LGBTQ Drama
The Gulf, Audrey Cefaly, Samuel French

LGBTQ Graphic Novels
My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Emil Ferris, Fantagraphics Books

LGBTQ SF/F/Horror
Autonomous, Annalee Newitz, Tor Books

LGBTQ Studies
Punishing Disease: HIV and the Criminalization of Sickness, Trevor Hoppe, University of California Press

 

Categories: anthology, awards, contemporary, fiction, lgbt, Memoirs & Autobiographies, mystery, nonfiction, romance, short stories, young adult | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: Breakthrough by Kris Bryant

Breakthrough

 

“According to one of the tiny maps, there were only five major highways in Alaska. I couldn’t get lost.” – – – famous last words from Kennedy Wells

Celebrity journalist Kennedy Wells’ ends up in Anchorage, Alaska after her magazine editor sends her out to write a cover article on a new reality show. The idea smells like rotten fish, but Kennedy won’t give up a shot at regaining her former beat rubbing elbows with performers and the famous-for being-famous. 

Much of the novel’s humor plays off Kennedy’s unfamiliarity with Anchorage’s great outdoors. She’s more at home on the bustling city streets of LA, dining on catered cuisine and dashing off to her next interview in designer heels. A near-disaster on her first day exploring the area’s scenic byways requires calling in the rescue squad— in this case, a strapping butch park ranger named Brynn Coleman.

Alaska’s Wildlife Rescue and Sanctuary, located outside Anchorage, provides refuge for more than just injured animals. As its director, Brynn finds peace within its lands and her mission to help rehabilitate creatures that cannot take care of themselves. Wally the racoon is a surprisingly endearing character, though readers-as-Kennedy are informed that wild animals, no matter how friendly, are still wild animals. 

The two women cross paths as Kennedy finds herself in the thick of misadventure time and again. As the journalist discovers the appeal of her new environs, she also comes face to face with firmly entrenched body image issues, commitment aversion, and an unexpected career crossroads. One of the main issues at play is how much Kennedy and Brynn, who harbors a closely guarded past, are willing to confront within themselves before they can discover a deeper fulfillment. A small cadre of queer friends (including a local librarian) and colleagues ground the women throughout the story and give Alaska a small town feel, despite the nearly 740,000 population of Anchorage.

Overall, Breakthrough is delivers satisfying romance, amusing adventures, and a surprising, thrilling change of pace in the latter half of the story. The novel’s primary drawback is rooted in telling rather than showing the reader what is happening. There are times when a character’s thoughts are repeated aloud after she thinks them. Recommended for fans of “fish out of water” stories, femme/butch pairings, Great Outdoors immersion, and the television series Northern Exposure

Breakthrough by Kris Bryant
Bold Strokes Books
May 1, 2018

Categories: contemporary, lgbt, netgalley, romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: Pulp by Robin Talley

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Few books make me feel as giddy as I felt when I learned that Robin Talley penned a young adult novel set in the world of lesbian pulp fiction. Washington D.C. High School senior Abby Zimet struggles with a shaky home life, a complicated relationship with her ex-girl friend, and a nebulous future. When she stumbles across a lesbian pulp novel by Marian Love during research for a creative writing project, her thoughts become increasingly consumed by it and with finding the elusive woman behind the story. 

Tracking down an author, especially a writer of 1950s lesbian fiction, is a near impossible task. Abby learns this lesson quickly: not everything is available online, but human connections remain a powerful channel. If you were a queer female author, you cloaked your identity behind a pseudonym. You didn’t want to be found. Pulp shares the impact of lesbian pulp novels within the context of their time. Queer people were hunted out of government jobs, blacklisted from future employment, and exiled from families they were born into. Authors like Ann Bannon, who later revealed her identity as a pulp writer, wrote their first novels from dens of crumbling heteronormative domesticity.  Patricia Highsmith published The Price of Salt under the name “Claire Morgan”, so as not to derail her nascent mainstream writing career.

Told in parallel narratives, Pulp traces Janet Jones’ pivotal year in 1955 as a teenager in D.C., and Abby’s present-day travails and literary sleuthing. As the story builds, readers see more than just a chasm of differences between the modern teen’s openness with her family and friends as a lesbian, and Janet’s furtive attempts at secrecy. Readers discover threads that not only connect the characters through time, but also reflects the continuity of history and social activism in our own lives. 

Robin Talley delivers an immersive and emotionally engaging novel that rewards repeat readers. Sprinkled throughout are Easter eggs for lesbian history enthusiasts and those eager to learn more about this period in our history. I believe that fiction can be a powerful draw in pulling readers of all ages into a deeper examination of historical events. Talley again creates a compelling story that intrigues and informs. I’ll leave most of the trivia for you to discover when the book is released in November. Hint: Start with Abby Zimet’s name. If you’re new to lesbian pulp, you can find plenty of examples of their covers online. Salacious, technicolor covers make for great magnets and other novelty items.

Pulp by Robin Talley
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: November 13, 2018

Further Reading

A major portion of Abby’s journey involves an education in lesbian herstory.  I am especially drawn to mid-20th century queer history and fiction. This bibliography reflects some of the material that I’ve read so far. It is by no means comprehensive or complete. If you have any recommendations for me, please share them in the comments below. I’ve said this before, but someday, I will visit the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York City.

Nonfiction

Articles & Websites

Fiction

A mix of pulp fiction and novels set in the 1950s (and in New York City, for the most part).


Coloring book bonus!

The Butch Lesbians of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s Coloring Book from Stacked Deck Press is currently out-of-stock, but worth keeping an eye on. 

Categories: booklist, contemporary, historical fiction, lgbt, young adult | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: Blend by Georgia Beers

 

Blend

In vino veritas, or, in this case, “in wine bar truth”. Since the death of her husband a few years ago, Ellen Bradshaw has basically lived at Vineyard, the business they started together in their early retirement. When she suddenly announces plans for a solo vacation, Ellen leaves both her daughter Piper and the wine bar’s general manager, Lindsay Kent, in charge. It’s an antagonizing arrangement that starts off sour grapes, but matures into a compulsively readable blend.

Enter “Corporate Barbie” or “Princess Elsa”, two of the nicknames whispered behind Piper’s back. Managing people and productivity as a VP at a tech company are tasks at which she excels. Dealing with painful memories and discomfiting emotions? Not so much. On the other half of the equation is the laid-back, but equally hardworking Lindsay strives to transform the wine bar that turned her life around.  Rocket, her lovable yellow lab and a small group of friends complete her good-enough-for-now life. Romance? Well, that’s just something that Lindsay’s stuffed away in a drawer full of mismatched socks.

As the women spend increasing amounts of time together at the bar and other locales around Black Cherry Lake, they find it impossible to remain at loggerheads. The supporting cast of family, friends, and co-workers deserve major kudos. This contemporary romance shows that sometimes it takes a village to bring two people together. Piper’s frosty demeanor gives way under the warmth of her friend Matthew (a wonderful bear of a kindergarten teacher), Edgar (her mustachioed cat named for Edgar Allen Poe), and older sister Gina. We all need people who love us, warts and all, and aren’t afraid to call us on our shit.

Author Georgia Beers delivers another satisfying contemporary romance, full of humor, delicious aggravation, and a home for the heart at the end of the emotional journey.

Blend by Georgia Beers
Bold Strokes Books, April 2018
Join the conversation on Goodreads!

*Netgalley review copy

 

 

Categories: contemporary, fiction, lgbt, romance | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Golden Crown Literary Society 2018 Award Finalists

For the past 14 years, the Golden Crown Literary Society has hosted “The Goldies”, literary awards for lesbian literature in sixteen genres and five special categories. Winners will be announced on July 7th at the awards ceremony in Las Vegas. I’m excited to see so many novels that I’ve enjoyed (as well many more piled atop my TBR shelf) over the past year appear as finalists.

For more information on how books are nominated and considered, head on over to Golden Crown’s website. Click on any title below to learn more about each nominee.

Genre Categories

 

 Anthology/Collections (Fiction)

 

 


Conference Call
, Ann Roberts (ed.), Bella Books

Our Happy Hours, LGBT Voices from the Gay Bars, S. Renee Bess and Lee Lynch (Story Collectors), Flashpoint Publications

 

Combined Non-Fiction

 

 


Fried & Convicted: Rehoboth Beach Uncorked
 by Fay Jacobs, Bywater Books

Grief Map by Sarah Hahn Campbell, Brain Mill Press

 

 Contemporary Romance (Short Novels)

 

 


Bait and Switch
 by Blythe H. Warren, Bella Books

Echo Point by Virginia Hale, Bella Books
Fake it till You Make It by M. Ullrich, Bold Strokes Books
Forget Me Not by Kris Bryant, Bold Strokes Books
Highland Fling by Anna Larner, Bold Strokes Books
Pausing by Renee Mackenzie, Affinity Rainbow Publications
Unbridled by Fox Brison, Bold Fox Publishing
Unexpected by Jenny Frame, Bold Strokes Books

 

Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length Novels)

 

 


Ask, Tell
 by E. J. Noyes, Bella Books

The Butterfly Whisperer by Lisa Moreau, Bold Strokes Books
Delay of Game by Tracey Richardson, Bella Books
Love After Hours: A Rivers Community Romance by Radclyffe, Bold Strokes Books
Nantucket Rose by CF Frizzell, Bold Strokes Books
Night Voice by CF Frizzell, Bold Strokes Books
Right Here, Right Now by Georgia Beers, Bold Strokes Books
Sidebar by Carsen Taite, Bold Strokes Books
What Matters Most by Georgia Beers, Brisk Press
Wishing on a Dream by Julie Cannon, Bold Strokes Books

 

Contemporary Romance (Long Novels)

 

 


Casting Lacey
 by Elle Spencer, Self-Published

Crescent City Confidential by Aurora Rey, Bold Strokes Books
Edge of Glory by Rachel Spangler, Bywater Books
Perfect Rhythm by Jae, Ylva Publishing
Rock and a Hard Place by Andrea Bramhall, Ylva Publishing
The Secret Pond by Gerri Hill, Bella Books
Vacationland by Susan X Meagher, Brisk Press
Who’d Have Thought by G Benson, Ylva Publishing
 

Debut Novel

 

 


Bend
 by Nancy J. Hedin, Anglerfish Press an imprint of Riptide Publishing

Falling into Her by Erin Zak, Bold Strokes Books
Frame by Frame by CJ Murphy, Desert Palm Press
Just Beyond the Shining River by Lynnette Beers, Regal Crest Enterprises
Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu, Soho Press
The Road to Wings by Julie Tizard, Bold Strokes Books
The Square Donut by Lauren Crane, Backyard Bird Publishing
The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera, Tor/Forge Books
The Winter Loon by Lori Henriksen, Cougar Creek Books
 

Erotica

 

 


Her Best Friend’s
 Sister
by Meghan O’Brien, Bold Strokes Books

Party Favors by Jaime Clevenger, Bella Books
This Foreign Affair by Harper Bliss, Ladylit Publishing
 

General Fiction

 

 


Bend
 by Nancy J. Hedin, Anglerfish Press an imprint of Riptide Publishing

Bitterroot Queen by Jove Belle, Dirt Road Books
Changing Perspectives by Jen Silver, Affinity Rainbow Publications
Goldenrod by Ann McMan, Bywater Books
The Price of Cash by Ashley Bartlett, Bold Strokes Books
 

Historical Fiction

 

The Ada Decades by Paula Martinac, Bywater Books
Crossing the Wide Forever by Missouri Vaun, Bold Strokes Books
The Sniper’s Kiss by Justine Saracen, Bold Strokes Books
The Winter Loon by Lori Henriksen, Cougar Creek Books

 
Mystery/Thriller

 

 

A Quiet Death by Cari Hunter, Bold Strokes Books
Forsaken Trust: A Luce Hansen Thriller by Meredith Doench, Bold Strokes Books
Genuine Gold by Ann Aptaker, Bold Strokes Books
The Girl on the Edge of Summer by J. M. Redmann, Bold Strokes Books
Lethal Care by Claire McNab with Katherine V. Forrest, Bella Books       
Taken In by Erica Abbott, Bella Books
 

Paranormal/Horror

 

 

Five Moons Rising by Lise MacTague, Bella Books
Little Dip – Garoul Series Book V by Gill McKnight, Dirt Road Books

 
Poetry

 

 

The Girls with Stone Faces by Arleen Paré, Brick Books
Hanging on Our Own Bones by Judy Grahn, Arktoi Books
Walking Through Turquoise by Laurie MacFayden, Frontenac House Ltd.

 
Romantic Suspense/Intrigue


A More Perfect Union
 by Carsen Taite, Bold Strokes Books

Heart Stop by Radclyffe, Bold Strokes Books
Into Thin Air by Jeannie Levig, Bold Strokes Books
Letter of the Law by Carsen Taite, Bold Strokes Books
Lucy’s Chance by Jackie D, Bold Strokes Books
Mine to Keep by Wendy Hudson, Ylva Publishing
Moment of Weakness by KG MacGregor, Bella Books
The Road to Wings by Julie Tizard, Bold Strokes Books
The Scholarship by Jaime Maddox, Bold Strokes Books
 

Science Fiction/Fantasy


Ardulum: Second
 Don
by J.S. Fields, Ninestar Press

The End by Roselle Graskey and Cheyne Curry, Bossy Pants Books
Erased by Robbi McCoy, Bella Books
Fury’s Choice by Brey Willows, Bold Strokes Books
House of Fate by Barbara Ann Wright, Bold Strokes Books
Phoenix Rising by Rebecca Harwell, Bold Strokes Books
Seoul Circuit by Tamara Boyens, Supposed Crimes
Shattered by Lee Winter, Ylva Publishing
Spark by Catherine Friend, Bold Strokes Books

 

Young Adult


Girls Like Me
 by Nina Packebush, Bedazzled Ink Publishing

Sovereign by April Daniels, Diversion Books
The Square Donut by Lauren Crane, Backyard Bird Publishing

 

Special Categories

 

Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award

 

An Outsider Inside by R.J. Samuel, Self-Published
Edge of Glory by Rachel Spangler, Bywater Books
Goldenrod by Ann McMan, Bywater Books
Our Happy Hours, LGBT Voices from the Gay Bars, S. Renee Bess and Lee Lynch (Story Collectors), Flashpoint Publications
Perfect Rhythm by Jae, Ylva Publishing
Right Here, Right Now by Georgia Beers, Bold Strokes Books
Sappho’s Bar and Grill by Bonnie J. Morris, Bywater Books
Strawberry Summer by Melissa Brayden, Bold Strokes Books
Time’s Rainbow: Writing Ourselves Back into American History, Lori L. Lake & Christopher Hawthorne Moss (eds.), Launch Point Press

Directors’ Award – TBD

Lee Lynch Classic Award – TBD

Tee Corine Award for Outstanding Cover Art


The Ada Decades, Ann McMan, TreeHouse Studio, Bywater Books
An Outsider Inside, Ann McMan, Treehouse Studio, Self-Published
Buried Heart, Melody Pond, Bold Strokes Books
Close to Home, Ann McMan, TreeHouse Studio, Bywater Books
Edge of Glory, Ann McMan, TreeHouse Studio, Bywater Books
Goldenrod, Ann McMan, TreeHouse Studio, Bywater Books
On a LARP, Ann McMan, TreeHouse Studio, Bywater Books
Our Happy Hours, LGBT Voices from the Gay Bars, Ann McMan, TreeHouse Studio, Flashpoint Publications

Trailblazer Award – TBD
 

Categories: anthology, awards, contemporary, erotica, fantasy, fiction, history, lgbt, lists, literary fiction, mystery, paranormal, poetry, romance, science fiction, short stories, sports, suspense, thriller, young adult | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the Queue: Audiobooks on my shelf

Having stacks of unread books strewn about my apartment has never stopped me from saying yes to another armload at the store. Same goes for audiobooks. I’ve amassed a decent digital pile, ensuring no more lonely nightsIf you asked me what I plan on listening to next, I’d have a hard time coming up with an answer because it all sounds good. Earlier this week I wandered around my neighborhood, surrounded by an international buffet of restaurant choices, and had a hard time deciding what to fill my growling stomach with… I also tend to come up with several reasons why that book or that book or that one over there is the one for me right now, when faced with a Willy Wonka world of choices. But, since I’m currently listening to a longer fantasy and reading multiple paperbacks and ebooks, I’d choose Leslie Odom, Jr.’s inspirational 3 1/2 hour memoir Failing Up.

So, while I get cozy, I’d like to know what’s languishing on your Audible bookshelf (or wherever your eAudiobooks call home). Are you also maddeningly indecisive like me?

 

 

 

Categories: audiobooks, contemporary, humorous, lgbt, Memoirs & Autobiographies, mystery, romance, series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cozy Witch Mini Booklist

“I put a spell on you and now you’re mine!” “Double, double, toil, and trouble!” Microwave some popcorn and pop in a film. I love witchy goodness of the comfort variety, whether it’s Bette Midler siphoning off the life force of Salem’s children, the Olsen twins freeing Cloris Leachman from her evil witchy twin, or Debbie Reynolds watching over her family in the TV movie series “Halloween Town”. Heartwarming and fun magical adventures are some of my favorite, go-to staycations. There’s a dash of quirky, a handful (or two) of sexy, and a lot of fun.

I found a few books that seem to fit the bill. Since I haven’t yet read these (only sample chapters), I can’t fully vouch for them. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comment section below. After you out check out these series, why not pitch cozy queer witch movie ideas to Hallmark. The one I borrowed via my library Hoopla account, You Cast a Spell on Me, seemed to have everything but F/F. Please and thank you in advance!

Witchcraft & Winds (Weather Witch, Book 1) by Emilia Spring
A Charmed Life (The Ashland Witches, Book 1) by Jea Hawkins
The Cupid Conundrum (Burgundy Hart, Book 1) by Lucy True

Jane Madison isn’t queer, but I adore this Washington D.C.-based specialty reference librarian. She foams milk for lattes and researches obscure data from primary sources at the Peabridge Library. On one fateful day, she discovers witchy powers, a familiar, and more problems than her budget allows. And I just found out that there is a road trip novella, Magic and Mayhem: Nice Witches Don’t Swear by Mindy Klasky! Hells yeah! It’s been ten years since I went on a road trip, so this is a perfect read for my upcoming trip. Pack it up and boost off!

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wild Mares: My Lesbian Back-to-the-Land Life – review

I’m on the tail end of my vacation and I am definitely not ready to get back to work. Last week I visited San Francisco on a week-long road trip down the West coast. It’s been on my fantasy list of places to visit for most of my life. The closest I had ever been prior was a camping trip in the Redwoods 8 years ago and vicariously through my older sister’s high school year book trip. I have a lifetime of pop culture-colored glasses and history stored up in my mind. You’d think that could be the recipe for a major let-down. Reality versus fantasy. The only disappointment I experienced was my lack of time to explore all of the nooks and crannies. I’ll return someday and go on that drag queen historian tour while munching on some savory sourdough! 

Being the super bookworm that I am, I made the requisite pilgrimage to the iconic City Lights Bookstore. Perched on the edge of Chinatown, it occupies an unassuming space. Inside, two floors of bookshelves line hardwood floor with the occasional postcard. Downstairs I found my vacation date (to pair up with the 3-4 other books I brought on the trip ‘cuz you never know what you will be in the mood for on any one day): Wild Mares by Dianna Hunter. 

 

Wild Mares: My Lesbian Back-to-the-Land Life shares author Dianna Hunter’s lesbian farm life and activism from the 1960s-1980s. She acknowledges the vagaries of memory don’t always leave crystal clear recollections; so she checks in with friends, family, correspondence and diary entries, and others to square up details of events. I love memoirs and biographies of queer women. Their everyday lived experiences, activism, and careers captivate me. I guess you could say I’m very nosy, but I think it’s just my appreciation for the countless, and often anonymous folks, whose lives made it a difference for how the world looks today. If not for these kinds of memoirs, I wouldn’t necessarily have heard about certain feminist and queer organizations in Minnesota; lesbian publications like So’s Your Old Lady; and farms with names like Haidiya FarmRising Moon, and Happy Hoofer Farm, products of the back-to-the-land feminist movements. 

Hunter’s memoir pulled me in even more so because she illuminates lesbian community outside of major coastal hubs like Los Angeles and New York. Having grown up in a small county, I enjoy connecting with novels like Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller and author Catherine Friend’s memoir about raising sheep in Minnesota, Hit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Farm (2006). Ivan Coyote’s storytelling and Lucas Crawford’s poetry collection Sideshow Concessions feature small-town life in Canada. All of these titles are hard to put down and imprint you forever after the final page. If you have any suggestions for lesbian herstory, historical fiction, and queer life in small and rural areas, please let me know in the comments below. I have one related book on the back burner, Queering the Countryside: New Frontiers in Rural Queer Studies (2016), edited by Mary L. Gray, Colin R. Johnson, and Brian J. Gilley.  An important project, Country Queers, gathers contemporary stories of queer country life in the United States. 

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Wild Mares: My Lesbian Back-to-the-Land Life by Dianna Hunter
University of Minnesota Press, 2018
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Review – My Shot: Balancing It All and Standing Tall

Image result for elena delle donne book

It’s April and that means the WNBA season is right around the corner. Elena Delle Donne’s (EDD) recently released memoir shares her life on and off the basketball court. EDD, for anyone unfamiliar with the 6″5 forward guard, is an indomitable presence on the floor as a WNBA MVP and gold medal Olympian. My Shot: Balancing it all and Standing Tall reveals personal challenges she faced in finding a healthy balance between basketball and her personal life.

EDD is remarkable off the court, as well. She shares her passions for family; raises awareness and funds for Lyme Disease through her Elena Delle Donne Charitable Foundation; and connects with Special Olympics athletes as a Global Ambassador. Demand Excellence, her personal motto, motivates and sustains EDD through all of life’s challenges. It’s not the same as the mentality that drove her love of basketball and boundaries into the ground. Rather, it’s a key part of the toolkit she uses to enjoy her life to the fullest. As I read, I strongly empathized with the “I Should” mentality. “I should” pursue this career route. “I should” do this and that and if I don’t then I’ve somehow failed others and myself. 

While this memoir is written with young readers in mind, people of any age can connect with EDD’s message of honoring your inner voice and sharing your strengths with the world around you. I’m looking forward to the Washington Mystics, her current WNBA team, having a kick ass season! My 2018 season dream: Seattle Storm vs Washington Mystics in the finals. 

 

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My Shot: Balancing it all and Standing Tall by Elena Delle Donne
Simon & Schuster, 2018

Categories: lgbt, Memoirs & Autobiographies, sports | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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