Holiday

A Labor Day reading list

Unions, laborers, employers, and government, oh my! For many, Labor Day weekend is the last hurrah holiday of summer before Autumn and a host of other responsibilities resume. Or, if you’re like me, you find yourself working all weekend and Monday becomes a nice reprieve (or you might be working on that day, too. Thank you.). It’s easy to lose sight of how and why the holiday came into existence and why it continues to matter. The holiday has a complex history that goes beyond the simplified version I’ll share in this blog post. For a more in-depth discussion, please use the following book and article lists as jumping off points. They’ll have bibliographies and notes that will further guide your studies. 

On Tuesday, September 5, 1882, the Central Labor Union held its first Labor Day in New York City. It gained traction in other cities and States, evolving into a large scale celebration of trade and labor organizations with demonstrations, parades and other festivities. Eventually, on June 28, 1894, the United States Congress declared Labor Day a legal holiday (after many States had already made it so) and that it would be held on the first Monday of every September. Workers in the US had a great many reasons to rally together. They advocated for better, safer conditions at their places of employment; for the right not to be worked to death; and for time off to care for sick relatives (and their own health), among many other things. Needless to say, unions, workers, employers, and government entities did not always cooperate with each other and the results of their endeavors achieved mixed results. Take a moment this Labor Day and review your State and Federal legislation. Ask yourself what you could do to help improve working conditions in your region and familiarize yourself with resources and organizations that assist workers.

Reading Recommendations

The handful of books below discuss working class queer folk and labor activists in the United States. And, since I love using my local public library databases to mine for information, you’ll also find a list of articles that I discovered using EBSCOHost (Google Scholar is a good place to start if you need to find full-text access outside of a library database). Since I put this together the day before Labor Day (Monday, September 4, 2017) and was definitely not on the ball, I appreciate suggestions you have for additional articles and books. You can leave those in the comments below. 

Books

 

Articles

Tilcsik, A., Anteby, M., & Knight, C. R. (2015). Concealable Stigma and Occupational       Segregation. Administrative Science Quarterly60(3), 446-481. doi:10.1177/0001839215576401

Mosoetsa, S., Stillerman, J., Tilly, C., & Smith, S. R. (2016). Queers are Workers, Workers are Queer, Workers’ Rights are Hot! The Emerging Field of Queer Labor History. International Labor & Working-Class History89184. doi:10.1017/S014754791500040X 

Reading List (non-queer specific)

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Categories: booklist, history, Holiday, magazines, nonfiction, primary sources, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading Resolutions for 2017

 Oh, reading challenges. I love them, and yet, I fare better with the types of reading challenges that quantify, rather than qualify, my choices. For example, Goodreads only asks how many books I plan on finishing between January and December. That’s pretty straightforward, simple, and, in some ways, not that much of a challenge. I can set the bar at 5 books, if I wanted (I would wither away if I was only able to read five books in a year).

My excuses/reasons for failing to cross the finish line of the 2016 PopSugar challenge are many. I’m like that dog in the Pixar movie “Up”; I get distracted by every book that crosses my path. There are certainly not enough hours in the day for work, commuting, and my myriad of interests. I am also unable to read less than ten trillion books at a time. There is currently one book in my glove compartment of my car; an audiobook in my car’s disc drive and on my smartphone; Analog magazine on my phone for endless lines at the grocery store; eBooks on my Nook; and on and on.

I don’t give myself a hard time for not living up to my own reading standards. It’s supposed to be so many other things above and beyond a mere assignment. I will, however, craft mini challenges for myself that highlight voices and genres I haven’t spent much (if any) time with. And then there is the news… So long 2016!

How about you?

Categories: anthology, audiobooks, erotica, essay, family relationships, fantasy, fiction, friendship, historical fiction, history, Holiday, horror, lgbt, librarians, literary fiction, Memoirs & Autobiographies, nonfiction, novella, paranormal, poetry, primary sources, retellings, romance, romantic friendships, short stories, Uncategorized, young adult | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Holiday Romance

“Baby, it’s cold outside”, so let’s curl up in front the fire with a glass of holiday cheer and a pile of romances! I had a good time marathoning holiday romance movies with my mom the other week, but it would be nice if there was a LGBT version of the Hallmark Movie Channel. Or maybe there is and you would be a wonderful dear if you shared it in the comments below. In the meantime, here is a list of novels, novellas, and short stories that I hope will warm up your December with love, cheer, and hope. I haven’t read all of them yet and this list is by no means comprehensive, but I wanted to share the list I’ve compiled before the season is over. Please help make this list bigger and better by sharing titles (featuring queer women-identified protagonists falling in love with other queer women) I’ve left off, in the comment section below.

the-miracle-of-the-lights

The Miracle of the Lights
Cindy Rizzo
Publisher: Ylva Publishing

ISBNs: 978-3-95533-352-2 (mobi), 978-3-95533-353-9 (epub), 978-3-95533-354-6 (pdf)
Publication date: January 2015

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When her girlfriend, Tova, leaves their upstate New York Hasidic community to avoid an arranged marriage, eighteen-year-old Chava goes in search of her among the hundreds of homeless LGBTQ youth in New York City.  Once there, she faces the challenges of life on the street and must reconcile the insulated world she has known with the new and unfamiliar choices she confronts.  But nothing else matters—not the cold, the onset of an illness, or her brush with danger—nothing, except finding Tova. (Ylva Publishing)

 

unwrap-these-presents

One of the great things about this anthology is that 100% of the profits benefit organizations that help homeless LGBT youth in the UK and New York City.

Unwrap These Presents
Various Authors; Edited by Astrid Ohletz and R.G. Emanuelle
Publisher: Ylva Publishing

ISBNs: 978-3-95533-278-5 (mobi), 978-3-95533-279-2 (epub), 978-3-95533-280-8 (pdf)
Publication date: November 2014

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Twenty-three authors of lesbian fiction contributed holiday stories that give you snow, presents, plenty of food, Holiday cheer and nicely wrapped curvy women under the tree. (Ylva Publishing)

 

mama-knows

Mama Knows
Cheri Crystal
Publisher: Ylva Publishing

ISBNs: 978-3-95533-334-8 (mobi), 978-3-95533-335-5 (epub), 978-3-95533-336-2 (pdf)
Publication date: December 2014

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At thirty-five, Rue is settled in her life. She lives at home so she can look after her aging mother, works as a farmhand, and scores with more ladies than the cowboys she hangs with. Why would she search for a place of her own, a permanent job, or a long-term relationship when she already has everything she needs?

But then her mother buys her a trip on a chartered singles’ tour in Europe for Christmas to broaden her horizons. On a bus with a bunch of chatty breeders, Rue is prepared for boredom.

To her surprise, the local culture and history—and a feisty gal named Billie—capture her interest. As she and Billy share a heated encounter on the ferry to France, Rue begins to think that maybe, just maybe, Mama really knows best.

(Previously published in the anthology Unwrap these presents.) (Ylva Publishing)

the-gift

The Gift
Catherine Lane
Publisher: Ylva Publishing

ISBNs: 978-3-95533-306-5 (mobi), 978-3-95533-307-2 (epub), 978-3-95533-308-9 (pdf)
Publication date: November 2014

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On Christmas morning, Paige finds a mysterious gift for her wife under the tree. The card says it’s from Paige, but she has no recollection of buying it. Even more curious—strange noises are coming from other rooms in the house. Opening this gift changes everything in this lesbian romance. (Ylva Publishing)

 

chasing-a-brighter-blue

Chasing a Brighter Blue
Gerri Hill
Publisher: Bella Books

ISBNs: 9781594934698
Publication date: December 2015

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A Christmas wedding in Colorado? A two-week celebration with family and friends? Who does that?

Photojournalist Reagan Bryant has just returned from six month stint in Afghanistan. Haunted by the tragedy that ended her last assignment, she’s searching for some peace—something to end the guilt and chase the trauma away. Two weeks at the resort hotel owned by her future sister-in-law’s father seems like the perfect escape.

Shelby Sutton doesn’t trust women. They always seem more interested in her father’s money than in her. But at her sister’s request, she vows to make friends with Reagan, a woman whose sad and haunted eyes are nearly impossible to ignore.(Bella Books)

 

love-beneath-the-christmas-tree

Love Beneath the Christmas Tree
Jae
Publisher: Ylva Publishing

ISBNs:978-3-95533-135-1 (mobi), 978-3-95533-136-8 (epub), 978-3-95533-137-5 (pdf)
Publication date: December 2013

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Three short stories that follow the lives of Rachel Lewis, self-confessed Christmas Grump,  and Lillian Coleman, the woman who makes her believe in the magic of Christmas again. (Ylva Publishing)

 

twist-of-the-magi

Twist of the Magi
Caren J. Werlinger
Publisher: Ylva Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-9960368-2-5
Publication date: November 2014

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Christmas is not looking very merry for Penny Havers – she won’t be seeing her family for the holidays; she hasn’t had a girlfriend in forever; she can’t get her stories published. When two young women are hired at the shop where she works, Penny begins to think her luck may have changed. Penny is about to learn that, when Christmas works its magic, what you hope for isn’t always what you get. (Ylva Publishing)

 

fresh-tracks-georgia-beers

Fresh Tracks
Georgia Beers
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

ISBN: 9781933110639e
Publication date: November 2006

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Seven women, seven days. A lot can happen. Childhood friends, new lovers, and old rivals share beginnings, endings, and the uncommon bonds of friendship in a story filled with romance and possibility. (Ylva Publishing)

 

houses

Gingerbread Hearts: Six Lesbian Christmas Stories
Various Authors
Publisher: Ylva Publishing

ISBNs: 978-3-95533-023-1 (mobi), 978-3-95533-022-4 (epub), 978-3-95533-024-8 (pdf)
Publication date: November 2012

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The anthology consists of four new and two republished, re-edited short stories. (Ylva Publishing)

 

all-i-want

All I want for Christmas
Clare Lydon
ISBN: 9781310614231
ASIN: B0178TUVEU
BN ID: 2940153512099

Publication date: October 2015

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Her ideal present under the tree would be a shiny new girlfriend, so Tori gives herself one month to find that special lady by December 25th. Christmas spells romance and she’s going to grab some. (Clare Lydon)

 

puprle-owl

Christmas Eve at the Purple Owl Café
Cora Buhlert
Publisher: Pegasus Pulp Publishing

ISBN
Publication date: December 2014

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After a massive row with her parents over intolerable relatives, Katie finds herself all alone for the holidays. So she heads for the one place in town where everyone is welcome on Christmas Eve, the legendary Purple Owl Café.

The Purple Owl Café has a chequered sixty-year history. These days it’s not just a place for good music and conversation, it also happens to be a lesbian bar.

Katie doesn’t mind, though so far her life was too busy for romance of any kind. But that’s about to change when Katie meets Jess at the Christmas Eve party at the Purple Owl Café… (PPP)

 

all in the seasoning

All in the Seasoning
Various Authors; Edited by Katherine V. Forrest
Publisher: Bywater Books

ISBN: 1932859330
Publication date: 2006

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Celebrate the holidays . . . lesbian style! Celebrate solstice with women journeying along California’s rugged north coast. With a firefighter on the job in New York City. Overlooking a plain, filled with waiting children, north of Los Angeles. Experience Thanksgiving with a lesbian border patrol agent along the Arizona-Mexico border. (Bywater Books)

 

the-bureau-of-holiday-affairs

The Bureau of Holiday Affairs
Andi Marquette
Publisher: Ylva Publishing

ISBNs: 978-3-95533-550-2 (mobi), 978-3-95533-551-9 (epub), 978-3-95533-552-6 (pdf)
Publication date: November 2015

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Executive Robin Preston has dedicated her life to climbing the corporate ladder, using whatever means necessary. In the shark-infested culture at Frost Enterprises, anything goes, and Robin is a master at the game.

On the verge of a major promotion, Robin receives a strange visit from Agent Elizabeth Tolson of the Bureau of Holiday Affairs, who informs Robin that, though Robin may be a lost cause, the Bureau has scheduled her for intervention. Robin will receive three visitors in the two weeks before Christmas, who will escort her on visits to her past, present, and future. (Ylva Publishing)

 

comfort-joy

Comfort and Joy
Karin Kallmaker
Publisher: Bella Books

ISBN: ss032e
Release date: December 2015

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Home from Afghanistan to surprise her mother, Milla doesn’t expect more than the best apple pie in the world and the bliss of unrationed hot showers. She’s not counting on futures—or meeting a woman like Tyna. Novella length romantic holiday story. (Bella Books)

 

christmas-kisses

Christmas Kisses: Five Merry Tales of Lesbian Lust
Various Authors
Publisher: Ladylit Publishing

ISBN: 978-988-14205-3-4
Publication date: December 2015

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’Tis the season to be… frisky. The Ladylit Fab Five have come together once more for a sizzling seasonal mini-anthology. Decorating the tree or working the holiday shift, at a family party or avoiding the shopping crowds, the ladies in these stories find reason to get merry in any circumstance.

Caution: This title contains graphic language and christmassy lesbian sex and is suitable for adults only. (Ladylit Publishing)

yours-for-the-asking

Yours for the Asking
Kenna White
Publisher: Bella Books

ISBN:1594931631
Publication date: 2009

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The responsible one. The steady, reliable one. Lauren Roberts has had her fill of it.

Running her bed-and-breakfast like clockwork and hosting her younger, glamorous, songbird sister for the holidays only underscores Lauren’s choice of order over risk. Kelly’s vibrant and impetuous nature doesn’t stick to anything—or any one woman—for long. That includes an old girlfriend of Lauren’s who was dazzled by Kelly, then dumped, shortly after Lauren stepped aside.

Old memories are sharply painful with Kelly under her roof. With the inn full, Lauren’s patience and control is stretched to the limit. When Kelly brings home Lauren’s friend Gaylin Hart, Lauren realizes Kelly has again laid claim to something she might well have wanted for herself. It looks like history might repeat itself—if Lauren lets it.(Bella Books)

 

do-you-feel-what-i-feel-a-holiday-anthology

Do You Feel What I Feel? A Holiday Anthology
Various Authors
Publisher: Ylva Publishing

ISBNs: 978-3-95533-546-5 (mobi), 978-3-95533-547-2 (epub), 978-3-95533-548-9 (pdf)
Publication date: October 2015

Join the discussion on Goodreads!

Twelve lesbian fiction authors bring you a heartwarming collection of holiday-themed short stories.

From a tattoo artist hiding an origami angel in her lover’s desk to a seventy-year-old woman hesitating to accompany her partner to a family celebration on the first night of Hanukkah, this anthology will delight you with romantic holiday moments. (Ylva Publishing)

Categories: anthology, Holiday, romance, short stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Savory Sweet Holiday Anthology

all in the seasoning

Image via http://www.bywaterbooks.com/shop/all-in-the-seasoning/

All in the Seasoning, edited by Katherine V. Forrest

Consider the belated posting of a sampling of seasonal stories to be delayed pleasure (like eating the rest of that pumpkin pie ^^).  Bon appetit!

An inclusive, holiday-themed collection of 15 new and previously published short stories by literary luminaries such as Katherine V. Forrest, Jane Rule, and Val McDermid, as well as lesser known authors. The pages are brimming with hope and heart, hearth and home. The stories challenge what it means to be family and how we share and/or create traditions during the dark winter months. From Hanukkah at a bar with friends to an impromptu blind date at Thanksgiving, this curated volume contains something for (almost) everyone.

I love short story collections for a number of reasons: they lure us in to sampling writers that we’ve never heard of before or curling up to spend a half hour with an old favorite; and fit in easily with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

A Few Story Highlights

The titular tale, All in the Seasoning by R. Gay, merges long-standing family traditions with new ones. Lillian ventures home with her girlfriend, Sabrina, in search of full participation in the important annual preparation of the family’s “La Soupe Traditionelle”.

In Kathy Porter’s The Illegals, Arizona border patrol agent, Mary Pat, discovers a mother and her children hiding near the trailer she shares with her girlfriend Fran. The agent struggles with more than just enforcing border regulations, finding the border between her private and public selves much more tenuous terrain.

A romantic evening with festive stories and no Katherine V. Forrest would be like Autumn without pumpkin pie. The Gift places the hopes and fears of parents Marge and Karla on tenterhooks as they place their daughter Julie’s health in the hands of the Mirilians, an advanced alien species.

Publication Date: 2006

Publisher: Bywater Books

ISBN: 1932859330

Categories: fiction, Holiday, lgbt, romance, short stories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Buying Guide 2014

During the holidays I’m not the most organized and prepared sort of person when it comes to mailing out Christmas cards (a successful year is one in which I’ve actually written out cheery messages and scrawled addresses on envelopes…but then forget to mail them out…) or purchasing gifts more than a week or two in advance.  In my defense, this year has been even more hectic than usual.

So, that being said, I’ve slapped together a set of links of gift giving ideas for literature lovers.  All you have to do is click! 🙂

lights 2014

Let’s untangle those holiday knots!

The Nerdist – Gift ideas for book lovers that extend beyond a well-told tale.

LA Times – Recommended titles for a variety of genres.

USA Today – A mixture of fiction and non-fiction reads for those with book needs.

NPR – 250 of 2014’s best and brightest, as selected by NPR staff and critics.

New York Public Library – An assortment of book-related items for everyone on your list.

Powell’s – Staff recommendations from the famous city of books, located in Portland, Oregon.

Vogue – A compilation of stylish and deliciously personal reads, running the gamut from Queen Victoria to prose to produce, and everything in between.

Reading Rockets – Selections for young readers aged infant to pre-teen.

Seasons Greetings skeksis style

Upcoming Reads

 

As my own personal Santa Claus, I’m stuffing my stocking with a few books to keep me cozy this Winter.

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman (a imagining of Snow White and Sleeping beauty)

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan (Just because I love Amy Tan’s stories)

Categories: Holiday | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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