nonfiction

LGBT Audiobooks 2016 Listen List

I’m just a tad late in posting all of the glorious audiobooks that I listened to in 2016 (though they did make it into my year-end-stravaganza posting). Compared with 2015, there was an aural explosion! I think this in part because I had more options as far as buying and borrowing audiobooks (Overdrive, OneClick Digital, Audible). I’ve also spent more time perusing audiobook reviews on sites such as AudioFile Magazine and participating in a fantastic Facebook group, Lesbian Audiobooks

Now when I find an interesting book, I ask myself “is there an audiobook version?” Publishers seem to produce more and more audiobook versions these days, as opposed to limiting the production to “big” names and blockbuster series. What a time to be a listener!

My taste in listening varies from one day to the next. Below you’ll find my moods and interests reflected in the covers below. I enjoy literary fiction, modern-day retellings of Shakespeare plays, memoirs, YA, fantasy adventure, contemporary romance, far-flung settings, and historical fiction.

However, if I don’t enjoy the narrator, no matter how good the storytelling, I stop listening. And that’s just me; other listeners might find the narrator is a great fit for their ears. Some new-to-me narrators that I really enjoyed in 2016 include Laural Merlington and Kate Rudd (The Language of Hoofbeats); Amielynn Abellera (As I Descended); Sarah Grace Wright (Fallen Elements); and Bahni Turpin (Here Comes the Sun). These narrators deliver immersive experiences with wonderful pacing, tone, and excellent characterization.

As for 2017? Well, I’ve already listened to a contemporary romance and a fantasy-adventure! My Audible wishlist is long and getting longer. What LGBT+ fiction and/or non-fiction audiobooks did you listen to last year?  

The book covers are linked to either a review I posted or to a related external site (like Overdrive, AudioFile, publishers, etc.).

Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully LoadedSaving Montgomery SoleAs I DescendedHere Comes the Sun by Nicole Y. Dennis-BennYou Know Me Well by David LevithanThe Rainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson CooperHit by a Farm by Catherine FriendThe Warrior's Path (When Women Were Warriors, #1)Being Jazz Audiobook2497445115726317327959Image result for if i was your girl audiobook207637391582434313587076937547633163705232513262325817288219421892292974125893681

Categories: audiobooks, family relationships, fantasy, fiction, friendship, historical fiction, lgbt, librarians, literary fiction, Memoirs & Autobiographies, mystery, nonfiction, paranormal, romance, suspense, young adult | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When We Rise

Related image

Tonight ABC will air the first installment of its new miniseries, When We Rise, starring Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, Carrie Preston, and Rachel Griffiths. Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black derived partial inspiration for the script from Cleve Jones’ memoir of the same name. The series chronicles LGBT activism during the 1970s and 1980s. It is essential to understand and appreciate where we come from. It is also imperative to raise awareness that there is still much more that all of us can do. I hope that the miniseries does both. The Human Rights Campaign and Glaad are but a couple of the organizations that are working to ensure equal legal rights for LGBT+ persons and encouraging discussion. Click on the images below to learn more about who these organizations are and what they are doing.

hrc-logo  glaad

Since I don’t have a cable subscription, I’ll have to wait a bit until I can watch it (sigh). I was hoping it would be available for purchase à la carte from Amazon, much in the way that I purchase upcoming seasons of The Walking Dead so I can watch episodes the day after they air. In the meantime, I’ll listen to Jones’ memoir on my commute. Every person I read or listen to enriches my understanding of the LGBT+ history. Everyone relays their life through the lens they wear; that being said, I know I can’t count on one book to give me the whole story. I am always in search of more information and I hope you are, too.

When We Rise Book Cover

Cleve Jones’ memoir is a sweeping, profoundly moving account of his life from sexually liberated 1970s San Francisco, through the AIDS crisis and up to his present-day involvement with the marriage equality battle. — summary via NoveList Plus

When We Rise
Cleve Jones
Narrated by Cleve Jones
Produced by Hachette Audio and Blackstone Audio
Length: 9 hours, 31 minutes
ISBN-10: 1478942754
ISBN-13: 9781478942757
Released: November 2016

Available as an audiobook from AmazonAudible, Audiobooks, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. Join the discussion on Goodreads!

***********************************************************************

Further Readings

If you are a fellow LGBT+ history enthusiast and are interested in learning more about activism, you may also enjoy reading:
*Note: this list focuses on United States’ history.

Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage EqualityThe Gay Revolution: The Story of the StruggleDifferent Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights MovementImage result for fire breathing lesbian avengeraint-gonna-let

Categories: audiobooks, essay, film adaptations, history, lgbt, Memoirs & Autobiographies, nonfiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Secret Diaries Past and Present by Helena Whitbread and Natasha Holme — The Lesbrary

secret-diaries

Check 0ut my review at The Lesbrary of this wonderful conversation between Anne Lister historian, Helena Whitbread, and diarist Natasha Holme!

In 2013, British writer and academic Helena Whitbread and diarist Natasha Holme (a pseudonym), met to discuss a subject of mutual interest: diaries written by lesbians in original code. Aside from investigating the connection between two diarists, as stated in the title, highlights include early and adult sexuality, preservation and publication, and obsessive writing. The […]

via Julie Thompson reviews Secret Diaries Past and Present by Helena Whitbread and Natasha Holme — The Lesbrary

Categories: nonfiction | 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

Solace: Writing, Refuge, & LGBTQ Women of Color

Adobe Photoshop PDF

How do you define solace and where do you give it, find it, take it, share it? Solace: Writing, Refuge, and LGBTQ Women of Color, from BLF Press, anthologizes the voices of thirteen LGBTQ women of color. In the preface, editors S. Andrea Allen and Lauren Cherelle share the impetus for and the importance of assembling this collection, especially in light of anti-LGBT legislation and violence in 2016. 

“As a community, where can we find solace from the microaggression and violence enacted upon us on a daily basis? How do we amass the hope that heals our wounds as we traverse a world that seeks to destroy or repress and suppress us, simply for daring to live our truth? Who dares to shield us from the constant barrage of hatred and disdain that we face in our communities, at our places of employment, in our own families and homes?” (Preface, x-xi)

The authors delve into how, why, and where they find solace and/or make solace for themselves. Broad experiences inform the expressions compiled here. The result is a beautiful, poignant blend of poetry, prose, and photographs. If you’re like me and enjoy the tactile pleasures of a physical copy, the velvety cover and technicolor images will most definitely deliver extra comfort and joy as you read.

In their respective essays, Almah Rice (“Remedios”) and Claudia Moss (“Solace in Words”) reflect on the life-giving sustenance found in the written word. Both writers use wonderful imagery to convey just how integral words are in their lives. Readers who find refuge in and draw inspiration from the world of words will find kindred spirits in Rice and Moss. 

“So I strapped a book’s spine to my own and grew taller, stronger. Yes, words hold me up and still do. Or, I can re-myth the scoliosis I was diagnosed with as a child as an attempt to curve around words, language my trellis.” (Rice, 90)

As we move through life, we are also faced with how we define solace can influence the world around us. Hala Aurangzeb’s piece, “Pummel”, confronts the abusive nature of its subject’s solace. In Eunice Sierra-Gonzalez’s poem “Queer Brown Girl”, solace is offered through shared experience.  

In Kendra N. Bryant’s “A Lesbian Teacher Tries to Teach Compassion”, she encourages her students to engage in critical thinking and discussion regarding race and sexual orientation. Despite the strong backlash against her intentions, she takes solace in the long view. 

“… I’m going to rest in the notion that people will come to understanding when it is time for them to understand.” (Bryant, 32)

Nik Nicholson, librecht baker, M. Shelly Conner, Sheila Tartaglia, Eliana Buenrostro, Mica Standing Soldier, Dr. Nubian Sun, and Imani Sims, contribute nuanced pieces that grow with each reading. They explore layers of solace found within multiple identities; transformation and perseverance; past and present; and beyond.

Solace: Writing, Refuge, & LGBTQ Women of Color encourages all of us to engage in meaningful contemplation and dialogue with ourselves and with each other.

Solace: Writing, Refuge, & LGBTQ Women of Color
Edited by S. Andrea Allen & Lauren Cherelle
Published by BLF Press
Scheduled Release Date: January 31, 2017
Presale: December 1, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9972439-6-3
ISBN (epub): 978-0-9972439-5-6

Available from BLF PressAmazon, and other retailers. Check with your local public library on how you can recommend titles for addition to the collection.

Join the discussion on Goodreads!

Categories: anthology, essay, lgbt, nonfiction, poetry | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

June is Audiobook Month!

Julie audiobook collage 2016

 

This month publishers and book supporters shines a spotlight on LGBT+ and on Audiobooks. My ears are tuned into audiobooks five days a week. If I could, I’d have more than one set of ears and oodles of hours in a day so that I could share a broader selection of reviews. As a result, whenever I pick up a book that sounds interesting, I automatically wonder: Is there an audiobook version of this?

Thankfully, you can acquire LGBT+ audiobooks through online sellers such as Audible/Amazon, Scribd, Barnes & Noble, and Audiobooks.com, etc. Depending on your local public library, you can borrow audiobooks through Overdrive, Hoopla, and One Click Digital, as well as on CD. You can also find a selection via your local public library (CD and digital editions). I hope that not only will production increase so that more titles will be available in audio formats, but that they will be more widely available at libraries. 

Feel free to share LGBT+ audiobooks you’ve read and enjoyed, in the comment section below!

You can read more about this month’s celebration of auditory pleasures via the links below. I’ll add to the lists as I find more sources (:

General Postings celebrating Audiobook Month 2016

LGBT+ (Publishers who produce LGBT+ audiobooks)It’s not a complete listing, by any means. If you know of any audiobook production companies that release LGBT+ titles that are missing from this list, let me know in the comment section. Thank you!

 Postings about LGBT+ audiobooks (Please let me know in the comments if you’ve read any postings on this topic)

***Did you know Lin-Manuel Miranda narrates Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz ?!!! I used Amazon as a link so that you can listen to a sample.***

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: audiobooks, fiction, lgbt, nonfiction, romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LGBT Audiobooks 2015 Listen List

The following is not a comprehensive list of LGBT audio books.  It’s a small selection of the audio books that I listened to in 2015.  Since I spend a large part of my week commuting to work, I listen to a lot of audio books.  If I don’t enjoy a narrator’s style or find them wrong for the story, I don’t waste time and move on to the next one.  As a rule of thumb, I recommend listening to at least the first disc (or Part 1 if it’s an e-audiobook) before deciding on whether you want to listen to the rest.

_______________________________

Landing by Emma Donoghue, read by Laura Hicks

A benefit of listening to someone else read a story is learning the correct way to pronounce a name.  I had pronounced Síle as See-leh when it actually sounds like Shee-luh.  Laura Hicks bridges both worlds the listener travels to as the story unfolds.  She creates interesting and distinct characters in Dublin, Ireland and Ireland, Ontario.

Síle is never in one place for very long.  Life as a flight attendant keeps her on the move: a layover in Toronto, Canada; home for a few days in Dublin, Ireland; or an overnight somewhere else.  For the most part, she’s okay with her life as is, even if it no longer fits in the same way as it once did.

Jude enjoys life in her small town (Ireland, Ontario), curating for the local history museum and living with her mother.  However, Jude’s life is upended when her mother falls ill and forces her to board a plane to bring her home (and only a deep love can make her set even one pinkie toe on a plane).

The two women meet in the middle (literally, thousands of feet in the air).  At first, they’re just pen pals, but then their relationship evolves into much more.  Emma Donoghue conveys the emotional challenges that falling in love with someone who lives in another country brings.  There are all manner of hurdles (small town vs big city; Ontario vs Ireland; homebody vs wanderlust) that could halt the romance.  However, the novel leads the women through them, in a relatively believable fashion, and it would have felt right for the women to go their separate ways or stay together.

_______________________________

Snow Falls by Gerri Hill, read by Sara Hawthorne

A run-of-the-mill romance involving a curmudgeonly writer hiding in the mountains and a self-help author.  The two women are trapped together in a cabin after an avalanche blocks the roads.  Hawthorne’s narration is enjoyable and makes for a pleasant 5 hours+

_______________________________

Tipping the Velvet by Sara Waters, read by Juanita McMahon

I had watched the BBC miniseries a million times before I listened to the audio book (I know, I know, I’m a terrible philistine for not having read the book first or even second before viewing the video version ^^).  Juanita McMahon seamlessly travels from one character to the next, drawing distinctions between different neighborhoods in England.  I felt the whole novel come to life between my ears.

Nancy Astley wends her way through Victorian England, winning hearts onstage as Nan King and offstage stumbling through various romances.  Each part of the novel finds Nancy struggling to figure out who she is and where she is going in life.

____________________________________

Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl by  Carrie Brownstein, read by the author

When it comes to memoirs and autobiographies, who better to narrate than the person who lived through the events unfolding between the listener’s ears?  In the audio version of a life, it feels much more intimate to hear all of the emotions unfolding as they recall past events.  Carrie Brownstein leads you through her musical journey with Sleater-Kinney.  She includes the highs and lows, not excusing herself for missteps along the way.  Rather, you hear how her choices build to bring her to where she is now.  And that’s a good thing.

_______________________________

The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle by Lillian Faderman, read by Donna Postel

Lillian Faderman’s latest non-fiction chronicles the gay right’s movement from the witch hunts of the Cold War era up through present-day.  It is by no means extensive, but will make a good supplement for any LGBT history collection.  Donna Postel narrates the events in a clear, easy-to-follow fashion.

_______________________________

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult, read by Thérèse Plummer, J. Brian Hutchison, Michele O. Medlin, Mia Barron, and Ellen Wilbur

This production combines the dual talents of narrators Thérèse Plummer and J. Brian Hutchison, and original musical compositions that enhance the storytelling.  Zoe and Max Baxter grow apart after the stress of trying to conceive, among other factors, and divorce.  Later, when Zoe tries to have a child with her wife, Vanessa, he ex-husband and his family try to intervene.
_________________________

Hild by Nicola Griffith, read by Pearl Hewitt

This novel illuminates Hild of Whitby, a little known public figure made flesh and blood in this imaginative retelling.  Pearl Hewitt gives voice to the different dialects and social lives of the men, women, and children who people the early Middle Ages.  I highly recommend this one!

_______________________

A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood, read by Simon Prebble

George, a British ex-pat and professor in Southern California during the 1960’s, loses his longtime partner.  We live through the eyes of George as he lives with his grief.  Simon Prebble blends snark, disdain, cynicism, sorrow, pain, and a touch of happiness as he gives voice to George’s thoughts and observations.

__________

Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space by Lynn Sherr, read by Pam Ward

A thoughtful, well-researched account of Sally Ride’s life.  If you love outer space and Sally Ride, then strap your ears in for blast off in 5…4…3…2…1…!  Pam Ward’s voice takes the listener on a matter-of-fact, intimate journey of the woman we only knew before from a distance.  The author included the recollections of Ride’s partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy, as well as the astronaut’s friends and family.

___________________

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris, read by author

A Choose Your Own Adventure type story on audio book, you ask?  Well, Mr. NPH explains the wonders of how it works.  He alternates between options, fact and fiction, both entertaining and informative.  Charming, funny, and a bit dishy at times, just like the man himself.

___________________

Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming, read by author

Alan Cumming invites the listener in on very personal territory: his evolution as a person and his relationship with his family.  The highs and lows of his life are evident on every syllable.  And his Scottish accent is icing on the cake.  Thank you for sharing, Alan.

______________

Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx, read by Scott Campbell

It’s hard for me to listen to this story without picturing Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger riding up into the mountains.  It’s a short story/novella, but the emotional journey that both author and narrator take you on will last a long, long time.

_______________

Carsick by John Waters, read by author

This is one hitchhiker that you will definitely want to pick up.  What better way to enjoy Waters account of thumbing his way across the country than by listening to it in your car (or on your smart phone while you travel by plane, train, foot, or bus)?  The memoir is divided into three parts: best case scenario, worst case scenario, and the actual account.  It’s hilarious and awesome!  Go listen, go listen now!

_________________

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters, read by Juliet Stevenson

Not all actors are capable of voicing animated characters or narrating novels.  Juliet Stevenson possesses the range to give life to Sarah Waters’ latest piece of historical fiction.

It’s 1922 and Frances Wray and her mother are struggling to make ends meet.  They rent out a room in their middle class home to a young couple, Lillian and Leonard Barber.  Lillian and Frances begin a romance that slams into more than one hurdle.  Disaster or a new beginning?  Tune in to find out!  Waters does a wonderful job drawing out class conflict, sexuality, and ethical and moral dilemmas.  The second half of the novel really put me in mind of Crime & Punishment.  The Paying Guests felt weighed down with intense emotions and difficulties, but there was enough levity and pinpricks of light to lift it up.

 

Categories: audiobooks, fiction, history, lgbt, nonfiction | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Transforming the Conversation

beyond-magentafreakboyI am JWanting in ArabicThe days of Anna MadrigalTransparentChaz Bono memoir  <— Click on a book cover to learn more.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of books.  I am always looking for titles, both fiction and nonfiction, that give voice to the wide range of experiences people have as they find out who they are and try to live as their truest selves.

Supplemental Articles, Videos, and Websites

This is only a partial listing of materials available online and offline.  Please feel free to add an article, video, website, or other helpful information related to this post in the comments below.

*Note: The following websites were accessed on February 4, 2015

Author Interviews

Book Excerpts

Book Trailers & Other Related Videos

Search YouTube or other video sites and you’ll find a  mixture of official and fan made trailers related to the books in this post.  If you’re feeling inspired, create a book trailer of your own (and post a link to it in the comments) (:

Goodreads

Discussion Guides

Transgender Resources

Categories: fiction, lgbt, nonfiction, poetry, young adult | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

Porkbelly Press

made in Cincinnati, Ohio

Trans Book Reviews

Where trans characters and trans readers meet

Shira Glassman

Queer Jewish feminist author

Bridget Essex, Author

Lesbian Romance Novels & Love Stories

Claudia Moss

writer | renaissance woman

danielledreger

YA Librarian by day, YA Writer by night

Madness & Joy

Dark-eyed daughter of the sun...

A. L. Brooks

Writer of Filth—and more...

WOCreads

Reading & Reviewing Works by Women of Color