I want to read about women of all ages, in love. I want to read about black girls meeting their soul mates while they chase their degrees, Asian women falling in love with long lost friends, redheads lusting over Latinas. I want ethnically diverse vampires and sorority girls, and Western landscapes, and sea adventures. I wanted the heroine of the story to meet the girl of her dreams while battling an evil queen. I want to read about interracial relationships, BDSM scenarios, happy families, strippers, and of course, women of the plusser size :), so that’s what I choose to write. ”
Rebekah Weatherspoon (2012 Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event: Rebekah Weatherspoon on Better Off Red)2804
The Outdoor Co-ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society is back in force.
Read their blog:
“Gentlemen of New York: If you happen upon a group of a dozen topless women sunning and reading and quietly enjoying themselves in Central Park, here is what you do. You walk on by. Maybe you take an appreciative glance as you pass, if you’re so inclined. Maybe you sit down in your own quiet spot and enjoy your own book and bit of sunshine. Maybe you send a thumbs-up or a wave or a smile from a comfortable distance. To the many, many men who did just that, we give our thanks. You are mature adults.
Here’s what you don’t do: Skulk slowly up to the group and stare hungrily as you pass, well within the personal-space boundary. Stand behind a nearby tree or rock and peep out as if we can’t see you. (We can.) Gather one by one around us like you’re reenacting a scene from “The Birds” or perhaps “The Walking Dead.” To the handful of men who did that, we say WTF? You don’t have the Internet at home? Or any self-respect?”
I have dreamed in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.
Summer Reading Suggestions from Cool Chicks from History
Book titles linked to my reviews. Categories are mere suggestions.
the wounded child inside many males is a boy who, when he first spoke his truths, was silenced by paternal sadism, by a patriarchal world that did not want him to claim his true feelings. The wounded child inside many females is a girl who was taught from early childhood that she must become something other than herself, deny her true feelings, in order to attract and please others. When men and women punish each other for truth telling, we reinforce the notion that lies are better. To be loving we willingly hear the other’s truth, and most important, we affirm the value of truth telling. Lies may make people feel better, but they do not help them to know love. ”
bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions (via nadia-love)
Book blogs you should be following
Sometimes I forget that not all of my followers follow the Lesbrary, so I decided to share some links here.
Exclusively Lesbian/Bisexual Women/Etc
- The Lesbrary: Self-promoting here. Honestly, though, I think the Lesbrary is a good place to start, because in addition to reviews by a team of reviewers, I also post a weekly Link Round Up, where I link to the latest les/bi/etc book news and reviews. All the blogs in this list would have relevant posts linked at the Lesbrary. I also have a ton of links in the sidebar.
- Good Lesbian Books: They are fantastic. In addition to reviews, they have a bunch of themed lists (lesbian pirate books, lesbian YA, etc). Definitely one of my favourites.
- The Rainbow Reader: Entertaining reviews.
- Autostraddle: Read a F*cking Book: It’s Autostraddle, c’mon now. Also, did you know you can just follow this tag if you only want the book stuff? True story!
- I don’t usually link authors’ blogs, but Malinda Lo is an exception.
Short Form Les/Bi Women/Etc Reviews
These are the reviews I usually link on twitter instead of at the Lesbrary. They are prolific, but short.
Les/Bi Women/Etc Subcategories
- Sistahs On the Shelf: Black Lesbian Fiction: I love this site, but they seem to update only about once a year, and then it’s a ton of reviews at once. They also have a promo blog that’s more frequently updated.
- Queer Women of Color Media: Not all books, but really great stuff.
- SFFIC: Lesbian sci-fi. It’s pretty new and has been a little quiet, but I have high hopes.
- Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian: Canadian lesbian books. Very new, but excellent so far. (Full disclosure: Casey and the SFFic blogger both also review for the Lesbrary, but I would love them either way.)
General Queer Book Blogs
- Lambda Literary is a requirement. Very professional, interesting stuff.
- I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?: queer YA
- The Outer Alliance: Queer SF/F
- Elisa: Mostly gay male books are covered here, but she also posts biographies of queer writers and other interesting tidbits. Also runs the Rainbow Awards.
- Bending the Bookshelf: mostly romance and erotica, but she covers books from all over the spectrum.
There are lots more, but these are my favorites that update fairly regularly. For more, check out the sidebar at The Lesbrary.
50 Shades of HEY GIRL HEY: book recs
I had to double-check all the titles and author names on Amazon. I am going to be getting kinky book recommendations in my email for years to come. Not even mad.
(Disclaimer: I have not read all of these books. This is a compilation of readers’ suggestions. I will add trigger warnings as needed. Some of these are regular books with just a couple sex scenes, and some are hardcore shit. Read Amazon reviews and purchase accordingly.)
These books got TONS of recommendations from readers.
· The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty trilogy (“The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty,” “Beauty’s Release,” “Beauty’s Punishment”) by A.N. Roquelau (Anne Rice’s pseudonym) (trigger warning for sexual violence, nonconsensual sex)
· The “Kushiel’s Legacy” 9-part series by Jacquelline Carey (the first book is called Kushiel’s Dart) (trigger warning for rape)
Some things do get better with age. Here are some classic erotic novels that have stood the test of time.
· “The Story of O” by Pauline Regae
· “Juliette,” “Justine,” and “120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings” by the Marquis de Sade (trigger warning for 120 Days - apparently there’s slaughter, coprophagia, masturbating onto underage people’s faces… this one’s not for the faint of heart, kids)
· “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” by D. H. Lawrence (bonus: available for free on Kindle!) (trigger warning: racism and sexism)
These books feature a variety of characters, sexualities, and levels of BDSM. I’ve noted the books that aren’t just about straight white people (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
· “The Principal’s Office” by Jasmine Hayes
· “Graceful Submission” by Melinda Barron (features a plus-size leading lady)
· “The Starlight Rite” by Cherise Sinclair
· “Purgatory” by Jeff Man (gay)
· “Put Away Wet” by Susan Smith (lesbian)
· “Natural Order” by Moondander Drake (paranormal lesbian BDSM romance written by a two-spirit Cherokee woman)
· “Ancestral Magic” by Moondancer Drake
· “Seeking Light in Shadows” by Moondancer Drake
· “Better Off Red” by Rebekah Weatherspoon (features queer WoC)
· “The Fling” by Rebekah Weatherspoon (also has queer WoC)
· “Hot Box: A Novel” by Zane (features straight Black characters)
· “Meeting her Match” by Justine Elyot
· “The Sevarian Way” by Justine Elyot
· “On Demand” by Justine Elyot
· “The Business of Pleasure” by Justine Elyot
· “The Collectors” by Lesley Gowan (lesbian characters)
· “Pleasure and Purpose” by Megan Hart
· “In Conquest Born” by C.S. Freidman
· “Laid Bare” by Lauren Dane
· “Coming Undone” by Lauren Dane
· “Inside Out” by Lauren Dane
· “Master of the Mountain” by Cherise Sinclair
Anthologies & Series
Because one is never enough.
· “Naughty Fairy Tales from A to Z” edited by Alison Tyler
· “The Black Dagger Brotherhood” series by J. R. Ward (10 books)
· “Enchanted: Erotic Bedtime Stories for Women” by Nancy Madore
· “Deviations” series by Chris Owen (4 books, gay male characters)
· “Masters of the the Shadowlands” series by Cherise Sinclair (4 books)
· “Trans/Love” edited by Morty Diamond (features characters who are FTM, MTF, thirdgender, genderqueer, and other non-traditional identities beyond the gender binary of traditional male and female)
· “Please, Sir: An Anthology of Female Submission” by Rachel Kramer Bussel
· “Yes, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission” by Rachel Kramer Bussel
· “The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth” by Zane (features Black characters)
· “Getting’ Buck Wild: Sex Chronicles II” by Zane (also features Black characters)
· “____ Flava” by Zane (These anthologies feature PoC. Titles include Honey Flava, Chocolate Flava, and Caramel Flava)
· “The Night Huntress” series by Jeaniene Frost (7 books)
· “Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter” series by Laurell K. Hamilton (21 books)
· “Wolf Tales” by Kate Douglas (12 books, some featuring LGBT and PoC characters)
· “The Mammoth Book of _______ Romance” (These anthologies feature stories from multiple authors about almost every romance novel theme out there. A sampling of their titles: Scottish Romance, Regency Romance, Paranormal Romance, Vampire Romance, Irish Romance, Hot Romance, Special Ops Romance, Ghost Romance, Time Travel Romance, Futuristic Romance, Steampunk Romance)
Erotica outside of fictional books.
· “Whip Smart: A Memoir” by Melissa Febos
· “Venus in Fur” by David Ives (a play inspired by the classical erotic novella “Venus in Furs” by Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch)
Banned Author Matt de la Peña Speaks to the Students of Tucson
“Mr. de la Peña donated his fee to buy 240 copies of his books, which he gave to the students. ‘I want to give back what was taken away,’ he told Samantha Neville, a reporter for the school newspaper, The Cactus Chronicle.”
Read: Racial Lens Used to Cull Curriculum in Arizona - The New York Times
Photo: Matt de la Peña reads from his book “Mexican WhiteBoy”; Credit: Joshua Lott, the NYT
Definitely want to read that book.
I bought this and about half a dozen of the other books banned by Arizona the other day. (To see a list click here and go to page 116.) I highly encourage others to do the same.
All of the books are in MOBI or AZW format for Kindle. If you want to convert the files to PDF or ePub I recommend Calibre or online-converter. If you have any problems with downloads or formatting please let me know and I will fix it asap.
- Myths of Gender by Anne Fausto-Sterling [X]
- The Second Shift by Arlie Hochschild [X]
- Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich [X]
- Feminism Is For Everybody by bell hooks [X]
- The Sociological Imagination by C. Wright Mills [X]
- Dude, You’re A Fag by C.J. Pascoe [X]
- Sociology and Modern Social Problems by Charles A. Ellwood [X]
- The Goffman Reader by Charles Lemert [X]
- The Cambridge Companion To Simone de Beauvoir by Claudia Card [X]
- Genders by David Glover [X]
- Cultural Geography by David Sibley [X]
- Critical Theory After Habermas by Dieter Freunlieb [X]
- Punishment For Sale by Donna Delman [X]
- Everything Is Obvious by Duncan J. Watts [X]
- Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch by Dwight A. McBride [X]
- Encyclopedia of Sociology by Edgar F. Borgatta [X]
- Bodily Citations by Ellen Armour [X]
- Suicide by Emile Durkheim [X]
- The Rules of the Sociological Method by Emile Durkheim [X]
- Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser [X]
- Handbook of Social Theory by George Ritzer [X]
- The Blackwell Companion To Major Classical Social Theorists by George Ritzer [X]
- Between XX and XY by Gerald N. Callahan [X]
- How To Observe Morals and Manners by Harriet Martineau [X]
- Habermas and Contemporary Society by John F. Sitton [X]
- Critical Pedagogy For Social Justice by John Smyth [X]
- The Power of Labeling by Joy Moncrieffe [X]
- Gendered Lives by Julia T. Wood [X]
- Gender Trouble by Judith Butler [X]
- Undoing Gender by Judith Butler [X]
- The Spirit Level by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson [X]
- The Myth of Choice by Kent Greenfield [X]
- Essentials of Social Research by Linda Kalof [X]
- Food Politics by Marion Nestle [X]
- The Digital Divide by Mark Bauerlein [X]
- The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber [X]
- Sister Citizen by Melissa Harris-Perry [X]
- Brandwashed by Martin Lindstrom [X]
- August Comte by Mike Gane [X]
- The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf [X]
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire [X]
- The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo [X]
- The Sociology of Culture and Cultural Studies by Pierre Bourdieu [X]
- Drift by Rachel Maddow [X]
- The Marx & Engels Reader by Robert C. Tucker [X]
- Let Them Eat Junk by Robert Albritton [X]
- Consumer Culture by Roberta Sassatelli [X]
- The Legacy of Pierre Bourdieu by Simon Susen [X]
- Gang Leader For A Day by Sudhir Venkatesh [X]
- Quiet by Susan Cain [X]
- From Marriage To the Market by Susan Thistle [X]
- The Cambridge Companion to Marx by Terrell Carver [X]
- Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen [X]
- White Like Me by Tim Wise [X]
- Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness by Toure [X]
- Building A Housewife’s Paradise by Tracey Deutsch [X]
- The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore [X]
Books to read for leisure or if you’re trying to figure what you should study/major in
I wish this came up on my dash before I rushed off to buy Rachel Maddows book. Not that I don’t love supporting her but I could have used that money to get books I would use in grad school..
“Recently, when the novelist Mary Gordon spoke at a boys’ school, she learned that the students weren’t reading the Brontës, Austen or Woolf. Their teachers defended this by saying they were looking for works that boys could relate to. But at the girls’ school across the street, Gordon said, “no one would have dreamed of removing ‘Huckleberry Finn’ or ‘Moby-Dick’ from the syllabus. As a woman writer, you get points if you include the ‘male’ world in your work, and you lose points if you omit it.””
This is from an interesting piece published in this weekends New York Times about how the output of fiction by women is only ever acknowledged as just that; ‘women’s fiction’. Sticking with the theme of the above quote, one of the most obvious examples author, Meg Wolitzer, doesn’t mention is Harry Potter author J.K Rowling’s insistence at using her initials rather than her actual name because she didn’t think boys would read her books. Devastating but clearly true. Maybe I’m resentful because I was forced to read Of Mice and Men at school (unchallenging and dull) simply because, as my English teacher put it, ‘the boys really react well to this one’. I’m all for boys reading, I’m for everybody reading, but if this attitude isn’t challenged at the age where your reading preferences are shaped and influenced then the ‘women’s fiction’ shelf at your local bookshop is going nowhere.
Boys are absolutely catered to in English studies and in high schools in regards to reading material and selection. FUCK THAT. Ugh don’t get me started, I can write a whole thesis about this but it absolutely isn’t right at all. They are hardly forced to read female authors featuring female protagonists (and CERTAINLY not women of color) despite the trend of Twilight and then The Hunger Games in recent years…so yes, boys actually DO read this stuff despite an outdated teaching model.45