I love the serendipity of following two posts about favorite books, favorite things we want others to read and favorite things we cannot help but read and read again. I hope this list introduces you to some new favorites that you’ll be excited to read and return to, savor and share.
This January, American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBT-RT) announced the winners of the annual Stonewall Book Awards. The award, first given in 1971 to Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller, recognizes “exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.” If you’re interested in checking out the current winners and honor books from the IU Libraries, look no further.
- George by Alex Gino, a middle-grade book about a young transgender protagonist, Melissa, and her school’s production of Charlotte’s Web, was awarded the Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award for excellence in Children’s Literature.
- The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg, was awarded the Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award for excellence in Young Adult Literature. The 2016 Stonewall Awards mark the first time that Children’s and Young Adult literature were noted separately, acknowledging the expansion of GLBT materials for children.
- Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak was recognized as an honor book by the Stonewall Awards.
- Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial by Kenji Yoshino was awarded the Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award. Speak Now tells the story of California’s Proposition 8 through an analysis of a nearly 3000-page court document augmented with original research. It’s a clear and compelling work of legal scholarship.
- Four books: Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt, The Gay Revolution by Lillian Faderman, Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions by Michael Helquist, and Violence Against Queer People: Race, Class, Gender, and the Persistence of Anti-LGBT Discrimination by Doug Meyer were recognized as honor books for the Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award.
For more Stonewall Book Award winners visit the GLBT-RT’s Awards List page.
ALA’s GLBT-RT also announced the 2016 Over the Rainbow book list in January. The list compiles 68 titles published from July 2014 to December 2015 in categories such as “Top Ten Favorites,” “Art/Photography,” “Fiction,” “Graphic Narrative,” “Non-Fiction,” “Non-Fiction/Biography/Memoir,” “Non-Fiction- Essays,” and “Poetry” as well as a list of books from 2015 under consideration for the book list. What I’m trying to say is, there are a lot of wonderful options out there! Some books you can check out from the IU Libraries include:
- The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality by Julie Sondra Decker outlines asexuality for those unfamiliar with the term. Through the book Julie Sondra Decker dispels myths about asexuality and provides a framework to understand asexual experience.
- The Queerness of Native American Literature by Lisa Tatonetti. Tatonetti looks at the writings of Maurice Kenny, Louise Erdrich, Janice Gould, and the films of Sherman Alexie, Thomas Bezucha, and Jorge Manuel Manzano to outline and investigate a genealogy of queer Indigenous writing after Stonewall.
- Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism edited by Uriel Quesada, Letitia Gomez, and Salvador Vidal-Ortiz. Fourteen essays and oral history interviews by queer Latino/a activists discuss thirty years of activism, giving voice to a perspective on queer activism that is often silenced.
- Arresting Dress: Cross-Dressing, Law, and Fascination in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco by Clare Sears. Beginning in 1863 in San Francisco, appearing in “a dress not belonging to his or her sex” was criminalized leading to the arrests of many individuals who transgressed traditional notions of gender. Arresting Dress explores the connections between law regulating how one can present themself and understanding gender.
- Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha After leaving New York City in 1996 Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha found herself on a journey with disability, queerness, racial identity, AIDS-Activism, struggle and survival while at the same time establishing her career as an award-winning poet and spoken word performer. In 2012 Piepzna-Samarasinha won the Lambda Literary Award for the poetry collection Love Cake.
- Sphinx by Anne Garréta. A love story told without pronouns. A story of a theology student investigating negative theology – an approach to understanding God through the things one can or does not know about God.