Time (Laws of Physics #3) by Penny Reid

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BLURB:

From the New York Times Bestselling Author Penny Reid

A (broken-hearted) physicist.
Now an infamous (who is LITERALLY EVERYWHERE!! UGH!) Musician.
The worst has already happened.

Mona has learned that she has nothing figured out and plans are meaningless. After leaving her in Aspen, Abram is now breaking sales-records, rising to rock star fame almost overnight. Mona can’t seem to escape him. He is literally everywhere, or at least images of him are.

Just when she thinks things can’t get any more confusing, Abram returns . . . What happens next? Only TIME will tell.

REVIEW:

Where to start… I’ve been dying for this book after reading the previous in the series I’ve been so looking forward to see how Mona and Abram’s story ends. It was worth the wait! I won’t be going too much into it as I really don’t want to give anything away. This is a three part story and should be read in order. You’d really be lost otherwise!

This story is about a super brainy and beautiful scientist, Mona and a super-hot, talented musician Abram. A very unlikely pair, but yet the crash into each other’s lives. This story was so lovely and I highly recommend giving it a read.

5 Stars!

Space (Laws of Physics #2) by Penny Reid

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BLURB: 
From the New York Times Bestselling Author Penny Reid

One week.
Private cabin.
Famous physicist.
Still an unrepentant slacker.
What’s the worst that could happen?

Mona’s meticulously planned allotment of relaxation is thrown into chaos by the unscheduled appearance of her older brother’s band of friends, including the one person she’d hoped to never face again. Abram still makes her feel entirely too much, which is one of the reasons she disappeared after their one week together. But now, trapped on a mountain of snow and things unspoken, Mona will have to find a way to coexist with Abram, chaos and all.

Laws of Physics parts 1 (MOTION) & 2 (SPACE) end with a cliff-hanger.

REVIEW:

Space is the second instalment in the Laws of Physics Books. It takes place 2 and a half years after the last book. I don’t want to give too much away but my heart broke for Mona all over again. She is nowhere near over Abram and now she is snowed in with him and her brother and all their friends. One thing that struck me in this book was her brother’s selfishness. Mona’s Family don’t seem to get her. I felt so sad for Mona at times throughout I was on the verge of tears for her.

I stared at her. I stared at her, and stared at her, and stared at her. I stared at her and I worked to keep my balance, because the floor and the earth moved beneath my feet. The cavern opened and stretched in front of me. I stared at her and I was afraid, because I knew. My whole life, from this point forward, I would be a fool for Mona DaVinci.

I’m not sure where it will go after this in the third part but I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Again the secondary characters where amazing and we got to see Kaitlyn and Michael from the Elements of Chemistry Books which I loved. Another 5 star read from my and I wouldn’t expect anything less from Penny Reid.

5 Stars!

Pride Month at South Dublin Reads – Part Three

As some of you may know, June is Pride Month across the world and here we want to highlight some new LGBTQ+ books. We’ll be highlighting, over a number of Sundays, the winners of the 31st Lambda Literary Awards, as well as the longlists (out 10th June) for the Polari Prizes.

Our third of three features on the 31st Lambda Literary Awards, we cover the LGBTQ categories. Next week, we’ll be featuring the shortlists for the Polari Prizes.

WINNER – LGBTQ Nonfiction
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Winner of the 2019 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography
Winner of the Shilts-Grahn Triangle Award for Lesbian Nonfiction
A New York Times Notable Book of 2018

A revealing portrait of one of the most gifted and charismatic, yet least understood, Black artists and intellectuals of the twentieth century.

Lorraine Hansberry, who died at thirty-four, was by all accounts a force of nature. Although best-known for her work A Raisin in the Sun, her short life was full of extraordinary experiences and achievements, and she had an unflinching commitment to social justice, which brought her under FBI surveillance when she was barely in her twenties. While her close friends and contemporaries, like James Baldwin and Nina Simone, have been rightly celebrated, her story has been diminished and relegated to one work—until now. In 2018, Hansberry will get the recognition she deserves with the PBS American Masters documentary “Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart” and Imani Perry’s multi-dimensional, illuminating biography, Looking for Lorraine.

After the success of A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry used her prominence in myriad ways: challenging President Kennedy and his brother to take bolder stances on Civil Rights, supporting African anti-colonial leaders, and confronting the romantic racism of the Beat poets and Village hipsters. Though she married a man, she identified as lesbian and, risking censure and the prospect of being outed, joined one of the nation’s first lesbian organizations. Hansberry associated with many activists, writers, and musicians, including Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, among others. Looking for Lorraine is a powerful insight into Hansberry’s extraordinary life—a life that was tragically cut far too short.

A Black Caucus of the American Library Association Honor Book for Nonfiction
Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction
A 2019 Pauli Murray Book Prize Finalist

WINNER – LGBTQ Anthology
as you like it
“We are homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals and whateversexuals, burning to rescue this continent…” —Pwaangulongii Dauod

The second offering in the Gerald Kraak annual anthology, As You Like It, is a collection of the short-listed entries submitted for the Gerald Kraak Award. This anthology offers a window into deeply located visions and voices across Africa. It brings together stories of self-expression, identity, sexuality, and agency, all located within Africa and its legacy.

WINNER – LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult
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Prepare to be swept up by this exquisite novel that reminds us that grief and love can open the world in mystical ways.

Caroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child.

Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and 12-year-old Caroline has had her share of bad luck lately. She’s hated and bullied by everyone in her small school on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, a spirit only she can see won’t stop following her, and — worst of all — Caroline’s mother left home one day and never came back.

But when a new student named Kalinda arrives, Caroline’s luck begins to turn around. Kalinda, a solemn girl from Barbados with a special smile for everyone, becomes Caroline’s first and only friend — and the person for whom Caroline has begun to develop a crush.

Now, Caroline must find the strength to confront her feelings for Kalinda, brave the spirit stalking her through the islands, and face the reason her mother abandoned her. Together, Caroline and Kalinda must set out in a hurricane to find Caroline’s missing mother — before Caroline loses her forever.

WINNER – LGBTQ Drama
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The hilarious and deeply moving story of conservative Muslim mother at her wits’ end, a Muslim father who likes to tell jokes, and a queer American woman trying to make a good impression on her Indian in-laws. In a story about family and love and the things we do to be together, one immigrant family must come to terms with a child who defies their most basic expectations of what it means to have a daughter…and one woman will redefine the limits of unconditional love. This unique play compassionately brings to life the often ignored struggle that a family goes through when their child transitions from one gender to another.

“[DRAW THE CIRCLE] chronicles, with surprising empathy, not just what it was like to slowly, painfully come to terms with transition, but what it was like for loved ones who shunned everything about it.” —Washington Post. “…an insightful work that is noteworthy for the compassion with which the playwright…explores viewpoints different from his own…even the most intolerant of characters are allowed to come across as warmly sympathetic in their own ways.” —TheaterMania.com. “…essential viewing…Deen’s extreme vulnerability and creativity coalesce to make it a vitally important piece of theater…DRAW THE CIRCLE is a singular theatrical experience.” —BroadwayWorld.com. “The effect of Deen’s storytelling technique and artistry is arresting…a masterful act of writing…If you believe theater can teach us something important about who we are as gendered beings—or even if you just have a hunch that America cannot be great if driven by hate—DRAW THE CIRCLE is an epochal inquiry into identity…and some of the most pressing questions of our time.” —DCMetroTheaterArts.com.

WINNER – LGBTQ Erotica
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Miles has experienced a lot of new things since he fell into his cute neighbor’s orbit, but he never dreamed Honesty would whisk him away to a space-themed queer sex party in a swanky downtown apartment.  It’s not at all what he expected, and Miles has a lot to learn about his friend-with-benefits as well as himself.

WINNER – LGBTQ Graphic Novels
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Parrish’s emotionally loaded, painted graphic novel is is a visual tour de force, always in the service of the author’s themes: navigating queer desire, masculinity, fear, and the ever-in-flux state of friendships.
—-You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here—-

WINNER – LGBTQ Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
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Lamat Paed understands paradoxes. She’s a great mountain climber who’s never summited, the author of a tell-all that didn’t really tell anything. For years she guided pilgrims up the foothills of the Sublime Mount, leading them as high as God would let them go. And then she partnered the apostate Southern priest Mother Disaine on the most daring, most blasphemous expedition in history–an attempt to reach the summit of the sacred mountain, the top of God’s head. Disaine returned in triumph, claiming to be the first person since the prophet to have summited and lived. But Lamat went into hiding.
Now, late in life and exiled from the mountain, Lamat finally tells her story to her partner, Otile. It’s the story of why she really wrote her first book all those years ago, how she came to be cast out from the mountain-dwelling Holoh people, and how she fled to the anonymity of the city to hide from her fame. Most of all, it’s the story of her bond with Mother Disaine–the blasphemer, charlatan, and visionary who stole Lamat’s life to serve her own purposes–and what really happened on their last, greatest expedition.
”Not since The Left Hand of Darkness has any book conveyed to me the profundity of the winter journey and the intensity of relationships forged in it. But where Le Guin was always evasive about religion in her sublime mountain landscapes, Fellman is direct about it. She creates an immanence in her mountain, The Body of God, that her characters respond to with an authentic and credible religious passion, one that gets mixed up with all other passions in their lives.
”The creed of Asam is elegantly crafted, beautifully quotable: ‘Your bodies are the compaction of stars and your minds are the compaction of history. Be decent to each other; pity each other, for it is not an easy state to be made of so much and live for so little a time.’ The prose throughout is simple and luminous, with many sentences that hang in the mind: ‘Sometimes I think there is nothing sadder than a toy. They usually have faces, but they have no use.’ Altogether a book that is about much more than ambition to scale a peak.” Sarah Tolmie, author of The Stone Boatmen and Two Travelers

WINNER – LGBTQ Studies
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Toxic Silence: Race, Black Gender Identity, and Addressing the Violence against Black Transgender Women in Houston contributes to a growing body of transgender scholarship. This book examines the patriarchal and heteronormative frames within the black community and larger American society that advances the toxic masculinity which violently castigates and threatens the collective embodiment of black transgender women in the USA. Such scholarship is needed to shed more light on the transphobic violence and murders against this understudied group.

Little is known about the societal and cultural issues and concerns affecting black transgender women and how their gender identity is met with systemic, institutional, and interpersonal roadblocks. During a time period in American history defined by Time Magazine as “The Transgender Tipping Point,” black transgender women have emerged as social, cultural, and political subjects to advance our understanding of the lives of people who identify as a part of both the black and LGBTQIA communities. In the end, this book calls on the black community and culture to end the toxic silence and act instead as allies who are more accepting and inclusive of differing sexualities and gender identities in an effort to improve the generative power of black solidarity.

 

 

Motion (Laws of Physics #1) by Penny Reid

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BLURB:

Forced to lie to protect her sister . . .

From the New York Times Bestselling Author, Penny Reid

One week.
Home alone.
Girl genius.
Unrepentant slacker.
Big lie.
What’s the worst that could happen?

Mona is a smart girl and figured everything out a long time ago. She had to. She didn’t have a choice. When your parents are uber-celebrities and you graduate from high school at fifteen, finish college at eighteen, and start your PhD program at nineteen, you don’t have time for distractions outside of your foci. Even fun is scheduled. Which is why Abram, her brother’s best friend, is such an irritant.

Abram is a talented guy, a supremely gifted musician, and has absolutely nothing figured out, nor does he seem to care. He does what he feels, when he feels, and—in Mona’s opinion—he makes her feel entirely too much.

Laws of Physics is the second trilogy in the Hypothesis series; Laws of Physics parts 1 (MOTION) & 2 (SPACE) end with a cliff-hanger.

Review:

OH MY GOD… I was blown away by this new series from Penny Reid. She is the queen of geeky and hilarious books and Motion is no different. This had all the feels that had me reading this book in one go!

“You have to tell me what you want,” he whispered gruffly. “If you don’t want me, tell me. But you have to know, you must know, I only want to make you happy.”

There is so much going on in this first part of the Laws of Physics book, Twin Swopping, Falling for someone who is the complete opposite of you but it all works and makes for one great read, I cannot wait to see where this story goes. I will be diving into part 2 immediately.

5 Stars!

 

White by Bret Easton Ellis

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People hated this. I didn’t. I thought it was an interesting series of essays about a wide range of topics. Sure, it’s not perfect. Sure, he sometimes says odd things, or that he doesn’t care about things when he probably does, but it’s a worthwhile series of essays.

Your view of politics and the internet certainly might influence how you read this book and Bret is a self-admitted troll, saying stupid things at times (which he discusses at length) and that people just need to get on with the day-to-day (his younger partner, a millennial – something he keeps talking about over and over – is perpetually freaking out about the regime over there, whilst Ellis doesn’t care).

A lot of the book is based on I Don’t Care, to be honest. Which, again, if we’re honest, is very much like one of Ellis’ characters, cruising through life.

This review makes it sound like I didn’t like it, but I did, and it’s worthwhile picking up if you’re interested in Ellis.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Pride Month at South Dublin Reads – Part Two

As some of you may know, June is Pride Month across the world and here we want to highlight some new LGBTQ+ books. We’ll be highlighting, over a number of Sundays, the winners of the 31st Lambda Literary Awards, as well as the longlists (out 10th June) for the Polari Prizes.

The first few weeks focus on the recently awarded 31st Lambda Literary Awards. Last week focussed on the Gay and Lesbian categories, and this week focuses on the Bisexual and Trans categories, with more to come in parts three and four.

WINNER – Bisexual Fiction
disoriental
Shortlisted for the 2018 National Book Awards

One of The Globe & Mail‘s Best Books of 2018
WINNER: Le Prix du Roman News, Style Prize, Lire Best Debut Novel 2016, la Porte Dorée Prize

Kimiâ Sadr fled Iran at the age of ten in the company of her mother and sisters to join her father in France. Now twenty-five and facing the future she has built for herself as well as the prospect of a new generation, Kimiâ is inundated by her own memories and the stories of her ancestors, which come to her in unstoppable, uncontainable waves. In the waiting room of a Parisian fertility clinic, generations of flamboyant Sadrs return to her, including her formidable great-grandfather Montazemolmolk, with his harem of fifty-two wives, and her parents, Darius and Sara, stalwart opponents of each regime that befalls them.

In this high-spirited, kaleidoscopic story, key moments of Iranian history, politics, and culture punctuate stories of family drama and triumph. Yet it is Kimiâ herself––punk-rock aficionado, storyteller extraordinaire, a Scheherazade of our time, and above all a modern woman divided between family traditions and her own “disorientalization”––who forms the heart of this bestselling and beloved novel.
—-You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here—-

WINNER – Transgender Fiction
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In this extraordinary debut novel by the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning story collection A Safe Girl to Love, Wendy Reimer is a thirty-year-old trans woman who comes across evidence that her late grandfather—a devout Mennonite farmer—might have been transgender himself. At first she dismisses this revelation, having other problems at hand, but as she and her friends struggle to cope with the challenges of their increasingly volatile lives—from alcoholism, to sex work, to suicide—Wendy is drawn to the lost pieces of her grandfather’s life, becoming determined to unravel the mystery of his truth. Alternately warm-hearted and dark-spirited, desperate and mirthful, Little Fish explores the winter of discontent in the life of one transgender woman as her past and future become irrevocably entwined.
—-You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here—-

WINNER – Bisexual Nonfiction
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What makes a pink-haired queer raise his hand to enlist in the military just as the nation is charging into war? In his memoir, Out of Step, Anthony Moll tells the story of a working-class bisexual boy running off to join the army in the midst of two wars and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era. Set against the backdrop of hypermasculinity and sexual secrecy, Moll weaves a queer coming-of-age story.

Out of Step traces Moll’s development through his military service, recounting how the army both breaks and builds relationships, and what it was like to explore his queer identity while also coming to terms with his role in the nation’s ugly foreign policy. From a punk, nerdy, left-leaning, poor boy in Nevada leaving home for the first time to an adult returning to civilian life and forced to address a world more complicated than he was raised to believe, Moll’s journey isn’t a classic flag-waving memoir or war story—it’s a tale of finding one’s identity in the face of war and changing ideals.

WINNER – Transgender Nonfiction
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A groundbreaking twentieth-century history of transgender children

With transgender rights front and center in American politics, media, and culture, the pervasive myth still exists that today’s transgender children are a brand new generation—pioneers in a field of new obstacles and hurdles. Histories of the Transgender Child shatters this myth, uncovering a previously unknown twentieth-century history when transgender children not only existed but preexisted the term transgender and its predecessors, playing a central role in the medicalization of trans people, and all sex and gender.

Beginning with the early 1900s when children with “ambiguous” sex first sought medical attention, to the 1930s when transgender people began to seek out doctors involved in altering children’s sex, to the invention of the category gender, and finally the 1960s and ’70s when, as the field institutionalized, transgender children began to take hormones, change their names, and even access gender confirmation, Julian Gill-Peterson reconstructs the medicalization and racialization of children’s bodies. Throughout, they foreground the racial history of medicine that excludes black and trans of color children through the concept of gender’s plasticity, placing race at the center of their analysis and at the center of transgender studies.

Until now, little has been known about early transgender history and life and its relevance to children. Using a wealth of archival research from hospitals and clinics, including incredible personal letters from children to doctors, as well as scientific and medical literature, this book reaches back to the first half of the twentieth century—a time when the category transgender was not available but surely existed, in the lives of children and parents.

WINNER – Bisexual Poetry
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Duy Doan’s striking debut reveals the wide resonance of the collection’s unassuming title, in poems that explore—now with abundant humor, now with a deeply felt reserve—the ambiguities and tensions that mark our effort to know our histories, our loved ones, and ourselves. These are poems that draw from Doan’s experience as a Vietnamese-American while at the same time making a case for—and masterfully playing with—the fluidity of identity, history, and language. Nothing is alien to these poems: the Saigon of a mother’s dirge, the footballer Zinedine Zidane, an owl that “talks to his other self in the well”—all have a place in Doan’s far-reaching and intimately human art.

WINNER – Transgender Poetry
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Written in response to the PROMESA bill (Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act) bill, LO TERCIARIO/THE TERCIARY offers a decolonial queer critique and reconsideration of Marx. The book’s titles come from Pedro Scaron’s El Capital, the 1976 translation of Karl Marx’s classic. Published by Siglo Veintiuno Editores, this translation was commonly used by the Puerto Rican left as part of political formation programs. LO TERCIARIO/THE TERCIARY places this text in relation to the Puerto Rican debt crisis, forcing readers to reconsider old questions when facing colonialism’s newest horrors.

 

Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis

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Someone somewhere described this, or perhaps its more famous predecessor Less Than Zero as ‘beautiful people doing terrible things’. Whilst Less Than Zero was morally ambiguous, Imperial Bedrooms is pretty much a Ellis-style descent into horror.

Clay is back and, in an interesting turn of events, the book (and movie) of Less Than Zero is real in this book – a ‘friend’ wrote it and “they made a movie of us” that sanitised them.

This book is interesting, at turns too long, often depressing, but is a book that sticks to its guns. It knows Clay is a horrible person and wants you to see things through his eyes, so you don’t see it all until it’s too late. Not his best book, but short, and worth picking up if you’ve read Less Than Zero (if you haven’t, forget it, or read that first)

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Woke: A Guide to Social Justice by Titania McGrath

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A friend of mine showed me Titiana’s twitter account, and it took much longer than I would’ve liked to work out if she was a real person or a parody account (she’s the latter, and incredibly well done).

Titianna is a biting satire of online Twitter activists of the left, satirising permanently angry activists, and social justice warriors, puncturing all of their sacred cows and in general being very, very funny. Oh, and did I mention she’s a terrible poet, and her terrible poems are included in the book?

An easy read that had me cackling – check out her Twitter to see if her sense of humour is for you, and if so pick up the book.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Pride Month at South Dublin Reads – Part One

As some of you may know, June is Pride Month across the world and here we want to highlight some new LGBTQ+ books. We’ll be highlighting, over a number of Sundays, the winners of the 31st Lambda Literary Awards, as well as the longlists (out 10th June) for the Polari Prizes.

This week, I want to highlight the Lambda winners from the Gay and Lesbian categories. Next week, I’ll do the same for the Bisexual and Trans categories, and the following week I’ll highlight the rest of the categories. Finally, on the last Sunday in June, I’ll highlight the shortlists from the Polari Prizes.

So, first things first – the Lambda Literary Awards!

WINNER – Lesbian Fiction
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In this visionary novel by Larissa Lai—her first in sixteen years—a community of parthenogenic women, sent into exile by the male-dominated Salt Water City, goes to war against disease, technology, and powerful men that threaten them with extinction.

Kirilow is a doctor apprentice whose lover Peristrophe is a “starfish,” a woman who can regenerate her own limbs and organs, which she uses to help her clone sisters whose organs are failing. When a denizen from Salt Water City suffering from a mysterious flu comes into their midst, Peristrophe becomes infected and dies, prompting Kirilow to travel to Salt Water City, where the flu is now a pandemic, to find a new starfish who will help save her sisters. There, Kirilow meets Kora, a girl-woman desperate to save her family from the epidemic. Kora has everything Kirilow is looking for, except the will to abandon her own family. But before Kirilow can convince her, both are kidnapped by a group of powerful men to serve as test subjects for a new technology that can cure the mind of the body.

Bold, beautiful, and wildly imaginative, The Tiger Flu is at once a female hero’s saga, a cyberpunk thriller, and a convention-breaking cautionary tale—a striking metaphor for our complicated times.

WINNER – Gay Fiction
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“You’re gonna need a rock and a whole lotta medicine” is a mantra that Jonny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, repeats to himself in this vivid and utterly compelling novel. Off the reserve and trying to find ways to live and love in the big city, Jonny becomes a cybersex worker who fetishizes himself in order to make a living. Self-ordained as an NDN glitter princess, Jonny has one week before he must return to the “rez,” and his former life, to attend the funeral of his stepfather. The next seven days are like a fevered dream: stories of love, trauma, sex, kinship, ambition, and the heartbreaking recollection of his beloved kokum (grandmother). Jonny’s world is a series of breakages, appendages, and linkages—and as he goes through the motions of preparing to return home, he learns how to put together the pieces of his life. Jonny Appleseed is a unique, shattering vision of Indigenous life, full of grit, glitter, and dreams.
—-You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here—-
(I’m reading this now, and it’s very interesting, and was delighted to see that it won, and beat out huge hitters in the categories, such as A History of Violence, The House of Impossible Beauties, and Speak No Evil)

WINNER – Lesbian Poetry
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Preoccupied by haunting, poisoned places and bodies, Puro explores the intersections of personal history and social forces, integrating representations of femininity and the body, creating an undercommons, a multiplicity, a “we.”
—-You can reserve a copy on South Dublin Libraries’ online catalogue here—-

WINNER – Gay Poetry
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Winner of the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry.

Indecency is boldly and carefully executed and perfectly ragged. In these poems, Justin Phillip Reed experiments with language to explore inequity and injustice and to critique and lament the culture of white supremacy and the dominant social order. Political and personal, tender, daring, and insightful―the author unpacks his intimacies, weaponizing poetry to take on masculinity, sexuality, exploitation, and the prison industrial complex and unmask all the failures of the structures into which society sorts us.
—-You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here—-

WINNER – Lesbian Mystery
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A selection in Parade’s roundup of “25 Hottest Books of Summer 2018”
A Paste Magazine’s Most Anticipated 25 books of 2018 pick
A Medium’s Books pick for We Can’t Wait to Read in 2018 list

Set in a near future Washington, D.C., a clever, incisive, and fresh feminist twist on a classic literary icon—Sherlock Holmes—in which Dr. Janet Watson and covert agent Sara Holmes will use espionage, advanced technology, and the power of deduction to unmask a murderer targeting Civil War veterans.

Dr. Janet Watson knows firsthand the horrifying cost of a divided nation. While treating broken soldiers on the battlefields of the New Civil War, a sniper’s bullet shattered her arm and ended her career. Honorably discharged and struggling with the semi-functional mechanical arm that replaced the limb she lost, she returns to the nation’s capital, a bleak, edgy city in the throes of a fraught presidential election. Homeless and jobless, Watson is uncertain of the future when she meets another black and queer woman, Sara Holmes, a mysterious yet playfully challenging covert agent who offers the doctor a place to stay.

Watson’s readjustment to civilian life is complicated by the infuriating antics of her strange new roommate. But the tensions between them dissolve when Watson discovers that soldiers from the New Civil War have begun dying one by one—and that the deaths may be the tip of something far more dangerous, involving the pharmaceutical industry and even the looming election. Joining forces, Watson and Holmes embark on a thrilling investigation to solve the mystery—and secure justice for these fallen soldiers.

WINNER – Gay Mystery
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It’s Thanksgiving, 1992 and Noah Valentine is late picking his mother up from the airport. When he arrives he discovers that she’s made a friend on the flight whose also waiting for her son. When the woman’s son doesn’t show up, they eventually take her home for breakfast with neighbor’s Marc and Louis. Soon after, they learn that her son has overdosed—or has he? Noah and his motley crew investigate over the holiday weekend; which includes a fabulous dinner, a chat with a male stripper, a tiny little burglary and some help from Detective Tall, Dark, and Delicious.

WINNER – Lesbian Memoir/Biography
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Taking as its starting point an ultimately failed attempt to translate a Sesotho short story into English, CHRONOLOGY explores the spaces language occupies in relationships, colonial history, and our postcolonial past. It is a collage of images and documents, folding on words-that-follow-no-chronology, unveiling layers of meaning of queering love, friendship, death, and power. Traveling from Cape Town to the Schomburg Center in New York, Zahra Patterson’s CHRONOLOGY reveals and revels in fragments of the past-personal and the present-political.

WINNER – Gay Memoir/Biography
no ashes
From a leading journalist and activist comes a brave, beautifully wrought memoir.

When Darnell Moore was fourteen, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they thought he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. It wasn’t the last time he would face death.

Three decades later, Moore is an award-winning writer, a leading Black Lives Matter activist, and an advocate for justice and liberation. In No Ashes in the Fire, he shares the journey taken by that scared, bullied teenager who not only survived, but found his calling. Moore’s transcendence over the myriad forces of repression that faced him is a testament to the grace and care of the people who loved him, and to his hometown, Camden, NJ, scarred and ignored but brimming with life. Moore reminds us that liberation is possible if we commit ourselves to fighting for it, and if we dream and create futures where those who survive on society’s edges can thrive.

No Ashes in the Fire is a story of beauty and hope-and an honest reckoning with family, with place, and with what it means to be free.
—-You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here—-

WINNER – Lesbian Romance
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English professor and aspiring novelist, Grace Warner spends her days teaching four sections of “Beowulf for Cretins” to bored and disinterested students at one of New England’s “hidden ivy” colleges. Not long after she is dumped by her longtime girlfriend, Grace meets the engaging and mysterious Abbie on a cross-country flight. Sparks fly on and off the plane as the two strangers give in to one night of reckless passion with no strings attached, and no contact information exchanged.

Back home at St. Albans, the college rocks Grace’s world when it announces the appointment of a new president, the first woman in its 165-year history. Cue Abbie―and cue Grace’s collision course with a neurotic dog named Grendel, a fractious rival for tenure, and a woman called Ochre, in what very well might be Grace’s last real shot at happiness.

This full-length novel reimagines and expands on the short story, “Falling From Grace,” which was originally published in the award-winning story collection, Sidecar by Ann McMan.

WINNER – Gay Romance
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Harper Jones is a professional bike courier, and in his business if you don’t ride fast, you don’t make money. His apartment has mice, he’s barely able to scrape up the rent, but at least he’s living life on his terms and doesn’t depend on anyone.

Sam Foster is the gay son of a wealthy conservative senator. He’s noticed Harper before when he’s dropped off packages at his dad’s company, but he’s never had the nerve to speak to his secret crush.

When Sam accidentally hits Harper with his car, Harper’s bike is destroyed and he’s injured seriously enough that he won’t be delivering packages for a while. Sam decides Harper needs rescuing, and he moves in with Harper to take care of him.

Unfortunately, Sam’s politician dad is convinced Harper’s a con-artist and he’ll do whatever it takes to get him away from his son.

 

 


Parsnips, Buttered: How to Win at Modern Life, One Email at a Time by Joe Lycett

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My nephew introduced me to the stand-up comedian Joe Lycett and I really liked him; I watched what was on YouTube, and then his stand-up shows, and saw clips from his Channel 4 show Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back.

And then I read this. And about 80% of it is his stand-up. Verbatim.

He’s very funny in how he deals with parking fines, or spammers – like a much nicer version of notorious (and notoriously funny) internet troll 27b/6 – but this book, given that it was word for word content I knew already, was incredibly disappointing.

And to be honest, it’s not really the format for it. It’s better hearing him do the routines live. The ones in the book are longer, and like, there’s not much need for them to be. Go see him live, or watch him on tv – avoid this one.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.