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Wednesday June 19th 2019

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Reading Rainbow

By Jennie McKeon

Reading is essential to learning. It’s also a nice way to relax and escape. And slowly but surely, the LGBTQ experience is becoming better represented in pop culture media.

Here’s a selection of books, old and new, that represent the LGBTQ experience. So open a book this Pride Month—or any month for that matter—and enjoy stories in all colors.

Lie With Me
By Philippe Besson
If you loved “Call Me By Your Name,” then you might like “Lie With Me.” It’s a short French novel about an author revisiting his first love affair with a man. You can thank ‘80s movie star Molly Ringwald for translating it to English for your reading pleasure.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me
By Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero O’Connell
When Frederica starts dating her dream girl, Laura Dean, she finds herself in a constant cycle of toxic behavior. It’s a tale of young love and how it’s not always the best. And yes, graphic novels count as books.

Red, White & Royal Blue
By Casey McQuiston
Fanfiction for Anglophiles. In this book, the first son of the United States falls for the prince of England and romance unfolds. Need we say more?

And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic
By Randy Shilts
Throwing some nonfiction in the mix, this international bestseller is considered one of the most important works of reporting during the AIDS crisis. The book gives the backstory on how the AIDS crisis became an epidemic and shares perspectives from those in the science, health and gay community.

If They Come For Us
By Fatimah Asghar
This collection of poetry from the co-creator of the comedy series “Brown Girls” explores what it’s like to be human. And it flips poetry composition on its head with poems taking the shape of a bingo card or a Mad Libs template.

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
By Janet Mock
From one of the most visible trans women in pop culture, Janet Mock shares her story as a multiracial trans woman in America. And when you’re done, she also wrote another book in 2017 called “Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me” so you don’t have to be sad when it’s over.

Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady
By Susan Quinn
Eleanor Roosevelt may be known as a champion for human rights and the longest serving First Lady. She’s also a hero of Leslie Knope. But what some may not know is that she had a close relationship with AP reporter Lorena Hickok. It’s debated whether or not the relationship was romantic, but Quinn’s book shares their 30-year relationship from professional and beyond.

Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose and Letters
By Robert Giroux
As is too often the case, Elizabeth Bishop wasn’t highly regarded until her death. She was a perfectionist, according to biographers, and only published 101 poems in her lifetime. The Pulitzer Prize winner was not open about her sexuality and often described lovers as “my friend” or “my hostess,” as one reviewer pointed out. Living in the early and mid-20 century, it can be understood why she kept to herself. Forty years since her death, her work and life is still a sought-after mystery.

Giovanni’s Room
By James Baldwin

A classic novel from one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, “Giovanni’s Room” shares a story of a young man living in Paris and his frustrations with his relationships with other men—one in particular is a bartender named Giovanni.

How We Fight For Our Lives
By Saeed Jones
In the latest book from former BuzzFeed writer, Saeed Jones shares his story of growing up black and gay in the South. He shares his story from boyhood and adolescence—including the strained relationship he had with his mother and grandmother.