These four books are perfect for the end of summer. Curl up with a good book during Labor Day weekend and experience revolutions, time travel, talking lambs or gay history.
Before the Rain by Luisita Lopez Torregrosa
Set during the fall of Ferdinard Marcos in 1980s Philippines, Before the Rain follows newspaper editor Torregrosa as she falls in love with a fellow writer. The two struggle to maintain their relationship against a backdrop of shifting politics and an unforgettable adventure. Torregrosa’s tone is full of longing and her approach to history is clear-eyed, even as her heart is breaking.
Out of Time by Paula Martinac
Paula Martinac’s Lambda Literary award winner Out of Time is being reissued as an e-book later this year, and that’s great news for book lovers. This elegant ghost story combines romance and fantasy, reminiscent of a Somewhere in Time for lesbians. When perpetual history student Susan Van Dine comes across a scrapbook of women’s photographs in a New York antique store, the women’s histories begin to consume her. This is a fantastic and well-plotted book about love affairs, the eternal mystery of passion, and the experiences that forever connect us.
Purple Grass by Denny Hamann
Writer, lyricist, and veterinarian Dr. Denny Hamann’s novel Purple Grass is really a modern day fable about a little lamb – named Little Lamb – who discovers that he actually likes purple grass, even though the rest of the flock likes green grass and the Bible says that those who like purple grass are doomed. Hamann’s novel is a thinly veiled metaphor for growing up gay in America and it’s original enough that it works and works well. Purple Grass is an imaginative, unusual take on the traditional coming out narrative, sort of Animal Farm meets the children’s classic Charlotte’s Web, with a gay twist.
Gay Lives by Robert Aldrich
This gorgeous collection looks at the lives of famous gays and lesbians, spanning over four thousand years of queer heroes and heroines. From two unknown ancient Egyptian lovers to world-famous individuals such as Michelangelo and Harvey Milk, Gay Lives is an impressive survey of the richness of gay lives. Also profiled are WWII lovers who were the subject of the award-winning film Aimee and Jaguar, author Radclyffe Hall who wrote the lesbian classic The Well of Loneliness, and Del Martin, co-
founder of the 1950s lesbian magazine The Ladder.
What lesbian or gay books are on your reading list?