There are lots of great new books out this spring that will make waiting for summer easier. Lots of books to make you laugh, cry, make you fan yourself and make you want to page through the pictures again and again.
And speaking of pictures, there are lots of them in “Female Force: Cher” by Marc Shapiro, illustrated by Zach Bassett, cover by Joe Phillips. That’s because this 32-page book is actually a comic book all about Cher’s life, her career, her fashions and her legacy. And because comic books aren’t just for kids anymore, you’ll also find similar comic book-bios on Madonna, Ellen DeGeneres and others.
If the patter of teeny-tiny feet is in your future, then you’ll want to find “Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight? Confessions of a Gay Dad” by Dan Bucatinsky. Seven years ago, Bucatinsky and his partner adopted a baby girl. Shortly after that, they adopted their daughter’s brother. Laugh-out-loud funny, sweet and a little heartbreaking, this book is perfect for anyone who wants or has a young family.
Remember that young man who addressed the Iowa House Judiciary Committee a few months ago when they were discussing civil unions? Well, he has a new book out: “My Two Moms” by Zach Wahls. This is a great book for any (older) kid growing up in a household with same-sex parents because Wahls knows what it’s like to be teased and to feel different. Bonus: this book is also perfect for same-sex parents.
And while we’re on the parenting theme, “Riding Fury Home” by Chana Wilson is the story of Wilson’s mother who, in the 1950s, was given psychiatric treatment and electroshocks in order to “cure” her lesbianism. But Wilson doesn’t stop there; she also writes about 40 years of American attitudes toward sexuality and tolerance. In this contentious political year, this is ultimately a book you can’t miss.
Does it sometimes feel as though you’ll never find someone to love forever? AuthorClyde Phillip Wachsberger felt that way, too, so upon approaching a certain age, he bought a house and set about creating a fabulous garden. But in his book “In the Garden with Charles,” you’ll read about a happily ever after. The beautiful bonus to this book is the author’s artwork that goes along with the garden and the love story.
If you’re a novel lover, then get booked with “Come Back” by Sky Gilbert. This is the story of a Judy Garland who really didn’t die, a Frances Gumm with a PhD, and a gay Canadian playwright who leads Dr. Gumm on an examination of her addictions and her life. This is a quirky book, but if quirk is your style, how can you go wrong?
Quick — think of a gay artist who specializes in erotica. My guess is that Tom of Finland was at the top of your guesses and if you’re a fan, you’ll want to find “Tom of Finland — Life and Work of a Gay Hero” by F. Valentine Hooven III. This big hardcover brings readers an overview of Tom’s art and his life from the beginning to his last years, and it includes not just drawings and the bio, but lots of photos, too.
And finally, if you’re short on time but heavy on heat, look for “Cruising: Gay Erotic Stories,” edited by Shane Allison. This anthology is filled with hot locations, hot scenes, hot activities, and of course hot men. This is the kind of book you’ll want to read with oven mitts, so beware.
It’s also worth a visit every few months to the Bruno Gmunder website (oddly the IUP is spelled slightly different — brunogmuender.com) for the latest in gay travel guides, coffee table erotica books, comics, calendars and more. This is the kind of stuff you used to just happen on at Lambda Rising — there were always unsealed sample copies to leaf through — but now you have to go online to find them. Sadly no D.C. shops keep these books in stock.