Check Out 44 Great American Bookstores

The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles.

The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles.

Independent bookstores and even big national chains are a dying breed. But there is nothing like browsing through stacks of used books to find a rare gem you’ve been looking for or some random title that strikes your fancy. In a feature this week, BuzzFeed provides a list of some of the best independent books stores in the country. They’re divided up by regions. If you don’t see one from your area, there are plenty that you could visit during your travels. Check out 44 Great American Bookstores Every Book Lover Must Visit. Happy reading!

My Brother’s Name Offers a Transgender Twist

Laura Krughoff's "My Brother's Name."

Laura Krughoff’s “My Brother’s Name.”

Laura Krughoff received a nod for her novel “My Brother’s Name,” when it was nominated for debut fiction by the Lambda Literary Awards this year. The nominators apparently were impressed with the novelty of the novel which takes an old device like switched identities and gives it a new transgender twist.
The novel, which takes place during the high school and college years of the two main characters Jane and John Fields, may be more appealing to young adults rather than older readers. But the story does make for interesting reading by both demographics.
Jane Fields is a young girl who looks up to her older brother and follows him like a clumsy puppy, even as far as mastering his most passionate pursuit: music. But when John begins having psychotic episodes when he goes away to college, his entire family is changed by his condition, especially his little sister. John enlists her to help him overcome his mental illness with a scheme that includes Jane “becoming” John initially to help them avoid any kind of problems when driving a rented vehicle when they decide to move away from their concerned parents. It’s a flimsy premise that allows for further complications as the story progresses. When Jane, acting as her brother, begins to fall in love, she finds it harder and harder to maintain the ruse.

Laura Krughoff

Laura Krughoff

Meanwhile, Krughoff has a hard time tying up loose ends when the siblings’ true identities are revealed to friends in dramatic fashion and there are many unanswered questions at the end of the book. But it’s worth a read to see the kinds of new stories authors are writing for the LGBT community.

Queer Horror for Halloween

interviewIf you’re a fan of the horror genre perhaps you might want to interject a little fear into your reading time. After all, it’s close to Halloween. Want to know what the best gay horror fiction is? There are a few lists you might consult. The first one is on GoodReads and includes some 70 books with titles like “Cowboys & Vampires,” “Wolf at the Door,” “Zombielicious” and works by a great variety of authors. A few years ago, Lambda Literary Review put out a list of what it named “6 of the Scariest Queer Horror Books Ever.” Amazon has its own list of scary gay and lesbian horror with more than 100 titles, including many by Anne Rice. One might also delve into winners of the now-defunct Queer Horror Awards which still as a list on its website. Finally, Barnes & Noble also has a list of horror books for LGBT readers. Check out that list on its website.

Still Cruising in San Francisco

Brontez Purnell's "The Cruising Diaries."

Brontez Purnell’s “The Cruising Diaries.”

In an interview, performer/author Brontez Purnell talks about his latest book, The Cruising Diaries, using, as the Lambda Literary Review puts it, “his own sex life to paint a very vivid portrait of a sex life in the San Francisco Bay Area now.”
The review promises a book that is an honest portrayal of gay life, and especially sexual expression, in today’s culture. Read the interesting interview here.

Brontez Purnell

Brontez Purnell