Lambda Literary Award finalists in our eBook collection

Recent additions to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual (LGBT) titles in our Overdrive collection in eLibrary saw a number of this year’s Lambda Literary Award finalists. These include the incredible memoir from the actor Alan Cumming, who was in New Zealand for Auckland Writers & Readers festival.  Whether it’s thought-provoking memoirs or other non-fiction – or just a light romance or mystery novel for the beach – that you want, you’ll see it below, or in the rest of the collection online via Overdrive.

Overdrive cover A Family by Any Other Name, by Bruce Gillespie (eBook)
(Finalist, LGBT anthology) “At no other time in history have lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) relationships and families been more visible or numerous. A Family by Any Other Name recognizes and celebrates this advance by exploring what “family” means to people today. The anthology includes a wide range of perspectives on queer relationships and families—there are stories on coming out, same-sex marriage, adopting, having biological kids, polyamorous relationships, families without kids, divorce, and dealing with the death of a spouse, as well as essays by straight writers about having a gay parent or child. These personal essays are by turns funny, provocative, and intelligent, but all are moving and honest. Including writers from across North America, this collection offers honest and moving real-life stories about relationships and creating families in the twenty-first century.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Double Exposure, by Bridget Birdsall (eBook)
(Finalist, LGBT Children/Young Adult) “Fifteen-year-old Alyx Atlas was raised as a boy, yet she knows something others don’t. She’s a girl. And after her dad dies, it becomes painfully obvious that she must prove it now—to herself and to the world. Born with ambiguous genitalia, Alyx has always felt a little different. But it’s after she sustains a terrible beating behind a 7-Eleven that she and her mother pack up their belongings and move from California to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to start a new life—and Alyx begins over again, this time as a girl… A stunning debut young adult novel from Bridget Birdsall, Double Exposure brings to light complex gender issues, teenage insecurities, and overcoming all obstacles. ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover She of the Mountains, by Vivek Shraya (eBook)
(“Finalist, bisexual fiction) “In the beginning, there is no he. There is no she. Two cells make up one cell. This is the mathematics behind creation. One plus one makes one. Life begets life. We are the period to a sentence, the effect to a cause, always belonging to someone. We are never our own. This is why we are so lonely.
She of the Mountains is a beautifully rendered illustrated novel by Vivek Shraya, the author of the Lambda Literary Award finalist God Loves Hair. Shraya weaves a passionate, contemporary love story between a man and his body, with a re-imagining of Hindu mythology. Both narratives explore the complexities of embodiment and the damaging effects that policing gender and sexuality can have on the human heart.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Not My Father’s Son, by Alan Cumming (eBook)
(Finalist, bisexual non-fiction) “A beloved star of stage and screen, Alan Cumming’s life and career have been shaped by a complex and dark family past – full of troubled memories, kept buried away. But then an unexpected phone call from his long-estranged father brought the pain of the past hurtling back into the present, and unravelled everything he thought he knew about himself. Not My Father’s Son is the story of his journey of discovery, both a memoir of his childhood in Scotland, and an investigation into his family history which would change him forever.  ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Thief Taker, by William Holden (eBook)
(Finalist, gay erotica) “Fleeing London, Thomas Newton reaches Paris full of hopes for a new life with Pierre Baptiste. The hopes are quickly shattered. There are unsettling rumors about Pierre’s past and very real threats in the present. Arrested on false charges, thrown into a dank prison, Thomas must decide whether he can trust Pierre’s help to winning back his freedom. But freedom will bring other risks, especially if it requires a return to London and all that he fled. The men from his past whom he betrayed—and who might well want revenge. His avowed enemies, the bigots that chased him across the channel. And, worst of all, everything he doesn’t know about his family. To survive, he will have to play both sides of the life—as a thief taker. ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Body Counts, by Sean Strub (eBook)
(Finalist, gay memoir/biography) “The founder of POZ magazine shares “a captivating…eyewitness account from inside the AIDS epidemic” (Next) and “a moving, multi-decade memoir of one gay man’s life” (San Francisco Chronicle)… From the New York of Studio 54 and Andy Warhol’s Factory to the intersection of politics and burgeoning LGBT and AIDS movements, Strub’s story crackles with history. He recounts his role in shocking AIDS demonstrations at St. Patrick’s Cathedral as well as at the home of US Sen­ator Jesse Helms. With an astonishing cast of characters, including Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Keith Haring, Bill Clinton, and Yoko Ono, is a vivid portrait of a tumultuous era: “A page-turner…[with] the suspense and horror of Paul Monette’s memoir Borrowed Time and the drama of Larry Kramer’s play The Normal Heart….What a lot of action—and life—there is in this gripping book” (The Washington Post). ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Fair Game, by Josh Lanyon (eBook)
(Finalist, gay mystery) “A crippling knee injury forced Elliot Mills to trade in his FBI badge for dusty chalkboards and bored college students. Now a history professor at Puget Sound university, the former agent has put his old life behind him–but it seems his old life isn’t finished with him.  A young man has gone missing from campus–and as a favor to a family friend, Elliot agrees to do a little sniffing around. His investigations bring him face-to-face with his former lover, Tucker Lance, the special agent handling the case. Things ended badly with Tucker, and neither man is ready to back down on the fight that drove them apart. But they have to figure out a way to move beyond their past and work together as more men go missing and Elliot becomes the target in a killer’s obsessive game…” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, by Francine Prose (eBook)
(Finalist, lesbian fiction) “A richly imagined and stunningly inventive literary masterpiece of love, art, and betrayal, exploring the genesis of evil, the unforeseen consequences of love, and the ultimate unreliability of storytelling itself… Told in a kaleidoscope of voices, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 evokes this incandescent city with brio, humor, and intimacy. A brilliant work of fiction and a mesmerizing read, it is Francine Prose’s finest novel yet.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Cease, by Lynette Loeppky (eBook)
(Finalist, lesbian memoir/biography) “Cecile and Lynette were living on an “Old MacDonald”-style hobby farm, commuting into the city for work. Each evening Lyn would come home to a farm full of animals and the unpredictable Cec. She could be brilliant, insightful, engaging. She could also turn on Lyn, suddenly and cruelly. After eight-and-a-half years, just as Lyn had decided to leave and was beginning to plan her exit, Cec became seriously ill. Almost overnight Lyn found herself in the role of caregiver at Cec’s hospital bedside… Cease is a blunt and honest account of experiences that are usually kept hidden. Told with a frank and intimate voice, Cease offers an unsentimental look at the inner workings of a uniquely difficult relationship that is revealed for what it is – more human than strange.” (Overdrive description) [LAMBDA lesbian memoir nominee]

Overdrive cover Slash and Burn, by Valerie Bronwen (eBook)
(Finalist, lesbian mystery) “The Angels and Demons Literary Weekend brings former New Orleans resident Winter Lovelace back to town from her gig as writer-in-residence at a prestigious women’s college in upstate New York. Winter desperately needs a break from the book she is struggling to finish, and hopes that this weekend will inspire her and trigger her creativity. But while waiting for a friend in a hotel courtyard, a body lands at her feet, and Winter is dragged into a baffling mystery quite against her will. The victim is a notorious “m/m romance” author who is also a homophobe, and the list of people who wanted her dead is quite extensive. Winter herself is considered a suspect!” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Jolt, by Kris Bryant (eBook)
(Finalist, lesbian romance) “Mystery writer Bethany Lange wasn’t prepared for the twisting emotions that left her breathless the moment she laid eyes on folk singer sensation Ali Hart. Of course she was flat on her back and looking up and backward at the gorgeous singer, but that didn’t stop her body and heart from bursting into a kaleidoscope of want, need, and lust. Scared at the intensity of her feelings, Bethany does everything she can to avoid Ali at Camp Jacomo, the camp designed specifically for children of lesbian and gay families where Bethany volunteers every summer…. On her last day at camp, Ali approaches Bethany with an offer of friendship, but they both know it’s the prelude to something bolder. Should Bethany take the risk? Does she really believe she can balance her quiet private life with Ali’s outspoken one?” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Pregnant Butch, by A.K. Summers (eBook)
(Finalist, LGBT graphic novels) “First pregnancy can be a fraught, uncomfortable experience for any woman, but for resolutely butch lesbian Teek Thomasson, it is exceptionally challenging: Teek identifies as a masculine woman in a world bent on associating pregnancy with a cult of uber-femininity. …Written and illustrated by A.K. Summers, and based on her own pregnancy, Pregnant Butch strives to depict this increasingly common, but still underrepresented experience of queer pregnancy with humor and complexity—from the question of whether suspenders count as legitimate maternity wear to the strains created by different views of pregnancy within a couple and finally to a culturally critical and compassionate interrogation of gender in pregnancy.” (Overdrive description)

 

The best of the best: must reads from this month’s fiction selections

The following titles have been chosen from our monthly new fiction selections. They are all highly recommended for great reading.

Syndetics book coverClockwork lives / Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart ; illustrations by Nick Robles.
Another exhilarating steampunk novel that returns to the world the authors introduced in Clockwork Angels. Included are great illustrations by Nick Robles.

Syndetics book coverLegends of the tour / Jan Cleijne.
One of this year’s best graphic novels, not only for the art work, but also the fascinating story line, a history of the Tour de France, with all its corruption, agony and glory. A must read.

Syndetics book coverLast bus to wisdom / Ivan Doig. Last Bus to Wisdom
This novel was such a pleasure to read, wise and funny, but sadly it is the author’s final work.

Syndetics book coverThe evening chorus : a novel / Helen Humphreys.
A truly delightful novel, brilliantly constructed, fabulous writing, definitely leaving the reader wanting more.

Syndetics book coverDark corners / Ruth Rendell.
Psychological suspense at its best, that never disappoints when written by one of the best authors in this genre that sadly may be irreplaceable.

Tech talk – computing, coding & designing

Are you wondering where on earth to start with setting up an email account or would you like to develop a new app? From beginners to experts, the library has books on computing and technology to suit all levels. Also check out our new database Lynda.com which is chock-full of online tutorials in IT, web design, development, animation and software too numerous to name.

Syndetics book coverThe computing universe : a journey through a revolution / Tony Hey, Gyuri Pápay.
“Computers now impact almost every aspect of our lives, from our social interactions to the safety and performance of our cars. How did this happen in such a short time? This book leads us on a journey from the early days of computers in the 1930s to the cutting-edge research of the present day that will shape computing in the coming decades. This exciting and accessible introduction will open up the universe of computing to anyone who has ever wondered where his or her smartphone came from.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow computers work : the evolution of technology / Ron White ; illustrated by Timothy Edward Downs.
“This full-color, fully illustrated guide to the world of technology assumes nothing and explains everything. For two decades, How Computers Work has helped newbies understand new technology, while hackers and IT pros have treasured it for the depth of knowledge it contains. This is the perfect book about computing to capture your imagination, delight your eyes, and expand your mind, no matter what your technical level! Beautifully detailed illustrations and jargon-free explanations walk you through the technology that is shaping our lives. See the hidden workings inside computers, smartphones, tablets, Google Glass, and the latest tech inventions.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover“Is this thing on?” : a friendly guide to everything digital for newbies, technophobes, and the kicking & screaming / Abby Stokes ; illustrations by Michael Sloan and Susan Hunt Yale.
“How to choose, buy, and start using the computer or tablet that’s just right for you, plus how to set everything up for maximum comfort and safety. How to connect to the Internet, sign up for email, understand and use search engines, and get started with word processing and text messaging. How to choose, buy, and start using a smartphone. How to take and share digital photographs and videos. How to discover online communities and participate in social media. How to explore the world of apps, online music, streaming movies, and ebooks.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWindows 10 for Seniors for the Beginning Computer User : Get Started With Windows 10
“Perfect for older adults who want to get started using computers, this book walks users through the basics of the Windows 10 operating system in an easy, step-by-step manner. The guide has been tested by seniors and is focused on acquiring practical skills including how to use the mouse, write letters and memos, send and receive email, and explore the internet. It offers additional exercises for practicing a variety of different tasks, a convenient reference section, and an extensive index, and there are instructional videos available online on the book’s support website.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHelp your kids with computer coding : a unique step-by-step visual guide, from binary code to building games / Carol Vorderman, Jon Woodcock, Sean McManus, Craig Steele, Claire Quigley, Daniel McCafferty.
“Introduce your kids to the world of computer programming early, with a fun and approachable method. This book begins by introducing the essential concepts of programming with simple instructions, and without specialized computer lingo. Fun projects throughout let kids start putting their computer skills into practice and build their own code using Scratch programming and Python, the two most popular languages.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCoding for beginners in easy steps / Mike McGrath.
“The book instructs you how to write code to create your own computer programs. It contains separate chapters demonstrating how to store information in data structures, how to control program flow using control structures, and how to create re-usable blocks of code in program functions. There are complete step-by-step example programs that demonstrate each aspect of coding, together with screenshots that illustrate the actual output when each program has been executed. The examples throughout this book feature the popular Python programming language but additionally the final chapter demonstrates a comparison example in the C, C++, and Java programming languages.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverManaging Apple devices / Arek Dreyer, Kevin M. White.
“This all-in-one resource teaches a wide variety of Apple management technologies; explains the theory behind the tools; and provides practical, hand-on exercises to get you up and running with the tools. You will be introduced to Apple management technologies including Mobile Device Management, the Volume Purchase Program, and the Device Enrollment Program. The exercises contained within this guide are designed to let you explore and learn the tools provided by Apple for deploying and managing iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite systems.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverProfessional Android wearables / David Cuartielles Ruiz and Andreas Goransson.
“Professional Android Wearables covers how to use the Android Wear platform and other techniques to build real-world apps for a variety of wearables including smartbands, smartwatches, and smart glasses. In no time, you’ll grasp how wearables can connect us to the Internet in more pervasive ways than with PCs, tablets, or mobile devices; how to build code using Google’s Wear SDK for Android-enabled hardware devices; how Android Wear and other Android development techniques are capable of building several presented example projects; and much more.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCore Java for the impatient / Cay S. Horstmann.
“Core Java® for the Impatient is a complete but concise guide to Java SE 8. If you’re an experienced programmer, Horstmann’s practical insights and sample code will help you quickly take advantage of lambda expressions (closures), streams, and other Java language and platform improvements. Whether you are just getting started with modern Java or are an experienced developer, this guide will be invaluable for anyone who wants to write tomorrow’s most robust, efficient, and secure Java code.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuilding open source hardware : DIY manufacturing for hackers and makers / Alicia Gibb with [fourteen others].
“This is the first hands-on guide to the entire process of designing and manufacturing open source hardware. Drawing on extensive personal experience with DIY, maker, and hardware hacking projects, industry-leading contributors share proven approaches to design, remixing, fabrication, manufacturing, troubleshooting, licensing, documentation, and running an open source hardware business.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Books for International Coming Out Day 2015

Our latest selection of #LGBT additions to our Overdrive eBooks include Clare Logan’s prize-winning short stories, a Stonewall memoir, a trans FtM collection of stories alongside genre gay and lesbian fiction. In this group, we’re particularly excited to see Lillian Faderman’s latest work of lesbian and gay history available so soon in eBook form.

Overdrive cover The Gay Revolution, Lillian Faderman (eBook)
“The sweeping story of the modern struggle for gay, lesbian, and trans rights—from the 1950s to the present—based on amazing interviews with politicians, military figures, legal activists, and members of the entire LGBT community who face these challenges every day. The Gay Revolution begins in the 1950s, when law classified gays and lesbians as criminals, the psychiatric profession saw them as mentally ill, the churches saw them as sinners, and society victimized them with irrational hatred. Against this dark backdrop, a few brave people began to fight back, paving the way for the revolutionary changes of the 1960s and beyond. Faderman discusses the protests in the 1960s; the counter reaction of the 1970s and early eighties; the decimated but united community during the AIDS epidemic; and the current hurdles for the right to marriage equality.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales, Kirsty Logan (eBook)
Winner of the Polari First Book Prize 2015 and the Scott Prize for Short Stories “Twenty tales of lust and loss. These stories feature clockwork hearts, lascivious queens, paper men, island circuses, and a flooded world. On the island of Skye, an antlered girl and a tiger-tailed boy resolve never to be friends – but can they resist their unique connection? In an alternative 19th-century Paris, a love triangle emerges between a man, a woman, and a coin-operated boy. A teenager deals with his sister’s death by escaping from their tiny Scottish island – but will she let him leave? In 1920s New Orleans, a young girl comes of age in her mother’s brothel. Some of these stories are radical retellings of classic tales, some are modern-day fables, but all explore substitutions for love. ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Indivisible Heart, (eBook)
“The discovery of a grotesquely mutilated body of a young man in Seville, Spain, sets off an investigation into an apparently psycho-sexual murder that has disturbing personal implications for chief detective Manuel Arroyo and Olivier Joaquin Ortega, the forensic pathologist handling the case. Interwoven with the official search to understand this mysterious death is the murder victim’s haunting narration of the final days in his life, stalked by a psychopath through the squares, bars, and cafes of the city. What drives his pursuer to murder? ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Chameleon’s Tale, Andrea Bramhall (eBook)
Latest from the Lambda Winner “Childhood friends Imogen and Amahle couldn’t come from more different backgrounds. One privileged and the other little more than a slave, yet they thought nothing could tear their friendship apart. But a changing political landscape and an uncertain future cast Imogen into a lonely world away from everything and everyone she knows, and by the time she returns to Africa, everything has changed. Betrayal, deceit, and anger are the currency of the day, and it is a far cry from the life Imogen wants to lead.When Amahle’s family is caught up in the middle of a bitter legal battle, she fights for what she believes is right. But what happens when those you believe in let you down? ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Finding Masculinity, (eBook)
“Finding Masculinity is a collection of stories from a small cross section of the transgender male community that shares insight into the diversity of life experiences of transgender men, beyond the traditional narrative. This anthology examines the many facets of life that transition impacts; transitioning on the job, emotional and spiritual growth, family, navigating the medical community, as well as romantic relationships. The stories within come from scientists, teachers, fathers, veterans, and artists who share how being visible as the masculine humans they identify as has developed, changed, and evolved their sense of masculinity. ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover And Then I Danced, Mark Segal (eBook)
“”[A] swiftly written debut memoir…[Segal] vividly describes his firsthand experience as a teenager inside the Stonewall bar during the historic riots, his participation with the Gay Liberation Front, and amusing encounters with Elton John and Patti LaBelle….A jovial yet passionately delivered self-portrait inspiring awareness about LGBT history from one of the movement’s true pioneers.”—Kirkus Reviews” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Talk, Linda Rosenkrantz and Stephen Koch (eBook)
“Talk is a hilariously irreverent and racy testament to dialogue: the gossip, questioning, analysis, arguments, and revelations that make up our closest friendships. It’s the summer of 1965 and Emily, Vincent, and Marsha are at the beach. All three are ambitious and artistic; all are hovering around thirty; and all are deeply and mercilessly invested in analyzing themselves and everyone around them. Controversial upon its first publication in 1968, Talk remains fresh, lascivious, and laugh-out-loud funny nearly fifty years later.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Daughter of Mystery, Heather Rose Jones (eBook)
“Margerit Sovitre did not expect to inherit Baron Saveze’s fortunes—even less his bodyguard, a ruthlessly efficient swordswoman known only as Barbara. Wealth suddenly makes Margerit a highly eligible heiress and buys her the enmity of the new Baron. He had expected to inherit all, and now eyes her fortune with open envy. Barbara proudly served as the old Baron’s duelist but she had expected his death to make her a free woman. Bitterness turns to determination when she finds herself the only force that stands between Margerit and the new Baron’s greed.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Let Me Explain You, Annie Liontas (eBook)
“A powerful debut novel about a Greek American family and its enigmatic patriarch from a riveting new voice in contemporary literature.
Stavros Stavros Mavrakis, Greek immigrant and proud owner of the Gala Diner, believes he has just ten days to live. As he prepares for his final hours, he sends a scathing email to his ex-wife and three grown daughters, outlining his wishes for how they each might better live their lives. With varying degrees of laughter and scorn, his family and friends dismiss his behavior as nothing more than a plea for attention, but when Stavros disappears, those closest to him are forced to confront the possibility of his death.” (Overdrive description)
Interview with the author
Also of note:
London Calling, Clare Lydon
The Found Child: A Tale of Unauthorised Parenthood, Lucy Jane Bledsloe
New York Nights, Sawyer Caine

 

 

 

Doodles and Zentangles

It happens that I’ve always dreamed of being able to draw. Unfortunately I don’t really have the talent. Not that I’m that bad, but I would never consider myself an illustrator.

To fulfill this dream of mine I decided to try doodles and zentangles. They are pattern like drawings that are told to help free your mind and is good to relax and even helps with pain management.

So I bought some cool fineliner pens and put it into work:

DSC_1106_3

We have some books that you can be inspired by:

Syndetics book coverThe art of zentangle : 50 inspiring drawings, designs & ideas for the meditative artist / [senior editor, Stephanie Meissner].
The Art of Zentangle teaches artists of all skill levels the meditative process of combining shapes and lines to make complex and interesting final pieces of artwork.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverZentangle : the inspiring and mindful drawing method / Jane Marbaix.
“Aimed at beginners, this book shows how beautiful images can be created from repeating patterns. Accredited Zentangle teacher Jane Marbaix demonstrates a range of patterns one step at a time and offers a sourcebook of her own designs to inspire tanglers to try something different. Proven to reduce stress and enhance creativity in people of all ages, Zentangle does not require a background in practical art or expensive materials to produce pleasing result, as Anyone Can Zentangle proves. A wonderfully mindful artform helping attain zen like peaceful states in our day to day lives.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beauty of zentangle : inspirational examples from 137 tangle artists worldwide / Suzanne McNeill, CZT and Cindy Shepard, CZT.
“Zentangle is fast becoming a worldwide phenomenon, attracting individuals from all walks of life. The Beauty of Zentangle celebrates this simple but elegant new craft with hundreds of sensational one-of-a-kind designs from around the world. This invitation-only collection of the very best Zentangle-inspired art includes stunning masterpieces from breakthrough artists and CZTs like Suzanne McNeill, Cindy Shepard, Marie Browning, Sandy Steen Bartholomew, and many more. Their inventive tangles are at the forefront of a new wave of creative expression and personal freedom.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverZentangle untangled : inspiration and prompts for meditative drawing / Kass Hall.
“Unwind, Tangle and Relax! In Zentangle Untangled, Kass Hall introduces you to the fun and relaxing “doodling” process of Zentangle©–an engaging art form that uses repetitive patterns to create striking works of art that anyone can achieve regardless of age or artistic ability. Following an explanation of the Zentangle© process, inside you will find 12 step-by-step demonstrations showing you how to create enticing tangle patterns, followed by several examples of how to add eye-popping color to your pieces, as well as fun ways to use tangles in your art journals. Captivating pieces from Kass and a slew of other artists will further satisfy your craving for inspiration!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover500 tangled artworks : a showcase of inspired illustrated designs / Beckah Krahula.
“Become inspired by this vast collection of meditative drawing tiles known as tangles!” (Syndetics summary)

The Best of the Best: must reads from this month’s fiction selections

The following titles have been chosen from our monthly new fiction selections. They are all highly recommended for great reading.

Syndetics book coverSyndetics book coverSyndetics book coverSyndetics book coverSyndetics book cover

I’d walk with my friends if I could find them / Jesse Goolsby.
This is a very powerful debut novel about three American soldiers haunted by their actions in Afghanistan, and their problems of readjustment to normal life.

Open grave : a mystery / Kjell Eriksson ; translated from the Swedish by Paul Norlen.
A great read, this typically chilling Swedish crime novel ,is about revenge and renunciation.

The reader on the 6.27 / Jean-Paul Didierlaurent ; translated by Ros Schwartz.
If you only read one translated novel this year, make it this one. Absolutely delightful.

Aurora / Kim Stanley Robinson.
One of the best from one of the best Science Fiction writers, just brilliant.

The fade out : act one / Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips.
Masterful story line, and fabulous illustrations, a not to be missed graphic novel.

New LGBT eBooks for early Autumn

A Green Carnation winner, an exploration of gender, a few romances from popular authors plus a fantastic anthology from well-known Scottish writers – here’s a selection of new LGBT eBooks to keep you entertained in March.

Overdrive cover Against Doctor’s Orders / Radclyffe
From fan-favourite writer/publisher Radclyffe, a new romance, : “There’d been a Rivers at the helm of Argyle Community Hospital for six generations, and Harper Rivers was set to take her father’s place whenever he decided to hang up his shingle. Unfortunately, the board of directors had other ideas—they accepted a buyout offer from a health care conglomerate with plans to close the hospital’s doors to the community that depended on it. And Presley Worth, a high-powered corporate financier, came to town to oversee the closure. Funny thing was, no one asked Harper, and she had no intentions of following anyone’s orders but her own—no matter how beautiful, smart, or commanding the new boss might be. ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Out There / edited by Zoe Strachan
“In the year that Scotland votes on independence from the rest of the UK, Freight Books brings a new and definitive anthology of poetry and prose writing from Scotland’s leading and emerging LGBT writers, including the likes of Ali Smith, Louise Welsh, Kerry Hudson, Jackie Kay, Ronald Frame, Toni Davidson, Val McDermid, Damian Barr and many others. The writing will be as provocative, thoughtful, moving and as fully-charged with energy as one would expect from the country’s celebrated community of LGBT artists. Edited by award-winning novelist Zoe Strachan. ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Excluded, / Julie Serano
“As a trans woman, bisexual, and femme activist, Julia Serano has spent much of the last ten years challenging various forms of exclusion within feminist and queer/LGBTQ movements. In Excluded, she chronicles many of these instances of exclusion and argues that marginalizing others often stems from a handful of assumptions that are routinely made about gender and sexuality. These false assumptions infect theories, activism, organizations, and communities—and worse, they enable people to vigorously protest certain forms of sexism while simultaneously ignoring and even perpetuating others. Serano advocates for a new approach to fighting sexism that avoids these pitfalls and offers new ways of thinking about gender, sexuality, and sexism that foster inclusivity rather than exclusivity.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Any Other Mouth / Annaliese Mackintosh
(2014 Green Carnation Winner) “A viciously funny and heart-breaking collection of semi-autobiographical short stories from of one the UK’s most exciting new voices. ‘Any Other Mouth’ is a gut-wrenching and shockingly frank account of sexual misadventure, familial disintegration, bereavement and self-discovery, in the vein of David Vann’s ‘Legend of a Suicide’, Susanna Kaysen’s ‘Girl, Interrupted’, and Miranda July’s ‘Nobody Belongs Here More Than You’. In this highly personal work, Anneliese Mackintosh has taken the most intense episodes of her life so far, and reimagined them in these profound, playful and poignant tales. ” (Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover Murder in the Arts District, / Greg Herren (eBook)
Popular gay romance writer Herren is back with his latest book: “When neither the cops nor their insurance company believes a wealthy gay couple’s valuable art collection was stolen, they hire Chanse MacLeod to track down the thieves and the missing art. Chanse isn’t entirely sure he believes the couple, either—especially when it turns out some of the art may have been forgeries. The trail of the art leads him to a new gallery on Julia Street in the Arts District opened by a couple new to town that seem to have no past. When one of them turns up dead and the other vanishes, it’s now up to Chanse to find not only the missing art, but a ruthless murderer who will kill anyone who gets in the way. ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Gender Failure, (eBook)
“Ivan E. Coyote and Rae Spoon are accomplished, award-winning writers, musicians, and performers; they are also both admitted “gender failures.” In their first collaborative book, Ivan and Rae explore and expose their failed attempts at fitting into the gender binary, and how ultimately our expectations and assumptions around traditional gender roles fail us all. Based on their acclaimed 2012 live show that toured across the United States and in Europe, Gender Failure is a poignant collection of autobiographical essays, lyrics, and images documenting Ivan and Rae’s personal journeys from gender failure to gender enlightenment. Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, it’s a book that will touch LGBTQ readers and others, revealing, with candor and insight, that gender comes in more than two sizes.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Myth and Magic, Queer Folktales / edited by Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman (eBook)
“Myth, magic, and monsters—the stuff of childhood dreams (or nightmares) and adult fantasies. Delve into these classic fairy tales retold with a queer twist and surrender to the world of seductive spells and dark temptations.” (Overdrive description)

Two books from Smashwords Press for reading online via Overdrive Read:
Overdrive cover Ice / Lyn Gardner
A romance with a difference, with two British police detectives fighting against the odds: “Ice begins when a boy is kidnapped from a London park and Detective Inspectors Alex Blake and Maggie Campbell are brought together to work on the case. While their goal is the same, their work ethics are not. Intelligent, perceptive and at times disobedient, Alex Blake does what she believes it takes to do her job. Maggie Campbell has a slightly different approach. She believes that rule books were written for a reason.Unexpectedly, their dynamics mesh, but when her feelings for Alex become stronger than she wants to admit, Maggie provokes the worst in Alex to ensure that they will never be partners again.Three years later, fate brings them together again. ..” (adapted from the Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Where the HeArt is / Pat Rosier,
This is Pat Rosier’s last book, published before her death in June 2014. Hard to obtain in print, we are thrilled to make it available as an eBook.
“It was her mother’s idea that forty-year-old Ann should go traveling. Ann’s partner has walked out and she’s been made redundant from a university job she enjoys, teaching the Romantic poets…Travel will give her a break from well-meaning advice and a chance to think about future directions for her fractured life. …A decidedly non-familial encounter with a dynamic librarian in London and an impetuous mistake in Paris mean that Ann returns to New Zealand and her future both shaken and stirred.” (adapted from the Overdrive description)

Oscar nominees 2015

This year’s Academy Award nominee list includes a generous proportion of films based on books – hooray! We’ve collected them  here for you – how many have you read? Check out the full list of film nominees in all categories on the official Oscar website.

Syndetics book coverTravelling to infinity : my life with Stephen / Jane Hawking.
“Professor Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous and remarkable scientists of our age and author of the scientific bestseller A Brief History of Time, which sold more than 25 million. In this compelling memoir, his first wife, Jane Hawking, relates the inside story of their extraordinary marriage. As Stephen’s academic renown soared, his body was collapsing under the assaults of motor neurone disease. Jane’s candid account of trying to balance his 24-hour care with the needs of their growing family reveals the inner-strength of the author, while the self-evident character and achievements of her husband make for an incredible tale presented with unflinching honesty.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWild : from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail / Cheryl Strayed.
“At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State–and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStill Alice / by Lisa Genova.
“Fifty-year-old Alice Howland, a Harvard professor of cognitive psychology, is at the top of her game. Her children are grown, her marriage secure, her career on fire when suddenly, after mere months of forgetfulness, she finds herself in the rapidly downward spiral of early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. With no cure or treatment, Alice struggles to find meaning and purpose in her everyday life as her concept of self gradually slips away, leaving her unable to work, read, take care of herself, recognize her loved ones — even understand that she is unwell. Without memory or hope, she is forced to live in the moment, which is in turns beautiful, terrifying, and surprisingly uplifting.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGone girl / Gillian Flynn.
‘What are you thinking, Amy? The question I’ve asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?’
Just how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife? And what was in that half-wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war…” (Syndetics summary)

Gone Girl is also available to borrow on audio CD.

Syndetics book coverAlan Turing : the enigma / Andrew Hodges.
“Capturing both the inner and outer drama of Turing’s life, Andrew Hodges tells how Turing’s revolutionary idea of 1936–the concept of a universal machine–laid the foundation for the modern computer and how Turing brought the idea to practical realization in 1945 with his electronic design. The book also tells how this work was directly related to Turing’s leading role in breaking the German Enigma ciphers during World War II, a scientific triumph that was critical to Allied victory in the Atlantic. At the same time, this is the tragic account of a man who, despite his wartime service, was eventually arrested, stripped of his security clearance, and forced to undergo a humiliating treatment program–all for trying to live honestly in a society that defined homosexuality as a crime.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverAmerican sniper : the autobiography of the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history / Chris Kyle ; with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice.
“From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyles kills (the previous American record was 109). Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.” (Syndetics summary)

American Sniper is also available to download from our Overdrive collection – there are two different records to download the ebook from (here and here) and we also have the downloadable audio version.

New LGBT eBooks

Our latest selection includes new memoirs, romance and mysteries along with a from-the-trenches account of the freedom to marry campaign in the United States of America.

Overdrive cover A Cup of Water Under My Bed, (eBook)
“A coming-of-age memoir by a Colombian-Cuban woman about shaping lessons from home into a new, queer life. These lessons–rooted in women’s experiences of migration, colonization, y cariño–define in evocative detail what it means to grow up female in an immigrant home. In one story, Daisy sets out to defy the dictates of race and class that preoccupy her mother and tías, but dating women and transmen, and coming to identify as bisexual, leads her to unexpected questions. In another piece, NAFTA shuts local factories in her hometown on the outskirts of New York City, and she begins translating unemployment forms for her parents, moving between English and Spanish, as well as private and collective fears. In prose that is both memoir and commentary, Daisy reflects on reporting for the New York Times as the paper is rocked by the biggest plagiarism scandal in its history and plunged into debates about the role of race in the newsroom.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Clean Slate, (eBook)
Lambda Lesbian Romance winner 2014. “After a vicious attack, Morgan Masters wakes up to find that nothing is how she remembers it. John Major isn’t the prime minister anymore, the Millennium has been and gone, and it’s been a very long time since she was in college. When Erin’s worst fears become reality and her world crumbles around her, she has to pick up the pieces and start all over again. Can losing everything actually be the best thing that ever happened to Morgan? Can Erin learn to forgive the sins of the past and let her heart lead her head for a change? Or is happiness beyond their reach? ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The End of San Francisco, (eBook)
Lambda Transgender Non-Fiction Winner 2014. “The End of San Francisco breaks apart the conventions of memoir to reveal the passions and perils of a life that refuses to conform to the rules of straight or gay normalcy. A budding queer activist escapes to San Francisco, in search of a world more politically charged, sexually saturated, and ethically consistent—this is the person who evolves into Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, infamous radical queer troublemaker, organizer and agitator, community builder, and anti-assimilationist commentator. Here is the tender, provocative, and exuberant story of the formation of one of the contemporary queer movement’s most savvy and outrageous writers and spokespersons.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Under This Beautiful Dome, (eBook)
“Under This Beautiful Dome tells the true story of journalist Terry Mutchler’s secret five-year relationship with Penny Severns, an Illinois State Senator who mentored Barack Obama. Forced to engage in an elaborate ruse to keep their relationship a secret, the two women constantly fear discovery in their conservative town. Denied legal access to the altar, they face even greater hardships when Penny is diagnosed with cancer and begins undergoing treatment.
Set in the political arena, Under This Beautiful Dome reminds us why the march to legalize same-sex marriage is both personal and political. This vivid, beautiful story paints an intimate portrait of a loving relationship and the vast impact gay marriage legislation has on couples and families in America today.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Speaking OUT, (eBook)
“A photographic essay that explores a wide spectrum of experiences told from the perspective of a diverse group of young people, ages 14–24, identifying as queer (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning), Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus presents portraits without judgment or stereotype by eliminating environmental influence with a stark white backdrop. This backdrop acts as a blank canvas, where each subject’s personal thoughts are handwritten onto the final photographic print. With more than 65 portraits photographed over a period of 10 years, the book provides rare insight into the passions, confusions, prejudices, joys, and sorrows felt by queer youth and gives a voice to an underserved group of people that are seldom heard and often silenced.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Winning Marriage, (eBook)
“In Winning Marriage Marc Solomon, a veteran leader in the movement for marriage equality, gives the reader a seat at the strategy-setting and decision-making table in the campaign to win and protect the freedom to marry. With depth and grace he reveals the inner workings of the advocacy movement that has championed and protected advances won in legislative, court, and electoral battles over the decade since the landmark Massachusetts ruling guaranteeing marriage for same-sex couples for the first time.” (Amazon.co.uk description)

Overdrive cover Baton Rouge Bingo, (eBook)
Lambda Gay Mystery Nominee 2014. “Bomb threats, murder, a tiger, animal rights, missing money—all in a day’s work for Scotty Bradley, P.I.!
A simple trip up to Baton Rouge to bail his mother out of jail takes a dire turn when her best friend from college, animal rights activist Veronica Porterie, turns up murdered—and Mom hires the boys to find out who killed her! But nothing is as it seems in Veronica’s life and past, and soon the boys are involved in a treasure hunt like no other—because Scotty’s mom’s life hangs in the balance! ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Queer Kind of Justice, (eBook)
For fans of Orange Is the New Black! “A diverse cast of lesbian, bi, and trans women, on both sides of the bars and through the centuries, find life-changing moments of love, hope, fear, excitement, passion, desperation, and inspiration. Prison. The very word sends shivers of fear through the soul. A place of gloom and shadows, where freedom is taken, humanity is lost. A place of cruelty and pain, of claustrophobia, soul-searching, and waiting. A place where guilt and innocence fade away, identity is transformed, and the voice that cries in the darkness is no longer heard. One aspect of human existence that has endured through the centuries: incarceration, implied guilt, punishment. But when all is lost, so much can be gained. It is in prison that the colours of freedom become sharper and brighter, more alluring because they are distant. It is here that impossible relationships become reasonable, that hopes are kindled by a word or a glance. It is where senses are heightened, as alert to danger as to love, to fear as to passion. It is where everything is at once ordered and disordered—and queer is only relative. ” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover How Poetry Saved My Life, (eBook)
Lambda Lesbian Memoir/Biography Nominee 2014. “Lambda Award winner Amber Dawn’s sophomore book reveals a poignant and personal landscape—the terrain of sex work, queer identity, and survivor pride. This memoir told in prose and poetry offers a frank, multifaceted portrait of the author’s experience, from hustling the streets of Vancouver in the mid-90s to her present life as an outspoken feminist storyteller.” (Overdrive description)

PLUS!

advocate-coversThe Advocate, (eMagazine)
New with our Zinio free eMagazine subscription is The Advocate. We have the latest issue available (October 2014) plus back issues. “The Advocate has been the definitive news source for America’s LGBT community since 1967. Every issue, The Advocate keeps you involved and informed on everything that’s important to you in LGBT news, politics, culture and entertainment. You’ll enjoy our intriguing interviews with important gay and lesbian newsmakers, plus you’ll enrich your life with our regular coverage of gay travel, finance, fitness, and style. Now available with the cool convenience of digital delivery. Now expanded with exclusive video and slide show in every issue. ” (RBDigital description)

It’s Banned Books Week (in the US)

Each year in the US, hundreds of books are challenged for a variety of reasons – appropriateness for age group, content, language – and some of the books that do get challenged may seem a little surprising. Particularly in the last year or so, graphic novels have been heavily targeted. However, the most up-to-date list from 2013 states only 307 books were challenged in the US that year, which is the lowest number since at least the year 2000. You can find more information on the top 10 banned books in the US each year along with a breakdown of the most common reasons for censorship here. To bring a close to Banned Books Week, below we have compiled a few books in our collection that have been frequently challenged worldwide:

Syndetics book coverBone. Volume one, Out from Boneville / Jeff Smith.
The Bone series is a new addition to the latest list, a result of the more heavily challenged graphic novel selection. According to the American Library Association this challenge was based on the book’s “political viewpoint, racism, violence”.
“After being run out of Boneville, the three Bone cousins – Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone, are separated and lost in a vast uncharted desert. One by one, they find their way into a deep forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLooking for Alaska : a novel / by John Green
Looking For Alaska was challenged in some US schools mainly for its inclusion of “inappropriate language”.
“In a stunning debut novel, Miles “Pudge” Halter befriends some fellow boarding school students whose lives are everything but boring. Pudge falls in love with Alaska, the razor-sharp and self-destructive nucleus. But when tragedy strikes, Pudge discovers the value of loving unconditionally.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe kite runner / Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner is the story of Amir, a wealthy boy, and his best friend Hassan, who is the son of Amir’s father’s servant. It is a story of friendship, bravery and heartbreak and it complexly explores intricacies of Afghan culture. It was challenged for explicit content and religious viewpoints.

Syndetics book coverThe absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian / by Sherman Alexie ; art by Ellen Forney.
This book has topped the banned books list several times. Junior is a budding cartoonist living on a Native American reservation. A teacher at his school urges him to do more with his life than stay on the rez, so Junior moves to an all-white school, leaving him an outcast from his old life and a curiosity in his new one. It has been banned for graphic language, racism and explicit scenes.

Syndetics book coverTo kill a mockingbird / Harper Lee
Harper Lee’s novel was instantly successful, despite her publisher’s warnings it probably wouldn’t sell well. To Kill A Mockingbird‘s appropriateness in schools and libraries has been challenged because of racial slurs, profanity and blunt dialogue about rape. Despite this, it has sold over 30 million copies and been translated into over 40 languages.

Syndetics book coverThe Hunger Games / Suzanne Collins
Suzanne Collins’s popular novel has been challenged for being anti-ethnic, anti-family, insensitive, occult/satanic and violent, yet it has been overwhelmingly successful.
“In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy sister’s keeper / Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult’s popular novel-turned-movie has been challenged for numerous reasons, including explicit and offensive language and unsuitability for the intended age group.
“Kate Fitzgerald has a rare form of leukemia. Her sister, Anna, was conceived to provide a donor match for procedures that become increasingly invasive. At 13, Anna hires a lawyer so that she can sue her parents for the right to make her own decisions about how her body is used when a kidney transplant is planned. Meanwhile, Jesse, the neglected oldest child of the family, is out setting fires, which his firefighter father, Brian, inevitably puts out. ” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverNorthern lights / Philip Pullman.
Northern Lights (also titled The Golden Compass) has been challenged for its religious and political viewpoint. Some groups have opposed it for its “atheist undertones”.
“Orphaned ward Lyra Belacqua’s carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer. All around, children are disappearing—victims of so-called “Gobblers”—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.” (adapted from Goodreads)

Syndetics book coverHarry Potter and the philosopher’s stone / J.K. Rowling.
According to ALA, the association that organises Banned Books Week, Harry Potter is the most banned book in America. Given the recurring themes of death and resurrection, magic, and occasional violence, some groups have challenged these titles. But the other recurring themes of resilience, love and friendship have solidified Joanne Rowling’s well-known series as household titles in many places.

Syndetics book coverI know why the caged bird sings / Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou’s work has placed in the top 10 banned items every year in the last decade. Despite her numerous awards, her works have been frequently cited for containing explicit sexual content, as well as offensive language and violent imagery.
“Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local ‘powhitetrash’.” (Goodreads)