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Saturday 10 October 2009


Listen Up

13th February 2009

Summer reads

Posted by: Kitten Power


With the small number of quality movies tracking the “homosexual experience”, it is in books that I have so far found the best depictions of gay and lesbian life. This summer I have been eating books, and as I’m on a severe savings drive, the Auckland Public Library has become one of my favourite hangouts.

The range is stunning and easily accessible - I hope it’s the same for other libraries around the country?

Here are my three favourite reads of summer 08/09:

1 Tales of The City - Armistead Maupin
An absolute classic. I rented the TV series on DVD a while back and just had to read it for myself. Set in San Francisco in the mid-70s it tells the stories of a diverse bunch who live in a rambling house on Barbary Lane, run by eccentric and secretive pot-growing landlady Anna Madrigal. Character Mary-Anne Singleton moves in and we explore the delights and wickedness of San Francisco through her sweet naivety. Maupin is a great writer and his characters feel so alive on the page, with gay Southerner Michael “Mouse” Tolliver easily providing a perfect balance of laughs and “awww” moments in his search for love, to make him easily my favourite character of the summer.

2 Kiss The Girls and Make Them Spy: An Original Jane Bond Parody - Mabel Maney
My most frivolous read of the summer. This book tracks Jane Bond, (007’s sister) who is bribed to dress in drag and pretend to be her brother (who has been locked up in a Swiss sanitarium), in order to save the Queen. While a bit slow in some places, this book is a good light laugh -it’s camp, it’s cheesy . . . and Jane Bond is HOT.

3 With Billie - Julia Blackburn
With the biography Billie Holiday co-wrote regarded by many to be based much more on fiction than fact, this biography seems to create the fullest picture possible of the much-loved songbird. It’s based on interviews conducted in the 1970s with more than 150 people who knew her from all levels of her life, whether childhood friends, fellow musicians or lovers. The book’s strength is that it does not try to answer too many questions for you, giving the reader a chance to make up their own mind on what really led to her tragic downfall and death.

What are you reading?  What are your favourite gay and lesbian books?

Tags: General

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Matt // Feb 13, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Nice one.
    I’m reading Stephen Fry In America at the moment, where he visits every state. I love his writing.

  • 2 David // Feb 14, 2009 at 7:47 am

    I’ve just finished James Davidson’s “Fishcakes and Courtesans: The Consuming Passions of the Ancient Greeks”. I really recommend it. The Greeks knew it all 2500 years ago. They knew how to indulge and to party, some went right over the top, but generally they knew that pleasures have to be moderated. Fascinating insight. Davidson also reveals that of course the idea that Ancient Greek men were all into each other ALL of the time is complete nonsense. Some were, just as some are today.

  • 3 Craig // Feb 18, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    There’s a sequel to “Kiss the Girls,” entitled “The Girl With the Golden Bouffant,” (2004), which is just as funny as the original. Maney also wrote a trilogy of Nancy Clue books in which an earnest lesbian grrl detective gets involved with Cherry Aimless, a nurse…


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