Tag: Gay

Incredibly Moving Coming-Out Stories Inspired by Books

In honor of National Coming Out Day, here are four beautifully candid coming-out stories that were all inspired by readers' literary experiences. Please read them either for inspiration, to learn, or to simply see how important the arts can be in shaping who we are.

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The Amazing Book Covers of Kavalier and Clay

It has been 20 years since Michael Chabon’s legendary novel was published on September 19th, 2000. In that short time, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay has won a Pulitzer Prize, and many many other awards.

The book follows two cousins, Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay, as they reunite when Joe comes to America to escape Nazi Europe. The pair combine their skills, Joe the artist, and Sam the writer, to navigate the newfound world of comic books. It follows their careers, and intertwined love lives: Sam struggles with his queerness in a time when it wasn’t accepted and Joe falls in love with a woman he can’t have. Chabon lets readers into a world that is torn by war and patches it with the love and creative connection that the two cousins share.

It is incredible that in only 20 years the book has become a modern American classic. But, what is more incredible is the number of book covers that it has gone through.

There is a quote in the book that reads, “Forget about what you are escaping from. Reserve your anxiety for what you are escaping to.” Here are the TAAOKAC book covers. There are so many of them and they are all amazing. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but hopefully, after seeing these, TAAOKAC will be something you want to reserve your anxiety for and escape into.

Happy 20th.

1. The first edition published by Random House in 2000

image via amazon

2. The 2001 paperback edition with Houdini on the cover

image via goodreads

3. the post-Pulitzer edition in august 2001

image via goodreads

4. The Italian Edition in 2001

image via goodreads

5. the Swedish edition in 2002

image via goodreads

6. the german edition in 2004

image via goodreads

7. the french edition in 2004

image via goodreads

8. the Chinese edition in 2012

image via goodreads

9. the rebranding of all Chabon books to look this way in 2012

image via goodreads

10. the polish edition in 2019

image via goodreads

11. the new paperback edition in 2012

image via goodreads

12. the gorgeous limited edition illustrated edition that costs $135

image via the folio society

 

featured image via empireonline.com

Bookspot of the Week: Gay’s the Word!

An LGBTQ+ meeting place entirely centered around books? We love to see it! This week, we’re chatting with bookseller Erica Gillingham from the ever-so-magical Gay’s the Word bookshop in Bloomsbury, London. Spoiler alert: you will want to book a flight immediately after reading this.

How did your bookstore transition from concept to reality?

The bookshop was opened in January 1979 by a group of gay socialists led by Ernest Hole. Ernest had been inspired by the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop in NYC, which he had visited just after the Stonewall Riots.

image via gay’s the word

What do you feel is unique to your bookstore?

We are a bookshop, a community space, a meeting place, and a sanctuary for the LGBTQ+ community, locally, nationally, and internationally. It is truly an honor and a privilege to work here.

If you had infinite space, what might you add to the store?

More books by, about, and for LGBTQ+ people!! Our bookshop is very small, so we are limited in some ways with what we can stock. However, we’ve recently given more space to young adult novels, graphic novels, and poetry, which has been very well received. 

 

How do you feel your bookstore fits into your local community?

We’re the oldest LGBTQ+ bookshop in the country and one of the only queer spaces in London that is not related to alcohol. In our local areas of Bloomsbury and King’s Cross, we’re also neighbors to a fantastic group of indie bookshops–Housmans, Persephone, London Review Bookshop, Judd Books, Skoob, and more.

What does your store offer that a chain or online retailer can’t?

Specialist knowledge and a curated collection that is based on decades of reading, research, and community interaction. 

image via gay’s the word

Do you hand-pick your staff to create a specific environment?

Each of us has our own areas of interest and knowledge, but our main objective as staff is to be friendly and welcoming with each person who comes through the door. 

How else do you create a welcoming environment?

We strive to make sure that the bookshop–from the window display to the smallest details of the shop–makes it possible for every person who visits the shop to find something that speaks to them. 

 

What about your store do you think appeals to your neighborhood?

Whether people live or just work nearby, our neighborhood customers know the bookshop is a place where they can visit for book recommendations or to have a browse or a chat. Marchmont Street really is a lovely place to be. 

image via gay’s the word

Do you have any staff picks or releases we should watch out for?

There are some great new books coming out in April 2020, such as The Ministry of Guidance and Other Stories by Golnoosh Nour, No Modernism Without Lesbians by Diana Souhami, Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez, and Tongues of Fire by Sean Hewitt. 

Do you tailor your inventory according to your community?

Absolutely! It’s the bread and butter of what we do, and we work to constantly respond and adapt to the diversity and evolution of our community. 

Is there anything else that you’d like our audience to know?

We miss seeing you, and are excited to re-open once the threat of COVID-19 has passed!

Well, what did you think of Gay’s the Word? It sounds like a magical little shop where dreams come true! If you have a book spot you’d like to see recognized as well, just contact us through any of our social channels and you just might catch it here next week.

Featured Image Via Gay’s the word

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12 Steamy Literary Couples That Should Totally Happen

Once upon a time, we reported that Draco Malfoy himself, Tom Felton, had attended the opening at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and joined AOL’s In The Know for a game of ‘Fact or Fanfiction?’ and, in the standout moment from the Q and A, Tom Felton was asked: What did he think of Draco’s relationship to Harry Potter?

 

Hmmm?

Image Via Redbubble

 

Now anyone with even a passing glance to the franchise would see Draco and Harry a simple rivalry, a tale for the ages, but Tom Felton said, I’m quoting AOL here, “Harry was constantly crushing on Draco…He just couldn’t hide it.”

Let’s look at the facts:

  1. Draco and Harry do definitely have some tension going on.
  2. (Image Below)

 

Draco vs Harry

Image Via Youtube

 

Case closed!

With this in mind we’ve decided to give you, dear readers, twelve literary couples that happened in an alternative universe. Taking twenty-four characters from all across literature, from different book series to classic standalone novels (copyright be damned!), we’ve compiled these characters into eleven distinct (and surely steamy) relationships that would have totally worked out…for the characters, at least. Trust us, we’re chemists here.

 

 

12-Bella and Count Dracula

 

Bella

Image Via Twilight Saga Wiki – Fandom

 

No more sparkling vampires, now Twilight‘s Bella Swan is getting an upgrade. Let’s face it: There’s a reason Bram Stoker called this novel Dracula and not Harker. Dracula’s got style, he’s got nice clothes, he’s not charm oozing from everyone pore.

 

Gary Oldman as Dracula Count

Image Via Pinterest

 

Heck, if Bella says “No, I’m married” then I’m asking Dracula out to get a nice love bite.

 

11-Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes

 

Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes

Image Via Pinterest

 

Far before Twitter decided to give us the #givecaptainamericaaboyfriend fan campaign, we had the comic books. See Bucky died, Steve Rogers became a Commie smasher, and then the Commie smasher was retconned, and then the real Steve Rogers was thawed out from the ice.

 

Steve Rogers thoughts about Bucky Barnes

Image Via The Mary Sue

 

But Bucky remained dead, and Steve was inconsolable in his grief over his best friend and partner in crime throughout the decades of Captain America comics. In fact, it was one of the most foremost elements of his character

Fans looked at this and took the small hop and believed that Steve’s profound sense of loss than met the eye

The only people who stay dead in comics are Bucky, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben.

So Bucky came back. In fact, he came back as the Winter Soldier in a comic book called The Winter Soldier, and ever since then we’ve been clamoring for Steve and Bucky to get a little closer.

They’re perfect for each other. The two buddies have been with each other since the beginning and will continue to stay together “until the end of the line”. They’re both “men out of time” from 1930s Brooklyn and are war buddies with great rapport who totally get along. They have so much in common.

At least go on a date and see if there’s anything there.

 

Even when I had nothing, I had Bucky.

 

10-Ahab and Captain Hook

 

Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook

Image Via Express.co.uk

 

We have Peter Pan‘s Captain Hook, and this man has been through a lot. Yes, he’s trying to track down and kill Peter Pan like he’s an animal, but Peter Pan is an animal! This boy cut off his hand and fed it to a crocodile. Wicked, evil, and savage beyond belief.

 

Captain Ahab

Gregory ‘The Man with the Pecks’ Peck as Captain Ahab / Image Via The Guardian

 

Then we have Moby Dick‘s Captain Ahab who, like James Hook, wants to track down an animal whose savaged ships of all sorts.

But would they be searching for these monsters if they had, you know, found each other? Could their killer eyes turn into ones of passion and love if they only looked into each other’s eyes?

We here at Bookstr call out in a resounding, ‘YES!’

 

9-Boo Radley and Miss Havisham

 

Miss Havisham

Image Via Telegraph

 

Charles Dickens’ gave us Great Expectations, which us the tragic story of Miss. Havisham. Left at the altar as a young lady, she has preserved her house as it was on her wedding day and lived there ever since, shut away from the world. She has a heart of gold, but no one has treated it well.

 

Boo Radley

Look at those sultry eyes/Image Via Pinterest

 

Harper Lee gave us To Kill A Mocking Bird, which introduced the world to Boo Radley. Our Boo has lived in a house since he was a child, hidden from the world, but he has a heart of gold, giving young Scout a jacket on a cold autumn day.

If these two shut-ins have closed their doors to the world, would they open their doors for each other? Boo Radley most certainly wouldn’t leave Miss. Havisham at the altar, and Miss. Havisham wouldn’t let our precious Boo feel unwelcomed.

 

8-White Witch and Sauron

 

C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien

Image Via CNN

 

Now this pairing might not be great for the world at large, but they would be great for each other. Both live in fantasy world, the authors who created them were in real life great friends, and both crave ultimately power.

While both skilled in the powers of magic, it wouldn’t take magic to get these two working side by side.

 

White Witch

Image Via Denver Post

 

Imagine it: the White Witch would kill all the lions and the hero in the land, freezing them in ice just in time…

 

Sauron

Lord of the Rings Wiki – Fandom

 

…for Sauron to get to swinging his mace around

Talk about a power couple. The White Witch might even slip the One Ring of Power on Sauron’s little finger….

 

 

7-Pinocchio and Voldemort

 

Pinocchio

Image Via Entertainment.ie

 

Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio grows every time he lies, and he’s made of wood, so lie a few times and cut off the excess, and Voldemort doesn’t have to be called He-Who-Must-Not-Have-A-Nose.

 

Voldemort

Image Via Harry Potter Wiki – Fandom

 

Yes, Voldemort is a racist and a tyrant who thirsts for power more than a camel thirsts for water, but Pinocchio isn’t the pinnacle of innocence. After all, there’s a reason he’s cursed to have his nose grows every time he lies.

Plus, if he and Voldemort got together, Pinocchio can use his nose for…

 

6-Ariel and Jaws

 

The Little Mermaid

Image Via The South African

 

Prince Eric isn’t a good fit for Hans Christie Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. He has legs, Ariel is half-fish, and if she gets together with him then she has to abandon her family. That’s a bad move, Ariel.

 

Jaws

Aw, he’s holding him / Image Via Pinterest

 

But if she wants to take a walk on the wild side and still remain in the ocean, she can always go with the shark from Peter Benchley’s Jaws. Call him what you will (I call him Bruce, but others have called him Jaws or Sharkie or even Craig), but he knows his way around the wide ocean and can show Ariel a whole new world under the sea.

Ah, they always say there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but at least these two fish found each other. Maybe that’ll be the new plot for the new Disney remake!

 

5-Mrs Robinson and Oedipus

 

Mrs. Robinson

Image Via CharacTour

 

Mrs. Robinson from Charles Webb’s 1963 novella The Graduate is trapped in a loveless marriage. She’s only married to her husband because she got pregnant and needed to avoid a scandal, and thus she hooks up with young Benjamin Braddock. But Benjamin is only into her because he’s bored. He doesn’t love her.

 

Image Via Study.com

 

Oedipus from the seminal play Oedipus Rex has a thing for older women. Yes, he didn’t know he was married to his mom, but she was still older than him. So maybe we can avoid the whole I-gotta-pluck-out-my-eyes thing and just have Oedipus meet up and see where things go with Mrs. Robinson. She’s old enough to be his mom, and that should be enough for dear old Ed.

 

4-Paul Bunyun and Jack Torrence

 

Paul Bunyan

Image Via NEA

 

Straight from American folklore is the biggest and the best lumberjack in the business: Paul Bunyan.

 

Jack Torrance

Handsome! / Image Via Salon

 

Straight from the mind of Stephen King is Jack Torrence. Now Mr. King was quite unhappy with the changes Stanley Kubrick made in his film adaptation, so we’ll have a chance to mend things here.

In the book Jack Torrence has a roque mallet, so maybe Paul can give him his iconic ax. Plus, since Paul’s ax might be a bit big for Jack, he can buy one here and, once Jack has his iconic ax, well…

 

Beautiful friendship

Image Via Giphy

Or maybe something more…

 

 

3-Katniss and The Chershire Cat

 

The Cheshire Cat

Image Via DeviantArt

 

This goes beyond the fact that ‘Katniss’ kind of, sort of, sounds like ‘cat’ and the Cheshire Cat is, well, a cat.

 

Katniss Everdeen

Image Via Scoopnest

 

For one, Katniss from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games never really loved Peta. Two, Cheshire Cat from Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland knows his way around the block and would have helped her big time before, during, and after those pesky Hunger Games.

Plus, the Cheshire Cat is funny, and you know what they say….

 

what do you see in that guy?

Image Via Pinterest

 

 

2-Christine and Pennywise

 

Chirstine

Image Via Amreading

 

An evil car

 

Pennywise

Image Via OC Celebrity Marketing

 

..and an evil clown, what could be better? We already know Pennywise has a thing for cars…

 

Image Via Collider

 

So maybe it’s time for Christine to rev Pennywise’s engine.

 

1-The Grinch and Cat in the Hat

 

These two iconic characters from the Dr. Seuss universe are meant for each other.

 

The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat

Image Via Amazon

 

Their first meet up might not have gone well….

 

 

A Match Made in Heaven

Image Via DeviantArt

 

…but we all know it’s a much made in heaven.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via 9Gag