Tag: LGBT

Bookstr's Three to Read

Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 2/14/19

It’s Valentine’s Day—now more than ever, we need a book to fall madly in love with. This week, we’ve got three reads that are sure to show you a good time. (If you’re in the middle of a less satisfying novel, consider a dalliance with one of these. We won’t tell.) Our picks this week are fun yet honest, ideal qualities for any date! While some of these are romance-oriented, let’s not forget that self-love and personal development counts for more than we sometimes remember. So, honestly, love yourself and give one of these a read. Without further ado, here are Bookstr’s Three to Read: the three books we’ve picked for you to read this week. Time to find your perfect match!

 

OUR HOT PICK

 

Angie Thomas' hot new release 'On the Come Up'

 

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

Why?

Bookstr’s valentine is On the Come Up because we’ve fallen in love with #1 New York Times bestselling Angie Thomas, one of the most powerful voices in YA fiction today. Thomas expertly follows her breakout hit The Hate U Give with this novel, a raw, insightful, and often funny depiction of coexisting ambition and poverty. Thomas strikes a masterful balance when discussing issues of racism and structural inequality, using her light and playful voice to approach topics few other YA authors have addressed in such detail. Her careful examination of social issues and deeply nuanced characters will appeal to old fans and snag new ones. Warm, earnest, and honest, On the Come Up is your perfect book date this V-day, and it’s sure to be a match.

 

OUR Coffee Shop Read

 

L.C. Rosen's 'Jack of Hearts and Other Parts'

 

Synopsis:

Meet Jack Rothman. He’s seventeen and loves partying, makeup and boys – sometimes all at the same time. His sex life makes him the hot topic for the high school gossip machine. But who cares? Like Jack always says, ‘it could be worse’.

He doesn’t actually expect that to come true.

But after Jack starts writing an online sex advice column, the mysterious love letters he’s been getting take a turn for the creepy. Jack’s secret admirer knows everything: where he’s hanging out, who he’s sleeping with, who his mum is dating. They claim they love Jack, but not his unashamedly queer lifestyle. They need him to curb his sexuality, or they’ll force him.

As the pressure mounts, Jack must unmask his stalker before their obsession becomes genuinely dangerous…

 

Why?

Jack of Hearts and Other Parts is as unabashedly queer as its protagonist, including surprisingly frank and open discussions of sex. We’re talking better than sex-ed, complete with descriptions of different types of sex; advice on coming out; and even discussions of asexuality, an often misunderstood sexual orientation. L.C. Rosen is—excuse the pun—ballsy in his open portrayal of sex, drinking, smoking, and partying, boldly addressing facets of some teenagers’ lives that few authors cover in such detail. Readers will love this proud and confident gay protagonist, whose story is refreshingly fun and upbeat. Open, honest, and incredibly fun, this one’s hot enough to be your Valentine’s book date. Don’t drink too much coffee—you’ll want to bring this book to bed.

 

Our Dark Horse

 

Soniah Kamal's 'Unmarriageable'

 

Synopsis:

In this one-of-a-kind retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, Alys Binat has sworn never to marry—until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider.

A scandal and vicious rumor concerning the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won’t make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and have children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire the girls to dream of more.

When an invitation arrives to the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat, certain that their luck is about to change, excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for rich, eligible bachelors. On the first night of the festivities, Alys’s lovely older sister, Jena, catches the eye of Fahad “Bungles” Bingla, the wildly successful—and single—entrepreneur. But Bungles’s friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed by the Binat family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her and quickly dismisses him and his snobbish ways. As the days of lavish wedding parties unfold, the Binats wait breathlessly to see if Jena will land a proposal—and Alys begins to realize that Darsee’s brusque manner may be hiding a very different man from the one she saw at first glance.

Why?

Readers will fall madly in love with this modern update on a timeless classic. While Unmarriageable is delightful and romantic, it also doesn’t hesitate to address the double standards that women face in regards to romance, sex, and courtship. A rich depiction of Muslim culture, Soniah Kamal‘s novel glitters with beautiful language and imagery that would enchant any potential reader. It’s as fun as it is aware, expertly examining social stratification as it takes its readers on an entertaining, colorful romp. Kirkus Reviews called this release “a charming update to the original,” perfect for Austen fans and any reader looking for a perfect match.

 

So, is it a date?

 

In-text Images Via Goodreads

Host John Oliver presents his children's book

Teacher Under Fire for Reading LGBT Book to Kids

You’ve probably heard of Mike Pence, the current United States Vice President best known for his stance on conversion therapy and LGBT+ rights. (To summarize, his stance on the last one is no.) His lesser-known achievements include the impressive and clever naming of his pet bunny, Marlon Bundo. One of the most important things to know about Bundo is that he’s more insta-famous than you are, and he’s used his fame to establish a political platform. “This is Harley after being swamped by a wave of liberal tears,” Bundo’s Instagram said in a post including a photo of brother and co-conspirator Harley, Pence’s dog, freshly damp from a bath. Not only is Bundo the first rabbit to take a ride in Air Force Two, he’s also the first rabbit to write a children’s book: Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President.

 

Marlin Bundo himself, with 'his' children's book

Image Via CBS Denver

The second most important thing about Bundo, if you were wondering, is that he’s named after bisexual actor Marlon Brando. And the most important thing of all is that he’s the homosexual protagonist of A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, a competing children’s book from the mind of late night TV host John Oliver and comedian Jill Twiss. The story depicts Bundo’s struggles as he seeks to marry male bunny Wesley—and the competing book’s release date was set to just one day before Pence’s original would hit the market. Take a wild guess which book was the bestseller.

While the showdown took place in May 2018, a more recent controversy has arisen. Before getting into the details, let’s examine the content of the book: Bundo struggles with his feelings for male bunny, Wesley, in a cute and endearing tale devoid of any sexual content—and, surprisingly, devoid of any serious satire. (Of course, the book’s title and release date are already the satire.) The publisher, Chronicle Books, reported that the book is not a “straight-up” parody (maybe because there’s nothing straight about it). Instead, it’s a story “about marriage equality and democracy.”

“This is a real children’s book. This isn’t some adult book telling Mike Pence to go f##k himself,” Oliver stressed. “Although, in buying it, that’s exactly what you’d be doing.”

 

Marlon Bundo and Wesley's wedding ceremony

Image Via Amazon

 

Today, a first-grade teacher is under fire for reading the book to students. Parents’ complaints have been varied, including concerns that the book had not been pre-approved by the school district. Others complained that the book contained age-inappropriate content. “It’s not something that should be in an elementary school,” one parent responded. “That’s for me to decide at home—what I want to teach my child and what I feel they are able to handle.”

For some parents, the concern was not the maturity level of the content—it was the content itself. “Noah comes home one day and asks us if it’s OK for two male bunnies to get married,” one man commented. “I said, ‘By our beliefs, no.'”

Until the investigation is complete, the Seminole County School District is unable to comment on any possible repercussions.

 

Featured Image Via Out Magazine

"Black history month spotlight, Renaissance Dreamer: Langston Hughes"

Happy Birthday, Langston Hughes! 10 Quotes From the Master Poet

On this day in 1902, Langston Hughes—poet, playwright, novelist, and leading writer of the Harlem Renaissance—was born. Hughes is revered throughout the world for his extensive literary contributions: his short story collection, The Ways of White Folkand his poetry collection, I, Too, Am America, are some of his most renowned works.

 

"Don't let your dreams die"

image via Jeremy q. butler

He was young at the time of his first foray into writing, and he recalls his introduction to poetry as the result of a racial stereotype. “There were only two of us Negro kids in the whole class, and our English teacher was always stressing the importance of rhythm in poetry. Well, everyone knows,” Hughes added with a note of irony, “that all Negroes have rhythm, so they elected me the class poet.” At the time, he had no idea of everything his work would become.

In his adulthood, Hughes was a world traveller, enriching himself with trips to Europe, West Africa, and the Caribbean. He wrote substantial work while residing in Paris, France. Working a series of odd jobs to support his writing, he earned his B.A. from historically black Lincoln University. Some scholars believe that Hughes was either homosexual or asexual; others believe the world will never know with any certainty. The universal truth remains: Hughes’ legacy is that of a prolific writer, a cultured intellectual, and a voice for freedom everywhere.

 

Langston Hughes happily at a typewriter

Image Via Wdkx radio

Let’s celebrate his life and work with ten of his most powerful quotations:


 

  1. “I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.”

 


 

2. “I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.”

 


 

3. “What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode? ”

 


 

4. “Though you may see me holler,
And you may see me cry-
But I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.”

 


 

5. “I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers as ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.” 

 


 

6. “Good-morning, Revolution:
You’re the very best friend
I ever had.
We gonna pal around together from now on.”

 


 

7. “When a man starts to build a world,
He starts first with himself.”

 


 

8. “I am so tired of waiting,
Aren’t you,
For the world to become good
And beautiful and kind?”

 


 

9. “Freedom
Is a strong seed
Planted
In a great need.

I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.”

 


 

10. “I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When the company comes,
But I laugh
And eat well
And grow strong

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When the company comes.”

 


 

FEATURED IMAGE VIA DREAMER ENT