Thursday, July 14, 2016

Diversity, Banned Books and my Gay Display

Today was a good day for intellectual conversations at The Library!  Contrary to what a lot of people believe, working in a library is not sitting around reading...pausing to occasionally check a book out to a patron.  There is a whole lot more to it (today I discarded a genuine Fabio covered romance!!) We spend a great deal of time doing tedious data entry, program planning, etc. But every once in awhile my boss will walk into my office, sit down at the extra chair up against the wall, and talk books with me.

We have been discussing how we're going to handle Banned Book Week this year, and she said that the "theme" was Diversity. How it had been noted that a great number of the books that have been banned or challenged deal with minorities in one way shape or form, be it race or sexuality, etc. Us library folk aren't big on censorship really. We dislike it so much we spend at least one week in September trying to bring awareness to the masses on the subject. Anyway, this led to my pitch to order a couple other Sarah Waters books to add to our collection.

You see, I recently made a display for LGBT Pride Month, and despite my issues with our color printer (the rainbow just doesn't look right) I am quite proud of it...but I know it could be better. We probably have more books than most of our patrons realize (especially being on a military installation)...but I just can't handle checking out Orange is the New Black to people who are hoping for some action when there are much better books around. (*I feel I should note that it's not a bad book, it is just nothing like the show...and that's what the women who check it out are looking for)

So, I thought I would share a few of my LGBT recommendations. For some reason people are always shocked when I can ACTUALLY give them some suggestions in this arena. As I've said before, I enjoy reading about people with different backgrounds, who live in different locations or have a different lifestyle. It would be a shame to live your life surrounded by people exactly like you. I read for many different reasons, but one has always been to expand my horizons and keep learning.  Some of these are just phenomenal.  Here goes:
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is an amazing book. I have given it 5 stars on Goodreads, and it is a favorite that I recommend all the time. My daughter read it first...talked a coworker into reading it...and then finally I picked up her copy, and couldn't put it down. We ordered a copy for the library as soon as possible.

Traditionally we hear in Greek stories that when Achilles heard of Patroclus' death he was filled with rage and went on a killing rampage...but why was he so important to Achilles?  What was their relationship? In this book we get what is basically their love story. You know where the story is going, but it is still fascinating. Great book.
I talked about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson over here, but I like it so much I felt the need to add it to this list also. This series, although amazingly hard to get into initially, just blew me away...another 5 Star favorite on Goodreads.

Lisbeth Salander is probably the most bad-ass bisexual unsociable heroine in literature, and I love her character. These books aren't an easy read really, and very European, but totally worth the effort in my opinion.
The Raven King is the fourth book in the Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater.  This was another recommendation from my daughter, although I don't think she had a chance to finish this one before she left for the Academy. This Young Adult pick really captured my attention, and I don't read many YA books.

The series follows Blue, who has been told her entire life that she will be responsible for the death of her true love, and her unlikely Raven Boys on a quest too difficult to really describe in this small of a review.  But this installment has a truly sweet love story between the irascible bad boy Ronan and sweet Adam.  I am doing this series no justice right now, but I was captivated by it. Head over to Goodreads for THOUSANDS of really good reviews, as it's incredibly popular...and know that I laughed out loud, read parts to other people, and got a little weepy at the end.
Okay, I couldn't put together an LGBT list without giving a shout-out to my favorite gay man of literature, Lord John Grey, and his series of mystery books written by Diana Gabaldon.

I have already discussed my love for the Outlander Universe before over here and here, so I'll keep this short. Lord John Grey is a side character in many of the Outlander books, and although his series is a totally different genre than the "Big Books" I really enjoyed them. I know there are many who just don't care for his character (I'm talking about you Kathy), but I love him and his devotion and unrequited love for Jamie Frasier...I just do.

So, do you have any LGBT books you think I should read?  Have you read any of these, and if so what did you think? Have any thoughts on book censorship you'd like to share? Leave me a comment, or head on over to my Facebook page.  And don't forget that you can follow me by email, and get all of my latest updates delivered right to your inbox!! How fancy is that?!?

No comments:

Post a Comment