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Summer beach reads

Enjoy sun, surf and these queer-themed books.


With Pride month behind us, it’s time to crack open a good book and hit the beach. We swung by queer-owned Women & Children First bookstore (5233 N Clark St, 773-769-9299) and asked owner Ann Christopherson and staffers Selena Henry and Lauren Kelly to recommend some sweet reads:

Boyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $8.99)
Four teenagers explore their sexual orientation in this young-adult novel.
Henry says
“This is for anyone who wants to read about queer youth but didn’t have a chance to read about it when they were young. Two boys, two girls all navigating coming out, but what’s great is that they’re each other’s beards and so you have them going on dates and figuring it out.”

Chulito by Charles Rice-González (Magnus Books, $14.95)
A teenage Latino boy comes out and comes of age in this raw and unabashed South Bronx and Manhattan-set novel.
Henry says
“I read it and was blushing the whole time. This is the ultimate great beach read if you’re looking for something lighthearted and just want to read about someone coming into their sexuality.”

Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch (Voice, $14.99)
Glee star Lynch illuminates her life and times including performing and improvising in the Chicago theater scene.
Kelly says
“Her memoir is written very frankly; she doesn’t mess around and really has a delightful voice. This talks about some of the things you might not know, such as her struggle to accept her sexual identity and come out as a lesbian in the public eye and also her issues with alcoholism. I like it because there’s also a lot of fun photos in there.”

Veritas by Anne Laughlin (Bold Strokes Books, $16.95)
A college campus becomes the setting for a murder in this juicy read from local author Laughlin.
Christopherson says “She writes good mysteries [and] her works are very popular. I think it would be of interest primarily to lesbians, although it could have strong crossover appeal.”

When We Were Outlaws by Jeanne Cordova (Spinsters Ink, $14.95)
A girthy, 456-page autobiography chronicling the life and times of lesbian feminist and pioneering queer activist Cordova.
Christopherson says
“Cordova was a very prominent figure in the early ’70s, organizing when the movement was first really heating up. She was among the radical left and a [member of the] Weathermen who turned her attention to the gay and lesbian movement. It’s really interesting.”

Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform edited by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (AK Press, $17.95)
Various writers address queer and gender identity and the intersection of consumerism and capitalist culture.
Kelly says
“It’s not too academic, it’s not too heavy. You get a variety of perspectives, and they can kind of be funny. It’s a light, critical theory type thing. If you’re at the beach and still want to have your mind engaged in a political discussion, this is pretty awesome.”

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