Lez Liberty Lit #95: My Puppy Ate My To-Read Pile

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Things About Queer Books (And Other Books Relevant To Your Interests)

For zines about food, check out Cooking with Mama, Wasabi Tacos, Women of Color #11: Food and Family History and more. Also, sometimes people make food from books and write about it. And sometimes people make authors from food and photograph it.

Mary Oliver’s Felicity focuses on depression, love and joy. In a review at Lambda Literary, Isaiah Vianese notes: “Oliver’s work has never been so sexy and mischievous. Of course none of the poems are explicit, but they take inspiration from Rumi; though they are brief, they overflow with sensuality and merriment. If her past work centered on finding spirituality in the woods, Felicity is about putting her past to rest and taking pleasure in the moment, especially in the elation of loving someone.”

In an address at the 2016 PEN literary awards ceremony, Brooklyn poet laureate Tina Chang discussed diversity, representation and America, noting: “I think we need fewer walls and more book awards. We need less punishment for what women choose to do with their bodies and recognition for what they accomplish with their intellect and will. We need not take back America and instead give abundantly and fairly to the communities that have built this country.”

Citations still matter.

What should you read if you just want to read something weird?

You, yes, you can learn to actually like reading poetry. Start with our pure poetry week archives.

Millennials are more likely to read books than people over age 30, brag or scoff to your friends.

Subscription libraries are getting more popular in the UK even as membership to public libraries declines.

I’m really into this book-based profile of Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Mississippi’s new “religious freedom” law is basically an anti-LGBTQ law, and local writers are protesting. In their statement, they note: “What literature teaches us is empathy. It reminds us to reach out a hand to our neighbors—even if they look different from us, love different from us—and say, ‘Why, I recognize you; you’re a human, just like me, sprung from the same messy place, bound on the same hard road.’ Mississippi authors have written through pain, and they have written out of disappointment, but they have also written from wonder, and pride, and a fierce desire to see the politics of this state live up to its citizens. It is deeply disturbing to so many of us to see the rhetoric of hate, thinly veiled, once more poison our political discourse.”

Book Things To Do In Person

20 April, Los Angeles: The City of West Hollywood Lesbian Speakers Series presents Sarah Schulman in conversation with Michelle Tea at the West Hollywood Library Council Chambers (625 N. San Vincente Blvd.), 7 p.m. Free admission.

4 May, New York: Lambda Literary Award finalists will read at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (26 Wooster St.), 6:30 p.m.

Know of a queer event with literary merit? Send it to us! The Liberty Lit is bi-weekly.

Books! They are really great. You just won’t believe how great they are. You may think that the Internet’s great, but that’s just peanuts compared to books. In Lez Liberty Lit, we talk about queer books and literary shit that’s happening that you should probably care about.

The name “Liberty Lit” was inspired by the short-lived literary journal produced by Angela Chase at Liberty High School in 1994.

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. I read Saving Alex this week. It’s about a Mormon lesbian teenager who was tricked by her parents into going to Utah where she was taken in by an abusive couple who practiced conversion therapy on her for eight months. Ended up reading the book in one sitting because I knew I would be too angry to sleep if I left off before she was rescued.

    Obviously the conversion therapy itself was horrific, but aside from that, I think the part that disturbed me the most was how so many people saw what she was going through and ignored her. Not surprising, but still depressing to read about.

    • That book truly impressed upon me the importance of good ally teachers and GSAs in high school.

      • Oh my god, when Delsy and Jason finally showed up on the scene, after pages and pages of seeing so many people look the other way, I wanted to cry happy tears.

        Also: that bus driver. Bless that bus driver.

  2. Oooooooh that LMM interview about books was JUST what I needed! I’m writing down so many of those titles!

  3. I’m a millenial in my 30s, does that mean I have to read fewer books? Or that I can’t talk to people my own age about books? Or that I just joined a new generation?

  4. I just finished reading Juliet Takes a Breath and loved it.

    Also very interested in the list of 100 unusual books – 4 that I’ve read already, 1 that is already on my to-read list, 95 more to investigate!

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