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World Pride Reads
Toronto is lucky enough to be hosting World Pride 2014, an international event that encompasses activism, education, and the history and culture of global LGBTTIQQ2SA* communities. While the party is happening out on the streets, we’ve put together a reading list for any down time you may find over the next 10 days.
If you love reading mysteries we have three different series’ each with their own special quirks and cast of characters.
Detective Lane Series by Garry Ryan (NeWest Press)Queen’s Park, the first adventure in the Detective Lane series, was published in 2004. Since then six more titles have joined the series, each book a different case—often drawn from the headlines—Detective Lane has to solve in his hometown of Calgary. Along with taking down tough criminals, Lane also has to face the possibility of losing his partner, Arthur, to illness; the difficulty of raising kids in today’s world; and working with new co-workers.
Russell Quant Series by Anthony Bidulka (Insomniac Press)Around since 2003, the Russell Quant series has eight titles to lose yourself in. This world-travelling, wine-swilling, wise-cracking, gay private investigator’s cases take him to far-flung exotic locales such as Africa, Arabia, Hawaii, and France. In the end Quant always comes home to his prairie hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to await his next adventure.
Calli Barnow Series by Liz Bugg (Insomniac Press)Torontonian Calli Barnow is a determined PI, willing to throw herself into dangerous situations or go undercover to solve a case. From Rosedale to Bay Street, Calli faces challenges not only at work but in her personal life as she deals with family surprises.*
Not a fiction reader? Here are our top non-fiction picks:
Out Proud: Stories of Pride, Courage, and Social Justice, edited by Douglas Gosse (Breakwater Books)In partnership with the Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, this collection is the second in a series with the goal of drawing attention to issues that are often ignored. Includes more than 50 short essays written members of the LGBTTIQQ2SA Canadian community that help to broaden the conversation around sexuality and social justice.
Breaking Out II: The Complete Guide to Building a Positive LGBTI Identity by Dr. Kevin Alderson (Insomniac Press)Many LGBTI individuals suffer damage to their self-identities growing up in largely heterosexist, homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic environments. Dr. Kevin Alderson has developed a method of building a positive LGBTI identity based on extensive research and the best of what we know about self-help psychology.
The Edmonton Queen: The Final Voyage by Darrin Hagen (Brindle & Glass)Both hilarious and moving, Darrin Hagen biography is at its heart, beneath the layers of nightlife, stage lights and make-up, the story of the complex relationships of a chosen family. Under the mentorship of his drag mother, Lulu LaRude, Hagen rose to the height of glamour as Gloria Hole, performer extraordinaire at the legendary Flashback nightclub.
Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family by Natalie Meisner (Roseway Publishing)Meet Natalie and Vivien. They want to start a family. They’re going to need some help. What follows is their light-hearted, poignant, and informative story about starting a family, from “dates” with potential donors to deciding how to parent.*
For a quick read, how about some poetry or drama?
Quivering Land by Roewan Crowe (ARP Books)Written in a sparse style, this lonely, sometimes brutal book is a rather queer Western, engaging with poetics and politics to reckon with the legacies of violence and colonization in the West. Interspersed throughout this long poem are fragile, beautiful images painstakingly cut from paper, created by artist Paul Robles.
Riot Lung by Leah Horlick (Thistledown Press)A debut collection, Leah Horlick’s poems vibrate with spontaneity and yet retain an intimacy that is emotionally intoxicating. Riot Lung is reflection on her coming of age moments within her family working through a growing awareness of queer identity, as well as measuring the impact of both the rural and urban prairie landscapes on her life. Horlick never strays far from her spoken word roots or her feminist politics.
Wanting in Arabic by Trish Salah (2nd Edition) (TSAR Publications)Recently the winner of the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction, Wanting in Arabic is a collection of poetry with dual concerns, Salah’s struggle for both racial and sexual identity. A must-read, Erin Moure has called it “… both fierce and tremulous.”
Arigato, Tokyo by Daniel MacIvor (Playwrights Canada Press)Carl, a Canadian author, travels to Japan on a publicity tour and finds himself falling in love with the brother of his translator. As the play progresses, Carl is immersed in a world of dualities, in both life and love. Based on the The Tale of Genji, one of the world’s oldest pieces of literature, Daniel MacIvor’s play was co-published with The Banff Centre Press.
Two-Spirit Acts: Queer Indigenous Performances by Jean O’Hara (Playwrights Canada Press)The first collection of LGBT Indigenous stories in Canada, Two-Spirit Acts touches on topics of desire, identity, and community as they humorously take on colonial misunderstandings of Indigenous people.