Happy Pride! – Nonfiction and True Stories of the LGBTQ Community

Celebrate and commemorate the LGBTQIA+ Pride Month with the library’s resources and a curated reading list. Here, you will find books on the tumultuous history of the LGBT+ community’s struggle for equal rights, its disappointments and victories; you will learn about the evolving perspectives on homosexuality, and about pivotal events in the LGBT+ movement. 

All books are free and accessible through Overdrive/Libby:

A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski, winner of the Stonewall Award in nonfiction, covers the entire LGBT+ history from 1492 (!) to the present. Based on primary cultural and historical sources, the author shows how the American culture affected the LGBT+ experience, and how the LGBT+ experience shaped the cultural and societal history of the country. The starred review calls it “equally intellectually rigorous and entertaining.”

The Stonewall Reader, edited by New York Public Library, came out last year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, the epoch-making event in the fight for equality in the LGBTQ movement that began in the early hours of June 28, 1969. A collection of first accounts, diaries, and periodic literature that came from LGBTQ magazines and newspapers in the library’s archives, the book carefully chronicles the tumultuous fight for LGBTQ rights from five years leading up to through five years following the riots. The book was named one of the best books of 2019 on the subject.

The Stonewall uprising of 1969 was pivotal in the history of the LGBTQ+ community, and marks the start of the Gay Liberation Movement. Before Stonewall is a 1984 documentary about the LGBT community in America prior to 1969, decade by decade, and events that led to the Stonewall uprising.

A companion documentary, made fifteen years later in 1999, After Stonewall captures the lives of the LGBTQ community after the event through the end of the century.

You will find these documentaries in hoopla, free of charge and accessible at any time with your library card.

We Are Everywhere by Matthew Riemer is another book that came out in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The book is a photographic history of the LGBTQ+ movement and features the turbulent history of queer activism from its start at the end of the 19th century in Europe to the present. The book contains more than 300 images from various photographers and archives.

The Deviant’s War by Eric Cervini is the story of resistance and a secret fight for gay rights that started more than a decade before Stonewall. Franklin Kameny, a brilliant astronomer working for the U.S. Defense Department, was fired on suspicion of being a homosexual, like so many men and women before him. He fought back.

The book demonstrates a huge intellectual role that Kameny played in the gay liberation movement that triggered fundamental social changes in the post-war America.

Very well-researched and brilliantly written, the book received starred reviews in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

How to Survive a Plague by David France is another story of civil activism, this one taking place during the AIDS epidemic. It is a social and scientific history of AIDS, and a story of the AIDS movement and its activists who took their salvation into their own hands. Not only did their work expedite drug development, but it also transformed the entire medical system and cardinally changed the direction of the movement.

Prior to writing the book How to Survive a Plague, journalist David France created a documentary with the same title. The film received numerous awards and became the 2012 Academy Award nominee in documentary feature.

Race Relations: Historical Resources

In light of current events, we would like to remind you that the Abbot Public Library offers a multitude of resources with current, reliable, regularly updated information, which is easily accessible and available at any time.

Salem Press (introduced in a previous post) is the latest acquired reference database, with a very large history section, where you can search for particular events or names, or just browse through American history, decade by decade, learning about critical events and influential people.

You can browse through another section, Milestones Documents of American History, to get a better understanding of the most important documents and primary sources.

In addition to browsing and searching, Salem Press offers curated content to explore current events, which is a unique feature of this database. 

To help explore and better understand current events, you can browse through selected essays on several subjects, which are, presently: race relations, social justice, violent demonstration, civil disobedience, and others.

EBSCO History Reference Center, a database which you will find listed under the EBSCOhost, offers full text from reference books, encyclopedia, leading history periodicals, and biographies. The database also has historical photos and maps, as well as archival videos to offer.

Gale Biography is a well-organized database, where you can browse or search for biographies of influential people of their time. 

All these digital databases are free and accessible with your library card through the Digital Resources page on the library blog.

The New York Times published a list of the most influential books on race and the black experience, created by Ibram X. Kendi, a professor of history at the University of Florida and a published author. Here are some of the titles mentioned in that NYT list:

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi won the national Book Award. In his deeply researched book, the author gives an account of the history of racist ideas and thoughts and shows their power through the course of American history.

The New Jim Crow was named the most influential book of the last decade and collected numerous awards, inspiring criminal justice reform activists and organizations. Its tenth anniversary edition was reprinted recently.

Dreams from My Father, published in 1995, is a memoir by Barack Obama that looks at the problem of race, class, and color.

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award; it is also on the PBS Great American Read Top 100 list.

Beloved by Toni Morrison also won the Pulitzer and was adapted as a movie with the same title.

You can also check out the following titles from the list (click the cover image):

The ebook format
The audiobook format

All these ebooks and audiobooks are available through Overdrive/Libby with your card.

Your Digital Sunday Newspaper Is Here!

Spend your Sunday reading The New York Times paper online for free! 

The Abbot Public Library now has a subscription to The New York Times Digital. Enjoy easy access to The New York Times daily news from any device and the ability to share articles across social media platforms. You can research historical articles published between 1851 and the current day. Find full access to the international edition.

There are updated, time-stamped articles from the Times sections, including World, Politics, New York, Opinion, Business, Technology, Science, Sports, Arts, Fashion & Style, and Video, as well as searchable access to articles, blogs, features, interviews, obituaries, and columns. You can sign up for weekly newsletter emails. Also included are mini crossword puzzles and The New York Times Magazine.

The New York Times Digital will be available from computers in the library and in your own home with off-site access.

When you access The New York Times Digital from home, click the “redeem” button (the code will be pre-populated). If you are already registered, enter your email and password, or for new users, create an account to get started!

New Nonfiction eBooks and Audiobooks!

Many new nonfiction eBooks on a variety of subjects have been added recently. 

Here are descriptions of some of our latest acquisitions — titles included on the NYT or USA Today Bestseller lists. 

Particularly recommended are a couple of books that received wonderful reviews in The New York Times.

British author Julian Barnes is mostly known as a fiction writer; his work is highly valued and has brought him multiple literary awards. The Man in the Red Coat, his latest book, is a work of nonfiction: a biography of a French doctor, a distinguished physician and a very interesting figure who lived in France in the late 1800s and early 1900s. American artist John Singer Sargent considered him “a brilliant creature” and painted his portrait, which is on the cover of the book.

If you would like to read the review for this book — or any other book — in The New York Times, you can create a free account at the NYT website.

Another book you may want to consider is The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson, the bestselling author of such books as Devil in the White City, Dead Wake, and In the Garden of Beasts. This author is known for doing very deep research to create his characters, as well as historical settings of his narratives. His latest book is about the UK during World War II, with Winston Churchill, who led the country to victory, as the main character. 

This eBook is in demand, but do not hesitate to place a “hold”. Our library owns more than one digital copy, with quite a few copies owned by other libraries. As a member of this community, you have priority on copies purchased by our library, so your wait time will not be long.

Educated, a memoir by Tara Westover, and Sapiens: The Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari have been on various bestseller lists for years. If you did not have a chance to read them earlier, it is quite possible to do so now.

As always, we are open to your suggestions and will be glad to consider purchasing new titles. Feel free to leave recommendations in the comments below!