Celebrate LGBTQ+ month this February in libraries; read books by LGBTQ+ writers and characters. With themed displays in libraries and downloadable books, audio and comics from our eLibrary our literary worlds can be as diverse as the one we live in. We also have an information stand for families provided by local group Bourne This Way at Eastbourne Library
Don’t forget the library this February half term; we have so many events! As well as our regular Stories, Rhymes and Games sessions we have Minecraft, VR headsets, Lego robots and Stinky McFish!
Top Fiction chosen by Percy
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
In the summer of 1983, twenty-year-old Nick Guest moves into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the wealthy Feddens: Gerald, an ambitious Tory MP, his wife Rachel and their children Toby and Catherine. Innocent of politics and money, Nick is swept up into the Feddens’ world and an era of endless possibility, all the while pursuing his own private obsession with beauty.
It is a novel that defines a decade, exploring with peerless style a young man’s collision with his own desires, and with a world he can never truly belong to.
The Line of Beauty is a classic novel about class, politics and sexuality in Margaret Thatcher’s 1980s Britain.
Top Non-Fiction chosen by Mavis
Why We Went Out by Jeremy Atherton Lin
Why We Went Out is a brilliantly evocative fusion of cultural criticism, history and memoir telling the story of the gay night out, arguably on the brink of extinction.
Strobing lights and dark rooms, first kisses, last call!
In prose as exuberant as dazzling as a disco ball, the author embarks on a transatlantic tour of the hangouts that marked his life, with each club, pub and dive revealing itself to be a palimpsest of queer history. We time travel from Hollywood nights in the 1970s, to chichi bars in the wake of AIDS, to today’s spaces. Atherton Lin charts police raids and riots, posing and passing out – and a chance encounter that would change his life forever.
The journey that emerges is a stylish and nuanced inquiry into the link between place and identity, inviting us to go beyond Stonewall and enter the underground. Sparkling with wry wit, Why We Went Out is at once a serious critical inquiry, a love story and an epic night out to remember!
Top Audio – chosen by Magda
To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
Yanagihara asks us to move beyond binary configurations of sexuality, race and health in this vast complex novel. It could almost be described as fantasy, dystopia or even in places science fiction. It’s a bold, brilliant novel spanning three centuries and three different versions of America, about lovers, family, loss and the elusive promise of utopia. The first part is set in 1890s New York, where there is no stigma around being LGBTQ+; part two is in the 1980s where an unnamed pandemic (AIDS?) devastates. The final part of the novel is Zone Eight. The world is ruled from Beijing and all the marks of classic dystopia are there: the internet has been shut down, the press is state-controlled, books are banned, the secret police spy on people using insect drones.
Its an immersive audio experience clocking in at 29 hours and five narrators!
Top comic – chosen by Elizabeth
Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, with Phoebe Kobabe
Gender Queer, a graphic memoir by Maia Kobabe, is an honest and open look at the author’s own path through understanding gender and sexuality. This is a beautiful book that will be useful to anyone looking to reflect on better understand non-binary gender, particularly as the telling is so full of careful nuance that looks at all the many avenues and aspects of non-binary identity and shows how discovering the language to assess identity is key in helping process yourself.
Top children’s fiction chosen by Jim
Little stinker by Steve Smallman & Joelle Dreidemy.
A hilarious picture book from the creators of the award-winning Smelly Peter the Great Pea Eater and The Lamb Who Came to Dinner. A story about bodily functions and serious stinks, with a fairly serious message what is and what isn’t appropriate within societal norms.
And while we are on the subject of underwater odours, Rye library is very excited to host Stinky McFish And The World’s Worst Wish by Joanna Neary. It’s a funny and delightful puppet show about friendship and adventure for all ages with original music and a cast of colourful characters.!
Top children’s non-fiction chosen by Isaac
The lost spells by Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris
The Lost Spells is an audio treasure, a new collection of ‘spells’ – acrostic poetry and artwork – by writer Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris. For those who loved The Lost Words – this is its little sister.
Captivatingly read, calling to forest, field, riverbank, ocean and also to the heart, these ‘spells’ summon back what is often lost from sight and care. From Jay to Jackdaw, Oak to Barn Owl, Silver Birch to Grey Seal, they evoke the special spirit of each plant and creature. Above all, they celebrate a sense of wonder at nature’s power to amaze, console and bring joy.
Across a bewitching natural soundscape by renowned wildlife recordist Chris Watson, readers Yrsa Daley-Ward, Johnny Flynn and Julie Fowlis bring the magic of both nature and language to listeners in an immersive and unique audio experience. This is also available as a book!
Missed last month’s Get In Our Good Books? Catch up with our Good Books from January!