With the July 4th holiday around the corner and beach weather in the forecast, you may be looking for some quality summer reading materials. As in past years, I wanted to share a few books for you to consider. While all these books are available via sites like Amazon.com, consider purchasing one or more of these books from your local LGBT bookstore (if you still have one).
This book is most likely going to appeal to those who reside or hail from New England. Published earlier this year by Shawmut Peninsula Press, The Hub of the Gay Universe: An LGBTQ History of Boston, Provincetown and Beyond, was written by my friend and neighbor, Russ Lopez. The 300+ page soft cover starts in the early 1600 when Pilgrims landed first in Provincetown and soon after in Plymouth and concludes with the progress the LGBTQ community has made in present day. Lopez beautifully captures moments in history and shares story after story about pioneers – many of whom you’ve never heard because American queer history is virtually unknown and barely taught.
For those looking for an escape from reality, I definitely suggest Madeline Miller’s NYT Bestselling novel, The Song of Achilles, which chronicles the story of Achilles – the son of Thetis the cruel sea goddess and Kink Peleus who is doomed to die on the battlefield and destined to be Ancient Greece’s greatest hero. Miller doesn’t shy from the companionship and love between the hero and Patroclus, an unassuming exile who is made famous in Greek mythology because Achilles names him Therapon, ‘brother-in-arms’. Miller’s talent cannot be denied. I promise you will find yourself turning page after page, staying up late to finish the novel.
Having recommended a new nonfiction book on LGBTQ history followed by an historical fiction novel of sorts it seems only fitting to conclude with the gay classic, Tales of the City. I can vividly remember watching in secret the TV series in the early 1990s up in my parent’s bedroom. And later buying the books in an out-of-the-way bookstore so I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew. If you’ve never read the series or if it has been a few years, add this to your summer reading list. The novel captures a time that no longer exists and as the NY Times review says, reads like “an extended love letter to a magical San Francisco”.
If you have a book that you’d like to suggest, please leave the title and author in the comments section of this post. And as I mentioned previously, while all these books are available via sites like Amazon.com, consider purchasing one or more of these books from your local LGBT bookstore (if you still have one).
Get Down at the Underground FREE public party at Ink Block on June 29 is being hosted at the Underground at the Ink Block park that is under the I-93 expressway. The event is being hosted to celebrate new murals in the park that are done by street artists, Dana Woulfe (Boston), GoFive (Boston), Greg Lamarche (NY), Indie184 (NY), Marka27 (NY/Boston), Matthew Zaremba (Boston), Muro (Spain), and Silvia Lopez Chavez (Boston).
RSVP for your Free tickets or to purchase VIP 21+ tickets here
This is a FREE event but there is a 21+ VIP area that you can reserve tickets for now. Early bird access to these tickets provides a slight discount if purchased on or before Sunday, June 23rd.
Unfamiliar with the Underground at the Ink Block park? Learn more here. You can learn more about the featured artists, here. Check out my post about this cool park check out my post from September 2017, South End’s newest park Underground Ink is open.
Renée Zellweger has been cast as Judy Garland in this movie about the Hollywood legend that will open in theaters this October. The movie opens with the star arriving in London in the winter of 1968 to perform in a sell-out run. As you might imagine, drama ensues as she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians, and reminisces with friends and adoring fans. But after working for 45 of her 47 years, she is exhausted; haunted by memories of a childhood lost and gripped by a desire to be back home with her kids.
The movie will feature some of her best-known songs, including the timeless classic ‘Over the Rainbow’, JUDY celebrates the voice, the capacity for love and the sheer pizzazz of “the world’s greatest entertainer”. Assuming this is as well done as the trailer looks, I bet you can expect an Oscar nomination for Renée.
A new contemporary art museum will open in Boston in February 2020 on the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) campus. Located on Huntington Avenue, it will be near the Museum of Fine Arts and Gardner. The MassArt Art Museum or MAAM as it will be referred to, will encompass more than 15,000 square feet and be free to the public. MAAM will also have outdoor space in the Arne and Milly Glimcher Plaza for programming beyond the walls of the museum. Below are renderings of two of the new museum’s galleries.
You can follow the progress of what will be Boston’s newest museum by following them on Instagram at @MAAMBoston.
Boston’g LGBTQ film festival organizer which is better known as Wicked Queer invites you and a guest to a special screening of The White Crow on Monday. Please RSVP your intentions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unfamiliar with the film? Check out the official trailer below.
Wicked Queer Film Festival Preview Party
Boston’s annual LGBTQ film festival – better known as the Wicked Queer Film Festival – is hosting a preview party this Saturday, March 16th at Post 390 in the Back Bay. If you’re a fan of independent film you should really check out this festival which is among the longest running LGBTQ film festivals in the country.
Wicked Queer Preview Party
Saturday, March 16 12PM – 3PM
More Info & Preview Party Tickets
The preview party will showcase this year’s festival schedule, show trailers and have plenty of delicious food courtesy of Post 390. All proceeds raised will go towards supporting the film festival and LGBTQ filmmakers.
A new film about the life and work of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe opens next month. For those who are unfamiliar with Mapplethorpe, Wikipedia describes his work as “sensitive yet blunt treatment of controversial subject-matter in the large-scale, highly stylized black and white medium of photography.” His most controversial work is that of the BDSM subculture in the late 1960s and early 1970s of New York City. The homoeroticism of this work fuelled a national debate over the public funding of controversial artwork.
The movie, Mapplethorpe, opens March 1 and depicts his life from moments before he and Patti Smith moved into the famed Chelsea hotel, where he begins photographing its inhabitants and his new found circle of friends including artists and musicians, socialites, film stars, and members of the S&M underground. Exploring the intersection of his art, his sexuality and his struggle for mainstream recognition, the film offers a nuanced portrait of an artist at the height of his craft and his self-destructive impulses.
At this point, I don’t have details for where or when this film will show in Boston.