Every weekday we feature a different review on Booklist Online. These reviews are notable for different reasons—they may be starred, or high-demand, or especially relevant to the current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from August 10–14 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.
Monday, August 10th
Top 250 LGBTQ Books for Teens: Coming Out, Being Out, and the Search for Community, by Michael Cart and Christine A. Jenkins
Cart and Jenkins pack quite a bit of information in this short book. There’s a lot to peruse in here, as the book covers graphic novels, fiction, and nonfiction books within a significant publishing time frame, from the early 1980s to 2014. Much appreciated is the inclusion of up-and-coming authors alongside more well-known colleagues. Even more appreciated is the attempt to include books by diverse authors and books with diverse characters.
Tuesday, August 11th
Big Freedia, by Big Freedia and Nicole Balin
He was born Freddie Ross in Baltimore and raised in New Orleans, but today he is better known as Big Freedia as he performs a type of hip-hop called bounce. In his entertaining and down-to-earth memoir of a life lived on the margins, he notes that he knew he was different early on. At 10, when his friends were listening to Michael Jackson and Bobby Brown, he turned to the church and gospel music. More significantly, he reveals, “I knew I was gay pretty much right from the start.”
Wednesday, August 12th
The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough, read by David McCullough
McCullough has long shown a gift for reanimating overlooked but hugely critical figures and events in American history, from the Brooklyn Bridge to John Adams to the Panama Canal and now Wilbur and Orville Wright, whose first powered, controlled flight, in December 1903, introduced a new era in travel and transportation.
Thursday, August 13th
Weird Girl and What’s His Name, by Meagan Brothers
They are called Weird Girl and What’s His Name—Lula because she is from L.A. (an oddity in their small North Carolina town), and Rory because he is a self-described big fat guy who is easily made-fun-of-able. They are also obsessed with The X-Files. And did I mention they are best friends and that Rory is gay? The two are each other’s only friend, in fact, and they tell each other everything. Or so Lula thinks until she discovers that Rory hasn’t told her about his affair with Andy, his 40-something boss.
Friday, August 14th
Romaine Brooks, by Cassandra Langer
Painter Brooks (1874–1970) endured a gothic childhood. Her parents divorced, her father vanished, and her exceedingly wealthy mother became insane and abusive, leaving her little daughter in the care of a New York City laundress who could barely afford to feed her own family. Though cold and hungry, Brooks experienced affection for the first time as her kind guardian encouraged her budding artistic skills.