16 Great Books to Read This Week

From gay surfing detectives to male flight attendants, lesbian werewolves, and confused boys escaping Gypsies, the rapture, or themselves, here are some fun reads.

BY Nick Pachelli

March 25 2013 8:00 AM ET

Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality, and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants by Phil Tiemeyer (University of California Press)

Ever since the U.S. federal courts required airlines to hire men as flight attendants, those serving were stereotyped as gay. Turns out many of them were. Now their stories are shared in this fascinating history of male flight attendants, which offers up insights on everything from gender issues and workplace changes to new theories on Gaetan Dugas (the flight attendant famously labeled "Patient Zero" in Randy Shilts' groundbreaking book on AIDS, And the Band Played On). From the first male Pan Am flight attendant in 1928 to 1971 when U.S. federal courts required every airline to hire men as flight attendants to 2010 when JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater cursed out a rude passenger and then escaped through the emergency exit slide, Plane Queer shares the hardships of these men in the air and on the ground. Readers get a glimpse into historic and modern notions of homophobia, AIDS phobia, and LGBT rights as they impacted the daily (and largely forgotten) lives of these menAn educational and informative must-read.  (UCPress.edu, $24.95) 

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