Bookshelf

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com October 06 2011 4:00 AM ET

The Man in the Gray
Flannel Skirt

Before Jon-Jon Goulian was
a  “cross-dressing literary
hipster,” as Rolling Stone put it,
he was an awkward, frightened kid with some serious insecurities, thanks to his
high-achieving family members. Goulian opens up about it with his first book, The
Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt
(Random
House, $25), an honest, funny, look at how the little moments in childhood
influence how interesting we can become as adults.  — Michelle Garcia THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SKIRT X390 | ADVOCATE.COMTake Me There: Trans and
Genderqueer Erotic

One of the most invisible
groups of people in the literary cannon of erotica has to be transgender folks.
Sure, porn sensationalizes and objectifies pre-op trans women’s lives (one of
the best selling categories of pornography is called “she-male” porn, which
tells you how progressive its creators really aren’t). But in reality, very
little has been written about trans individuals in a way that eroticizes
without exploiting their lives, their minds, and their bodies. In Take Me
There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica

(Cleis Press, $15) editor Tristan Taormino has pulled together a number of
writers, trans and otherwise, to create a collection of erotica that shows
trans and gender variant people as desirable. In a collection of erotica that
is by, for, and about anyone who challenges or defies rigid gender
constructions, whether they ID as transgender, genderqueer, or somewhere else
on that spectrum, the stories are expectedly about bucking traditions — but
whether it’s about fumbling teenage sex or butt plugs and bondage tables, they
are ultimately about sex. Patrick Califia (the legendary queer and trans author
of numerous tomes), S. Bear Berman, Ivan Coyote, Julia Serano, Laura Antoniou
(whose Marketplace series is still one of the finest S/M books out there),
Helen Boyd (who has written non-fiction about her transgender wife in She’s
Not the Man I Married
) and more
contribute. A must-read for anyone who loves erotica or trans people. — Diane
Anderson-Minshall
 TAKE ME THERE TRISTAN TAORMINO X200 | ADVOCATE.COMThe Sum of My Parts: A
Survivor’s Story of Dissociative Identity Disorder


A harrowing memoir of abuse and
personal redemption, Olga Trujillo’s The Sum of My Parts (New Harbinger, $19) documents the abuse of a young
girl at the hands of her father and brothers (both physical and sexual). The
events of Trujillo’s childhood caused her to develop Disassociative Identity
Disorder, where her mind created alternate personalities to deal with the
abuse. Trujillo, a lesbian lawyer living in Wisconsin, chronicles her
terrifying but inspiring fight against her demons and Dissociative Disorder.
This powerful book is not for the faint of heart. — Neal Broverman THE SUM OF MY PARTS X200 | ADVOCATE.COMRuling with a Sequined
Fist: The Gay Handbook

If you’re a gay newbie trying
to navigate your way though a word that is probably gayer than you are (at least
at this point), you’ll need to know what shimmers and what stains. So says Dan
Saniski, author of Ruling with a Sequined Fist: The Gay Handbook (Lulu, $15). Whether you’re a muscular jock who loves
using the word  “bro “ or a leather
enthusiast, this book has something you can work with as you find yourself a
place on the gay social spectrum. As Saniski says,  “You may be born gay, but fabulous takes work.” Ruling
with a Sequined Fist
is not only a
fun read, it will help you put your fiercest face forward. —Winston Gieseke RULING WITH A SEQUIN FIST COVER X200 | ADVOCATE.COMMurder Unleashed
Rita Mae Brown’s Murder
Unleashed
(Ballantine Books, $15),
the sequel to her New York Times
bestseller A Nose for Justice,
takes readers into a world of mystery and anticipation, and the quirky
relationships of humans and canines. In this hilariously suspenseful story,
Mags Rogers and her wire-haired dachshund sidekick Baxter are teaming up with
Mags’ great aunt Jeep and German shepherd, King, to save the houseless families
of Reno, NV. Even if you don’t think animal companions are as precious as
Brown’s fans do, you’ve got to give props to Brown, the author of numerous
crime novels (some, indeed, co-authored with her cat), screenplays, and the
seminal lesbian novel, 1973’s Rubyfruit Jungle. — Andi Alexander