Standup comedian and Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari just announced his 10-city tour in promotion of his new book, Modern Romance.
One of those stops—the very last one, in fact—is at Philly’s Annenberg Center on July 19th. It’s not clear whether or not the tour includes a standup performance or if he’ll just be signing books, though he does verify via Twitter that he will be talking:
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Staff members at Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room share their favorite new books available at our iconic LGBT bookstore. Today, Assistant Manager Becky Hanno gives us her beach-trip picks.
Staff members at Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room share their favorite new reads available at our iconic LGBT bookstore. Today, Manager—and published poet—Alan Chelak gives us a list of his favorite works of queer poetry to read in honor of National Poetry Month.
Alan Chelak is the current manager at Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room. When he isn’t at the store, he is studying English at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published several works of poetry, including “Windows 3.1” and “CAPTCHA.” He lives in West Philadelphia with his partner and their little dog Dumpy.
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“Pansy” by Andrea Gibson
This new collection of poetry by Andrea Gibson explores themes of love and gender and solidifies Gibson as one of the most interesting poets working in the United States today.
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Perhaps it’s Wilmington writer Daniel Nathan Terry’s background in horticulture that allows him to marry a wonder for nature and everything else that is “disastrously beautiful” about living in the 21st century. This book is full of so many stunning moments you’re going to want a copy for your library, and your friend’s library too.
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This book was a great revelation to me: Bergvall does things with language that just shouldn’t be possible, leaving the reader in awe of her mastery. Highly recommended.
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At the moment, Eileen Myles is probably my favorite poet and Snowfalke/Different Streets is a great introduction to her work. Her poems seem simple at first, but after reading you find yourself obsessing over how easy she makes the medium seem. Her Twitter handle is @EileenMyles—she's one of the best follows out there.
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Here at the store, we’re all big fans of Siken’s “Crush” (2005), and are eagerly awaiting publication of his next collection “War of the Foxes.” Be sure to stop by the store on or after April 28th to pick up a copy for yourself!
Support the oldest LGBT book store in the country by stopping in to its location at 345 South 12th Street, or snag one of these recommended books in their online store here to check it out! Open Monday to Thursday, 11 am to 8 pm; Friday and Saturday, 11:00 am to 9 pm; and Sunday 11 am to 7:00 pm.
Tomorrow night, author (and, full disclosure, former Philadelphia magazine executive editor) Michael Callahan will visit Barnes and Noble to read from his recently published first novel, Searching for Grace Kelly. The story is a fictional account of three young ladies who move to New York City in the 1950s to find fame, fortune and romance in the Big Apple. It’s inspired by and centered around the famed Barbizon Hotel, a boarding house / charm school of sorts that played home to legends of page and screen like Joan Crawford, Sylvia Plath and Philly’s own Grace Kelly. The book was actually inspired by an article Callahan wrote about the Barbizon in Vanity Fair in 2010.
In anticipation of his reading tomorrow, I shot my former colleague a few questions about the book. He talks about the in-depth research that went into re-creating New York City in the 1950s, how he came up with the title, and the possibility that it will be turned into a television series.
Photo by Evan Schapiro
Congrats on the book, Michael! We’re all really proud of you around here.
Thank you. It’s been a wild experience with every possible emotion.
When did you realize the story would become something bigger than the piece you did in Vanity Fair?
Like most magazine writers I had always felt I had a book in me. I just didn’t know what to write about. I had done one book proposal for a nonfiction idea that went nowhere, and I was struggling to come up with another, more sell-able idea. My agent and I knocked around doing a book on the Barbizon, but it seemed like there was little left to say, non-fiction wise. Then she suggested I write a fictional story about the hotel. I was really, really nervous, because I had no fiction experience. So I told her if I could come up with a good narrative, I would give it a try. And I did.
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Every week William Way Executive Director Chris Bartlett and I meet for a rummage through the LGBT community center’s John J. Wilcox Jr. Archives, a veritable treasure trove of relics from gay Philadelphia’s past. This week, I got sidetracked by the the Archives’ fantastic collection of gay pulp fiction novels. These gems, with erotic, albeit kind of hilarious covers, and even better cover lines, were donated from community members over the years. Check out some of my favorites—or at least the ones that I could show—below:
I had the unusual experience this week of feeling sorry for a very chic, very thin Frenchwoman. That would be Fleur Pellerin, France’s minister of culture, who was asked in a television interview to name her favorite book by Patrick Modiano, the Frenchman who just won the Nobel Prize for literature. This put the French minister of culture in a highly awkward position, as she was unable to name any of the works of the highly celebrated M. Modiano, seeing as she’s never read anything he’s written. (She had, however, she noted, much enjoyed a recent luncheon with him.)
Mme. Minister then compounded her sin by admitting that she hadn’t read a book of fiction in years: “I read a lot of notes, a lot of legal texts, the news, A.F.P. stories, but I read very little,” she said in the interview, according to the New York Times.
Whereupon French social media exploded, and writer Claude Askolovitch promptly called Mme. Minister “barbaric” on the French site of the Huffington Post, demanding that she resign.
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Nalla, an author currently based in Philadelphia, is revealing her experience being queer in the Middle East in a new book. “Faces,” a collection of poems, describes Nalla’s struggles from his perspective, walking the reader through his difficult journey. The poems also meditate on love and life but mainly focus on the daily confusion and inner conflict Nalla faced while living in different countries in the Middle East.
Sure to be an emotional journey for any reader, Nalla’s poems are expressive of the rejection he has suffered and the love he found along the way. Available through indie publisher Lulu, Faces features a beautiful sketch on its cover that Nalla fell in love with online, then tracked down and obtained the rights to use it for this book. While you wait for your copy of this powerful poetry to ship (just $14, by the way) check out some of Nalla’s work online.
A year from now the world will be graced by the first in-depth biography of Beyoncé by famed celebrity biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli. Taraborrelli has delved into the lives of pop culture’s most fascinating names, including Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and the Kennedys. Now he’ll pull back the curtain on the world’s most flawless celebrity.
The as-yet-untitled biography will follow Bey from childhood to superstardom, including aspects of both her personal and professional lives. Flavorwire reports that the book will feature “exclusive interviews with the people in the superstar’s life” but there is no word yet on whether that includes Queen Bey herself.
Will we get to know Knowles as a precocious young star in the making? Will the bio detail the early struggles Destiny’s Child faced? What about her fortress-like PR machine? Her relationship with Jay? Her early days with Blue? What really happened in that elevator? We have so many questions.
No matter what the bio includes, it’s sure to sell off the shelves in minutes. Beyoncé could give a much needed boost to the book biz next fall when Hachette’s Grand Central Publishing releases the tome. Add this news to her just-announced collab with Topshop and you’ve got one bootylicious Monday.
Right around this time two years ago, Hurricane Sandy changed the way we look at weather phenomena. A new book by journalist Kathryn Miles, Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy, takes an unprecedented look inside the storm that ravaged the Atlantic coast in 2012.
Released just last week, Miles’s narrative dives into the human aspect of the second-costliest storm in U.S. history, following the hurricane/cyclone hybrid from its birth in the Caribbean to when it hit land in New Jersey.
Rather than just laying out the meteorological effects of the storm, Miles explores how the nine days of freak weather affected emergency responders, weather forecasters, victims, and survivors. Local residents who experienced the storm firsthand are sure to be entertained—and just may pick up a few tips about what to expect from our next disaster.
Right on the heels of news that David Lynch’s Twin Peaks will return to television in 2016, Flatiron Books has released information that the eery serial drama is being turned into a novel.
According to AP, the book, titled The Secret Lives of Twin Peaks, will delve into what has happened to the show’s characters since it went off the air in 1991.
The work is being written by the show’s co-creator and executive producer, Mark Frost, and will be published just before the sequel returns to TV.