demonglass

Currently reading: Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins

And how is it? I am LOVING it. Well, more specifically, I’m loving the lesbian vampire secondary character and her BFF relationship with the main character. How often does that happen? I mean, the ~~sassy gay guy~~ stereotype friend happens, but a straight female protagonist who is super close friends with a lesbian? And they both swoon sympathetically over each other’s love interests and gossip together? IT’S ADORABLE. Especially because I was expecting this to be one of my hetero reads for the day, and it’s warming my queer heart to a surprising extent. As long as she doesn’t end up dead (for good), points to you, Rachel Hawkins.

Pages read this hour: Hour 11: 85 pages, Hour 12: 95 pages (this book also has big font and big margins, which is a plus for page count)

Pages read in total: 625

Books finished: Practical Magic by Alice HoffmanWhite Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

Food eaten: So many snacks. Including grapes and a float and chocolate-covered potato chips. I love the #snackathon,

Interruptions: Not much!

Anything else? I think I might review Demonglass for the Lesbrary–or at least the lesbian elements of it.

Currently reading:  Nothing, technically! I just finished White Is For Witching before the hour ended!

And how is it? I liked it, but I think it was a little unfair to read another ~haunted house story so soon after House of Leaves. I liked most the of individual elements, but they just didn’t add up to a big pay off for me.

Pages read this hour: Hour 9: 50 pages, Hour 10: 30 pages

Pages read in total: 445

Books finished: Practical Magic by Alice HoffmanWhite Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

Food eaten: Nothing much, just a chocolate-covered almond, but I’ve been gnawing at my nails, so I better go get myself a snack.

Interruptions: I cheered for another half hour at hour 10!

Anything else? I’ve already finished the snack I was most looking forward to, but now I get to start the book I’ve been anticipating! Demonglass! Should be a fun, quick read.

whiteisforwitching

Currently reading: White Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

And how is it? I like it! I’m still not sure I really get it yet, but I like it. I was starting to worry “This book does have queer content, right?” and now I’ve gotten confirmation that yes, yes it does. So that always adds to the enjoyment. I really like Ore so far.

Pages read this hour: Hour 7: 25 pages, hour 8: 50 pages

Pages read in total: 365

Books finished: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Food eaten: Peanut stew with rice and toast, and the last of the toffee.

Interruptions: I got sucked into reading about authors who stalk reviewers.

Anything else? Pance (the cat) is still irritated that I’m paying more attention to the book than him. He kept trying to fall asleep with his head on the page and would glare when I had to turn it. He’s super cute, though, so I don’t mind.

WhiteisforWItching

Currently reading: White Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

And how is it? It’s weird and I’m not sure I really understand the format (is it multiple perspectives? is it from the perspective of Elliot and the house, or is there another one as well?), but I like it so far!

Pages read this hour: Hour 5: 20 pages, hour 6: 50 pages

Pages read in total: 290

Books finished: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Food eaten: Some tea, avocado on toast, some grapes, and some chocolate-covered toffee!

Interruptions: My roommate woke up, so I was talking to them, and didn’t read while making food, so that accounts for hour 5.

Anything else? My other roommate’s cat is also trying very hard to be distracting, including laying on my book and looking adorable.

1

Currently reading: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

And how is it? I’m just a couple pages away from finishing it, and I enjoyed it. Wouldn’t make my favourites list, but I’m glad I read it.

Pages read this hour: Hour 3: 55 pages, hour 4: 35 pages.

Pages read in total: 220

Books finished: None so far!

Food eaten: Nothing, but my stomach is growling, so I’ll be remedying that.

Interruptions: Just updating, and then cheering on tumblr for a half hour! #TeamShakespeare

Anything else? Off to finish off this book and make some tea and toast!

1

Currently reading: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

And how is it? I really like it so far! It’s one of my friends’ very favourite books, so I’m glad I’m enjoying it.

Pages read this hour: 70 pages hour 1, 60 hour 2

Pages read in total: 130

Books finished: None so far!

Food eaten: A cliff bar and an apple pastry.

Interruptions: Just five minutes updating and checking other people’s updates, as well as going to get food.

Anything else? It’s 7am now. Still no sign of the sun. Starting to wake up, though!

readathon

It’s that time of year again! The 24 hour readathon! I’m going to be updating throughout the day with my progress. I’ll be reading some nonlesbian books, but I’ll go back and redact those after I’m done. On to the opening meme!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
British Columbia, Canada.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I think Demonglass (Hex Hall #2), actually, because I know it’ll be a quick read, it fits the October theme, and I like that I’m continuing a series I started last readathon!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
(Vegan) chocolate-covered toffee!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
This is my fifth readathon.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
Last year I was so exhausted by hour 24 that I powered through only by standing up and reading. Turns out it was so hard to stay awake because I was coming down with a cold! I went on to be sick for weeks afterwards, and I partially blame pushing myself too hard. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get much sleep tonight, so I might let myself take a nap or two this time to prevent that from happening.

I’ll be updating every hour with my page count on twitter, and every couple hours with more details here!

carmilla   queerandtransartistsofcolor   lakeoftwomountains

AfterEllen posted 8 Reasons Why You Should Watch “Carmilla” Now! and Master of dreams Neil Gaiman’s new book features a kiss between two women.

Autostraddle posted “Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives” is a Vital Catalogue of QTPOC Voices.

Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian posted I Hate Canadian Nature Poetry; Or, Why I Didn’t Like Arleen Paré’s Governer-General-Award-Nominated Lake of Two Mountains.

bitterfruit    Treasure   PathsOfMarriage

Gay YA posted Are Coming Out Stories Still Relevant in 2014?

Queer Romance Month posted (among others) Why Queer Romance Is Important by Amy Dunne and On Being Icky by Kim Dare.

Women and Words posted Coming Attractions, November 2014 and Hot off the Press, October 2014.

tellmeagain   wickedthings   inheritance

Sara Farizan was interviewed at Diversity In YA.

Malinda Lo posted My Coming Out Story.

Taken by Storm by Kim Baldwin was reviewed at Lesbian Reading Room.

The Repercussions by Catherine Hall was reviewed at Shiny New Books.

thesummeriwasntme   tumbledown   warwithin

Tumbledown by Cari Hunter was reviewed at Out In Print.

To Love Free by Chris Paynter was reviewed at Lesbian Reading Room.

The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi was reviewed at Whimsically Yours.

The War Within by Yolanda Wallace was reviewed at Lambda Literary.

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Despite the recent conservative controversy surrounding Vicky Beeching’s coming out, the Christian community is no stranger to revered spiritual musicians coming out. Jennifer Knapp’s memoir Facing The Music is a soul-searching, earnest examination of the Christian music scene and self discovery including her own coming out in 2010.

Knapp begins her life as a twin in a dysfunctional and divided household. As her parents were separated, she spent her youth navigating the complex conditions of custody, living predominantly with her father and step-mother and occasionally holidaying with her mother. Her first love is discovered and passionately explored as she teaches herself trumpet and becomes enamoured with music. Not being musical myself but living with a musician, I was enthralled in Knapp’s diligent and often demanding relationship with instruments. In fact, her first decision to learn an instrument comes at the direct expense of her limited time with her mum. Her passion continues as she breathes in instrument after instrument, ultimately leading her to study music teaching at college.

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After a period as a wild child, filled with sexual exploits and significant alcoholism (not explicitly explored), Knapp falls for the grace of God and begins to party Christian style; with worship music and religious conversation. Her account for her rise to Christian ‘rock-star’ status is told passively, as though everything just happened around her; her own involvement often reluctant and riddled with self-doubt. I feel this early Christian experience is written through the lens of a changed woman and wonder about the difference in explanation if one had been able to be transcribed at the time. Yet, this is how all memoirs are written; by the hands of current understanding, so I need not fault Knapp for that.

As a Christian myself, I recognised many of the evangelical experiences Knapp described and would advise non-Christian readers not to be put off by this inside look at the Contemporary Christian music scene. Her insights are often darkly described, almost in despising tones and I think Christians will have a harder time processing Knapp’s truths then non-religious individuals.

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Two thirds into Facing The Music, Knapp addresses her sexuality, her withdrawal from the Christian music scene and life as she knows it. She isn’t one to kiss and tell, so if you are hoping for long paragraphs of lesbian liaisons, this isn’t the love story for you. Instead, she recounts her internal coming out experience and the feelings associated with identifying as both gay and Christian, both personally and within the public  eye.

Knapp’s memoir is also littered with unexpected interesting insights, including her involvement with signing Katy Perry as well as adventures in outback Australia.

Personally, I strongly related to her difficulty fitting into certain circles in Christian churches, wearing cargo pants instead of skirts at church services. I also understood her difficulty with self-acceptance and the shame often associated with sharing an experience that strays from the acceptable testimony within church circles. I applaud her personal strength and faith to share her own story and to take her own time to do so.

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Facing The Music is written with honesty, integrity and emotion and will likely captivate fans, memoir readers, Christians and the questioning masses.

For those who enjoy Jennifer Knapp’s memoir, I would strongly recommend Chely Wright’s memoir Like Me, which explores coming out within the conservative country music world. You can also view the documentary Wish Me Away which follows Chely before and after coming out.

If you are looking for music to listen to while reading, Jennifer Knapp’s new album Set Me Free (released by Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records) is just out.

courtship

Courtship is a forthcoming novel from criminal defense attorney and author Carsen Taite.  It’s the story of law school dean Addison Riley and Julia Scott, a campaign manager with a very successful track record.

When Chief Justice Weir of the United States Supreme court dies suddenly, Julia Scott–fresh from a successful presidential campaign–is put in charge of getting a replacement on the fast track to confirmation. The president wants a quick and easy choice, pushing for a moderate rather than a choice that will make waves in the legislature, and Julia is accustomed to doing whatever her employer wants. But there’s another name that keeps appearing on the Democratic shortlists, despite Julia’s wishes and everyone’s expectations: Addison Riley.

Addison, a former law clerk and solicitor general who had a close relationship with the deceased chief justice, is not a safe choice for confirmation. But she’s got the liberal values that Julia, if she allowed herself to have a personal opinion, would endorse herself. And whenever they meet, there’s a definite spark between them. As circumstances continue to throw Addison and Julia together, attraction–and dilemmas–abound. When it becomes clear that the former chief justice’s death might not have been accidental, things heat up even more. Will Julia be able to get Addison’s nomination confirmed without compromising her professional integrity? Will Addison become the nation’s first female supreme court chief? Who is responsible for Justice Weir’s death?

The addition of the conspiracy/thriller angle to Courtship made it a bit more than the will-they-or-won’t-they workplace romance I was expecting, and the details about campaign management, White House politics, and Supreme Court confirmations were something I hadn’t encountered before. This is not a book for readers who want their heroines to spend a great deal of time together; the road to happiness for Addison and Julia is fraught, but ultimately comes to a satisfactory conclusion. For me, it was tempting to say “get on with it!” at the end, but if it had been a movie I would have watched raptly. For those interested in other political romances, try Madam President by Blayne Cooper and T. Novan or Tracey Richardson’s The Candidate.

Courtship will be coming out in November 2014 from Bold Strokes Books. Advanced copy courtesy of Netgalley.

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