Wednesday 13 January 2016

2016 Classics Challenge - LGBT TBR

I wasn't planning on posting here today, and then I wondered about just a brief one line post saying "HEY, GUESS WHO STACEY AT PRETTY BOOKS CHOSE TO KICK OFF HER FABULOUS SHELF SWAP FEATURE!" (Spoiler: it's ME! Check out the post, in which I pick five books from Stacey's Goodreads shelves I'd love to read, and five from my own that I'd love her to take a look at.) However thinking about Stacey got me onto the 2016 Classics Challenge, which she's hosting, so a brief post seemed like a plan.

The aim is to read 12 classics in a year, one a month (or more, obviously!) using your own definition of classic. I am HUGELY excited about the upcoming #ChatClassics which she's hosting at 8pm GMT on Sat 16th January - THIS SATURDAY, yay! And it got me thinking about what I'm hoping to read. I'm aiming to read at least 6 children's classics which I'll talk about over at Teens on Moon Lane, and at least 6 LGBT adult classics which I'll talk about here. So for today, I thought I'd look at potential LGBT books I might read.

I am GREATLY indebted to this fabulous Tyler Coates piece on Flavorwire, which helped me identify 15 LGBT classics that look particularly interesting. (As a massive mood reader I try not to tie myself down to books, so I went for 15 to give myself a range to choose from.)

Are there any that you'd particularly recommend here? Let me know in the comments! And if it sounds like a fun idea, why not sign up to the 2016 Classics Challenge yourself?

Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin - Described by Katy as 'probably the most heartbreaking book in the world', and also recommended by Hannah as one of her favourite books, this sounds incredible but I'll clearly need to stock up on tissues!

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown - This lesbian coming-of-age story sounds absolutely fantastic, I've been aiming to read for ages and this WILL be the year.

Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet - French writer Genet's largely autobiographical novel, set in the Parisian underworld, sounds fascinating!

The Price of Salt (also published as Carol) by Patricia Highsmith - Charlie has wonderful taste in books and I've loved nearly everything she's ever recommended to me. I know she's read this and seen the film recently and really enjoyed both.

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin - I think Maupin's the only author on the list I've read anything by; I really loved The Night Listener. Somehow, I haven't gone back to him, despite urging from Keris Stainton and others to do so. I know this series is his most famous!

Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima - This 1949 novel about a young gay man in Imperial Japan sounds like a great read.

City of Night by John Rechy - I find stream of consciousness to be very very hit or miss, but when I like it I tend to REALLY love it (thinking, in particular, of The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon, which has one of my favourite passages ever.)

Funny Boy by Shyan Selvadurai - This is the most recent on the list by a decade or so, but I've been wanting to read more Sri Lankan-set fiction for ages (Chinaman by Shehan Karunatilaka, also set in that country, is one of my favourite ever adult novels) so can't resist including it. It sounds wonderful!

Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu - Luna from Luna's Little Library, one of my favourite bloggers (and jewellery maker to star authors like Abi Elphinstone!) got me hooked on the brilliant Youtube series inspired by this book, which I adored! This is likely to be my first read, I think.

The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal - Vidal is another author I've been meaning to read for ages, and this is often described as one of his best books.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker - Hugely famous and recommended by several friends - described by brilliant bookseller Louise Corcoran as a book she can 'barely hand sell without getting teary' - this is one of the most recent books on my list, but I don't think ANYONE would deny

Tipping The Velvet by Sarah Waters - I think Sarah Waters is the author I haven't read who's been recommended to me most of the past 2 years or so. (Possibly not coincidentally, it was around the start of 2014 when I first met Charlie.) I know lots of friends are huge fans, I'm sure I will be too - when I can find some spare time I'm going to try and set aside a few hours to plunge myself into this one!

A Boy's Own Story by Edmund White - Another slightly more recent one, one of the 4 on the list, I think, to be published in my lifetime. This semi-autobiographical novel about the awakening of a queer teenage boy in the Midwest sounds perfect, I love coming-of-age stories!

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson - Massively recommended by Sophie over at So Many Books, So Little Time amongst others, this is one I've been aware of for ages without getting to.

Orlando by Virginia Woolf - I've never read anything by Woolf and this one, about a poet who changes from a man to a woman and lives for centuries, meeting key figures of English literary history, sounds fantastic.

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