Episode 107: LGBTQ material

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Welcome, everyone, to Books and Beverages! This week we are discussing LGBTQ books!

We are the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange, and we support all types of libraries. This is our book group podcast, where we discuss different genres of books each week, while we all sit in our comfy chairs and drink our beverages. And you are, of course, an important part of this book group. So if you do not already have a nice beverage please go get one, so you can join the experience.

There are no right” or “wrong” books to read and chat about for our book group – we are just here to explore all kinds of books. All of us will take away at least a title or two that we want to read at the end of our time together!

Who is joining our reading group this week? This week our Guest Host is Lydia from Great River Library System!


We have guests, we have our genre. We just need our beverages. Fortunately, we all came prepared with something to sip while we talk about our books. Each week we like to connect the theme of our books with our beverages. Each beverage will have a recipe or a link on our episode page, so you can try them yourself!  Obviously, feel free to sip your coffee as you listen, or any other beverage you enjoy. Just join us in celebrating books, and discussing books!


Hacking Salander.png

HACKING SALANDER (in honor of Lisbeth Salander, the bisexual main character of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series)

 Lucid Absinthe

  • 2 oz Rye
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 Lemon peel

Fill a rocks glass with ice and set aside. Add a sugar cube and the bitters to a mixing glass and crush the cube with a muddler. Add the rye and ice and stir to chill and dissolve the sugar. Dump the ice out of the rocks glass and rinse with Lucid Absinthe, discard excess. Pour the contents of the mixing glass into the Lucid Absinthe rinsed rocks glass. Twist a lemon peel over the surface of the drink and rub around the rim.


https://i0.wp.com/lgbtweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/egalite-bottle-shot.jpg?resize=109%2C422Égalité, French for “equality”, is a sparkling wine, which features a rainbow-colored heart on the label, was created in support of equality in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. In celebration of its launch, Égalité made contributions of $1,000 each to GLSEN, The Trevor Project, Center on Halsted, The Ali Forney Center, and Equality Maine. Additionally, each quarter, a portion of its proceeds will be donated to LGBT nonprofit organizations, chosen by fans of Égalité on Facebook.





Purple Hand beer

Purple Hand beer (also a Salamandra beer) Purple Hand refers to a famous gay rights protest that took place in San Francisco in 1969.  The slamandra bottle has a rainbow. Each bottle has a label designed to be removed and can be worn with pride!


Image result for cosmo drinkBeginner’s Cosmo (named for Christopher Plummer’s coming out film Beginners)


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Cointreau liqueur
  • 1/8-1/4 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1/2 lime, juice of

Directions: Add vodka to a cocktail strainer half filled with ice and shake about 10 times. Add Cointreau and juices and swirl to mix. Strain into cold martini glass that has been rimmed with sugar or vanilla sugar if desired.


Genre Suggestions

We have so many suggestions here! Check out our podcast webpage for all kinds of links to articles and other big lists of books you can read for yourself, or that you can use to suggest books to patrons or other people who are looking for material of all sorts in this genre.

This is a genre that can make people uncomfortable, and there are research studies out there showing that librarians do not always handle questions in this area as well as they could. In our whirlwind look at all types of LGBTQ books, we want to at  least give you an overview, and to talk about the range of possibilities for books.


The website Common Sense Media has some structured suggestions for books parents or libraries might want to share with kids. “From books with main characters who are LGBTQ or still figuring out their gender or sexual orientations to stories of straight kids or teens with gay friends or parents, these books portray many aspects of the LGBTQ experience.” Their age breakdowns are:

  • Recommendations for All ages
  • Preschoolers (2-4)
  • Little Kids (5-7)
  • Big Kids (8-9)
  • Tweens (10-12)
  • Teens (13+)


Goodreads, our trusted friend in book recommendations has many lists of books of interest to all sorts of readers, with different LGBTQ themes. Here are just a few to give you some perspective on available books you might try!

  • Favorite Gay Couples
  • The Best of Gay Romance
  • Best Lesbian Fiction
  • Transgender Friendly Young Children’s Books
  • m/m books you must read
  • The Best Humorous Gay Romances
  • Queer Superheroes!
  • Favorite Bisexual Fiction
  • Best Gay Cops/ Security Guards/P.I.’s
  • LGBT Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Best Gay Romance With A Character(s) Who Has A Disability
  • Best Gay Mystery
  • Gay/Queer Poetry
  • Best Fantasy Books with Bisexual Main Characters
  • Best Gay Romance with Bookish/Nerdy/Geeky Characters
  • Best LGBT Humor
  • Non-Binary (Genderqueer, Genderfluid, Gender-Unspecified, etc) Fiction and Memoirs
  • Best Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Non-Fiction
  • Graphic Novels Featuring LGBTQ Themes
  • Gay Romance Featuring Chefs or Food


Favorite FanFiction (Completed Only)

  • Goodreads allows fanfiction that is completed, self-published, and preferably book-length (refer to the manual, or the Goodreads Librarians Group).
  • Mary’s beloved Spike/Angel, Dean/Castile fanfic! Slash fanfiction is popularly believed to have started with Star Trek Kirk/Spock. (happy sigh from Mary!)



Books Discussed

We have some ideas on finding suggestions for books to read later – now let’s talk about books we are reading, have read, and want to share with you!


  • Dykes to Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel
  • The Lover’s Dictionary – David Levithan
  • Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan This is a happy, meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy world.
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire The story of Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children – a novella for fantasy readers.
  • Eddie Izzard: Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens
  • David Sedaris
  • Mercy Thompson series, by Patricia Briggs



Thank you so much for joining us for this discussion! We will be back next Tuesday with another genre, more book group hosts, and all kinds of books to share and discuss. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a single episode! And if you want to hear more about the work we do in libraries – which is surprisingly fun! – subscribe to our podcast Linking Our Libraries.

Bring your book ideas, bring your beverages, and join us back here for more book discussion next

We support libraries!