Category Archives: Books

Book Reviews from the K Word Staff. Reviewing prominent and classic LGBT lit.

KRead: Black Girl Love by Anondra “Kat” Williams

blackgirlloveHappy Sunday love bugs! I am prepping for my Haiti trip details on that later so I have been keeping myself and my wallet home all weekend.

Besides having my own mini Godfather marathon thanks to HBO, I got my read on.  I stumbled upon a book which won me on the title alone, black girl love by Anondra “Kat” Williams”.

Plot Snapshot: A collection of 25 short stories and poems about black women loving, lusting and living for other black women.

Continue reading KRead: Black Girl Love by Anondra “Kat” Williams

KRead: The Last of the Good Girls A Memoir by Mary Ann Woodruff


I feel like I have been churning out posts this week, Go Kristi!

I don’t know if it is because I am getting comfortable with my promotion at work, so I am doing it more efficiently or not. I do know I am feeling relaxed and productive and happy.

The book that I just finished was great! I literally finished it in 3 days (and it only took that long because I went to a Chamber of Commerce dinner on Tuesday). This was one of those books that I didn’t have to like as a lesbian, but as a lover of good literature. The Last of the Good Girls is a story that I am sure could be told by the last generation lesbian over and over again. I appreciated it and am so glad the author decided to share it.

Plot Snapshot: A memoir of Mary Ann Woodruff who played by the rules her whole life, rules of her parents, her marriage and her church — until she didn’t.
Continue reading KRead: The Last of the Good Girls A Memoir by Mary Ann Woodruff

KRead: i think i’ll make it: a true story of lost and found by Kat Hurley

71c1v+7i6VLAmazon has struck again. I was looking for a new book to read after “The Sitar” disappointment.  I figured mixing my love for all things lesbian and biographies would be a no brainer.

I read the synopsis on Amazon and I was sold. It took me a lot longer to finish it than I thought, but I finally did while soaking up the Dominican rays of Puerto Plata.

Plot Snapshot: After a childhood trauma, the loss of love and the lack of professional traction, Kat traveled to the beaches of Hawaii to find herself. Continue reading KRead: i think i’ll make it: a true story of lost and found by Kat Hurley

KRead: The Sitar by Rebecca Idris

thesitarWell I haven’t checked back with my LGBT book club since Ghost Wife but from what I can tell they haven’t even picked a second book yet. So I went to my dope dealer (read:Amazon) in search for some good lesbian literature. After scrolling past pages and pages of lesbian erotica (or something), I came across a book cover without a half naked woman on it and stopped my search. Yep, that’s exactly how I ended up reading The Sitar by Rebecca Idris

Plot Snapshot: The Sitar is a glimpse into the lives of several Muslim South Asian 20 somethings in London. The main character was a self-described ‘Lassi Lesbian’ whose dual life was the center of the book.

I wanted to like this one… I did. I was looking forward to getting an insight into their culture, especially since the author herself is a South Asian lesbian. Unfortunately, it was weighed down by an exhausting writing style… flat characters… and just… sigh. It literally took me a month to get through it. I just wasn’t compelled to read more than a few pages at a time.

Despite itself there were some good parts. It was interesting to see the parallels between the sentiments expressed by the many of the characters, and those I have expressed in my head (and sometimes on this blog). The inner fight between one’s conservative upbringing and personal desires can be daunting. I definitely found myself “Amening” a few times. The most engaging part of the book was the end. No, not because it was especially well written or because it was inspirational. It was realistic… and that was refreshing enough to leave an impression.

KRead: Ghost Wife: A Memoir of Love and Defiance by Michelle Dicinoski

Ghost Wife cover (1)I am sick… like throat closing, body aching sick. What does that mean? As I am sequestered, I will get to writing some very past due posts. Yay *cough cough* One thing I have really wanted to share was my love for books. I even tried to start a KWord book group… during my first semester back in grad school (not my brightest idea). Now that I am in the swing of things (getting them As y’all), I have joined a LGBT book club. The first book we read was Ghost Wife: A Memoir of Love and Defiance by Michelle Dicinoski. Plot Snapshot: Ghost Wife is a memoir, sprinkled with stories of lesbians past, told while following the author and her fiancee on the way to get married in Canada. For those who don’t know what ghost wives are, let’s visit our trusty friends at Wikipedia. In Chinese tradition, a ghost marriage (Chinese: 冥婚; pinyin: mínghūn; literally “spirit marriage“) is a marriage in which one or both parties are deceased. In a society where their marriage was not legal, and in a family where her relationship was often not acknowledged ,Michelle and her partner Heather have to ask, will they also invisible? Are they destined to be virtual ghost wives? I liked this one. Some of the parts were a little disjointed for me, specifically her going on and on about her grandparents’ relationship and her mother’s childhood. And while it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the book, it was just a bit distracting. My favorite parts were the snapshots she included of other lesbian couples across time. I only wish there had been more. I can’t wait to update the post with the reflections of the other group members.

A Book Club is Born: The KWBC on Susie Sexpert’s Lesbian Sex World by @susiebright

41XTY297X6LI will not throw shade. I will not throw shade. I will not throw shade.

Soooooo I went to a lesbian book club last night. *sigh*

Soooooo I went to a queer book club last night. *sigh*

Sooooo I went to what started as a book club and ended as a rehash of seasons 1-6 of the L Word.

Sooooo I tried my best to be engaged but I failed.

Sooooo the K Word Book Club has been born. No really, I texted a few of my favorite folks this morning and thanks to the power of Skype we are ret to go.

Continue reading A Book Club is Born: The KWBC on Susie Sexpert’s Lesbian Sex World by @susiebright

Something Like A Super Lesbian: Julia Penelope (In Memoriam)

penelo01Lesbian feminist writer, philosopher, linguist, and political activist Julia Penelope has died at age 71.

Penelope, a Florida native, died Saturday in Texas, Windy City Times reports. She produced numerous books as either author or editor, including Lesbians Only: A Separatist Anthology; The Original Coming Out Stories; Finding the Lesbians; International Feminist Fiction; Sexual Practice/Textual Theory: Lesbian Cultural Criticism; Lesbian Culture: An Anthology; Out of the Class Closet: Lesbian Speak; Call Me Lesbian: Lesbian Lives, Lesbian Theory; and Crossword Puzzles for Women.

She taught at several universities, including the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, but she “was reportedly c_AllysonABeutkepassed over for promotions because of her focus on lesbian issues,” Windy City Times notes. She was one of the first professors to teach courses in women’s studies. She also encountered difficulties with academic authorities in her student years, having been asked to leave Florida State University in 1959 because she was a lesbian. She went on to receive degrees from the City University of New York and University of Texas at Austin.

“But some survive. Many of us have lived to tell our stories, to create Lesbian texts, to read Lesbian texts, even to write commentaries and criticisms of Lesbian texts. All of these activities must be pluralized, multiplied, complicated, and pluralized again, because there is no single, narrow, one-sentence definition of “The Lesbian.” The sexologists may have been the ones to name us, but we can, and do, create ourselves. Our of a mishmash of disinformation, misinformation and outright lies, each Lesbian constructs some story about who she is and who she might someday be…”
― Julia Penelope, Call Me Lesbian: Lesbian Lives, Lesbian Theory

Julia, you might not have been a super lesbian but thank you for giving us a voice and a pioneering the critical study of the lesbian experience.

Call Me Lesbian is the next book on my reading list! What about you?