In “Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation,” historian and author Jim Downs sets out to prove there was a more intricate historical narrative to the gay-liberation movement of the 1970s and the subsequent AIDS epidemic of the 1980s than gay men having sex. His extensive research, which began at the William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia in 2005, helps to further prove his argument that gay men were involved in a wide variety of community events that allowed them to explore their identities beyond their sexual lives.

Local gay author Paul Lisicky is very busy these days. When he’s not teaching in the MFA program at Rutgers University-Camden, he’s on the road promoting his new memoir, “The Narrow Door.”

Out writer and music critic Rashod Ollison dives deep into the past with his new memoir, “Soul Serenade: Rhythm, Blues, & Coming of Age Through Vinyl,” in which he chronicles growing up as a young gay black man in the projects of central Arkansas during the 1980s and ’90s. With a father who wasn’t always in the picture and a tough mother and grandmother running the household, Ollison took refuge in the soul and R&B music of the day, which influenced his outlook on life and his queer sexuality.

The holiday season is draped with traditions, and an enjoyable one that PGN undertakes each December is scouring bookshelves for the best of the best of new LGBT lit. From fiction to graphic novels to kids’ books, we’ve spent weeks delving into the pages of the hottest LGBT titles. Here, we give our readers a round-up of the best giftable books. Happy reading!

The long and fascinating history of Fairmount Park is hitting bookshelves with “City in a Park.”

Written by freelance writer James McClelland and Temple University professor and author Lynn Miller, the book features more than 150 photos chronicling the 200-year-old network of parks that originated in the 19th century as a civic effort to provide a clean water supply to Philadelphia.

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