Information is courtesy of Giovanni’s Room, 345 S. 12th St.; 215-923-2960; www.queerbooks.com. Ten-percent off most hardcover in-store sales.
Men’s 1. “Remembering Christmas” by Tom Mendicino, Frank Anthony Polito and Michael Salvatore (Kensington, $15 pb). This wistful gay anthology explores how “home for the holidays” can take you back physically and mentally. The men in these stories have season-specific reasons to reflect on and reconnect with their pasts. 2. “The Stranger’s Child” by Alan Hollinghurst (Knopf, $27.95 hb, less 10 percent in the store). From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of “The Line of Beauty” comes a magnificent, century-spanning saga about a love triangle that spawns a myth, and a family mystery, across generations. 3. “Well With My Soul” by Gregory G. Allen (ASD Publishing, $13.99 pb). Jacob and Noah Garrett are brothers: one a liberal gay in New York City, the other a straight conservative in Tennessesee. 4. “The Mammoth Book of Gorgeous Guys” edited by Barbara Cardy (Running Press, $17.95 pb). This collection of erotic art features over 500 erotic portraits of male nudes, some of them tastefully explicit, from some of the world’s leading photographers. 5. “Mary Ann in Autumn” by Armistead Maupin (HarperCollins, $14.99 new in pb). Twenty years have passed since Mary Ann Singleton left her husband and child in San Francisco to pursue her dream of a television career in New York. 6. “A Body on Pine” by Joseph R.G. DeMarco (Lethe, $18 pb). When Marco Fontana enters his friend’s spa on Pine Street, he doesn’t find the peaceful retreat he expected. DeMarco’s second Philadelphia mystery. 7. “The Unreal Life of Sergei Nabokov” by Paul Russell (Cleis, $16.95 pb). 8. “Heroics” by photographer Paul Freeman (Paul Freeman, $79.95, less 10 percent in the store). A sometimes tongue-in-cheek look at the way European men have adorned and mythologized themselves and their physical courage over the centuries. 9. “Murder on Camac” by Joseph R.G. DeMarco (Lethe, $18 pb). DeMarco’s first mystery. 10. “XY Survival Guide 2: Everything You Need to Know About Being Young and Sexy” edited by Peter Ian Cummings ($12.95 pb — cheaper than Amazon). The best guide for young gay men.
Women’s 1. “The Ida Pingala” poetry by Debrah Morkum (BlazeVOX, $16 pb). A magical document of time, memory and apparition. 2. “Taking My Life” by Jane Rule (Talon, $19.95 pb). Discovered in her papers as a handwritten manuscript in 2008, Jane Rule’s autobiography is a rich and culturally significant document that follows the first 21 years of her life. 3. “Inferno: A Poet’s Novel” by Eileen Myles (O/R Books, $16 pb). A follow-up to her landmark “Cool for You” will not disappoint fans of Myles or of modern literature itself. 4. “Sheltering Dunes” by Radclyffe (Bold Strokes, $16.95 pb). The pasts, presents and futures of three women collide. 5. “What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety” by Jaclyn Friedman (Seal, $17 pb). 6. “Papaya Suite” by Teresa Bevin (Ediciones La gota de agua, $20 pb). A literary text about the experiences and sexual exploits of a young woman who flees Cuba for Spain, then makes it to the United States and begins her adult life in full. 7. “Mommy, Mama and Me” by Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Carol Thompson (Tricycle, $7.99 boards, less 10 percent in the store). A curly-haired toddler, passable as either a boy or girl, celebrates Mommy and Mama, and the activities and tender moments they share. Ages 2-4. 8. “Great Speeches on Gay Rights” edited by James Daley (Dover, $3.50 pb). 9. “The Night Watch” by Sarah Waters (Riverhead, $16 pb). Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked-out streets, illicit partying and sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, “The Night Watch” tells the story of four Londoners — three women and a young man with a past — whose lives, and those of their friends and lovers, connect in tragedy, stunning surprise and exquisite turns, only to change irreversibly in the shadow of a grand historical event. 10. “Tipping the Velvet” by Sarah Waters (Riverhead, $16 pb). Waters’ first novel is a stunning and steamy debut that chronicles the adventures of Nan King, a small-town girl at the turn of the century whose life takes a wild turn when she follows a local music-hall star to London.
Trans “Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica” edited by Tristan Taormino (Cleis, $14.95 pb). In mainstream media, the erotic identities, sex lives and fantasies of transgender and genderqueer people are often oversimplified, sensationalized or invisible. “Take Me There” is an erotica collection unlike any other that celebrates the pleasure, heat and diversity of transgender and genderqueer sexualities. The power of seeing and being seen is a central theme in the anthology; it’s not simply about passing or not passing (an idea often explored with transgender characters), but about being acknowledged and desired in a sexual context. The book takes the reader from San Francisco to Israel, from heartache to lust, from stranger sex to a 10-year anniversary, from ballet shoes to butt-plug bondage tables, from fumbling teenagers to leatherclad bears, from MTF and FTM — and in between and beyond.
Gay 1. “Eating Out 4: Drama Camp” directed by Q. Allan Brocka (2011, 90 min., $24.95). An over-the-top raunchy comedy with the innocence of summer love — as a cast of gay hotties endure a supposedly celibate stint at a theater camp in the woods. 2. “Finding Me: Truth” directed by Roger S. Omeus Jr. (2011, 100 min., $17.99). Who knew Jersey City could be such a hotbed of gay drama? 3. “Longhorns” directed by David Lewis (2011, 90 min., $24.99). This raucous sex comedy tells the story of a “straight” Texas fratboy who realizes that maybe all his man-on-man fantasies, going down on his buddies and falling for the only openly gay student on campus means he just might be queer. 4. “Christopher Street: The Series” directed by Evan Storey (2009, 90 min., $17.99). Through the lives of Chris and his diverse group of friends we see the challenges that four young gay men face as minorities. 5. “Harvest” directed by Benjamin Cantu (2011, 88 min., $19.99). Breathtaking in its subtle beauty, this is an achingly romantic tale of an innocent but ever-increasingly passionate affair that develops between two simple farmhands. German with English subtitles. 6. “Rent Boys” directed by Rosa von Praunheim (2011, 84 min., $24.99). A frank and sympathetic chronicle of the historic causes and lasting effects of Berlin’s hustler trade. 7. “Big Gay Love Collector’s Set” various directors (375 min., $34.95). Four full-length romantic comedies: “Were the World Mine” (gay musical fantasy), “East Side Story” (hilarious gay love triangle), “Hollywood, je t’aime” (a gay Parisian in L.A.) and “Mr. Right” (successful gay men in London).