Walking around a bookstore often yields wonderful surprises for shoppers, especially for those looking for solutions to the challenges of holiday giving.
The potent new memoir "Amateur" (Scribner) is by Thomas Page McBee, an American trans man whose journey took him to Madison Square Garden — in the ring.
It's a Barbie world where the boys rule on thrones laden with sequined pink fabric.
Fiction frontier: "The Caregiver" (Simon & Schuster), the gripping final novel by the late gay novelist and filmmaker Samuel Park (who died of stomach cancer at the age of 41 in 2017), draws on his Brazilian birthplace.
"Trans Kids: Being Gendered in the Twenty-First Century" (UC Press) never resorts to the sensational to be gripping, compassionate and itself intellectually fluid.
On the eve of this historic and Very Important Election, we can't say it better than Hans the Franz does with his spectacular outfit. He's out there in the Castro District streets, resplendent in his declamatory onesie, and it's all to get out the vote.
In the case of Dale Peck's new novel, "Night Soil" (Soho Press), forget everything you think about the Dale Peck of the past.
Whether it was glam rock or punk rock, Reed was a precursor, if not the godfather, of musical styles and rock-n-roll movements.
Houston native Michael Arceneaux's debut memoir "I Can't Date Jesus" is bold, brassy, and unapologetically frank.
Prolific poet and writer Jim Elledge's "The Boys of Fairy Town: Sodomites, Female Impersonators, Third-Sexers, Pansies, Queers and Sex Morons in Chicago's First Century" (Chicago Review) picks up where St Sukie de la Croix's "Chicago Whispers" left off.
Poet Rafael Campo's "Comfort Measures Only" gathers 88 poems, many of which are new and unpublished, with the remainder drawn from other books of his works.
There is a chilling scene in the first chapter of Rebecca Makkai's new novel "The Great Believers" where the main character, Yale Tishman, is attending a memorial party in 1985 for a close friend, Nico, who has died of AIDS.
Sometimes a novel feels so true to your lived experience it feels pulled from your own life. That was our sensation reading "That Was Something," a new novel by Dan Callahan (Squares & Rebels).
Subtitled "a story of Childhood," James Baldwin's only children's book "Little Man Little Man" (Duke U. Press, 1976), with illustrations by Yoran Cazac, is now available for the first time in more than 40 years.
Out music scholar Paul Kildea, author of a brilliant biography of Benjamin Britten, has looked deeply into Chopin's Op. 28 Preludes in "Chopin's Piano: A Journey Through Romanticism" (W.W. Norton).
Nicola Griffith's "So Lucky" is a profound work of autobiographical fiction about overcoming life's boundaries, resisting victimization, and discovering long-dormant strengths.
Considering Todd Fisher's fascinating "My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie" (William Morrow, $27.99).
Jordy Rosenberg's "Confessions of the Fox" comes as a sharp reminder of the undervalued business of reading for pleasure.
Author Don Shewey is a therapist whose work with gay men concerns issues of sex and intimacy. He has a lot of wisdom and experience to share in his new book "The Paradox of Porn - Notes on Gay Male Sexual Culture" (Joybody Books).
As the limited field of porn star memoirs goes, a new book ranks high. It's "Body to Job" (Rare Bird Books, paper, $17.95; Kindle, $9) by Christopher Zeischegg, the former and mostly heterosexual porn star whose nom de porn is/was Danny Wylde.
Lesbian novels have rarely caught the public imagination, but this deserves to change with the publication of "Stray City," a tender, insightful debut novel set in 1990s Portland.
The greatest success story that "RuPaul's Drag Race" ever launched has now written a book of advice, "Blame It on Bianca Del Rio" (Dey Street).
J. Randy Taraborrelli provides new insights in his fascinating "Jackie, Janet & Lee: The Secret Life of Janet Auchincloss and Her Daughters, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill" (St. Martin's Press, $29.99).
"History of Violence" is a harrowing work of fictionalized fact that depicts its 25-year-old author's rape and assault during a botched hookup.
"Obsexion," by local writer Matt Converse, is based on the author's seven years as a dancer at the iconic San Francisco club.
There are less loaded ways to ask the question "Has the Gay Movement Failed?" than making it the title of your new book from the University of California Press, as the eminent gay historian Martin Duberman just has.
"Pop Trash: The Amazing Art of Jason Mecier," a coffee-table book with full-page pictures of meticulously crafted celebrity portraits, rolled off the presses this month.
Whoever said that 60 is the new 40 hasn't met writer David Sedaris. The popular satirist's latest collection of tragicomic essays "Calypso" finds the pithy, prolific wordsmith at his finest.
It's not to diminish the significance of the art Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore made together in and around between-the-world-wars Paris to say that none of it is absorbing as Rupert Thomson's masterful novel about them, "Never Anyone But You."
A fine crop of murder mysteries is available to keep readers engaged while at the beach, the pool, or flying to an interesting destination.
A deeply felt, finely balanced account of being Leonard Bernstein's oldest daughter captures the madness of life in the orbit of one of the last century's most influential, larger-than-life musicians with equal parts candor and compassion.