Books

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Atlanta lesbian author reveals lessons for success as ‘grown woman’

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Lakara Foster is known to many as the host of the popular Brown Sugar Vibe monthly poetry sessions, but she is also an author and motivational speaker who owns her own business, She Speaks! Inc., a firm that offers workshops and resources to empower women and girls.

Her new book is "The Grown Woman's Guide to Greatness" and is available at the independent feminist bookstore Charis Books & More. She will be discussing the book, its lessons, what it means to be "grown" and how to achieve this success on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 1-2:30 p.m. at Charlis, located at 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307.

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Fitness advice from an ‘unapologetic fat girl’

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As the author of a book titled “The Unapologetic Fat Girl's Guide to Exercise,” Hanne Blank is not one to make a New Year's resolution to lose 10, 15, 20 or however many pounds. She reads and signs this book  at Charis Books & More on Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Charis Circle's Founding Future of Feminism Program and a $5 suggested donation is asked.

Blank is one to encourage movement, though, and learning to love and respect the body you have.
She is the author of other books including “Straight: The Surprisingly Short Story of Heterosexuality,” “Big Big Love: Relationships Guides for People of Size (And People Who Love Them) as well as an editor of “Best Transgender Erotica.” She is also a classically trained musician and has taught at Brandeis University and Tufts University.

In other words, she knows her stuff.

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Former Outwrite owner speaks out on new gig with AJC Decatur Book Fest

Philip Rafshoon

Philip Rafshoon, the former owner of the now shuttered Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, has been named the new program director for the AJC Decatur Book Festival.

“I'm studying right now and trying to figure out what exactly has been done at the festival in the previous years and talking to people about what they want to see changed and what will work,” Rafshoon told GA Voice today. “I'm celebrating right now that I have this great position but the work begins right away.”

Rafshoon will officially take up the position Jan. 1 and will replace outgoing program director Terra Elan McVoy.

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Books: Last minute ideas for your gay bibliophile

Give a book this holiday

“Alexander McQueen: The Life and Legacy”
Judith Watt (Harper Design, 2012)

An incredible telling of visionary designer Alexander McQueen’s personal and professional life, from his modest childhood to top runway shows.

“Are You My Mother?”
By Alison Bechdel (Harcourt, 2012)

Lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel explores her complicated relationship with her mother in this intellectual, introspective graphic novel.

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Straight author plays gay to understand homophobia

Author Timothy Kurek

What happens when a lesbian breaks down outside of a karaoke club and comes out to her fundamental evangelical friend, telling him how she was thrown out of her church and home?

In “The Cross in the Closet,” author Timothy Kurek describes his journey from condemning his friend to becoming accepting of all LGBT people. The process included his “becoming gay” for a year (or rather pretending to be gay) and really coming out to his family, friends and church.

Since “The Cross in the Closet” was published earlier this month, Kurek’s experiment has garnered interviews on CNN, MSNBC, ABC’s “The View,” Fox News Radio and more.

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Interview: Mystery writer Patricia Cornwell on her latest novel, the election, coming out and more

Patricia Cornwell

Internationally acclaimed bestselling author Patricia Cornwell comes to Atlanta’s Carter Center this Friday to promote her 25th novel, “The Bone Bed” (Putnam).

In “The Bone Bed,” Cornwell’s hero, forensic investigator Kay Scarpetta, her cranky macho partner Marino, helicopter-flying hacker-genius lesbian niece Lucy, and her festive personal assistant Bryce are on the trail of a killer who e-mails Scarpetta a chilling video clip featuring a woman’s severed ear.

Cornwell spoke at length with GA Voice about gay marriage, the presidential election, writing, and tolerance. No spoilers, mystery fans — so read and enjoy!

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Lesbian author hits mainstream success with trilogy set on the streets of Atlanta

Amanda Kyle Williams

Amanda Kyle Williams typically begins writing her acclaimed mystery novels with a first scene and then a last scene.

“And then about 110,000 words in between,” she says.

Years after writing lesbian mysteries for Naiad, a small press, Williams has found mainstream success with a series set in Atlanta.

Conceived as a trilogy, the series centers around Keye Street, a Chinese-American former FBI profiler who was fired from her job due to alcoholism. Street now runs her own detective agency and does odd jobs while also consulting with the Atlanta Police Department on some of the more heinous crimes to hit the city.

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David Sedaris delivers more than laughs with ‘Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk’

An Evening with David Sedaris

If you haven’t read “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk” yet, you are cheating yourself of an important moral guide for these troublesome times. Also, you’ll miss the opportunity to laugh so hard that you snort. How often can you get a two-for-one deal like this?

“Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk” is the most recent book by gay humorist David Sedaris, who brings his sardonic wit and intellectual humor to Atlanta Symphony Hall on Oct. 27.

“Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk” is a collection of 17 fables, little stories featuring animal characters illustrating some moral lesson, set in contemporary urban America.  You’re free to interpret them as taking place in New York City, but Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago, or Miami would work just as well.

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Fall Preview: Make your LGBT reading list for fall

Books fall preview

Whether you prefer fiction, non-fiction, celebrities or even cookbooks, there are plenty of options to fill your fall LGBT reading list. Some are newly out this season, while others debuted earlier this year.

Novel thoughts

• Picking up where “Captain Harding’s Six-Day War” left off, the period gay romance “Captain Harding and His Men” (Lethe Press, 2012) by Atlanta author Elliott Mackle follows more of Harding’s “adventures and misadventures” in a military setting.

• Arriving on bookshelves around the same time that the similarly-themed NBC sitcom “The New Normal” makes its debut, Michael Lowenthal’s “The Paternity  Test” (University of Wisconsin Press, 2012) explores gay fatherhood and  surrogate motherhood.