Women’s and trans books
1. “Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama” by Alison Bechdel (HMH, $22 hb, less 10 percent in the store). From the best-selling author of “Fun Home” comes a poignant and hilarious graphic memoir of Bechdel becoming the artist her gifted mother always wanted to be.
2. “My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength and What Makes a Family” by Zack Wahls (Gotham, $26 hb, less 10 percent in the store). The 19-year-old son of a same-sex couple, Wahls proudly proclaimed, “The sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character.” Hours later, his speech was posted on YouTube, where it went viral.
3. “Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?” by Jeanette Winterson (Grove, $25 hb, less 10 percent in the store). This memoir is a tough-minded search for belonging, for love, an identity, a home and a mother by the author of “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.”
4. “Queer and Pleasant Danger” by Kate Bornstein (Beacon, $24.95 hb, less 10 percent in the store). Memoir of a nice Jewish boy who joined the Church of Scientology and left 12 years later, ultimately transitioning to a woman. A few years later, she stopped calling herself a woman and became famous as a gender outlaw.
5. “Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality” by Hanne Blank (Beacon, $26.95 hb, less 10 percent in the store). Like the typewriter and the light bulb, the heterosexual was invented in the 1860s and swiftly and permanently transformed Western culture.
6. “Mommy, Mama and Me” by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Carol Thompson (Tricycle, $7.99 board cover). Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler’s daily activities — from the park to bedtime — in the company of two loving mothers. Full color.
7. “Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power” by Rachel Maddow (Crown, $25 hb, less 10 percent in the store). There’s a war going on, argues Maddow; a battle between the priorities of civilian life and of the war machine, and right now the national security sector is winning — leaving the United States “less” strong and secure.
8. “Ill Will” by J.M. Redmann (Bold Strokes, $16.95 pb). First, do no harm. But as New Orleans PI Micky Knight discovers, not every health-care provider follows that dictum.
9. “Hood: A Novel” by Emma Donoghue (Harper, $14.99 pb). Penelope O’Grady and Cara Wall risk disaster when, like teenagers in any intolerant time and place — here, a Dublin convent school in the late 1970s — they fall in love.
10. “The Night Watch” by Sarah Waters (Riverhead, $16 pb). Set during the air raids, blacked-out streets and sexual adventure of World War II London, “The Night Watch” is “the finest achievement yet” from the bestselling author of “Fingersmith” and “Tipping the Velvet.” (Guardian)
Women’s and trans DVDs
1. “The Lovers & Friends Show, Season 3” directed by Charmain Johnson (2011, 167 min., $19.95). The hottest lesbians on the web are back with another season of tantalizing drama in this scrappy low-budget hit show.
2. “Gigola” directed by Laure Charpentier (2011, 102 min., $24.95). Based on the long-censored novel of the same name, this film captures a little-known chapter in Parisian history in which eroticism defied conventional morals. French with English subtitles.
3. “The Lovers & Friends Show, Season 4” directed by Charmain Johnson (2011, 167 min., $19.95). Six minority lesbians navigate their way through life’s challenges with attitude and a fabulous sense of style.
5. “Romeos” directed by Sabine Bernardi (2011, 94 min., $24.95). Lukas is a pre-op trans person who often finds himself in uncomfortable, compromising positions. Then he meets the confident, gorgeous Fabio.
1. “Crimes on Latimer: The Early Cases of Marco Fontana” by Joseph R.G. DeMarco (Lethe, $18 pb). These stories show some of the forces that helped shape the young P.I. In high school, Fontana discovers he has a knack for crime solving.
2. “Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars” by Scotty Bowers (Grove, $25 hb, less 10 percent in the store). Newly discharged from the Marines after World War II, Bowers arrived in Hollywood in 1946. Young, charismatic and strikingly handsome, he began sleeping with the town’s stars and starlets, and connecting others with his coterie of young, attractive and sexually free-spirited friends. He writes that his own lovers included Edith Piaf, Spencer Tracy, Vivien Leigh, Cary Grant and the abdicated King of England Edward VIII.
3. “Body on Pine” by Joseph R.G. DeMarco (Lethe, $18 pb). When Marco Fontana enters his friend’s spa on Pine, he doesn’t find the peaceful retreat he expected. Brad, the masseur, is missing. The spa is splattered with blood and a dead client lies sprawled on the floor.
4. “Sacred Monsters” by Edmund White (Magnus, $24.95 hb, less 10 percent in the store). Collects more than 20 of his most recent writings on artists and authors, including John Cheever, Patti Smith, Henry James, Andy Warhol and more.
5. “We the Animals” by Justin Torres (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $18 hb, less 10 percent in the store). Life in this family is fierce and absorbing, full of chaos and heartbreak and the euphoria of belonging completely to one another. From the intense familial unity felt by a child to the profound alienation he endures as he begins to see the world, this beautiful novel reinvents the coming-of-age story in a way that is sly and punch-in-the-stomach powerful.
6. “Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders” by Samuel R. Delany (Magnus, $21.95 pb). “I consider Delany not only one of the most important scifi writers of the present generation, but a fascinating writer in general who has invented a new style.” — Umberto Eco
7. “Murder on Camac” by Joseph R.G. DeMarco (Lethe, $18 pb). DeMarco’s first mystery set in Philadelphia.
8. “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach (Back Bay, $14.99 new in pb). An expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment — to oneself and to others — in a baseball story that goes beyond the sport and into hearts and minds.
9. “Divining Divas: 100 Gay Poets on the Women Who Inspire Them” edited by Michael Montlack (Lethe, $25 pb). An anthology of 100 gay poets — award winners and fresh voices — enthralled with female icons throughout the ages, ranging from Gloria Swanson to Mary J. Blige and Edith Piaf to Joni Mitchell.
10. “RAW: One Man’s Story About His Life of Raw Sex” as told to Christopher Beckwith (JL King, $12.99 pb). At 13 years old, Jamal travels to New York to meet his father for the first time. Then the shock of an unknown half-brother, coupled with the lure of forbidden pleasure, sends him down a path that has him battling morality and lust for the rest of his life.
1. “Eating Out 5: The Open Weekend” directed by Allan Brocka (2011, 80 min., $24.95). Zack and Benji open up their relationship for a weekend of fun at a gay resort in Palm Springs.
2. “American Translation” directed by Pascal Arnold and Jean-Marc Barr (2011, 90 min., $19.99). A sexually ambiguous Frenchman tours his native countryside with his naïve American lover in pursuit of the ultimate thrill.
3. “Jitters” directed by Z. Baldwin (2010, 97 min., $19.99). An unexpected first kiss causes Gabriel to feel the electrifying “jitters” of love and lust with the free-spirited Marcus — a perfect way to end a summer studying abroad.
4. “Harvest” directed by Benjamin Cantu (2011, 88 min., $19.99). An achingly romantic tale of an innocent but ever-increasingly passionate affair that develops between two simple farmhands.
5. “Kawa: A Coming Out Drama” directed by Katie Wolfe (2011, 77 min., $24.95). Kawa, a successful Maori businessman in Auckland, New Zealand, is forced to reveal his lifelong secret that he is gay.
6. “Surf and Turf Double Feature: Newcastle and The New Twenty” ($19.95). Two-disc set of dramas.
7. “@SuicideRoom” directed by Jan Komasa (2010, 110 min., $24.95). Moody, dark and handsome Dominik is tormented by his classmates after a video of his drunken kiss with bully Alex is spread across the Internet.