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LESBIAN 1. “Essential Dykes to Watch Out For,” by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin, 392 pp., $25 hb). For 25 years, Bechdel’s path-breaking “Dykes to Watch Out For” strip has been collected in award-winning volumes, syndicated in alternative newspapers and translated into many languages. This collection gathers 60 of the newest strips. 2. “Night Call,” by Radclyffe (Bold Strokes, 242 pp., $15.95 pb). Medivac helicopter pilot Jett McNally’s heart belongs to an Army officer she left behind in Afghanistan, and good-time anesthesiologist Tristan Holmes is no substitute — except maybe in bed — in this high-stakes medical drama of love in the fast lane. 3. “Romantic Interludes 1: Discovery,” by Radclyffe (Bold Strokes, 241 pp., $15.95 pb). An anthology of passionate, sensual love stories about falling in love, being in love and celebrating the love among women of every age — yesterday, today and tomorrow. 4. “Fated Love,” by Radclyffe (Bold Strokes, 312 pp., $15.95 pb). Amid the chaos and drama of a busy emergency room, Quinn, a physician, and her new boss, Honor, must contend not only with the fragile nature of life, but also with the mysteries of the heart and the irresistible forces of fate. 5. “Calling the Dead,” by Ali Vali (Bold Strokes, 336 pp., $15.95 pb). Detective Sept Savoie is a cop who thinks making a relationship work is harder than catching a serial killer, but her current case may prove her wrong. 6. “The Lies That Bind,” by Susan X Meagher (Brisk Press, 329 pp., $16 pb). Falling in love is often the end of the story, but there are myriad complications in this small town that work against Erin and Katie living happily ever after. 7. “Partners,” by Gerri Hill (Bella, 288 pp., $14.95 pb). This concludes the series that began with the chart-topping bestseller “Hunter’s Way” and continued with the Lambda Literary and Golden Crown finalist “In the Name of the Father” — with the sizzling intensity that only Hill can deliver. 8. “Falling Star,” by Gill McKnight (Bold Strokes, 186 pp., $14.95 pb). When Gin literally drops into Solley’s life, how could the lonely young mother’s interest not be piqued? And what private pain draws Gin inexorably toward the small family and the woman who protects it with all her heart? 9. “Cooper’s Deale,” by Ki Thompson (Bold Strokes, 219 pp., $15.95 pb). Addy Cooper finds herself caught between two love interests, both of whom suspect her of murder. What more can go wrong? Plenty.
GAY 1. “Mayor of Castro Street,” by Randy Shilts (St. Martin’s Griffin, 388 pp., $16.95 pb). Known as “The Mayor of Castro Street” even before he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Harvey Milk’s personal life, public career and assassination reflect the dramatic emergence of the gay community as a political power in America. 2. “Uncommon Reader,” by Alan Bennett (Picador, 120 pp., $12 pb). From one of England’s most celebrated writers, the author of the award-winning “The History Boys,” comes a mischievous novella about the Queen of England and the subversive power of reading. 3. “Skin Lane,” by Neil Bartlett (Serpent’s Tail, 320 pp., $14.95 pb). Part fairy tale, part compelling evocation of a now-lost London, this is Bartlett’s fiercest piece of writing yet: cruel, erotic and tender. 4. “Spider Season,” by John Morgan Wilson (St. Martin’s Minotaur, 296 pp., $24.95 hb). Benjamin Justice, disgraced journalist and former Pulitzer Prize winner, finally publishes his autobiography, which calls forth a series of threats against himself and everyone he loves. 5. “When You Were Me,” by Robert Rodi (Kensington, 426 pp., $15 pb). In his long-awaited new novel, master satirist Rodi, author of “Fag Hag,” “Drag Queen” and “Kept Boy,” crafts a compelling and witty romp that adds new meaning to the adage, “Be careful what you wish for.” 6. “Fellow Travelers,” by Thomas Mallon (Vintage Books, 345 pp., $14.95 pb). Tim Laughlin, a recent college graduate and devout Catholic eager to join the crusade against Communism, finds his first love affair with a handsome Department of State official. As Joe McCarthy mounts an increasingly desperate bid for power, Tim and Fuller find it ever more dangerous to navigate their double lives. 7. “Best Gay Love Stories 2009,” edited by Brad Nichols (Alyson, 227 pp., $15.95 pb). People everywhere need romance in their lives, and this volume will have readers wishing they were the lovelorn characters who populate its stories. 8. “Drifting Toward Love: Black, Brown, Gay & Coming of Age on the Streets of New York,” by Kai Wright (Beacon Press, 224 pp., $16 pb). Prostitution, homelessness, drugs and violence against gay men of color are all discussed in unflinching — and at times wrenchingly intimate — detail, alongside touching reminiscences of first love and the initial realization of a “different” sexuality. An important book about an oft-marginalized group.
GAY 1. “Another Gay Sequel,” directed by Todd Stephens (2008, 97 min., $24.95). Packed with celebrity cameos and total gross-out humor, this outrageous follow-up to “Another Gay Movie” centers around the spring-break adventures of Andy, Nico, Jarod and Griff when they enter the Ft. Lauderdale “Gays Gone Wild” contest (a contest to see who gets laid the most). 2. “Boystown,” directed by Juan Flahn (2008, 100 min., $19.95). Evoking the comic insanity of early Pedro Almodóvar, “Boystown” is a raucous farce about an outlandish murder-mystery plot and the gay couple caught in the middle of it all. 3. “3-Day Weekend,” directed by Rob Williams (2008, 84 min., $19.99). Long-term couple Simon and Jason, along with Cooper and his boytoy du jour, meet annually for a three-day getaway. Looking to spice up the tradition, they add a twist — each invites one attractive, single friend to their mountain retreat. 4. “Latter Days,” directed by C. Jay Cox (2003, 107 min., $19.99). The handsome Aaron, a Mormon missionary, travels door-to-door in Los Angeles spreading the word of his religion. Christian, a cute West Hollywood party boy, goes from man to man without much commitment. Opposites will soon attract. 5. “Noah’s Arc, Season 1,” directed by Patrik-Ian Polk (2004, 200 min., $39.95). This superb television show first aired on the Logo network. Follow the daily lives of Noah, Alex, Ricky and Chance — four gay African-American men in Los Angeles — through their relationships with friends, family and lovers. 6. “Boys Briefs 5,” various directors (2007/8, 109 min., $26.95). The latest installment of the successful series takes us to Europe and back again in its search for the best gay shorts in the world. 7. “Teenage Angst,” various directors (2008, 80 min., $26.95). This collection contains two stirring international coming-of-age films. 8. “Boys in the Band,” directed by William Friedkin (1970, 119 min., $27.95). Friedkin’s groundbreaking film about a group of gay friends at a birthday party, who dissect their lives and relationships until a married straight friend unexpectedly appears. Based on Mart Crowley’s acclaimed Broadway play of the same name. 9. “Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror,” directed by Jaymes Thompson (2007, 108 min., $29.95). An unusual amalgam, featuring a stunning selection of buff male flesh, plenty of belly laughs and loads of bloody, mutilated guests!
LESBIAN 1. “Itty Bitty Titty Committee,” directed by Jamie Babbit (2007, 87 min., $27.95). This fabulous movie from Babbit (“But I’m a Cheerleader”) is a dynamic, romantic, frequently funny and politically astute movie with a smart script, rockin’ soundtrack and terrific ensemble cast. 2. “L Word: Season 5,” various directors (2007, 658 min., $49.95). Season 5 is packed with more drama, more sex and more of the wild lesbian entertainment you’ve come to expect. 3. “The Early Works of Cheryl Dunye,” directed by Cheryl Dunye (2008, 80 min., $24.95). Fans of Dunye’s film “The Watermelon Woman” fell in love with her self-deprecating and insightful wit — not to mention the great cast she assembled. But what came before this modern-day classic? Presented here are the films that started it all — the early works that gave birth to this extraordinary talent. 4. “She Likes Girls 3,” various directors (2008, 92 min., $24.95). The girls who like the girls are back in this jam-packed installment of the most popular lesbian-shorts DVD series of all time. 5. “Butch Jamie,” directed by Michelle Ehlen (2007, 84 min., $19.95). A quirky, gender-bending comedy about an out-of-work butch lesbian actress willing to try almost anything for a role. When she finally lands one, she manages to find lust and love along the way. 6. “Shelter Me,” directed by Marco S. Puccioni (2007, 98 min., $24.95). Portrays three human beings, different from each other and everyone else, compelled to deal with issues raised by sexual orientation, coming of age, immigration and work-related problems with compassion, trust and fear. 7. “Four Minutes,” directed by Chris Klaus (2007, 112 min., $24.95). Jenny, a musical prodigy, finds herself behind bars for murder, but one person wants to help her out — Traude, the 80-year-old piano instructor who has taught at the prison for years. 8. “Water Lilies,” directed by Celine Sciamma (2007, 86 min., $26.95). During a summer in Paris, a love triangle develops between three girls in this provocative and perceptive portrait of teen angst and nascent sexuality. 9. “Carmilla the Lesbian Vampire,” directed by Vince D’Amato (2003, 77 min., $19.95 DVD). The young heroine Jenna, who has fallen victim to a strange vampiric plague causing all sorts of wild hallucinations, takes off with her father Travis to battle the source of the vile infection — the vampire Carmilla.