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26 June 2015

#ListenWithPride: LGBT Audiobooks

Today marks not only a long-awaited SCOTUS ruling and historic day for LGBT Americans, but also the start of Pride weekend in NYC. This weekend caps off a week of events commemorating the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and the beginning of the modern Gay Rights movement. Whether you’ll be participating in The March down Fifth Avenue or celebrating from another locale, here are 9 great audiobooks to listen to with pride.

One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva, read by Michael Chernus

This coming of age story is romantic, moving, and laugh-out-loud-funny. Alek is ending a perfectly hellish freshman year of high school with the news that he’ll be spending what is sure to be an equally hellish summer attending summer school. That is, until he meets Ethan—confident, free-spirited, and irreverent Ethan—and everything changes. Listen to an excerpt of One Man Guy here.

A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham (movie tie-in), read by Colin Farrell, Dallas Roberts, Blair Brown, and Jennifer Van Dyck

Two boyhood friends, Bobby and Jonathan, find themselves in a complicated, triangular relationship after college when Bobby falls in love with Jonathan’s roommate, Clare, who was supposed to be having a baby with Jonathan (who is gay). The three move upstate and try to create a new kind of family for themselves.

The New York Times Book Review called this audiobook “lyrical…memorable and accomplished,” not surprising, given the superb writing of Michael Cunningham coupled with excellent narration, including Colin Farrell and Dallas Roberts who were Bobby and Jonathan, respectively, in the 2004 movie adaptation.

The Andy Cohen Diaries by Andy Cohen, read by the author

A year in the life of the ultimate Bravolebrity, The Andy Cohen Diaries is a no-holds-barred account of everything that happens behind the scenes at Watch What Happens Live, what it’s really like to work with The Real Housewives, and all of the “real life” that happens off-screen (yes, that includes dating). Brace yourself for hilarity, and listen to an excerpt here.

Mississippi Sissy by Kevin Sessums, read by the author

Growing up a “sissy” in The Deep South (specifically, Mississippi) wouldn’t have been easy for Kevin Sessums if it weren’t for his mother teaching him how to turn the word on its head and use it to survive. This memoir brings the  American south of the 1960s and what it’s like growing up as an incredibly self-aware gay youth to life.

The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer, read by S. Epatha Merkerson

Pearlie is a dutiful 1950s housewife who is doing her best to care for both her husband’s fragile health and her son, who is afflicted with polio. Everything Pearlie knows about her husband and their marriage is upended by the sudden appearance of a stranger one Saturday morning. This novel tackles the fear and repression of the era, be it political, sexual, or racial.

Dangerous When Wet by Jamie Brickhouse, read by the author

Darkly comic and deeply poignant, this memoir covers growing up with Mama Jean in Texas—to say their relationship was complicated is an understatement—a high-profile career in book publishing in New York, and how Jamie almost lost everything to his alcoholism. Mary Karr put it best when she called it  “a blisteringly funny, wrenching account of wrestling way too close to—and later loose from—booze, sex and drugs and his adorable, infuriating mother.” Listen to an excerpt of Dangerous When Wet here.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, read by Kristoffer Tabori

Eugenide’s Middlesex needs little introduction, having received recognition as both a Pulitzer Prize winning novel and an Audie Award winner for its captivating narration (not to mention having received Oprah’s stamp of approval as book club selection #58).

Hild by Nicola Griffith, read by Pearl Hewitt

This work of historical fiction focuses on a young woman, Hild, who finds herself at the heart of the violence, subtlety, and mysticism of the early medieval age. She would go on to become one of the most fascinating and pivotal figures of the Middle Ages: Saint Hilda of Whitby. Hild has been compared to other great works of historical fiction, including Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter, and is a must-listen for fans of the genre.

Dry by Augusten Burroughs, read by the author

Picking just *one* Augusten Burroughs audiobook for this list was an agonizing task. Burroughs’ Sedaris-esque writing and wonderful weirdness provides hours and hours of audio entertainment. In Dry, Burroughs is desperately trying to be a grown-up in Manhattan while staying (somewhat painfully) sober.

Have another LGBT audiobook that’s on your #ListenWithPride list? Share it with us in the comments below.

Happy Pride!

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