QBG Reads… If I Was Your Girl

Join us on Wednesday 6/28 @ 7pm in the 4th floor Conference Room for a discussion of the Stonewall Award winning novel If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo!

Haven’t read it yet?  There’s still time!  Grab a copy at the circulation desk!

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Contemporary Queer Films

Looking for some good contemporary queer films to watch this Pride Month?  Look no further!

Beginners “A young man is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover.”

Bessie “The story of legendary blues performer Bessie Smith, who rose to fame during the 1920s and ’30s.”

Blue is the Warmest Color “Adèle’s life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire and to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself, and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.”

Boy Meets Girl “Boy Meets Girl is a funny, tender, sex positive romantic comedy that explores what it means to be a real man or woman, and how important it is to live a courageous life not letting fear stand in the way of going after your dreams.”

Carol “An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman in 1950s New York.”

Closet Monster “A creative and driven teenager is desperate to escape his hometown and the haunting memories of his turbulent childhood.”

The Danish Girl “A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.”

The Duke of Burgundy “A woman who studies butterflies and moths tests the limits of her relationship with her lesbian lover.”

Eisenstein in Guanajuato “Rejected by Hollywood and facing pressure to return to Stalinist Russia, filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein travels to Mexico to shoot a new film. Chaperoned by his guide Palomino, he experiences the ties between Eros and Thanatos, happy to create their effects in cinema, troubled to suffer them in life.”

Fire Song “Shane, a gay Anishnabe teenager in Northern Ontario, is struggling to support his family in the aftermath of his sister’s suicide. If he fails, he will be forced to choose between his family’s home and his own future.”

Front Cover “When a gay fashion stylist works with a renowned foreign actor, they both embark on a journey of self-discovery.”

Girlhood “A girl with few real prospects joins a gang, reinventing herself and gaining a sense of self confidence in the process. However, she soon finds that this new life does not necessarily make her any happier.”

Grandma “A teenager facing an unplanned pregnancy seeks help from her acerbic grandmother, a woman who is long estranged from her daughter.”

The Handmaiden “A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her.”

I Am Michael “Based on the fascinating true-life story of Michael Glatze, a gay activist who becomes a Christian pastor after identifying as a heterosexual. ”

In the Grayscale “Bruno, an architect with a great life, is hired to build an iconic landmark, and as he works with a gay history teacher named Fer, an unexpected and intense romance starts to blossom.”

King Cobra “This ripped-from-the-headlines drama covers the early rise of gay porn headliner Sean Paul Lockhart a.k.a. Brent Corrigan, before his falling out with the producer who made him famous. When Sean decides he’d be better off a free agent, a cash-strapped pair of rival producers aim to cash in by any means possible.”

Kiss Me “A young woman engaged to be married finds herself in an affair with her soon-to-be stepmother’s lesbian daughter.”

LUV Don’t Live Here “Coping with illness, a black gay man is forced to face the hard realities of his life and loves.”

Margarita, With a Straw “A rebellious young woman with cerebral palsy leaves her home in India to study in New York, unexpectedly falls in love, and embarks on an exhilarating journey of self-discovery.”

Moonlight “A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.”

Naz & Maalik “Two closeted Muslim teens hawk goods across Brooklyn and struggle to come clean about their sexuality, as their secretive behavior leads them unknowingly into the cross-hairs of the War on Terror.”

The New Girlfriend “A young woman makes a surprising discovery about the husband of her late best friend.”

Oriented “A feature documentary that follows the lives of three gay Palestinian friends exploring their national and sexual identity in Tel-Aviv during the Israel-Gaza conflict of 2014.”

Pariah “A Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression.”

Reaching for the Moon “A chronicle of the tragic love affair between American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares.”

Room in Rome “A hotel room in the center of Rome serves as the setting for two young and recently acquainted women to have a physical adventure that touches their very souls.”

A Single Man “An English professor, one year after the sudden death of his boyfriend, is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960s Los Angeles.”

Spa Night “A closeted Korean-American teenager takes a job at a Korean spa to help his struggling family, only to discover an underground world of gay sex at the spa that both scares and excites him.”

Stranger By The Lake “Summertime. A cruising spot for men, tucked away on the shores of a lake. Franck falls in love with Michel, an attractive, potent and lethally dangerous man. Franck knows this but wants to live out his passion anyway.”

The Summer of Sangaile “17 years old Sangaile is fascinated by stunt planes. She meets a girl her age at a summer aeronautical show. Sangaile allows Auste to discover her most intimate secret and in the process finds the only person that truly encourages her to fly.”

Tab Hunter: Confidential “The story of matinee idol Tab Hunter from teenage stable boy to closeted Hollywood star of the 1950s.”

Tangerine “A working girl tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart.”

Weekend “After a drunken house party with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club. Just before closing time he picks up Glen but what’s expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something else, something special.”

(Descriptions sourced from IMDb.)

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Award Winning Books for Pride

Want some quality queer books to help you celebrate Pride this month?  Check out these 2017 award winners!

29th Annual Lambda Literary Award Winner

Lesbian Fiction

Gay Fiction

Bisexual Fiction  

Bisexual Nonfiction

Bisexual Poetry

Transgender Fiction

LGBT Nonfiction

Transgender Nonfiction

Lesbian Poetry (TIE)

Gay Poetry

Transgender Poetry

Lesbian Mystery

Gay Mystery

Lesbian Memoir/Biography

Gay Memoir/Biography

Lesbian Romance

Gay Romance

LGBT Erotica

LGBT Anthology

LGBT Children’s/Young Adult

LGBT Drama

LGBT Graphic Novels

LGBT SF/F/Horror

LGBT Studies

Stonewall Book Award Winners for 2017

Barbara Gittings Literature Award

Desert Boys by Chris McCormick

Israel Fishman Nonfiction Award

How to Survive a Plague: The inside story of how citizens and science tamed AIDS by David France

Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award

Stonewall Honor Books in Literature

Stonewall Honor Books in Non-Fiction

Stonewall Honor Books in Children’s and Young Adult Literature

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June’s Readalike: Saints for All Occasions

Readalike graphic,

J. Courtney Sullivan’s fourth novel, Saints for All Occasions, follows The Engagements (2013), Maine (2011), and Commencement (2009). In all four novels, Sullivan carefully crafts believable characters and intricate plots that often have to do with relationships and family secrets. Saints for All Occasions, set in Ireland and Boston from the 1950s to the present, is a stellar novel about the Flynn sisters, Nora and Theresa, and the way their lives diverge and come together again. It’s in high demand, so while you’re waiting – or if you’ve already read it and searching for something similar – here are some other books to try.

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant (2014): Diamant is an accomplished novelist, and The Boston Girl had a long waitlist when it was first published too. Addie Baum is born in 1900 and grows up in a poor immigrant family in Boston’s North End; she tells her story to a granddaughter in 1985, so it is also the story of how the world has changed in that time, particularly for women.

The Visitors by Patrick O’Keeffe (2014): Two Irish families, the Dwyers and the Lyons, are entangled from one generation to the next, connected even as they scatter and settle. Library Journal writes, “O’Keeffe paints a picture of self-centered introspection, Irish gloom, and the ironic repetition of events from generation to generation.”

We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas (2014): Born in 1941, Irish-American Eileen Tumulty aspires to the American Dream, but finds that it continues to slip from her reach. Reviews called it “epic and emotionally draining” (Library Journal) and “powerful and significant” (Publishers Weekly).

Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell (2013): A heatwave oppresses London in the summer of 1976, and it is during this time that Robert Riordan disappears one morning. His wife Gretta calls her grown children home to help discover where he went and why, but she knows more than she tells them. Each character narrates part of the story, and the adult children – Monica, Michael, and Aoife – have their own private struggles to manage on top of the family crisis.

Book cover image of Saints for All Occasions

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan (2011): Ordinarily I wouldn’t recommend another of the same author’s books in a readalike – it’s too much like using a word in its definition – but in this case, it would be remiss not to mention Maine, another story of Boston history and tangled family secrets told by three generations of women. Incidentally, the Robbins Library Book Group is discussing Maine at their July 10 meeting.

The Walking People by Mary Beth Keane (2009): Like Saints for All Occasions, The Walking People is the story of two sisters leaving Ireland with one man, and the story of their lives in America; it is also the story of a marriage and what parents tell their children – and what they omit. The story spans fifty years and is slow-paced, but never dull.

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin (2009): Yet another story that begins in Ireland in the 1950s and follows its character, Eilis Lacey, to America. Eilis, lonely at first, begins to make a life for herself, but when her sister dies, she returns to Ireland, and then must decide whether to stay, or return to her life in Brooklyn. This novel was made into a movie in 2016.

The Girls Who Went Away: the hidden history of women who surrendered children for adoption in the decades before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler (2006): This nonfiction work is a blend of oral history and scholarly research. A million and a half unmarried women surrendered their newborn babies before abortion was legalized, and Fessler’s narrative – along with some of the women’s own words – brings their individual stories as well as an overarching cultural story fiercely to life, from the women’s powerlessness over their own lives and bodies to their searches for their lost children (and the grown children’s searches for them) years later. Poignant and powerful.

Did you miss the readalike posts from previous months? Catch up here.

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Not-So-Young Adult Book Group Meeting on 6/21

The NSYA Book Group will be meeting next Wednesday, June 21 at 7pm in the Robbins Library 4th floor conference room. We’ll be talking about The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell. Copies are still available at the front desk if you haven’t grabbed one yet.

We’ll be on hiatus for the month of July and will meet again on August 16 to discuss The Good Braider by Terry Farish. Copies will be available by mid-July.

The Not-So-Young Adult Book Group is a book discussion group for adults in which we read and discuss books written for teens. It’s a fun, casual group and newcomers are always welcome!

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Overdrive Big Library Read: The Other Einstein

The Other Einstein cover imageDo you read e-books? Do you like historical fiction? If you answered yes to both of those questions, you’re in luck! For the next two weeks (June 12-June 26), OverDrive is doing a “Big Library Read,” which means one e-book will be available to everyone simultaneously. The featured title is The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict.

Here’s a brief description of the book: “Mileva ‘Mitza’ Marić has always been a little different from other girls. Rather than thinking about marriage, she’s studying physics with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.”

Sound interesting? Check it out now!

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Today in History: June 13, 1927

Photo of the front page of The Sun from June 13, 1927, headline LINDBERGH LANDS IN NEW YORK

The front page of The Sun from Monday, June 13, 1927, with the headline LINDBERGH LANDS IN NEW YORK.

This morning, an Arlington resident donated a copy of this issue of The Sun: it happened to be today’s date, June 13…1927. But the first thing I noticed wasn’t the paper’s date, but the headline: LINDBERGH LANDS IN NEW YORK.

We have access to lots of historical newspapers via our databases and microfilm at the library, but it’s something else to hold a ninety-year-old piece of newsprint in your hands and marvel a little. (And then put it down before it crumbles to pieces, and go wash your hands.)

If you’re interested in more historical documents related to Lindbergh, try our aforementioned databases and microfilm, or visit the Digital Public Library of America (dp.la) for various primary source documents. If you’re more interested in history through the lens of fiction, you might like Melanie Benjamin’s novel The Aviator’s Wife or Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America.

What cool thing have you discovered at the library recently?

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Robbins Library Book Discussion Group: “Maine” on 7/10

The Robbins Library Book Discussion Group will next meet on Monday July 10  at 7 pm in the Robbins Library Community Room.

The group discusses “Maine” by J. Courtney Sullivan. New members are welcome. Book will be available at the Circulation Desk after June 5. Check out an ebook or eaudiobook from Overdrive.

Here’s the description from Novelist:

Descending on a family beach house won in a bet years earlier, three generations of women gradually impart difficult respective secrets including a pregnancy, a terrible crush and a deeply held resentment for past misdeeds.
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Geek Con Trivia Questions

GEEK CONDid you miss Geek Con (or attend, but forget to pick up a trivia sheet)? Apparently our trivia questions – across four categories – were fiendishly hard! Try your hand at them here:

Movies & TV

  • In the Doctor Who episode “The Christmas Invasion,” what six words does the Doctor use to bring down Prime Minister Harriet Jones?
  • In Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope, who calls whom a “walking carpet”?
  • In the TV series Firefly, name all the crew members on Serenity.
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot’s only line is “I am Groot.”  What is the one exception?
  • In Futurama, how does the Professor begin every announcement?

Video Games

  • In the original Civilization game, which historical figure is known for being uncharacteristically aggressive due to a programming glitch?
  • Which classic game was the first video game to allow players to save their progress?
  • What is the blue shell in Mario Kart actually called?
  • Which installment of Final Fantasy first contained chocobos?
  • What are the three Pokemon Go teams?


  • Who is the first person/creature that Lucy meets when she travels through the wardrobe into Narnia?
  • What is the first sentence of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle?
  • Exam time! At Hogwarts, what does O.W.L. stand for? What about N.E.W.T.?
  • What is Lyra’s daemon’s name in the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman?
  • In American Gods by Neil Gaiman, what does Shadow give his dead wife?


  • In Squirrel Girl, who is Doreen’s furry sidekick?
  • In Deadpool, what is his wife’s name?
  • In Saga, who is the author of Alana and Marko’s favorite book?
  • In Fables, which one of Snow and Bigby’s children takes over for the North Wind?
  • In Sandman, Delirium was once …?


The cake is …?
A. Delicious
B. Moist
C. A lie
D. All of the above

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Summer Reading for All

Build A Better World logo on Lego bricks

Build A Better World: Participate in summer reading, June 10 – September 5, 2017

This year’s summer reading theme is “Build A Better World.” Our prizes are related to the theme: terrarium kits and TisBest gift cards, so winners can donate to the nonprofit organization of their choice. As usual, we’ll also be offering the chance to win gift certificates to the Book Rack here in Arlington, and one lucky participant will win a year’s worth of free DVD rentals from the library!

How do you get started? Easy! Sign up for adult summer reading in person at the reference desk, or via our online form. It will take you less than a minute!

How do you participate? Visit the reference desk to get your first raffle ticket and pick up your double-sided bingo sheet. Earn more raffle tickets all summer by doing the activities in the bingo squares: reading a novel, listen to an audiobook, visit the library table at the farmers’ market, attend a library program, and many more!

Drop your raffle tickets in the prize box(es) of your choice on the summer reading display table next to the elevator in the main library lobby. We will contact prize winners after Labor Day in September.

Why adult summer reading? Other than the glorious prizes, of course. Well, we believe that reading is its own reward, but also, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is challenging all Massachusetts residents to read four books this summer and share their reading experience. Learn more about Read Four MA. (If you’re on social media, you can use the tag #WhatsYourFour.)

This campaign will help encourage children and teens to read over the summer and prevent the “summer slide.” Check out our amazing summer reading programs for kids and teens here at the library too!

Happy reading!

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