Books: 725

Marry Me a Little: A Graphic Memoir
Rob Kirby
Graphic Mundi

A personal and historical look at gay married life by comics creator Rob Kirby, who, following a decade together, and legalization of same-sex marriage in Minnesota, hied off with partner John to the “very romantic” Hennepin Courthouse and solemnized the deed. Solemn, yes, but Kirby’s a gay cartoonist, eager to guide the as-yet-unlinked through paths of pomp and circumstance and middle-class hymenologically correct procedures: rainbow moods and vacillations, mid-couture, idiosyncratic wedding regalia (“business casual with a touch of retro flair”), then into meandering side excursions back into history leading to the final, count-down years to 2013. Remember CA’s Prop 8? Follow Kirby’s dark meanderings through the Trump … well, there, as well as loving remembrances of their cherished dog. A book to read; to gift.

Choosing Family: A Memoir of Queer Motherhood and Black Resistance
Francesca T. Royster
Abrams Press

Race is at the center of this memoir and of Royster’s world–how could it not be? In a multiracial Chicago, every decision, every action is seen through a lens of skin color and heritage. Royster, who is Black and her partner, Annie, white, have gone to great lengths to adopt a Black infant; in their 40s and 50s, there weren’t many options, but they fell in love with Cecelia immediately, then waited out the birth mother’s decision about this Black, queer, feminist home in which her child would be raised. Royster’s family matriarchs had built Chicago’s South Side, where “family” was fluid, often overriding “marriage” or other accepted boundaries. They focus on Joy, whether or not others offer or allow it to be claimed.

Looking for the Hidden Folk: How Iceland’s Elves Can Save the Earth
Nancy Marie Brown
Pegasus Books

“Why should disbelief be our default?” asks Brown, while also asking readers to consider what exactly they mean by “believe.” Even today, Icelandic road construction and other extensive, public endeavors have been halted or rerouted to avoid destroying Elves’ ancient homes or because of other human activities inflicted on the Earth. Brown first visited Iceland in 1986, fell in love with its magical terrain, returning some 30 times. Perhaps half to two-thirds of Icelandic adults acknowledge the huldufólk, visible only to one another and humans known as elf-seers, while ethnographers have plotted ancient tales onto a topographical Icelandic map, discovering elves “come across as embodiments of the landscape itself.” Brown argues that an elf-curious attitude is not “silly”: “It’s the physics of the 21st century.”

Break Point: Two Minnesota Athletes and the Road to Title IX
Sheri Brenden
University of Minnesota Press

Break Point recounts the odyssey of two Minnesota high schoolers attempting to compete in sports at skill levels only open to boys in 1972. The case was lengthy, tangled, and only dealt with the cases of two Minnesotan teens: Peggy Brenden, senior, a tennis player from St. Cloud, and Toni St. Pierre, junior cross-country runner and skier from Hopkins. Author Sheri Brenden, Peggy’s younger sister, became a research librarian in two major law firms, then reporter for the St. Cloud Daily Times, with all the court records of Brenden v. Independent School District 742 records at her fingertips, and has laid out a detailed, disturbing, account of the case that opened a wedge for the implementation of Title IX and its athletic empowering of women athletes.

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