I love what stores call “counter books.” Which are those fun books that you find at the checkout. Do not dismiss them. They might not be War and Peace but you never know what you will find. I found a book about Elmo (yes that Elmo), Justin Trudeau (yes that Justin Trudeau), Sisters (multiple books), Lego spoofs (most not for children), Star Wars fun (both “real” and spoof) and 50 Queers.
That is the book I will mention here: 50 Queers Who Changed the World: A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Icons by Dan Jones and Michele Rosenthal. A few pages on each person plus an illustration of them follow some of the men, women and non-gender conforming people who shaped the world of LGBTQ. Some we might know: RuPaul, Oscar Wilde and Virginia Wolf. Others may not be as familiar or known to the public at all. People from the world of style, music, science, art and literature and society come to life. The past and present are represented.
I watch one reality show and that is RuPaul’s Drag Race. Why? RuPaul is a crusader for the LGBTQ community, for drag queens and for people in general. Also (and I am sure he would be the first to admit) it is good entertainment. And I was pleased to see him represented here. But I was also glad to learn more about Oscar Wilde, Marlene Dietrich and people I did not know. To learn of the people who fought for rights most of us take for granted is truly an eye opener. We all have our struggles, but the people represented here had to struggle to just be themselves in a world that did not want them to be.
Who should buy this? You. You should get it for yourself. It is a great way to be introduced to people you might want to learn more about. You should get it for your child graduating high school. Give it to someone who has everything for their 60th birthday.
And you should look for other books on the counters of your local bookstore. Maybe you have a sister or brother who needs a little something special. Or something for Mom and Dad this Mother’s and Father’s Day. Or for the person who has an off-beat sense of humor and wants Assassination! The Brick Chronicle of Attempts on the Lives of Twelve US Presidents…. Just give it a chance!