With cold air and snow outside, we can’t wait for National Hot Tea Day on January 12th! It’s time to settle into winter by curling up with a steaming mug and a rich book. While we may not be able to go out and about just yet, we have some great reading recommendations to keep you company on your Hot Tea Day, with stories ranging from the creative explosions of San Francisco and New York City to escapes through time travel, and from invigorating conversation with literary giants to heartfelt stories of YA experience. Heat up some chamomile or Earl Grey and browse our reading list, warming you up indoors.
“Disasterama takes us deep into the 80s and the daily creative resistance that saved the culture’s soul during the plague years….Heartbreaking and hilarious, sexed-up and political.” —Michelle Tea, Against Memoir and Modern Tarot.
If you’re looking for a rich story to explore from the warmth of your living room and with a hot cup of tea, try Disasterama by Alvin Orloff, a true account of the author who, as a shy kid from the suburbs of San Francisco, stumbled into the wild, eclectic crowd of Crazy Club Kids, Punk Rock Nutters, Goofy Goofballs, Fashion Victims, Disco Dollies, Happy Hustlers, and Dizzy Twinks of post-Stonewall American queer culture of the late 1970s, only to see the “subterranean lavender twilit shadow world of the gay ghetto” ravaged by AIDS. While stuck inside, this retelling of youthful adventures is sure to stir the creativity of the late 20th century.
“Reading Phil Marcade’s Punk Avenue feels like having a chat with an old friend, remembering and laughing over those crazy, glorious times.” —Ida S. Langsam, The Ramones’ Publicist
Brew yourself a cup of green tea while reading Phil Marcade’s Punk Avenue, an account of the punk movement in 1970s and 1980s New York City, where cheap rent combined with enthusiastic club owners an era of creative explosion.Through an insider’s view of someone present at every critical moment of the time, and with brilliant, often hilarious prose, Marcade relays first-hand tales of his experiences throughout his years in NYC, such as having the Ramones play their very first gig at his party, working with Blondie’s Debbie Harry on French lyrics for her songs, enjoying Thanksgiving with Johnny Thunders’ mother, and starting the beloved NYC punk-blues band The Senders.
“With dazzling prose and original plotlines, Silverberg proves himself to be a master of the [time-travel] genre. . . A mind-bending collection of fantastic tales that belongs on any science fiction fan’s bookshelf.” —Foreword Reviews, starred review
Accompanied with a hot cup of chamomile and in the backdrop of COVID, who wouldn’t want to travel around to a different time? In Time and Time Again, Robert Silverberg expands upon time travel’s incredible world of freedom and mystery and delivers imaginative and intriguing stories that are hailed globally, including a marriage destroyed by a time travelling rival, a human waking up in the mind of a lobster after being sent to the future, and a Silverbergian touch to the age-old story of getting an advance peek at the next day’s newspaper. Perfect for a nice and warm night-in during the January cold.
Don’t Hide the Madness: William S. Boroughs in Conversation with Allen Ginsberg, edited by Steven Taylor
“A conversation loaded with details, ideas, analyses, and a profound understanding of a moment in American literary history and the people who lived it.” —New York Journal of Books
Grab your mug and pull up a seat while hanging out in a seven-day conversation with two legendary authors and fathers of the Beat Generation: William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. With Don’t Hide the Madness, sip some tea and listen to Burroughs and Ginsberg converse about deeply intimate and personal history in a never-before-published discussion of poetry, literary influences, shamanism, punk, and peyote, all while gathered at Burroughs’ house in Lawrence, Kansas. Settle into the room with these two literary masters as they discuss topics ranging from film adaptations of their own works to punk rock’s contributions to counterculture lore, all with both hilarity and brilliance.
“QUIVER is an amazing, heartfelt book with a powerful lesson to share. Nearly all young adults feel judged or excluded at some point in their lives; this story will help anyone, no matter their situation, see that acceptance is possible.” —Foreword Reviews, starred review
Quiver is a fantastic choice for winter relaxation, bundled up indoors with a cup of peppermint tea. Set in rural Tennessee, Quiver focuses on the unlikely friendship between two teens from opposite sides of the culture wars. Libby is the oldest child of six, going on seven, in a family that adheres to the “quiverfull” lifestyle: strict evangelical Christians who believe that they should have as many children as God allows because children are like arrows in the quiver of “God’s righteous warriors.” Meanwhile, her new neighbor, Zo, is a gender fluid teen whose feminist, socialist, vegetarian family recently relocated from the city in search of a less stressful life. Through deft storytelling, built upon extraordinary character development, author Julia Watts creates a timely novel which shows how the youth is the force of the future.
*Look for Julia Watt’s new novel Needlework, coming soon!
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