“City of Night” by John Rechy

City of Night appropriately reads like a beat novel. Written in the 60's, it follows a gay-for-pay hustler whom we follow from New York to L.A. to San Francisco to New Orleans and further, but we never learn his name. This is appropriate as well, because one of the main themes ringing throughout the piece is …

“Tallulah, Darling” by Denis Brian

This biography on one of my favorite actors is brimming with anecdotes that perfectly capture the immutable charisma of Tallulah Bankhead. Unlike most actors, I always thought Tallulah's best performances were at the beginning of her career. In her first talkies, her characters are arguably more natural and entrancing than even Bette Davis. But her …

“Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890-1940” by George Chauncey

It's sometimes frustrating to me that gay history pre-Stonewall is routinely treated as less relevant than the decades after the riots set forth a nearly linear surge of progression. So reading George Chauncey's exhaustive documentation of how gay people forged a culture in New York before World War II was riveting. Chauncey details the secret …