Elizabeth Ann Wood

What happens when a 40-something feminist sociologist who studies gender and sexuality learns that her mother, a passive-aggressive and needy woman who hasn’t had a lover in decades, has started seeing men who want to be bound, whipped, and sexually dominated?

What happens when that mother, shortly after diving into her newly discovered sexuality, develops one cancer that forces her to accept radical changes to her body and then another that forces her, and everyone around her, to confront her mortality?

How do their ideas about themselves and each other change as they confront aging, illness, sexuality, and the inevitability of death?

Bound  is an excellent read exploring topics of interest to us all–maybe not the least controversial book to read on the subway, but an engaging, entertaining, enlightening read nonetheless.

Out in Time

Dr. Perry Halkitis

The civil rights of LGBTQ people have slowly yet steadily strengthened since the Stonewall Riots of June, 1969. Despite enormous opposition from some political segments and the catastrophic effects of the AIDS crisis, the last five decades have witnessed improvement in the conditions of the lives of LGBTQ individuals in the United States.

As such, the realities and challenges faced by a young gay man coming of age and coming out in the 1960s is, in many profound ways, different from the experiences of a young gay man coming of age and coming out today.

Dr. Halkitis’ book explores this and illuminates some of the generational struggles faced by our friends throughout the community.

Free Food for Millionaires

Min Jin Lee

Though Free Food for Millionaires came out a dozen years ago, it remains (albeit a throwback) relevant today.

The daughter of Korean immigrants, Casey Han has refined diction, a closeted passion for reading the Bible, a popular white boyfriend, and a magna cum laude degree in economics from Princeton, but no job and an addiction to the things she cannot afford in the glittering world of Manhattan.

In this critically-acclaimed debut, Min Jin Lee tells not only Casey’s story, but also those of her sheltered mother, scarred father, and friends both Korean and Caucasian, exposing the astonishing layers of a community clinging to its old ways and a city packed with struggling haves and have-nots.

Digital Civil War

Peter Daou

Purportedly, Digital Civil War is a frontline account of the social media battles raging between red and blue Americans – and how to find moral clarity in the chaos of digital civil war.

Discussing: Are rural white Christians the real Americans? Should teachers be armed or should the Second Amendment be repealed? Is abortion murder or an ethically sound choice for women? Should migrant babies be caged or should ICE be abolished? Should billionaires exist while children go hungry?

It has high hopes and with Peter Daou’s expertise should have exceeded expectations. While it falls a bit short, it’s still an interesting read. That said, the political junkie might find it lacking.