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The library is more than just books. Every month, the Milwaukee Public Library joins Lake Effect to share resources, book recommendations and cool stuff you might not know about.

Celebrating Pride with June's Book of the Month recommendations

Joshua Ashing, the Circulation Services Representative for the Milwaukee Public Library system, with "A Little Life"
photo courtesy of Joshua Ashing
Joshua Ashing, the Circulation Services Representative for the Milwaukee Public Library system, with "A Little Life"

Every month on Lake Effect, we partner with the Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) for our Book of the Month Series to bring you new reading recommendations.

For the first day of June, Joshua Ashing, MPL’s circulation services representative provides his favorite book recommendations to kick off and celebrate Pride month:

LGBT Milwaukeeby Michail Takach

Ashing says, "It's about place, it's about time, it's about how the gay movement changed Milwaukee and how the bars changed around and how the night life scene changed around. So this one really focuses on where gay culture resided in Milwaukee through all the decades."

"I do feel like it's a little bit of a warmup to [Takach's] second book, 'A History of Milwaukee Drag,' but this one really focuses on the ebb and flow of the business side of gay culture," he adds. "It also talks about the gentrification of the Third Ward and how a lot of gay bars and gay businesses got pushed to the Fifth Ward, more towards the Walker's Point area."

*Original airdate: 08/25/16For decades, LGBT culture was – out of necessity - hidden and unspoken of in daylight. But three-quarters of a century has…

A History of Milwaukee Dragby Michail Takach & B.J. Daniels

"[It's] a full comprehensive history of Milwaukee history, especially focusing on drag culture," says Ashing. "You can tell that [Takach] blossomed into his writing with this book — I enjoyed it. It talks about Grace Jones, it talks about Divine, it talks about the rise of all the Ru [Pual] girls like Trixie Mattel."

Ashing also notes that the Cactus Club will be talking about this book for their Cactus Book Club on June 7 in partnership with the Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP), who will be leading the discussion.

A Little Lifeby Hanya Yanagihara

"This is absolutely my favorite, favorite, favorite book of all time," says Ashing. "I think, especially for LGBTQ reader, I think this is something that is very essential, very important to read just on a human emotional level."

In the Lives of Puppetsby TJ Klune

"[Klune] writes so vividly. He writes for your imagination. You can picture everything exactly how it's describing it," says Ashing.

MPL will be at PrideFest Friday, June 2 from 3 - 9 p.m. & Saturday, June 4 from 12 - 9 p.m as a part of the Health & Wellness vendor areas. Visit them on the grounds for more offerings on book selections, book lists, resource handouts and library swag.


Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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